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UNITED NATIONS, July 14 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia will be prepared to compromise in discussing a UN Security Council resolution on prolonging the mandate of the UN supervision mission in Syria, but it will certainly not let any threats against Damascus be included in its text, the first deputy of Russia’s UN envoy, Alexander Pankin, told Russian media on Friday.
“We are prepared for various compromises, but there is the ‘red line’ that we cannot step over,” the Russian diplomat said. It would be impossible to continue the peace process and prolong the mandate of the UN mission “with the stick of sanctions directed against only one party to the Syrian process – the government.”
The mandate of the UN supervision mission in Syria (300 men) expires on July 20. At the moment the UN Security Council has before it two draft resolutions. One, authored by Russia, prolongs the UNSMIS mandate by three months. The Western one restricts the duration of its presence to 45 days and sets a ten-day deadline for the Syrian government to end violence and pull out troops out of all cities and communities. Otherwise sanctions under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter may be used.
The Tremseh massacre controversy forced UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to advise the UN Security Council to press for the observance of its resolutions and to comply with its liabilities by taking the necessary “collective action.” Pankin said Western delegations interpret this as a direct instruction from the UN Secretary-General the Security Council should support their resolution.
The Russian diplomat explained that the UN Security Council might take preventive, mediatory, diplomatic or political action.
“Or there may be harsher steps, such as sanctions, including the use of military force,” Pankin said, adding that it all depended on the circumstances and agreement among the Security Council members.