MOSCOW, September 28 (RIA Novosti) – The UN Security Council resolution requiring Syria to eliminate its chemical weapon stockpiles precludes any use of force, Russia’s top diplomat said Saturday.
“The UN Security Council resolution absolutely rules out the use of force or any application of Chapter 7 [of the UN Charter],” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Russia’s TV Channel One.
Any possible use of force in the future under Chapter 7 will need a new resolution, if there is “conclusive and unequivocal proof” of noncompliance, he stressed.
The minister also said that all UN member states should take measures to ensure that their territory is not used for supplying chemical weapons to the Syrian opposition.
The UN Security Council voted unanimously late Friday to pass the resolution that will ensure that the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons program “happens as soon as possible and with the utmost transparency and accountability,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.
US Secretary of State John Kerry described the resolution, which does not authorize the automatic use of force if Syria is said to be in violation, as a “strong, enforceable, precedent-setting” document which shows that “diplomacy can be so powerful that it can peacefully defuse the worst weapons of war.”
The issue of force if Syria is not compliant with the resolution has been a consistent sticking point between the US and Russia.
The resolution “does not allow any automatically enforced punitive measures,” Lavrov said shortly after the measure was adopted.
“It confirms the agreements reached during the Russian-US meeting in Geneva that any violation of its obligations, as well as the use of chemical weapons by whoever, should become a subject of detailed consideration by the UN Security Council,” he added.
Lavrov also said the resolution lays the groundwork for a future political and diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis, which has claimed more than 100,000 lives, according to UN estimates.
He said Russia was ready to take part “in all components” of the future action to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons.
Washington has insisted that the threat of military force is crucial to ensuring that the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad abides by the terms of the US-Russia plan to secure and destroy the chemical stockpiles.
Russia has said military intervention is unacceptable.
Under the resolution, the council “decides, in the event of noncompliance with this resolution, including unauthorized transfer of chemical weapons, or any use of chemical weapons by anyone in the Syrian Arab Republic, to impose measures under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.”
Updates, adds background information