Russia defends decision on Syria resolutionFebruary 7th, 2012 - 7:05 am ICT by IANS
Moscow, Feb 7 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia has defended its rejection of a UN resolution condemning the violent crackdown in Syria, saying the Security Council was too hasty in putting it to a vote.
“It is unfortunate that the (resolution’s) co-authors decided to put it to a vote urgently, although we had asked them to delay it for several days so that we could discuss the situation after (Russian Foreign Intelligence Service head) Mikhail Fradkov and I visited Damascus on February 7,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
“Nothing would have changed if they had waited three days,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov and Fradkov are due to hold talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Russia and China vetoed the draft resolution criticising Damascus, claiming it lacked balance. Vitaly Churkin, Russian envoy to the UN, said it targeted al-Assad’s government but contained no measures against rebel armed groups.
The vetoes drew a barrage of criticism from Western powers and the Syrian opposition.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called them a “travesty”, and the Syrian National Council said Russia and China were “responsible for the escalating acts of killing”.
But Lavrov said Monday the Security Council members were seeking to “blame the unrest on somebody” and accused “interested parties” of trying to topple al-Assad’s regime by encouraging the activities of armed groups and supplying them with weapons.
He also said that Russia was “surprised” at the Security Council’s rejection of the Russia-proposed amendments to the text.
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Tags: barrage, bashar al assad, damascus, draft resolution, foreign intelligence service, foreign minister, hillary clinton, interested parties, mikhail fradkov, president bashar, ria novosti russia, russian envoy, security council members, sergei lavrov, syrian opposition, syrian president bashar al, us secretary of state, vetoes, violent crackdown, vitaly churkin