UNITED NATIONS, August 24 (Itar-Tass) — Russia is satisfied with a U.N. Security Council statement on Syria passed on August 3 and doesn’t see the need to impose sanctions on Damascus.
Asked to comment whether it’s the right time to introduce sanctions against Syria, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said, “No. We don’t think so.”
Western countries members of the U.N. Security Council are working out a draft resolution urging to exert pressure on the Syrian government. The package of measures includes introduction of sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad and other high-ranking Syrian officials whom the West is blaming personally for the death of peaceful civilians. The vote is scheduled for Tuesday evening local time.
Besides, the United States and its allies intend to blacklist a number of Syrian companies and ask the International Criminal Court in the Hague to issue an arrest warrant for President Bashar al-Assad as it was the case with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi whose troops are now losing the last positions in fighting against the opposition forces.
Russia, which is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, has the right to veto decisions on this issue. Representatives of China, which’s also a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, as well as South Africa, Brazil and India that are non-permanent members of the U.N. Security Council will most likely share the opinion of Russian diplomats that there’s no need to impose sanctions on Damascus.
Vitaly Churkin refused to comment on specific details of the draft resolution. “Only ideas are being suggested at the moment,” the Russian diplomat said. At the same time, he emphasized that Russia felt comfortable after the Security Council adopted a statement on August 3.
After long consultations the Security Council condemned widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against peaceful population by the Syrian authorities. The statement contained a call for an immediate end to all violence.
“We hope to see progress, we hope to see dialogue (between the sides) in Syria,” Churkin explained. “We think that we need to work on the basis of this single position,” he emphasized.
According to the United Nations, about 2,200 people have been killed in Syria since March when the Syrian authorities began suppressing protests. In this connection, the United Nations Human Rights Council launched an investigation on Tuesday into outbreaks of violence in Syria, despite opposition from Russia and China, to see whether crimes against humanity were committed during those outbursts.