Churkin : Moscow opposes UN Security Council resolution on humanitarian access in Syria
Churkin : Moscow opposes UN Security Council resolution on humanitarian access in Syria
News   /   Syrian Crisis

Russian UN envoy said Wednesday that Moscow opposes a UN Security Council Resolution demanding greater humanitarian access in Syria to those in urgent need of food and medical supplies.

Since negotiations between Syria and world powers halted Friday without concrete results, Western nations and some Arab countries backing the Syrian opposition have drafted a text they hope to bring before the council this week, diplomats said.

Russian Ambassador "Vitaly Churkin" told reporters "It is too early", noting "we believe it is not a good time to have any resolution discussed in the Security Council... My concern is if there is a resolution, it will be an effort to politicize".

He called for a "pragmatic approach" toward Damascus.

But Churkin declined to say whether Russia would apply its veto power to a possible humanitarian resolution on Syria, as it has done three times since the conflict broke out in March 2011.

France, Britain, the United States and other Council members such as Australia, Jordan and Luxembourg have held meetings without Russia to discuss the text, which has yet to be completed.

Without minimizing the "quite horrific" situation in Homs, Churkin claimed that "it is not a large-scale kind of a siege of the kind we've had in the course of history".

Asked about much-delayed efforts to destroy Syrian chemical weapons arsenal, Churkin praised Damascus for its efforts.

He said "things are moving along, the joint (United Nations-Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) operation is functioning well", adding "we are confident this project is going to be accomplished in a timely manner and these chemicals are going to be destroyed".

The US says only two small shipments of chemicals worth about four percent of Syria's declared arsenal have left the Syrian port of Latakia so far -- far less than the 700 tonnes the country was supposed to dispose of by the end of 2013.

Under the US-Russian agreement, Syrian entire chemical arsenal is due to be eliminated by June 30.

Churkin renewed Russia's call for Iran to be involved "constructively" in peace talks between the government and the opposition, due to resume February 10.

The Russian envoy stressed "It was a mistake not to invite Iran" to the last round.

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