Mikhail Margelov, chairman of Russia's Federation Council, spoke to reporters at Camp David, the presidential retreat, RIA Novosti reported. He said that the main issue is who will rule Syria if President Bashar Assad is ousted.
Margelov compared the crisis to the Gordian Knot of antiquity, allegedly sliced with a sword by Alexander the Great when he could not find an end to untie.
"The Syrian crisis could not be cut by ax, it could be disassembled by forceps," Margelov said.
Russia and China have vetoed two U.N. Security Council resolutions aimed at Syria, although they supported the peace plan brokered by former Secretary General Kofi Annan.
"There should be no forced change of regime in Syria. The Syrians should have an opportunity to solve their problems themselves," Margelov said.