WASHINGTON, February 22 (RIA Novosti) The United States on Friday rejected Russia’s accusation of using double standards on Syria to block UN condemnation of a deadly bomb attack in Damascus, saying the charge was not a “fair” description of Washington’s actions.
The accusation, made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, was “not a fair characterization” of the US stance on Thursday’s car bomb attack that killed more than 50 people and damaged nearby Russian embassy buildings, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said at a briefing.
“We agreed on their language. We just wanted another paragraph,” Nuland said, stating that the United States had accepted the basic in Russia’s draft for a UN Security Council statement condemning the attack but also wanted to add wording that also criticized Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Nuland added: “Any indiscriminant use of force where civilians are victims of violence should be condemned.”
Earlier Friday, Lavrov asserted that in its refusal to agree to the proposed statement condemning the Damascus attacks without adding criticism of Assad in the name of “balance,” Washington was breaking from long-standing international consensus on the need for resolute condemnation of acts of terror.
“We are disappointed that, as a result of the United States’ position at the United Nations Security Council, the terrorist act in Syria was not condemned,” Lavrov said at a news conference with his Chinese counterpart, according to a transcript of his remarks on the Russian foreign ministry website.
“We believe this is double standards and see in it a very dangerous tendency by our American colleagues to depart from the fundamental principle of unconditional condemnation of any terrorist act, a principle which secures the unity of the international community in the fight against terrorism,” Lavrov added.
The United States has called for Assad to step down, but Russia says it is concerned that the Syrian president’s forced departure would make the conflict worse.
US Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet with Lavrov in Berlin next week to discuss a number of issues, including the situation in Syria.