Russia threatens to veto U.S. resolution on Syria By Vladimir Radyuhin
Russia will not support a new U.S.-drafted resolution on Syria because it fails to urge both the government and the rebels to halt violence, said a top Russian diplomat.
“We cannot agree with the draft resolution in the form it has been tabled. The text of the resolution under discussion is unbalanced,” Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told the Interfax news agency on Friday.
“Its main problem is the absence of a simultaneous call on all sides to take practical steps towards ceasing fire,” Mr. Gatilov said.
He stressed that Russia would not agree to a resolution that “contains any pretexts for using military force against Syria.”
Last month Russia and China vetoed another resolution on Syria in the U.N. Security Council because it failed to address a demand to end bloodshed to both sides in the conflict.
The Russian diplomat also warned the U.S. against rushing the vote on the new resolution.
“It is unacceptable to set any deadlines for adopting the resolution. The time factor is not paramount for us,” Mr. Gatilov said. “The most important thing is to negotiate a text that is realistic, lacks ambiguity, and is aimed at a stable settlement.”
Mr. Gatilov’s criticism of the U.S. draft came at a time when Russia and China have stepped up coordinated efforts to find a political solution to the Syria crisis.
Russia’s Foreign Minister is visiting Cairo for a meeting with the Arab League on Saturday before going to New York and China is sending an envoy to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and France to promote its new six-point peace plan which calls for an immediate end to violence and dialogue between the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition.
Syrian Radio & TV March 10, 2012
Medvedev: Russia Opposes Foreign Interference in Syria’s Internal Affairs No Matter the Pretexts
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stressed Russia’s rejection of meddling in Syrian internal affairs no matter the pretexts.
In a letter to King of Morocco Mohammad VI published on the Russian president’s website on Friday, Medvedev said that Russia’s rejection of foreign interference, particularly military intervention, in the Syrian internal affairs is at the core of its stance.
Medvedev said that Russia is still calling for halting violence in Syria by all sides based on its belief that there is no alternative to a peaceful settlement to the crisis, underlining the importance of initiating an unconditional national dialogue.
The Russian president’s website said that Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov handed the letter to the Moroccan King during his visit to Rabat.
Russia Opposes Unbalanced US-proposed Draft Security Council Resolution on Syria
Russia proclaimed opposition to a U.S. draft resolution submitted to the Security Council on Syria, saying it is unbalanced, as its main problem lies in the absence of a simultaneous demand that all Syrian parties carry out tangible steps to halt the violence in the country.
“We can’t approve the draft resolution in its current form because it isn’t balanced,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov in a statement on Friday.
Russia, Gatilov made clear, has heard from different sources that Western countries want the timing of endorsing this draft resolution to coincide with the ministerial session of the Security Council due on March 12.
Accordingly, the Russian official stressed that his country does not consider it suitable to link adopting the resolution to certain dates, because the time factor is not essential for Russia. What is rather more important, Gatilov continued, is reaching a realistic text that is devoid of double meaning and aimed at reaching a firmly-established settlement.
Gatilov: Russia Will Not Allow Passing any Draft Resolution on Syria Which Might Hint at Using Force
On Thursday, Gatilov underlined Russia’s rejection of passing any draft resolution at the UN Security Council which includes any gaps that allow using force against Syria.
“Russia will not agree to any draft resolution which includes points that refer to using force against Syria…it is not permissible for the resolution to allow for different readings…difficult consultations are underway in New York regarding this issue,” Russia Today TV quoted Gatilov as saying on his website.
He added that the target is to remain as it is, represented in preparing a context that includes equal demands for the two sides.
Kalashnikov: Russia’s Stance towards Situation in Syria is Firm
Earlier, First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations in the Russian Duma Leonid Kalashnikov underlined that the Russian stance, which rejects any foreign interference in Syria’s internal affairs, is firm.
Kalashnikov told a SANA [Syrian Arab News Agency] correspondent in Moscow on Thursday, “the Duma Council adopted an official statement on the events in Syria, and we stressed that Russia has vetoed in a completely correct way a UN Security Council resolution on Syria to foil a decision aiming to repeat the Libyan scenario, a decision which is completely rejected by Russia and China.”
The Russian official underlined that there is no basis for what some Arab and Western countries are trying to promote with regard to a change in the Russian and Chinese stance, pointing out that the situation is heading towards calmness and there should be efforts for a political and diplomatic solution to the crisis.
Kalashnikov said that the Arab League sent its observers to Syria and they compiled a report but the Western states and some AL [Arab League] countries concealed it and prevented distributing it to Security Council’s members because it included objective facts on the reality of events in Syria.
Matozov: Failure of Adopting Security Council Resolution against Syria Excludes Military Intervention, Pushes Situation into Settlement
The head of the Friendship Association between Russia and the Arab States, Vichslav Matozov, considered the diplomatic efforts to solve the crisis in Syria and the failure of Arab and Western countries in passing a resolution in the Security Council that authorizes military intervention in Syria as a political and diplomatic success for Syria.
In an interview with Syrian TV, Matozov added the failure of Arab and Western attempts, which left space for illegal interference through smuggling weapons and gunmen via the borders, excluded a military option and pushed the situation into settlement and dialogue.
He said that the United Nations’ special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan and his deputy Nasser al-Qedweh have to work to stop military and political interference in Syria as a basis for the future and the diplomatic and political process.
Matozov stressed Russia’s and China’s firm stance towards Syria and their commitment to the main principles of the inadmissibility of interference in the internal affairs of independent countries and respecting international regulations.
Bogdanov: Crisis in Syria to be Solved by Syrians
The Russian Foreign Ministry announced that the special envoy of Russia’s President for Middle East Affairs, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, discussed with Moroccan officials the situation in North Africa and the Middle East.
The ministry said in a statement that the discussions tackled the situation in Syria and stressed that Syrian internal political issues should be settled by the Syrians themselves without foreign interference.
Earlier, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stressed, in a message conveyed to the Moroccan King Mohammed VI by Bogdanov, the Russian firm stance in rejection of foreign interference in Syrian affairs regardless of the pretexts.
Pushkov: AL Isn’t Perfect Place to Form Stance over Syria
For his part, Alexei Pushkov, head of the International Affairs Committee in the State Duma, said that the Arab League is not the perfect place to form a stance regarding Syria.
During a meeting of the Permanent Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Pushkov added that the Assembly realizes that the settlement of Syria’s crisis is not easy.
He stressed that the Russian veto at the UN Security Council didn’t hinder a democratic solution for Syria’s crisis.
Itar-Tass March 9, 2012
Russia opposes armed interference in Syrian internal affairs
MOSCOW: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has sent a message to King Mohammed VI of Morocco to declare the impermissibility of armed interference in Syrian internal affairs and to call for the soonest end of violence in that country.
“We are glad that Russia and Morocco coordinate their efforts on the international scene, in particular in work towards the restoration of regional stability and security,” runs the message posted on the presidential website. “Since the beginning of the Arab Spring, we have been supporting the striving of Middle Eastern and North African peoples for socioeconomic modernization devoid of external pressure and based on the strictest compliance with state sovereignty.”
“That is our unwavering position, the cornerstone of our approach to the settlement inside and around Syria. We are against external, even more armed, interference in Syrian internal affairs, no matter under which pretexts it may be taken. We continue to call for the end of violence in that country by all the parties to the conflict. We think there is no alternative to the peaceful settlement of the crisis and there is a need to start a broad national dialog without preconditions,” the message runs.”