Russia Opposes Arms Embargo on Syria

Agence France Presse (AFP)01.12.2011 Russia
Russia Opposes Arms Embargo on Syria

Russia Opposes Arms Embargo on Syria

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Moscow opposes the imposition of an arms embargo on Syria and believes the international community should stop threatening Damascus with ultimatums; local news agencies quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Tuesday.

“Right now, the most important thing is to stop acting by means of ultimatums and try to move toward political dialogue,” Interfax quoted Lavrov as saying.

His comments came one day after the United States and the European Union issued a joint statement after White House talks for “the Syrian government to end violence immediately.”

Lavrov added that Russia’s negative experience of NATO’s air campaign in Libya made it unlikely that Moscow would back the imposition of an arms embargo against Syria.

“The periodic proposals that we hear on imposing a complete arms embargo on Syria - I would say that they are fairly disingenuous,” Lavrov said.

“We are going to view another embargo, this one against Syria, based on the experience that we gained from the Libyan example.”

Russia backed the impositions of an arms embargo against the regime of former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and abstained from a U.N. resolution that paved the way for military action against it.

Moscow then strongly criticized the course of the campaign and was particularly angered by an arms drop to Libyan opposition forces that was confirmed by France.

Russia accused NATO of breaking the spirit of the U.N. resolution by picking sides in the Libya conflict and openly backing the opposition.

Russia teamed up with China last month to veto a Western-backed U.N. Security Council resolution condemning President Bashar al-Assad’s government for violence the United Nations says has killed more than 3,500 people.


Source: Al Arabiya; AFP; Interfax



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