Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the United States of blackmailing Russia to support a tough UN resolution against Syria, and said the West is blinded by the idea of regime change in the war-torn country.
“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.
The head of Russia’s Foreign Ministry went on to say he was surprised by the West’s “negligent” approach to the conflict, Russia Today reported.
“Our partners are blinded 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, Lavrov 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.
'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 U.S. However, when the resolution went to the Security Council the US demanded that Chapter 7 be included.
“History is repeating itself. Once again in Geneva an agreement has been reached which does not contain any mention of Chapter 7. But the Security Council wants to redo the document in its own way to include it.”
He called on the West to observe international law and stop writing resolutions motivated by their “geopolitical ambitions.”
Washington had threatened to take military action against Syria over the unsubstantiated claim that the Syrian government carried out a deadly chemical attack near Damascus on August 21. Damascus has repeatedly rejected the accusation.
Russian embassy attacked
Meanwhile, a mortar shell landed in the compound of the Russian embassy in central Damascus on Sunday but there was no immediate report of casualties, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said according to Reuters.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. A very large number of the militants operating inside Syria are reportedly foreign nationals. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies, especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.
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