Wednesday, October 5, 2011
China and Russia veto resolution against Syria out of fear that it might lead to NATO intervention
The vetoing by Tussia and China of a European-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Syria and hinting it could face sanctions, seems the result of a dispute that has been simmering for months between conflicting perceptions of the NATO intrevention in Libyia .The draft resolution received nine votes in favor and two against. But apart from these votes against from Russia and China, there were also four abstentions from Brazil, India, Lebanon and South Africa.
For months, these countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (the BRICS countries for short) have criticized the United States and European council members for allegedly allowing NATO to overstep its Security Council mandate to protect civilians in Libya. Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin voice this concern once more when he told the council that passing the European resolution on Syria could have opened the door to a Libya-style military intervention in the Syrian authorities' six-month crackdown on anti-government demonstrations there. But Moscow's veto reflected also 'a conflict of political approaches' between Russia and the European council members, he said, because the 'confrontational approach' of the European delegations worked 'against the peaceful settlement of the crisis'. Churkin added, however, that Moscow would prefer it if Syria was "quicker with implementing the promised changes."
Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong said that Beijing opposed the idea of "interference in (Syria's) internal affairs."
The resolution was drafted by France with the cooperation of Britain, Germany and Portugal. Originally it threatened Syria with sanctions if the repression would not stop, but that had been watered down to get the BRICS-countries aboard. However, the changes did not satisfy Russia and China.
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, who had already been been against the changes in the draft, said Washington was "outraged" by the Russian and Chinese vetoes. The British and French ambassadors expressed their deep "deep disappointment."