News24

Russia opposes new UN draft on Syria

2012-03-09 13:09

Moscow - Russia said on Friday it opposed an "unbalanced" UN draft resolution on the Syria crisis because it did not contain a call for a simultaneous halt in violence by the government and rebels.

"We cannot agree with the draft resolution in the form it is being presented in today. The text of the resolution under discussion is unbalanced," Interfax quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov as saying.

"Its main problem is the absence of a simultaneous call on all sides to take practical steps in the context of ceasing fire," Gatilov was quoted as saying.

Gatilov said Russia was receiving reports that the UN Security Council intended to put the US-backed resolution up for a vote at a meeting on Monday.

Russia, jointly with China, has vetoed two previous UN Security Council drafts on the nearly year-long Syrian crisis, and Gatilov warned world powers against rushing ahead with a new vote.

"It is unacceptable to tie the adoption of any text with a deadline. The time factor is not the most important thing," Gatilov said.

Biased approach

"The most important thing is to find a text that is realistic, without ambiguity, and aimed at a stable settlement," he said.

A resolution of the new draft obtained by AFP "demands" that the Syrian government "immediately" cease all violence and "calls" on opposition groups to "refrain from all violence" once these conditions are met.

The use of the word "calls" is pointedly weaker than the "demands" made to the Syrian government.

Gatilov's comments underline Russia's long-held view that the West was taking a biased approach to the crisis with the aim of ousting President Bashar Assad.

Russia has also accused the West of mulling its own military campaign against Assad after using Nato-led forces to eliminate the Libyan regime, another of Moscow's former regional allies.

Moscow's representative to the United Nations on Wednesday accused Libya of helping to train Syrian rebels.

Equal demands


Gatilov said Russia was still willing to work with the West on finding an acceptable compromise.

"The goal is the same - to find a text that contains equal demands on both sides," Gatilov said.

But he added in a separate statement posted on Twitter that Russia would oppose resolutions "containing any pretext for military action against this country".

Russia's firm stance comes amid Western fears of an even more aggressive tone coming from Moscow following Vladimir Putin's crushing win in this month's presidential elections.

Putin had battled with the West throughout his 2000-2008 presidency and led the campaign in Moscow against the air assault on Libya while serving as prime minister under outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev.

Comments
  • Fidel - 2012-03-09 13:32

    "Its main problem is the absence of a simultaneous call on all sides to take practical steps in the context of ceasing fire," Gatilov was quoted as saying. The reason the Nato hawks are against a cease fire is because they are trapped by the choice they have invested in, i.e. regime change. Those looking for change of government couldn't give a toss how many Syrians die. We've been here before.

      Fred - 2012-03-09 13:41

      In the real world, Nato is reluctant to use its military to counter Assad.

      Fred - 2012-03-10 00:24

      Delusional pseudo-victims unite.

  • Fred - 2012-03-09 13:43

    The Russian regime under the autocrat Putin just doesn't understand aggression by one party against civilians, because it has does this itself. It also places financial interests above human lives. If the so-called West were to even be suspected of doing this, all hell would break loose.

      Fred - 2012-03-09 14:00

      Consistent with your blindness and downright opposition to all things good and true Muedes/Gollum, you overlook the obvious manipulations of the election, which is clearly documented on this and other websites.

      Fred - 2012-03-09 14:11

      Muedes/Gollum this is the Information Age. Your usual lying doesn't work anymore. Google "Russian Elections Free and Fair". See what comes up.

      Fred - 2012-03-09 14:14

      Your blindness is clear to everyone who isn't blind themselves. This is the conclusion in the very newspaper article you've posted: "Mr Putin won with nearly 64 per cent of the ballot. But independent observers said the vote was marred by massive violations."

      Alexander - 2012-03-09 14:34

      @Muedes I support your opinion. And- do not argue with Fred. The only thing you can get from him- is that you are blind and childish

      Fred - 2012-03-09 14:39

      You'll get that if you are blinding yourself and being childish. Your support of Muedes/Gollum on this issue is sheer blindness, seeing as his opinion has just been refuted on this very page.

      Anthony - 2012-03-09 19:29

      Say whatever you want, but please don't argue with Alexander, Firstly, """I am reading now some news from british papers and comparing it with what """I saw by my own eyes""". !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Secondly, He is still suffering from jet-leg, so take it easy with him !!!

  • Fred - 2012-03-10 00:28

    It's a noble idea which unfortunately is COMPLETELY ignorant of the reality of the situation. The UNELECTED dictator of the country is using the country's military to keep himself and his family in power by killing thousands of UNARMED civilian protestors and their families in their homes, detaining and torturing tens of thousands more. It is not surprising that the Russian regime doesn't see the true reality, because it shares very similar violent autocratic values, and has no qualms in adjusting elections, and the election process, to serve its now interests.

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