Proposed UN ban on Zimbabwe a dangerous precedent: Russia

July 12th, 2008 - 7:07 pm ICT by IANS  

RIA Novosti
United Nations, July 12 (RIA Novosti) Russia Saturday said the draft proposal by the UN Security Council for sanctions against Zimbabwe is an illegal intrusion in the internal affairs of a country and could set a dangerous precedent. Russia and China Friday vetoed a draft resolution calling for sanctions against the African country over its disputed presidential election that saw Robert Mugabe return to power.

Russia’s envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin said: “The proposed draft is nothing other than an interference by the Security Council in the internal affairs of a state, which contravenes the UN statutes.”

The US proposed an arms embargo on Zimbabwe, and a travel ban along with financial restrictions on Mugabe and his closest allies.

“In recent times the positions of certain member states of the Security Council have more and more clearly shown a drive to take the council beyond its charter prerogatives, and beyond supporting international peace and security.

“We believe such practices to be illegitimate and dangerous, threatening to upset the whole UN system,” he said.

South Africa, Libya and Vietnam also voted against the US proposal and Indonesia abstained.

US envoy to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad said: Russia was reneging on its position expressed at this week’s Group of Eight (G8) summit in Japan which “raises doubts about its reliability as a G8 partner”.

In run off presidential election in Zimbabwe, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai dropped out of the race, citing death threats and beatings of supporters, and took refuge in the Dutch embassy in Harare.

Tsvangirai had won the first election round in March, but without a qualifying majority to secure victory. Mugabe campaigned in the run-off election as the sole candidate.

The opposition said Friday that a total of 113 of its activists had been killed in election violence since March.
RIA Novosti

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