Russia will not support a European-drafted UN resolution on Syria, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, calling the draft “unacceptable” but not saying whether Moscow would veto it.
Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told Interfax news agency that Russia refused to back the text because it opened the door for punitive sanctions against Syria. “We cannot support such a text,” Gatilov was quoted as saying. “It is unacceptable because it includes the possibility of imposing sanctions against Syria.”
The 15-nation UN Security Council is due to vote on Tuesday at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) on the resolution condemning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s six-month-old crackdown on protesters demanding an end to his 11-year rule.
The United Nations says at least 2,700 civilians have been killed in the unrest, which Syria blames on foreign-backed armed gangs who it says have killed 700 security forces personnel.
Gatilov said Moscow also opposes the draft resolution because it fails to include a clause calling on powers not to become involved in internal Syrian affairs and calling for a dialogue between Assad and demonstrators.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose country has already imposed an arms embargo on Syria, said on Tuesday he would set out Ankara’s plans for further sanctions after he visits a Syrian refugee camp inside Turkey in the coming days. He said the UN resolution was designed to be a “warning” to Syria of sanctions that might follow and expressed hope that a “positive decision” would come out of the UN Security Council.
04 October 2011, Tuesday / REUTERS WITH TODAYSZAMAN.COM, MOSCOW