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PRESS RELEASE


Russians Hold Firm against
Libya Scenario for Syria

Feb. 2, 2012 (EIRNS)—Russian government officials have recently stated unequivocally, and repeatedly, that Russia does not, and will not, accept the British-Obama doctrine that the imperial "regime change" has replaced the principle of national sovereignty in governing international affairs. Russia will not capitulate to ploys for a war on Syria, and it has received in this the full support of China and India, amongst others.

"Moscow does not intend to make any concessions in the UN Security Council over the draft resolution on Syria," Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told media Feb. 1, in response to suggestions that Russia was willing to negotiate these issues of principle. "The Council cannot dictate parameters for an internal political settlement; it has no authority for it," Churkin stated.

"The international community should not be meddling in economic sanctions or through the use of military force. We will not stand for any sanctions resolution or using the council's tool box to foment conflict and military intervention in the future."

"If the text will be unacceptable for us, we will vote against it, of course. If it is a text that we consider erroneous, that will lead to a worsening of the crisis, we will not allow it to be passed. That is unequivocal."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov enunciated Russia's rejection of the "regime change" doctrine on Jan. 31. He told Australia's ABC television:

"I don't think Russian policy is about asking people to step down. Regime change is not our profession.... It is up to the Syrians themselves to decide how to run the country, how to introduce the reforms, what kind of reforms, without any outside interference."

As for Russia's arms sales to Syria, the Foreign Minister stated that Russia has signed some contracts, and contracts must be honored.

"We are arming the constitutional government: We don't approve of what it is doing, using force against demonstrators, but we're not picking sides, we're implementing our commercial contractual obligations."

Russia is "not a friend, we're not an ally of President Assad. We never said that President Assad remaining in power is the solution to the crisis," but the arms Russia is selling to Syria are not used against demonstrators, but to ensure Syria's defense.

Russian officials dismissed trans-Atlantic media reports that after negotiations Feb. 1, the Security Council would vote on a resolution this week. Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov affirmed that the proposed Western draft resolution remains unacceptable to Russia, because it retains provisions on imposing sanctions on Syria, and provisions that might be construed as allowing for the use of force.

China, India, Brazil, and South Africa have gone on the record as siding with Russia against the current resolution.