Russian MPs: Foreign Military Forces In Syria Raise Ghost Of Libya

10 February 2012Stop NATORT

‘Foreign military presence in Syria raises ghost of Libya’ – Robert Bridge

Russia has expressed alarm over the increasing tendency of foreign powers – notably NATO countries – to resolve internal conflicts in foreign countries through military force. The latest such intervention happened in Libya, which recently experienced a full-blown civil war.

Following the passage of a UN resolution on Libya that called for the protection of innocent civilians, NATO countries launched a massive aerial offensive that inflicted heavy casualties.

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Chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov spoke out following reports that a ‘foreign special task force’ has been dispatched to Syria in an effort to provide assistance to the political opposition.

‘According to the latest reports that are now being verified, a foreign special task force has been deployed in Syria,’ Pushkov told reporters on Friday. ‘If these reports are proved to be true, the scenario will be absolutely the same as it was in Libya.’

According to Pushkov, ‘they [the alleged foreign task force on the ground in Syria] are supporting the opposition and supplying them with arms; they propose an unbalanced resolution that places rigid conditions on Syria’s ruling regime, while giving in to the demands of the opposition.’

Meanwhile, the four factions of the State Duma unanimously declared their support for Russia’s official position in Syria.

The statement, proposed by the International Affairs Committee, says the State Duma ‘deems it extremely important for the UN, specifically the Security Council, not to side with any party in the conflict.’

‘The State Duma deputies support Russia’s official position…to facilitate the settlement of the conflict inside Syria,’  the statement reads. ‘Such an unbalanced approach…would undermine the chances for an equitable and constructive dialogue.’

The statement went on to criticize the ‘ultimatums issued to only one side of the conflict,’ while, at the same time, calling for ‘regime change’ as a mandatory precondition for settling the unrest.

The Russian deputies say they condemn military intervention in the affairs of foreign countries and the imposition of solutions from outside.

‘Russia will not support a single document that implies or allows such intervention without the UN Security Council’s direct approval,’ the lawmakers said.

Pushkov warned against using unsubstantiated ‘humanitarian reasons’ for justifying military intervention in foreign countries, and turning the United Nations and the Security Council ‘into an ally for one side of a civil conflict.’

These activities are advanced by the help of western media, Pushkov believes, which promote a particular set of ‘facts’ that are usually impossible to prove. He called for a bigger presence of Russian media in the international arena in order to create greater transparency in news coverage.

‘This is a serious matter for our information policy,’ the deputy said.
Russia has expressed alarm over the increasing tendency of foreign powers – notably NATO countries – to resolve internal conflicts in foreign countries through military force. The latest such intervention happened in Libya, which recently experienced a full-blown civil war.

Following the passage of a UN resolution on Libya that called for the protection of innocent civilians, NATO countries launched a massive aerial offensive that inflicted heavy casualties. Russia and other countries say NATO ‘overstepped its mandate’ by apparently taking the side of the militant opposition.

The NATO mission attracted further condemnation when video footage showed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi being taken alive by the National Liberation Army in Sirte, moments before being summarily executed by his captors.

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Voice of Russia
February 10, 2012

Russian lawmakers against interference in Syria’s affairs
Lada Korotun

Syria must solve its problems independently without any pressure from outside. On no account should the UN Security Council be turned ‘into an ally for one side of a civil conflict’, according to a statement issued by the State Duma, the lower chamber of Russia’s parliament, on Friday. The State Duma issued the statement as a warning about a disastrous repeat of the military intervention in Libya.

Amid the aggravation of the situation in Syria Russia is making a new attempt to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the conflict in that country. Syria’s future should be determined by its people by means of a dialogue between the opposition and the government, the State Duma’s statement read. The document has already been submitted to the Russian president, to the UN and other international organizations. Chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov elaborated on the reasons for making such a statement.

‘The UN should not be turned into an ally of any side of the conflict. We all know what happened to Libya after resolution 1973 had been adopted. It led to NATO’s air military campaign and in fact to a direct intervention into Libyan domestic affairs. Russia, China and other countries, which share our position, do not want the Libyan scenario to be repeated in Syria.’

For the second time in the last two months Russia and China as permanent members of the Security Council have vetoed resolutions on Syria for containing unacceptable provisions. The deputies of the State Duma consider that such resolutions should not contain appeals for the change of the political regime or lay the foundation for military intervention.

A war in Syria would turn into a disaster for the whole region, Mikhail Yemelyanov, deputy head of A Just Russia’s faction of the State Duma, says:

‘Behind the external pressure on Syria there are ambitions to get the resources of that country and to change the geopolitical situation in the Middle East. In the statement approved by the State Duma we mention such attempts and we will try to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the conflict. Therefore we have suggested that a team of objective monitors, mediators, who could organize a real dialogue between the opposition and the ruling party, should be sent to Syria.’

The Russian lawmakers have voiced their full support of the Kremlin’s position on Syria. 

We hear from a representative of the Liberal Democratic party’s faction Maxim Rokhmistrov.

‘We find it extremely important to maintain Russia’s influence in the Middle East and in the Arab world in general. Syria is our last outpost. If it falls Iran will be the next.’

Not only the Syrian government but also the opposition is ready to listen to Russia’s position. The Arab League plans to coordinate its efforts on the settlement of the Syrian crisis with Russia and China. On Sunday, the Arab League’s foreign ministers are to gather in Cairo to decide what to do next.  In any case, deputy Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed bin Helly has made it clear that the Arab world pays attention to the Russian-Chinese veto in the UN Security Council and the League plans to cooperate with Moscow and Beijing.

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