UNSC draft on Syria sends unbalanced signal: Russia

United Nations, Feb 5: Russian ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said he vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution on Syria because “it sends an unbalanced signal”, and called for an “objective” UN resolution that can “truly help” end the current political crisis in the Middle East nation.

Russia and China Saturday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on Syria that calls on President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

“The work done in the Security Council has not been carried out to its conclusion. The draft resolution that was put to a vote did not adequately reflect the real state of affairs in Syria and has sent an unbalanced signal to the Syrian parties,” Churkin was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

Thirteen of the council’s 15 members voted in favour of the resolution aimed to stop the violence in Syria.

To be adopted, a draft resolution needs nine votes in favour and no veto by any of the five permanent members of the 15-nation council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the US.

According to the UN, at least 5,400 people have been killed in the Syrian government’s 11-month crackdown on protesters. Syrian authorities blame the violence on armed gangs affiliated with Al Qaeda and say more than 2,000 soldiers and police have been killed, RIA Novosti reported.

Russia and China staged a double veto Oct 4, 2011 against a European draft resolution, which condemned “the continued grave and systematic human rights violations by the Syrian authorities” and threatened punitive measures against the country.

Russia has warned other countries against meddling in the internal affairs of Syria, saying that the international community should prevent a replay of the Libya model, in which NATO military action helped topple the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.

Churkin said Russia will continue to work for a solution to the crisis in Syria.

He said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has instructed Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to travel to Syria Feb 7 to meet President Bashar al-Assad.

“We believe that intensive efforts of the international community with a view to putting an immediate end to the violence and having a successful beginning and conclusion of an exclusively Syrian political process and withdrawal of the country from this crisis will be continued,” said Churkin.

“Russia for its part will continue to work precisely in that direction.”