The G7 has rejected to calls from Britain and the United States to impose fresh sanctions on Russia.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson proposed the move during G7 talks in the Italian town of Lucca on Monday. The sanctions would have targeted senior Russian military officers involved in the Syria conflict, along with top Syrian government officials.
But G7 representatives rejected the proposals, with Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano telling journalists that he did “not want to push Russia into a corner.”
"We must have a dialogue with Russia,” said Alfano. "We think the Russians have the leverage that is needed to put pressure on Assad and to get him to observe the commitments with regard to the ceasefire."
Johnson first proposed the sanctions last week in a bid to halt the Kremlin’s continued support for Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The G7 ministers agreed that Assad was responsible for a deadly chemical attack on Syrian civilians in the Syrian province of Ildib last week, which saw more than 85 people die after a cloud of deadly sarin gas hit villages in rebel-controlled areas.
The ministers also came out in support of U.S. President Donald Trump’s strike on a government held air base close to the Syrian city of Homs in response to the attack.
Alfano described the attack as “a window of opportunity to construct a new positive condition for the political process in Syria,” the Associated Press reported.