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Russia had no choice but to veto resolution on Syria — deputy UN envoy

March 01, 1:07 UTC+3

"Despite our consistent appeals, the authors chose a politically motivated path, leading to confrontation and adding complexity to the situation," the diplomat said

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©  EPA/JUSTIN LANE

UNITED NATIONS, February 27./TASS/. The initiators of the draft resolution envisaging sanctions against Syria have deliberately embarked on a course of confrontation, and Russia had no other choice but to veto the document, Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Vladimir Safronkov has said after the voting at the UN Security Council.

"Despite our consistent appeals, the authors chose a politically motivated path, leading to confrontation and adding complexity to the situation, including on our Security Council platform," the diplomat said.

"They opted for deliberately heating up tensions, being well aware from the very start that this initiative has no chances of being approved at the Security Council," he went on.

He said in this situation Russia "had no other choice but to block the passing of this resolution, the sanction list of which is copied from the analogous American list, approved at the start of this year by the previous US administration," Safronkov said.

He said that by voting against the resolution, Russia voted "against confrontation" that is "doomed to failure and belongs to history". "We are sending a signal that we can solve difficult tasks and advance in the Syrian settlement only through cooperation," Safronkov said.

Russia and China have vetoed a United Nations Security Council draft resolution to impose sanctions on Syria over chemical attacks allegedly carried out by Damascus.

The document initiated by the UK, the US and France scored nine votes, or a minimum number necessary to adopt a document. So, Russia and China had to use their right to veto.

Along with Russia and China, Bolivia voted against the draft resolution while Egypt, Kazakhstan and Ethiopia abstained.

The draft envisaged a ban on supplies of all types of helicopters to the Syrian government, army and government structures. As a ground for such sanctions the document cited conclusions of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism which put the blame for three chemical attacks, when containers with presumably chlorine were dropped from military helicopters, on Damascus. Russia and China said these conclusions were not convincing.

The draft also envisaged sanctions against a number of Syrian officials and government structures allegedly involved in the chemical attacks and production of poisonous agents.

Safronkov said the chosen by the authors "odious and lame in its nature concept is absolutely unacceptable". "The fact that six out of 15 Security Council members did not support the resolution should make the co-authors ask themselves tough questions," he pointed.

He said anti-Syrian comments from diplomats of three countries heard after the voting "leave no doubts: the draft was meant as part of the anti-regime doctrine of western capitals".

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