Moscow hopes EU avoids armed intervention in Syria

AFP Photo / Pool / Joel Saget
Russia hopes that the European states will refrain from launching a military intervention in Syria, says Moscow’s envoy to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov.

“I sincerely hope that the European, as well as other countries’ leaders will manage to keep cool and bereasonable enough to avoid the dangerous path of escalation of tensions, or, especially, an armedintervention," Chizhov said during a Moscow-Brussels videoconference on Thursday.

So far, he noted, the EU has not supported the intervention. It did not close its mission to Damascus and “did not expel the Syrian ambassador to the European Union," the diplomat added.

Chizhov also noted he felt skeptical about the decision of some European countries to expel Syrian ambassadors. The move “is a PR gesture” that helps neither the implementation of Kofi Annan’s peace plan nor the political dialogue with the Arab Republic.

He drew a parallel between the current situation around Syria – including the Houla Massacre – and the events in the former Yugoslavia. So far no one has pointed to the culprits of the bloody tragedy, but several countries are already drawing “far-reaching and, I’m afraid, organizational plans” on Syria.

"I have a strong feeling of déjà vu. We saw a similar situation Yugoslavia in the 1990s," Chizhov observed.

Russia, he stressed, is neither an ally nor an advocate of President Bashar al-Assad's regime

"We defend international law and the ability of Syrians to define the future of their country in a normal atmosphere,” Chizhov pointed out.

Meanwhile, the West sometimes does not adhere to such position. According to Chizhov, the Western states put insufficient pressure on the Syrian opposition over the fulfillment of Annan’s plan.

“On the contrary, we have seen attempts of encouraging the opposition action. It’s also known that they have been supplied with armaments, which doesn’t help the stabilization of the situation,” the ambassador observed.

Russia remains firmly dedicated not to allow an initiative of foreign military intervention into Syria to pass in the UN Security Council. The president’s press-secretary Dmitry Peskov reiterated Thursday that Moscow’s stance on Syria “is free from emotions” and will not change under anyone’s pressure.

"Russia's position is well-known, it is balanced, it is consistent and absolutely logical," he told Interfax, commenting on calls on Moscow by some Western powers to toughen its position.