'Decisive battle' taking place in Syria: Russia
Russia says a decisive battle is in progress in Syria, as it rejects a Western-backed UN resolution on the crisis which would mean taking sides with a revolutionary movement
, Wednesday 18 Jul 2012
Russian Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday, "A decisive battle is in progress in Syria. Adopting the resolution would mean outright support of a revolutionary movement."
"And if we are talking about a revolution then the United Nations has nothing to do with it," Lavrov said on the sidelines of a Kremlin meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The UN Security Council is due later Wednesday to vote on a Western-backed resolution under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter providing for sanctions against Damascus should it fail to withdraw military equipment from cities in 10 days.
The United States says it would only seek economic measures but Russia fears the West could later use other clauses under Chapter 7 that include the use of force should Assad fail to comply.
"We cannot accept Chapter 7 and the section about sanctions," Lavrov told reporters.
Referring to the West he added: "Instead of trying to calm the opposition, some partners are pushing towards a further escalation." Asked by reporters if Syria was in civil war, Lavrov declined to use the term but said: "What do you think? There is an internal armed conflict, which means that well-armed citizens are fighting between themselves."
"This policy focused on the opposition is going nowhere. Assad himself is not going and the Western partners do not know what to do with this and therefore there is this emotional reaction."