Lavrov: US pressuring Russia into passing UN resolution on Syria allowing military force
September 22, 2013
Tags Conflict, Irina Galushko, Military, Politics, Russia, Syria, USA, Yulia Shapovalova
The US is pushing Russia into approving a UN resolution that would allow for military intervention in Syria, in exchange for American support of Syria’s accession to OPCW, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.
“Our American partners are starting to blackmail us: ‘If Russia does not support a resolution under Chapter 7, then we will withdraw our support for Syria’s entry into the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). This is a complete departure from what I agreed with Secretary of State John Kerry',” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Channel 1's Sunday Time program.
Chapter 7 of the UN charter would allow for potential military intervention in Syria.
Western countries blinded by 'Assad must go' attitude
The head of Russia’s Foreign Ministry went on to say he was surprised by the West’s “negligent” approach to the conflict.
“Our partners are blinded by an ideological mission for regime change,” said Lavrov. “They cannot admit they have made another mistake.”
Slamming the West’s intervention in Libya and Iraq, the foreign minister stated that military intervention could only lead to a catastrophe in the region. Moreover, he stressed that if the West really was interested in a peaceful solution to the conflict that has raged for over two years, they would now be pushing for Syria’s entry into the OPCW in the first place, not for the ouster of President Bashar Assad.
“I am convinced that the West is doing this to demonstrate that they call the shots in the Middle East. This is a totally politicized approach,” said Lavrov.
The Russian foreign minister pointed out that in the case of a military scenario, militants would come to power and Syria would no longer be a secular state. Up to three quarters “of these guys are Jihadists,” including the most radical groups such as Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, who want to create an Islamic Caliphate in Syria and in neighboring territories, Lavrov said.
“If our western partners think at least two steps ahead, they cannot but understand it,” Lavrov noted.
As to why the West would want that, Moscow has so far received no clear answer, but hears “mantras” on the necessity to promote democracy and protect human rights, said the minister. That is important, but “responsible politicians should be guided not only by that. Not to care about stability in a key world region is absolutely irresponsible,” he added.
According to Lavrov, some experts alleged that “someone is attempting to create a guided chaos” in the region for their own benefits. However, the foreign minister said he personally sees no possible advantages that Western countries would gain if they were behind moves to stir up instability.
“There’s only an attempt to grasp a straw, and turn a blind eye to the fact that the world is changing and becoming multipolar,” Lavrov concluded.
'A repeat of Geneva 2012'
Lavrov harked back to last year’s Geneva accord which was agreed upon by the international community, including Russia and the US. However, when the resolution went to the Security Council the US demanded that Chapter 7 be included.