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Russia and China block UN Security Council draft resolution on Syria

February 06, 2012, 17:18 UTC+3
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The UN Security Council yet again failed to adopt a resolution on Syria. Russia and China have imposed a veto on it. Moscow and Beijing are not satisfied with the changes made to the text. The remaining thirteen members of the Security Council expressed support for the resolution.

Western diplomats do not hide their disappointment over the stubbornness of Russia and China, which challenged the world community, RBC reported. Moscow, for its part, continues to draw attention to the one-sided approach of the League of Arab States and the West to solving the Syrian problem, and it is doing everything to prevent the development of events that would resemble the Libyan scenario.On Sunday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov once again clarified what exactly Russia did not like about the resolution. In particular, he pointed out that the draft demanded the withdrawal of governmental troops from all cities and towns, but there were no similar demands for cessation of violence on behalf of the armed groups.

Losing hope to influence the situation in Syria through the United Nations Security Council, the Western and Arab countries are urgently looking for alternative ways, says Kommersant. One of them could be the creation of the Friends of the Syrian People group. France came out with this initiative yesterday. It is assumed that the group will incorporate the U.S., the EU, the Arab League member states and Turkey. According to experts, the purpose of the group is to lend the maximum legitimacy to the possible resolutions on Syria, from economic sanctions to the use of force. Qatar - one of the main detractors of Bashar al-Assad in the Arab world - introduced the idea of ··a "peacekeeping" operation in Syria by the Arab states, bypassing the UN Security Council.

Meanwhile, even after it has blocked the adoption of the resolution, Moscow still hopes to act as a peacemaker in Syria. An influential Arab newspaper, Al-Sharq al-Awsat, referring to sources at the UN, said that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Foreign Intelligence Service chief Mikhail Fradkov would visit to Damascus in a bid to persuade President Assad to resign. The newspaper’s sources argued that in case of Moscow’s failure the U.S. will offer its own version of the UN Security Council resolution, against which Russia had reportedly promised not to use its veto. The Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry have kept quiet about the details of the trip and the presidential instructions.

"Sergei Lavrov's visit to Damascus is unlikely to help resolve the conflict in Syria - said,” the chief researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences institute of world economy and international relations, Georgy Mirsky, told Nezavisimaya Gazeta. “It is clear what Assad will be saying – that’s an intrigue by the Opposition. Lavrov will not have a chance to see anything for himself – he will not be taken to Homs or other centers of the Opposition."

Protests in front of the Russian, Syrian and Chinese embassies took place in many countries last weekend, said Novyie Izvestia. The most serious incident was in Tripoli. As the Russian diplomatic mission in Libya told the daily, about two hundred demonstrators tried to break into the embassy building. They failed to get onto the premises of the embassy compound, however they managed to lower the Russian flag and replace it with the Syrian one.


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