Chairman of the Russian Duma International Affairs Committee, Alexei Pushkov, said that Moscow will not agree to a U.N. Security Council resolution on automatic use of force against Syria.
In an open session at the Duma on Tuesday, Pushkov said that Moscow will not adopt a resolution that could even suggest using force against Syria just in case the U.S. or France decided that Syria has violated something.
He added that Moscow believes in cooperation with the others but added “there are limits for such cooperation”. He said Moscow cooperated on the Libyan issue and the results were well-known – Russia lost everything there, and had its reputation damaged.
Pushkov said that confronting the issue of terrorist threats in Syria and preventing the threat from spreading to Central Asian countries should be solved within the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
He said terrorist aims are spreading to Central Asian countries, adding that the terrorists in Syria have come from 36 countries and that Syria is now facing an international terrorist threat that will continue to find areas inside and outside the region to operate in.
Pushkov said that Russia has opposed, for two and a half years, any decision that could open the door for using force in Syria, adding that Moscow had regained its international reputation thanks to this stance.
For his part, Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov described the U.S. attempts to push the U.N. Security Council to issue a resolution threatening Syria as "illogical", stressing that the U.N. resolution could not provide for the use of force under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter.
The Russia Today website quoted Ryabkov and members of the Duma saying that the Syrian side had expressed goodwill by joining the Chemical Weapons Convention.
He said that settling the chemical weapons issue in Syria was a role primarily for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), stressing that a U.N. resolution should support the efforts of the Organization and should not in any way invoke Chapter VII.
"Chapter VII can be mentioned only as an element of a possible set of measures against violators," he said, referring to potential future cases of chemical arms use or stalling the work of the OPCW.
He reiterated Moscow's stance that any Chapter VII resolution could only come after any such cases were well confirmed and had been discussed within the Security Council.
Ryabkov said that all the western accusations against the Syrian government of using chemical weapons in Damascus Countryside could be refuted, adding that Moscow is working on this issue after new data was delivered to Russia from Syria.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer