Russia says will not back U.N. resolution on Syria

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 04, 2011 8:43 AM

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will not support a European-drafted U.N. resolution on Syria, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, calling the draft "unacceptable" but not saying whether Moscow would veto it.

Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told Interfax news agency that Russia refused to back the text because it opened the door for punitive sanctions against Syria.

"We cannot support such a text," Gatilov was quoted as saying. "It is unacceptable because it includes the possibility of imposing sanctions against Syria."

The 15-nation U.N. Security Council is due to vote on Tuesday at 5 p.m. EDT on the resolution condemning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's six-month-old crackdown on protesters demanding an end to his 11-year rule.

The United Nations says at least 2,700 civilians have been killed in the unrest, which Syria blames on foreign-backed armed gangs who it says have killed 700 security forces personnel.

Gatilov said Moscow also opposes the draft resolution because it fails to include a clause calling on powers not to become involved in internal Syrian affairs and calling for a dialogue between Assad and demonstrators.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, whose country has already imposed an arms embargo on Syria, said on Tuesday he would set out Ankara's plans for further sanctions after he visits a Syrian refugee camp inside Turkey in the coming days.

(Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Alistair Lyon)