World leaders from the G20 group of nations are set to meet in Russia amid sharp differences over military action against Syria’s government.
Ahead of the talks, Russia’s Vladimir Putin warned that action without UN approval would be “an aggression”.
But President Barack Obama said the credibility of the international community was on the line.
While Syria is not officially on the G20 agenda, leaders are expected to discuss it on the sidelines.
The annual summit of the G20 group of developed and developing nations which opens in St Petersburg is supposed to concentrate on the global economy.
On the eve of the summit, a US Senate panel approved the use of military force in Syria, in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack.
The proposal, which now goes to a full Senate vote next week, allows the use of force in Syria for 60 days with the possibility to extend it for 30 days.
The measure must also be approved by the US House of Representatives.
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