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13 Apr, 2013 14:55

Russia to vote against 'one-sided' UN Syria resolution

Russia to vote against 'one-sided' UN Syria resolution

Moscow will vote against a “contradictory” draft resolution on Syria, as its authors are seeking approval for “unilateral” action through the guise of the UN General Assembly, Russia’s Foreign Ministry has stated.

The draft was proposed by several UN member-states and is expected to be put to a vote shortly, the ministry said on Saturday; Moscow has criticized the resolution for being “one-sided.”

The draft resolution blames only the Syrian government for the tragic and bloody crisis in the conflict-torn republic. This is despite the Syrian opposition’s “illegal, including terrorist, actions,” the Foreign Ministry said, adding that many such violations had been confirmed by international organizations.

In addition, the draft “completely ignores” the external logistical and financial support that the Syrian rebels already receive.

The document is also full of contradictions, the Russian Foreign Ministry explained: It supports the Arab League’s decision to delegitimize Bashar Assad’s government while placing a range of demands on the regime, “which in fact means the recognition of its legitimacy.”

Moscow said that this “antagonism” also undermines the mandate of the UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, who has been tasked with negotiating with all parties involved in the conflict to broker a political solution.

The resolution's authors seek the General Assembly’s approval for their “unilateral plans on Syria, guided by the sole purpose of the regime change and totally ignoring regional and political consequences of such a scenario,” the Foreign Ministry said.

The new draft document is also “practically identical” to two previous UN resolutions adopted in February and August 2012, which only “hampered the crisis settlement process,” the ministry said. 

Russia has called on the draft's authors to drop the resolution, and to work with all the parties involved in the Syrian crisis according to guidelines of the June 30, 2012, Geneva Communiqué. “This document remains the only viable platform” for resolving the two-year conflict, Moscow said.

Russia, along with China, voted against the General Assembly’s non-binding resolutions in August and February 2012. As with this new draft, Moscow slammed both documents as unbalanced and one-sided.

Moscow maintains that the only solution to the violence engulfing Syria is open political dialogue between the opposing sides.

What is going on is a massacre, this is a disaster, a catastrophe. It has to be stopped,” President Vladimir Putin said earlier in April in an interview with Germany's ARD TV.  “It is necessary to bring all the warring parties to the negotiating table. I believe that this is the first step that has to be done, and then it is necessary to elaborate further steps during a discussion, which is important in our view.”