'I've got to talk to my British colleague,' said the Russian president as he left a key fuel and energy session to take the phone call.
'I've got to talk to my British colleague,' said the Russian president as he left a key fuel and energy session to take the phone call. Picture: Kremlin.ru
The contents of the call were not immediately revealed but earlier Russia warned the the US and UK that if they launches military strikes without UN approval they will commit a 'very grave violation of international law'.
UK premier David Cameron earlier returned from holiday and convened a session with military aides before the call with Putin.
Britain, France, Turkey and the US say the recent horrific 'chemical' was perpetrated by the regime of Bashar al-Assad, while Russia suggests it was a ploy by rebels aimed at discrediting the Damascus government.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the West against contemplating strikes on Syria which would amount to a 'grave mistake that will not lead to any peace, but only mark a new, even bloodier stage of the war in Syria'.
Putin earlier said 'the situation is getting worrying, to put it mildly' - but he was speaking about the Russian coal market in Kemerovo, the country's coal capital. 'We have to look at this question in the most serious way, specially given the talks about a possible limitation in EU energy trade with Russia,' he said.
He ordered the government to offer tax stimulus measures for companies which develop new coal deposits in remote regions, and also called for an end to excessive bureaucracy.
'The question of releasing coalmining companies, which develop low-margin deposits with undeveloped infrastructure in remote areas, from paying a royalty tax has been under discussion for five years already,' he said. 'I am asking the government to assess the situation and find a systematic approach to such problems. We have needed to release such companies (from royalty tax), which are starting their business, for some time.'
He added: 'We need to avoid excessive bureaucracy in order not to get stuck in the implementation of projects aimed at developing new deposits in Russia's Far East and in Tyva Republic'.
Svetlana Churkina, 28, from the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) had gone through eight surgical operations after the crash.
What I wasn't expecting was just how beautiful everything looked under the sparkling white blanket of snow.
The flame warms Siberia and even takes a dip in Lake Baikal en route to the Sochi Winter Games.
It should be called the 'Pacific region', he suggests.