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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

UN Resolution on Syria 'Too Hasty' - Russia

RIA Novosti

13:56 06/02/2012 MOSCOW, February 6 (RIA Novosti) - Russia defended on Monday its rejection of a UN resolution condemning the violent crackdown in Syria, saying the UN Security Council was too hasty in putting it to a vote.

“It is unfortunate that the [resolution’s] co-authors decided to put it to a vote urgently, although we had asked them to delay it for several days so that we could discuss the situation after [Russian Foreign Intelligence Service head] Mikhail Fradkov and I visited Damascus on February 7,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“Nothing would have changed if they had waited three days,” Lavrov told reporters after talks with Bahrain’s foreign minister in Moscow.

Lavrov and Fradkov are due to hold talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The comments come as the Syrian army launched one the fiercest assaults on the city of Homs in the 11-month uprising. Fifteen people are believed to have been killed so far on Monday, the BBC reported.

Russia and China vetoed the draft resolution criticizing Damascus over the weekend, claiming it lacked balance. Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s envoy to the UN, said it targeted Assad’s government but contained no measures against rebel armed groups.

The vetoes drew a barrage of criticism from Western powers and the Syrian opposition.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called them a “travesty,” and the Syrian National Council said Russia and China were “responsible for the escalating acts of killing.”

But Lavrov said on Monday Security Council members were seeking to “blame the unrest on somebody” and accused “interested parties” of trying to topple Assad's regime by encouraging the activities of armed groups and supplying them with weapons.

He also said that Russia was “surprised” at the Council’s rejection of the Russian proposed amendments to the text.

He added, however, that Russia continued to support the Arab League’s efforts to halt violence in Syria.

China also defended its move on Monday, saying the proposed resolution would not help defuse the conflict.

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