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Russian diplomat slams French-British draft of UN resolution on Syria as unacceptable

The diplomat says the UN should focus more on the threat of chemical weapons use instead of exerting political pressure on Damascus

MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. The UN Security Council’s draft resolution envisaging Syria-related sanctions that France and Britain have co-authored is categorically unacceptable, because its ultimate aim is to put political pressures on Damascus, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told TASS on Wednesday.

"We are aware of the work that has been conducted - first, behind the scenes and then openly - by France and Britain in the UN Security Council over the alleged use in Syria of toxic chemicals as weapons and warfare agents," he said.

"We’ve stated more than once and we reiterate again that reports by the joint mechanism of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, established for the investigation of such affairs, are not a reason enough for making conclusions that may go so far as the French and British counterparts have proposed," Ryabkov said. "Their draft resolution implies sanctions and this is categorically unacceptable to us."

He warned the European partners against more attempts at fanning political tensions in the UN Security Council.

"Nothing will come of this," he said.

Ryabkov said Russia adhered to a consistent and high-principled position.

"Just recently there was adopted a resolution that not just prolonged the mandate of the mentioned mechanism of joint investigations, but also laid the basis for that mechanism to address the issue of chemical weapons being used by terrorists more actively," Ryabkov recalled. "There have been ever more such cases and the list of proofs of such action is getting longer."

"This evidence is to be studied by experts, including specialists in the Hague," he said. "Efforts should be continued in a calm fashion to uproot this threat."

"In the outgoing year Russia came out with a proposal for drafting a special convention on the struggle against acts of chemical and biological terrorism," Ryabkov stated. "This is the way to proceed along, and not use the situation the way British and French counterparts have been doing for putting political pressures on Damascus. We see no other aims behind this idea."