Tuesday, December 1

Russian Foreign Minister says UNSC vote on Syria resolution too hasty


MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday that the UN Security Council (UNSC) vote late last week on a draft resolution on Syria was conducted too quickly, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

Lavrov called the vote an attempt to shift blame for the resolution’s failure onto some countries.

“Some people really wanted to shift the blame onto someone, which was more important for them than reaching a consensus in the UN Security Council, which was very realistic,” Lavrov said.

He said that Moscow had asked for more time to consider the UNSC resolution after Russian officials visited Damascus, but the proposal was refused by some Western countries.

“The refusal to wait for (our) return from Damascus clearly showed disrespect,” Lavrov said.

Meanwhile, the foreign minister said that Russia has the right to veto a resolution. He also reiterated that Russia’s stance on the Syria issue would not change.

“The co-authors (of the draft) wanted to make the regime stop violence without giving any obligations to the armed groups which are fighting this regime,” Lavrov said.

“We have made a number of amendments to repair its (the draft’s) imbalance and to define steps we expect the opposition and the world to take as regards armed extremists in Syria,” he said.

Russia and China on Saturday vetoed an Arab-European draft resolution that backs an Arab League plan to promote a regime change in Syria.

Russia said the draft contains imposition of conditions on the dialogue and called for measures to influence not only the government but also armed groups.

Lavrov and Mikhail Fradkov, director of the service for external intelligence of Russia, will travel to Syria on Tuesday to meet with President Bashar al-Assad. — BERNAMA