Moscow will use its veto rights in the UN Security Council to prevent the adoption of a resolution on Syria similar to the one passed against Libya, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said.
The United States, France and Germany have called on Russia to cooperate in preparing a resolution on Syria for a vote at the UN Security Council.
“Russia will use its rights as a permanent member of the Security Council. However, other appeals or statements on Syria, including under the UN Security Council’s auspices, are possible,” Medvedev said in an interview with the Financial Times newspaper published on Monday.
“What I will not support is a resolution similar to 1973 on Libya, because I am convinced that a good resolution has been turned into a piece of paper to cover a senseless military operation,” the president said.
He insisted that Russia would assume a different stand if other UN members were clear in regard to their ultimate goals and methods of resolving political crisis in Libya.
“If my colleagues asked me to abstain from voting so that they could bomb targets [in Libya], I would have certainly instructed [Russian] officials at the UN differently,” Medvedev said.
Syrian rights organizations have estimated that some 1,300 people have been killed and more than 10,000 arrested in Syria since protests demanding the end of President Bashar al-Assad’s authoritarian rule broke out in the country in mid-March. Some 10,000 people have fled to Turkey as Syrian security forces have cracked down on towns and villages at the Turkish-Syrian border.
Russia has called for a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis, saying that the situation in Syria does not present a threat to international peace and security and that the Syrians themselves should resolve the violent confrontation without any outside influence.
Medvev said that the Syrian authorities came too late with the proposed reforms and had to face a difficult challenge.
However, the use of violence by opposition would prompt the government of any country to respond with force, he said, adding that another interference in domestic affairs of a sovereign country under questionable slogans of “protecting civilians” would be unacceptable.