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Disagreements between Russia and the West over Syria spark a diplomatic row

February 07, 2012, 14:08 UTC+3
1 pages in this article

Differences in positions in the UN Security Council on the situation in Syria remain the focus of Russia’s central media - Russia and China vetoed a resolution on Syria, which was drafted by the Western countries and the League of Arab States (LAS). Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Mikhail Fradkov are going to Damascus to convey to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a message from his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev.

Disagreements about the situation in Syria between Russia and the West resulted in an unprecedented diplomatic row, Kommersant writes. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called “hysterical” statements made by the Western leaders about the use of the veto right by Moscow and Beijing during the vote in the UN Security Council on Syrian resolution. The West for its part insists that Moscow has stood by the “bloody dictator.” While Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday urgently flies to Damascus for talks with Bashar al-Assad, the West is looking for alternative ways to exert pressure on Syria.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Foreign Intelligence Service Director Mikhail Fradkov are going to Damascus to convey to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a message from his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev. The contents of this letter are kept in secret. Lavrov expressed regret that the UN Security Council’s resolution on Syria was put to a vote hastily. According to him, Moscow asked the Security Council not put it to a vote until he and Foreign Intelligence Service Director Mikhail Fradkov talk to Assad. “An obvious disrespect is seen in the refusal to wait for our return from Damascus,” Lavrov chided the Western partners.

“Why Paris and London, Washington and Brussels do the bidding of Doha and Riyadh, which, with the support of Ankara are ‘cleaning up’ Syria on the threshold of a war with Iran – is a special question,” President of the Middle East Institute Yevgeny Satanovsky writes in another article published by Kommersant.

“The vote [in the UN Security Council] drew the line under the unipolar world era, however, it was already on its last legs,” the political analyst is certain. “None of the promises given to Moscow over the past 20 years, say anything of whether the widely advertised ‘reset,” has been fulfilled, and lectures on democracy replace full-fledged partnership only when the pockets are empty. And the fate of the UN deserves no regret, if its functions, in addition to providing a sinecure to the armada of bureaucrats, are reduced to churning out decisions on the overthrow of governments, in support of rebellions and interference in civil wars.”

The expert believes the trip to Damascus of Sergei Lavrov and Mikhail Fradkov showed that Bashar al-Assad is ready to negotiate with Russia, unlike with the West, Turkey and the Arab League. “Neither Russia nor China today will be at war with the West over Syria, the same as they will not participate in the overthrow of Assad, which cannot but result in the radical Islamists’ coming to power, disintegration of the country and the slaughter of Shiites and Christians,” Satanovsky said.

Washington politicians hypocritically accuse Russia of pursuing its own economic interests by defending Syria, Rossiiskaya Gazeta writes. Apparently, the logic of the critics is such that the US actions are always based on sheer altruism and high ideals. The military campaigns with the American involvement in Iraq and Libya have especially vividly demonstrated these principles in action.

The experience of the “Arab Spring” events that swept through the Middle East and North Africa obviously demonstrates: any calls for peaceful “letting off steam” lead to the opposite result, the publication stresses. At best, they end with bloodless revolutions opening for Islamic fundamentalists the way to power. And in the worst case scenario – with a protracted civil war that can any moment grow into a religious or tribal conflict. Such a confrontation can last for years, claiming more and more lives.


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