The United Nations Security Council unanimously passed on Friday a resolution urging Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down and condemning his government's deadly crackdown on the opposition.
The Security Council "strongly" condemned attacks on protesters by Yemeni security forces and urged Saleh to immediately accept a deal proposed by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) under which he would hand over power to his vice president within 30 days in exchange for immunity from prosecution for him and his family.
The British-drafted resolution expressed serious concern over "the lack of progress on a political settlement and the potential for the further escalation of violence" in the Arab world's poorest country.
More than 800 people have been killed in Yemen since protests against Saleh's 33-year rule broke out in January, inspired by popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.
Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin described the resolution as "balanced and non-confrontational." Speaking after the vote, he told journalists a call to end violence and begin dialogue was "addressed to all parties involved in the complicated situation in Yemen."
He said the document was based on the same principles of "Security Council's influence on the situation as those reflected in the Russian-Chinese resolution on Syria" introduced to the Security Council in early October.
On October 4, Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed draft resolution condemning violence in Syria and calling on the country's embattled president Bashar al-Assad to immediately fulfill the promised reforms or face "targeted measures." Russia, which stands firmly against any mention of sanctions citing the example of Libya where the NATO countries largely overstepped the UN mandate in a military operation against Muammar Gaddafi, said the text of the document was "unacceptable" and reflected a "confrontational" approach toward the resolution of the crisis.