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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia Open to Dialogue on Syria - Lavrov

RIA Novosti

16:43 25/01/2012 MOSCOW, January 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is “open to constructive proposals” on settling violence in Syria but remains opposed to any UN resolution requiring all nations to abide by unilateral sanctions imposed by the West, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.

“We are open to constructive proposals that are in line with the set task of ending violence,” Lavrov said.

“We will not be able to back proposals under which unilaterally imposed sanctions against Syria, sanctions that were declared without any consultations with Russia, China or other BRIC nations,” he continued. “This is simply unfair and counterproductive.”

The resolution on Syria which Russia proposed to the UN Security Council is still on the negotiating table, Lavrov added.

His comments came as Russian and U.S. officials had talks in Moscow on how to stop the violence in Syria, which U.N. estimates say has killed more than 5,400 people.

Any resolution backed by Russia “must firmly state that it cannot be used or interpreted to justify any outside military intervention in the Syria crisis,” he added.

Meanwhile, Gulf Arab States began on Tuesday to withdraw their 55 observers, who were part of the Arab League’s observer mission in Syria.

Earlier, the Gulf Cooperation Council decided to withdraw its observers from Syria, despite the decisions of the Arab League to extend the mandate of the mission for another month.

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