Russia slams West over Syria allegations

Last Updated: Friday, July 20, 2012 - 18:33

Moscow: Russia on Friday hit out at Western powers over what it said was an "unacceptable" attempt to blame Moscow for worsening violence in Syria.

"Attempts by certain Western countries to hold Russia responsible for an escalation in the violence in Syria over its refusal to back a resolution containing threats of sanctions against the Syrian authorities are totally unacceptable," said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich.

The comments came after the rebel Free Syria Army said it had taken control of the country`s border crossings with Turkey and Iraq. Fierce fighting raged in Damascus overnight, with over 300 people killed, according to London-based Syrian rights activists.

Russia and China on Thursday vetoed a Western-backed UN resolution on Syria over fears that it would lead to foreign military intervention in the Middle East country, a stance that US envoy to the UN Susan Rice called "paranoid if not disingenuous".

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Russia and China were "on the wrong side of the Syrian people, the wrong side of hope for peace and stability in the region".

British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned Russia and China over their veto as "inexcusable and indefensible", and said the two countries had "turned their backs on the people of Syria in their darkest hour".

Russia`s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin accused the West of thinking only of "its own geopolitical interests, which have nothing in common with those of the Syrian people".

This was the third time that Russia and China had vetoed a UN resolution on Syria since the start of the 17-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia says it has no interest in seeing Assad remain in power, but that his fate should be decided by the Syrian people.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed not to allow a repeat of the "Libya scenario" which saw the ouster and killing of long-time Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi after a NATO military campaign.

IANS



First Published: Friday, July 20, 2012 - 18:33

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