UNITED NATIONS, July 20 (Itar-Tass) — During the UN Security Council vote scheduled for Friday Russia will support Pakistan-drafted resolution providing for the technical extension of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) for 45 days, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin told journalists on Thursday after closed-door consultations in the UN Security Council.
“There is a very good Pakistani text of the resolution, I know that I will support it,” said Churkin. According to him, Islamabad offers the technical extension of the mandate of the mission without any conditions, which is the best solution in this situation. “In 30 or 45 days we will assess the situation, taking into account the view of UN Secretary General (Ban Ki-moon),” said the Russian ambassador.
The UN Security Council on Friday failed to adopt a decision to extend the term of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria whose mandate expires on the night of July 21. The vote in the UN Security Council on the corresponding resolution, prepared by the Western countries and that contains a threat of sanctions against Damascus, was blocked by Russia and China.
In recent days, the UN Security Council has also discussed another draft resolution prepared by Russia and providing for the extension of the UNSMIS mandate for three months. However, Russia refrained from putting it forward to a vote, as the Western nations have refused to work with it.
As a result, the destiny of the UN mission in Syria will be decided on Friday at 10:00 a.m., local time (18:00 MSK).
“If we do not want to repeat the lengthy discussion, it is necessary to take the wording of Resolution 2043 (UNSMIS deployment), slightly modify it to fit new realities and decide on the extension of the technical mission,” said Russia’s permanent representative. The Pakistani draft proposes just this, he said.
Britain decided not to stand aside and introduced its own version of the document providing for the extension of the mission, but it requires from Damascus to withdraw heavy weapons from populated localities and to stop violence. The Western countries are likely to vote for this draft. US Permanent Representative to the United Nations Susan E. Rice, who declared that the Pakistani text “repeats the Russian proposals,” has, in particular, indirectly confirmed this.
“Some of our colleagues said they want to wind down the mission, because the situation is too dangerous, but now they’re ready to vote for the British resolution. This introduces confusion,” Vitaly Churkin commented.
On Thursday evening, only French Ambassador to the UN Gerard Araud expressed his hope that the parties will reach an agreement and the UNSMIS will continue its work.