Home > POLITICS, UN Security Council > Russia won’t step over the line on Syria – Churkin

Russia won’t step over the line on Syria – Churkin

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Laaska News Feb. 2, 2012
 Denisova Olga
Russia has warned that it will vote against a UN Security Council’s resolution on Syria if it finds it erroneous or worsening the conflict. According to Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin, the domestic conflict in Syria could still be settled and the two sides have a lot to talk about once they sit down at the negotiating table.

After the Security Council meeting on Syria Vitaly Churkin spelled out the difference between the two approaches concerning the Syrian crisis.

“Our western counterparts were careful to abstain from any critical remarks concerning Russia. As a result, my address did not sound aggressive and the meeting went off in a much calmer atmosphere than it could have under different circumstances. It created a favorable climate for working on such a resolution that would secure a way out of the crisis.”

The diplomatic standoff has been going on through a number of Security Council meetings. At present, there exist two projects for Syria – the Russian and the Moroccan. The latter, presented by the Moroccan delegation, was prepared with the participation of France and some Arab countries which are not members of the UN Security Council. Morocco is the only Arab country which is represented in the Security Council. The Moroccan resolution doesn’t rule out military intervention in Syria. Russia will never accept that. The resolution also supports a plan suggested by the Arab League which requires President Bashar al-Assad to resign and hand over power to the vice-president. Vitaly Churkin has this to say.

“The Arab League resolution gives too many specifications. It doesn’t only stipulate the creation of a national unity government in Syria but dwells on how this government should cooperate with the vice-president and what issues it should tackle first. Damascus has rejected this sort of text, so there is no point in starting a dialogue if you know for sure what it will come to. Naturally, the Arab League has a right to express its opinion. But we have to bear it in mind that the Security Council is not empowered to dictate or force political decisions on other countries even on those in crisis. It is not authorized to adopt a resolution calling on the country’s ruler to stand down. So, there is a lot to discuss.”

A dialogue necessarily includes two parties. According to Vitaly Churkin, diplomats and politicians alike should talk to their opponents, particularly in times of crisis. Syria has the potential to cope with the crisis. Opposition forces in Syria should find the courage to enter talks with the government.

Russia is ready to invite the Syrian conflict parties to hold talks in Moscow. The Syrian authorities have confirmed their willingness to take part. However, the chairman of the Syrian opposition Transitional National Council Burhan Ghalioun has put forward a number of conditions. He said that he would consent to come to Moscow on condition Russia agreed to the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad. For its part, Moscow insists that talks between parties to the Syrian conflict should go ahead without any preliminary conditions.

Russia won’t support an arms embargo against Syria. Nor will it approve of any use of force, military intervention or sanctions against Damascus. These are ‘forbidden turf’ that Moscow will never tread on.


Laaska News.