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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia to Oppose UN Assembly Syria Resolution Foreign Ministry

RIA Novosti

18:32 02/08/2012

MOSCOW, August 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will not support a UN General Assembly draft resolution on Syria proposed by Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as it “intrudes into the UN Security Council’s prerogatives,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on Thursday, just a day before the vote is scheduled.

“Moscow believes this document in its current form does not contribute to the stabilization of the Syrian conflict and halting the violence, which is why Russia will not support it,” the Ministry said.

The draft resolution calls for the Syrian government to refrain from using chemical weapons, to halt violence and bring to justice those responsible for human rights violations in Syria. The document, obtained by RIA Novosti, does not however demand President Bashar al-Assad steps down, a point which was included in a previous version of the draft.

Russia said the resolution is “one-sided and unbalanced” as it “places responsibility only on the Syrian authorities, while the opposition is outside the international community’s demands.”

Moscow sharply criticized a proposal in the document to review the peace plan proposed by the UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan by altering his mission to include overseeing a transition of power in the country.

The document is still being amended and discussed, a UN diplomatic source told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

Although resolutions approved by the 193-member UN General Assembly are not mandatory, their adoption has a moral authority. Voting is by simple majority, with no right of veto as in Security Council votes, which Russia and China have used recently to block adoption of resolutions on Syria.

The Syrian conflict has claimed 14,000-20,000 lives since March 2011, according to estimates by various Syrian opposition groups and the UN. The West is pushing for al-Assad’s ouster, while Russia and China are trying to prevent outside interference in Syria, claiming the Assad regime and the opposition are both to blame for the bloodshed.

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