Walid al-Moallem told reporters in Moscow that Syria wanted a say in the composition of an international team to observe implementation of a ceasefire in the country.
"An end of violence must be simultaneous with the arrival of the international observers," he said.
"We have already withdrawn forces and army units from several Syrian provinces," Moallem said, following talks in Moscow with his Russian counterpart.
But activists say that Syrian forces have attacked two towns as a deadline passed for President Bashar Assad's troops to start withdrawing from populated areas in the kickoff to an internationally brokered truce deal.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says it saw no signs of large-scale troop pullback Tuesday and that most areas of Syria appeared calm. This is a sharp contrast to heavy attacks by Syrian forces on restive towns in recent days.
Activists reported shelling in the northern village of Marea and mortar fire in the city of Homs.
A collapse of the truce deal by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan could move Syria closer to an all-out civil war. A 13-month uprising has turned increasingly violent in response to a brutal regime crackdown.
Russia on Tuesday called on the opposition as well as countries that "influence them" to use their powers to bring about the cease-fire.
"We would like to call on all opposition leaders and all countries that have influence on the political and military opposition to use their influence to bring about an immediate cease-fire as is provided by Kofi Annan's plan," said Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.