Russia’s Medvedev to Syrian government: shape up or quit

Syria’s leadership should carry through reforms in the country or leave office, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday.

Like other countries, Russia is interested in an early end to the bloodshed in Syria and is making its position known to the Syrian leadership, he said.

“If the Syrian leadership is unable to complete such reforms, it will have to go, but this decision should be made not by NATO and certain European countries – it should be made by the people of Syria and the government of Syria,” Medvedev said.

Russia will not allow any one-sided sanctions at the UN to unseat “undesirable” regimes in different countries, he said.

“This is not what the UN was founded for,” Medvedev said.

On Tuesday Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution urging the Syrian regime to immediately stop using violence against protesters or face “targeted measures.”

The draft resolution, sponsored by France with Britain, Germany and Portugal, was supported by nine out of 15 Security Council member states. Four others – Brazil, India, South Africa and Lebanon – abstained.

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