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MOSCOW, March 1. /TASS/. Any unilateral or multilateral sanctions against Damascus will only make the international anti-terrorist front weaker, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its website on Wednesday.
On February 28, the UN Security Council member-countries voted on the draft resolution on imposing sanctions against Syria under Chapter VII of the UN Charter submitted by the UK, France and the United States. Russia and China vetoed the document. Bolivia voted against it, while Egypt, Kazakhstan and Ethiopia abstained.
"The fight against ISIL (former name of the Islamic State group outlawed in Russia) and other terrorist groups in Syria should be imperative for everyone. Any unilateral or multilateral sanctions against Damascus will only weaken the international anti-terrorist front," the ministry said.
Any initiatives on sanctions against Syria at the UN Security Council and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons could affect adversely the prospects for the political settlement in that country, the ministry went on.
"There is no doubt that such initiatives at the UN Security Council and OPCW platforms can have an adverse effect on the prospects for a political settlement in Syria, the talks on which were relaunched in Geneva on February 23," the ministry said. "They also impair work on establishing the intra-Syrian dialogue that successfully began in Astana."
Authors of the draft resolution imposing sanctions on Syria’s government, vetoed at the UN Security Council, had the aim of polarizing attitudes and aggravating the situation rather than of searching for effective and mutually acceptable solutions, the statement said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that "Russia has put forward these arguments during the consultations on the draft resolution over the past few months."
"Nevertheless, the Western trio deliberately and evidently with provocative aims has gone as far as to split the UN Security Council and to inject a draft, knowing beforehand that it was unacceptable for Russia (and not only for it) and so would be vetoed," the statement said. "Along with this, the co-authors of the document were dodging by any means from the search for compromise solutions. Actually, their goal was not to find effective and mutually acceptable solutions but to polarize attitudes and aggravate the situation."
The Russian Foreign Ministry also expressed gratitude to those UN Security Council member-countries, "which, realizing that such actions are inappropriate and untimely and correctly evaluating the terrorist threats emanating from that region, including its ‘chemical’ component, deemed it necessary to vote against or disagree with this harmful initiative."