Russia tells Nato to stay away from Syria

2012-10-02 21:53

Moscow - Russia told Nato and world powers on Tuesday they should not seek ways to intervene in Syria's civil war or set up buffer zones between rebels and government forces.

Moscow further called for restraint between Nato-member Turkey and Syria, where violence along their shared border has strained relations between the former allies.

Tensions have flared since a mortar round fired from inside Syria struck the territory of Turkey. Ankara has threatened to respond if the strike were repeated.

When asked by Interfax if Moscow worried whether the tense border situation could prompt Nato to intervene to defend Turkey, its easternmost member, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov warned against any such step.

"In our contacts with partners in Nato and in the region, we are calling on them not to seek pretexts for carrying out a military scenario or to introduce initiatives such as humanitarian corridors or buffer zones."

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, one of Assad's most caustic critics, recently lashed out at Russia for blocking efforts at the UN Security Council to exert pressure on Assad and said Moscow's stance allowed massacres in Syria to continue.

Turkey has floated the idea of setting up "safe zones" inside Syria to protect civilians from the conflict but that would also have to be approved by the Security Council.

Russia and China have vetoed three Security Council resolutions condemning Syrian President Bashar Assad and have blocked attempts to impose further sanctions on his government or intervene more directly in the conflict.

Ankara has repeatedly complained of artillery and gunfire spilling over the border into Turkey, leading to threats of retaliation.

Assad may cling to power

"We believe both Syrian and Turkish authorities should exercise maximum restraint in this situation, taking into account the rising number of radicals among the Syrian opposition who can intentionally provoke conflicts on the border," Gatilov was quoted as saying.

The West accuses Russia of supporting Assad in the bloody 18-month conflict and imposing a stalemate in the Security Council as violence in Syria has spiralled.

Moscow says Syrians themselves should decide their fate and says it will veto any Security Council resolution that could serve as a springboard for military intervention.

Russia accuses the West of overstepping its mandate when it set up a no-fly zone in Libya last year, leading to the fall of Muammar Gaddafi to a popular uprising and insurgency.

Western diplomats in Moscow say Russia seems to believe Assad may still successfully cling to power though they see Russia's dialogue with some Syrian opposition groups as an attempt to secure its interests there if he were overthrown.

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-02 22:01

    Putin is going to get badly shown up. The Muslim world is going to expose his Cold War view of the world. Egypt and Turkey are now opposing him. Two of the three largest countries in the Middle East. All the while he arms the unelected self-styled bloody surgeon of Syria trying to hold onto power the Putin way.

      ft.burhaak - 2012-10-02 22:22

      @fred.You are the epithemy of propaganda in the news.

      hallo.daar.56 - 2012-10-02 22:23

      Russia have China on their side. Turkey are useless as they proved when they did nothing when their jet was blown out of the sky by Syria. Egypt is a shadow of its former self.

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-10-03 06:29

      burhaak, did you think long and hard on your 'epithemy'?

  • duncan.gill1 - 2012-10-02 23:01

    I think the world is a better place now that Russia is standing up for international law.Syria is a bridge to far for the Yanks and NATO,anyhow NATO is broke and rely on the Yanks for 75%of its operational costs,so any NATO intervention in Syria will be a Yank intervention and they are also broke and cannot afford another war.So it will all be hot air and you can bet that NATO is urgently talking to the Turks and saying slow down don't start something you can't finish cause we can't help you if you do.Visa vi Israel and Iran.Suzan Rice found it more pressing to have lunch,than listen to the Israels leader and his picture game.

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-10-03 07:18

      You can rest assured that the US and NATO are far stronger in the ME than Russia or anybody else.

      Shane Loxton - 2012-10-03 07:32

      With Germany, France and UK having to bail out Greece and now maybe Spain, and Greece still looking like its going to crash money and costs of a NATO war is high on the agenda, Italy is also on a thin red line of Economical crash, all will be thinking of the financial costs, Only Germany is strong enough maybe not to worry to much.

      merven.halo - 2012-10-03 07:47

      @duncan, I can assure you the civilians in Syria would disagree with you.

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-10-03 08:10

      @larry.why do you talk about yourself this way..have some self respect man!

      dylan.sciarappa - 2012-10-03 09:09

      @ mervin how on earth can you speak for the people in Syria?

      dylan.sciarappa - 2012-10-03 09:12

      George Orwell hit the nail on the head

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-03 09:21

      Russia and China must fully support Syria’s right to defend its security and national sovereignty. There's just no point saying yes to more NATO terror around the world. The whole organisation should be broken up before it does more stupid things.

  • Shane Loxton - 2012-10-03 07:27

    Just throwing a stone in the bush here, for the christians, does Revelations not say a country from the north will start Armageddon?

      merven.halo - 2012-10-03 07:52

      Ever since 1682, first Russia was attacking his neighbours for centuries, then WW1, then WW2, then the battle for Afghanistan, then the Cold War, now this. If Russia farts the religiots grab Revelations.

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-10-03 08:08

      marven.Loxton, you must check out history pal..your comments lack any credibility why do you waste your time posting such useless comments..your are an idiot!

      Larry - 2012-10-03 08:09

      Try throwing a stone against your own head. Maybe for the Christians, but not for the Hindu's Budhists and atheists.

      Shane Loxton - 2012-10-03 08:16

      Funny enough Larry, I am an atheist

  • cya.khubone - 2012-10-03 08:36

    Puttin is hitla in desguise.

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-10-03 09:14

      Good for him.

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-03 09:19

    With the USA gone rogue as they roll out their sly, long-nurtured plans for forging the world in their image, one can only praise the gods for Russia and China's independence of mind and steadfast refusal to become bystanders at best, lackeys and collaborators at worst. Whatever ulterior motives they may have, at this point in history there is only one nation disfiguring the world. Thank God for Russia, for Putin!

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-10-03 15:53 are a man my friend who sees things the way they are..God bless you sir!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-03 20:34

      While you were spewing out your silly and childish anti Western CRAP, Russia's influence in the rest of the world, has dropped sharply. If Russia was not a nuclear power, one would hardly take any notice any longer of these bastards. Their main export; military hardware, What a bunch of useless bastards !!! And your Putin friend; he has become the clown in international politics !!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-03 23:48

      "If Russia was not a nuclear power, one would hardly take any notice any longer of these bastards." If your parents hadn't decided to get together, you wouldn't have been borm!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-04 04:44

      Fidel, WOW !!! I know you have difficulty of even understanding the most plain comment, but let me try; Russia has NEVER EVER done ANYTHING in the world world that has made it a better place. They have NEVER YET created even ONE JOB, outside Russia. There is hardly any Russian investments, anywhere in the world. They have NEVER YET, lessened the suffering of the hungry and sick in the world. The ONLY 'good' these rubbish Russians do, is to SELL their Rifles, tanks,hand granades, gunship helicopters, etc, Just ANYTHING THAT CAN KILL. BASTARDS ! Can hardly wait for your next dumb comment !!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-04 10:02

      That is because Russians don't feel indebted to anyone, as they were not part of the colonial gangsters that roamed around the world raping and pillaging. Russia grew from a third world European country to a superpower out of its own efforts, without resorting to pillaging. It had a closed economy not linked to the capitalist western economy hence its had no significant links with other countries as far as international trade is concerned. It is a country that believes in its own efforts!

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