RIA Novosti 
March 20, 2012
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied reports on Tuesday that Russian warships had arrived off the Syrian coast to deploy soldiers.
“Reports that Russian warships are in Tartus are complete fairy tales,” Lavrov said.
A Syrian Defense Ministry official also denied the same reports, the SANA news agency said.
Some Russian and other media reported earlier that the Russian Black Sea tanker Iman with a group of marines onboard was operating close to the Syrian coast.
“This information is false and is part of the anti-Syria campaign waged by some countries…. seeking military interference into Syria’s domestic affairs,” the official said.
A senior member of the European parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, has called for an immediate UN inquiry into allegations by the Syrian opposition that a Russian warship was delivering weapons to Syria.