Russia: Not the time for UN aid resolution on Syria

Russia: Not the time for UN aid resolution on Syria
Thu Feb 6, 2014 08:56:13

Russia's UN envoy said Wednesday that Moscow opposes a UN Security Council Resolution backing the militant groups’ demand for greater access in Syria to those in urgent need of food and medical supplies.

"It is too early," Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters. "We believe it is not a good time to have any resolution discussed in the Security Council... My concern is if there is a resolution, it will be an effort to politicize."

Since negotiations between Syria and western-backed militant groups halted Friday without concrete results, Western nations and some Arab regimes backing the Syrian opposition have drafted a text they hope to bring before the council this week, diplomats said.

Churkin called for a "pragmatic approach" toward Damascus, Moscow's ally.

France, Britain, the United States and other Council members such as Australia, Jordan and Luxembourg have held meetings without Russia to discuss the text, which has yet to be completed.

Three million Syrian civilians have been trapped by the violence tearing through the country, including more than 2,500 in the besieged city of Homs alone, according to the United Nations.

Without minimizing the "quite horrific" situation in Homs, Churkin claimed that "it is not a large-scale kind of a siege of the kind we've had in the course of history."

Asked about much-delayed efforts to destroy Syria's chemical weapons arsenal, Churkin praised Damascus for its efforts.

"Things are moving along, the joint (United Nations-Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) operation is functioning well," he said.

"We are confident this project is going to be accomplished in a timely manner and these chemicals are going to be destroyed."

Churkin also renewed Russia's call for Iran to be involved "constructively" in peace talks between the government and the opposition, due to resume February 10.

"It was a mistake not to invite Iran" to the last round, the Russian envoy added.


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