Russia and China have for the third time vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on Syria which would entail tragic consequences for Damascus. Russia’s ambassador to the UN told RT why a diplomatic solution to the crisis remains the only option. In an exclusive interview with RT, Vitaly Churkin gave his explanation of what is going on in Syria and why he thinks the conflict has spread beyond that country's borders.
RT: Russia's decision to veto this latest resolution has caused consternation and widespread criticism of Moscow's stance – is Russia supporting the Assad regime?
Vitaly Churkin: Of course not. It is all about what needs to be done in order to settle the crisis. Unfortunately, the strategy of our Western colleagues seems to be to try to whip up tensions in and around Syria at every opportunity. And this time they took the occasion of the need to extend the mandate of the monitoring mission in Syria and attached a number of unacceptable clauses to their draft resolution. So, we needed to veto together with China that unacceptable draft to allow Kofi Annan more space to work on the document which was adopted by foreign ministers of a number of countries of the so-called “action group”, which calls for setting up transitional national body and that requires of course the dialogue between various parties. So, in this context, to introduce a resolution which would only entail pressure and almost inevitable sanctions on the Syrian government did not look like a good idea to us at all and we blocked the decision, which in our view was counter-productive.
16.07, 12:42129 comments
Western governments are trying to blackmail Russia into supporting their interpretation of the Syrian resolution, said Russia’s Foreign Minister. They have threatened to end the UN observer mission if an agreement is not reached.