UN vote on Syria resolution to be tense, Russia is against

The vote on the UN Security Council resolution on Syria is expected to be tense, although Russia has made clear it is against any resolution as the situation in the country is not threatening to global security.

Britain and France submitted a new draft resolution on Syria on Wednesday. The UN Security Council will vote on the document in the next few days.

“The Russian president has repeatedly said Russia opposes any UN Security Council resolution on Syria,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday. “The situation in the country does not pose any threat to international peace and security.”

Russia is a permanent UN Security Council member with veto-wielding power.

Lukashevich said “extremist calls, including from the so-called foreign-based opposition to topple the regime and avoid all-national dialogue are not helping to calm the situation.”

He added that Russia was increasingly concerned over reports about radicals moving to confront military and law enforcement officials, which only further escalates the situation and breeds violence.


The international community should give the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad time to introduce reforms, Lukashevich said on Thursday.

He said Moscow still believes it should be up to the Syrians themselves to resolve the crisis, without any external interference, within the law, and without violence against civilians in search of national accord on the basis of a broad dialogue.

Lukashevich said the situation in Syria remains tense and the authorities’ attempts to pursue reforms have proved useless so far in stopping the violence.

Unrest in Syria began in mid-March and has swept the northwestern and western parts of the country and the area near the capital Damascus.

At least 1,200 people have been killed in protests, according to the opposition and human rights organizations. Syrian authorities have put the blame on gunmen relying on support from outside the country.


Russian political analysts are split on how Moscow should vote on the Syria resolution.

“It would be very dangerous and short-sighted for Russia to find itself in the role of a lackey to Europe and the United States again,” Vladimir Karyakin, a leading Middle East expert from the state Institute for Strategic Research, told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

But other experts say that while the Libyan situation has unfolded very differently from Russia’s expectations, Moscow today has little to lose by throwing its weight behind a new UN resolution, at least one that pointedly does not call for any use of force.

“As far as I understand, the proposed draft resolution does not call for military intervention in Syria, and it’s not clear at all why Russia is against it,” Konstantin von Eggert, a political commentator for Kommersant FM radio station, said Wednesday.

“I do not understand why Russia is afraid to condemn what seems to be disproportionate violence deployed against civilians in Syria,” he said. Since Moscow “did condemn the same thing in Libya, this inconsistency looks quite strange,” he said.

“I would support such resolution,” Alexander Konovalov, president of the Moscow-based Institute of Strategic Analysis, said on Thursday. “I do not see anything wrong in telling Assad that he is doing is bad. However, once bitten twice shy, that is why the text should not include anything that could serve as a pretext for intervention in the conflict.”

MOSCOW, June 9 (RIA Novosti)

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