Syrian authorities must conduct reforms or leave - Medvedev

President Dmitry Medvedev has said that Russia is interested in the end of violence in Syria, but the authorities in that country must listen to the international community and commence reforms.

Speaking from his suburban residence of Gorky on Friday, Medvedev said that Russia will not allow any unilateral sanctions in the UN aimed at the authorities’ displacement in various countries of the world.

“Russia will continue to oppose the legitimization of unilateral sanctions aimed at the displacement of various regimes through the UN Security Council. The UN was not founded for this,” Medvedev told the Russian Security Council session.

The Russian leader said that the Security Council resolution on Syria blocked by Russia and China allowed for the implementation of the Libyan scenario in this country.

“We should accept with all certainty that the task of the permanent members of the Security Council have special responsibility for the fate of the peace on the planet and they must no longer give an excuse to create documents that allow to achieve one’s goals by military means through easy pseudo-law tricks,” Medvedev said. "This means only one thing: that our partners don’t rule out the repetition of the Libyan scenario, although in private conversations they have said ‘we understand that Syria is not Libya,’” he added.

The Russian President also recalled the UNSC resolution 1973 that was used by NATO countries to justify their involvement in the Libyan crisis.

At the same time, the Russian President stressed that the Syrian authorities must conduct changes in their country and if they fail to do so they must leave the top posts. He also said that Russia has always been repeating this to Syrian leaders since the start of the current Middle East crisis.

“We are using our channels and we actively work with the Syrian leadership, demand that they hold the necessary reforms,” Medvedev said. “If the Syrian authorities are incapable of making such reforms, they will have to go, but this decision must not be taken by the NATO or certain European Countries, but by the Syrian people and the Syrian leadership,” the Russian president said.

On Tuesday, Russia and China vetoed the UN Security Council resolution on Syria which was supported by nine other SC members with four abstentions. Russia’s envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin said that Russia did not support the resolution because it was based on a totally different philosophy, “a philosophy of confrontation," and contained "an ultimatum of sanctions."

“The Russian Federation could not agree with the accusatory tone against Damascus, nor to the ultimatum of sanctions against peaceful crisis settlement,” says the official press release of Vitaly Churkin’s speech on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website. “Russia’s proposals on the non-acceptability of military intervention, among others, had not been taken into account. There is no alternative to dialogue.”

The vote followed weeks of debate over whether to impose sanctions against Bashar al-Assad's regime. Many countries had been working on finding a text that could result in a compromise among the 15 Security Council members.