4 June 2014, 11:06

Churkin rules out deal on Syria in exchange for UN resolution on Ukraine

Churkin rules out deal on Syria in exchange for UN resolution on Ukraine

On 3 June, Russia's Permanent Representative at the UN Vitaly Churkin ruled out the prospect of a deal on Syria with Western governments in exchange for the Russian version of a humanitarian resolution on Ukraine to be adopted by the UN Security Council.

Answering the question if Russia was prepared to vote for a resolution on Syria based on Chapter VII of the UN Charter (allowing sanctions and resort to force) in exchange for international support of Russia's bill on Ukraine, Churkin refused to draw parallels between the two situations because they are absolutely different. He said that the Russian delegation will determine the fate of the draft resolution on Ukraine after a conference at the Security Council scheduled for Tuesday. He left open the possibility of another round of talks depending on the sort of instructions with which his colleagues return from their capitals.

At the same time, he strongly opposed mentioning Chapter VII of the UN Charter in a humanitarian resolution on Syria which is now being drawn up by Australia, Jordan and Luxembourg with the aid of the US, France and the UK. Churkin said that threats directed against Damascus, with reference to Chapter VII, will hurt the chances of gaining cooperation in the humanitarian field.

Churkin pointed out that Russia keeps drawing up its own draft resolution on Syria aimed at supporting local ceasefires. He stressed that it is a ceasefire that would provide an opportunity to render humanitarian assistance to civilians.

Russia's position on Syria

Earlier, on 2 June, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that problems with delivering humanitarian aid to Syria arise in areas controlled by armed combatants. Lavrov said that Russia is always willing to discuss humanitarian aid issues.

"Russia strongly supports the UN Security Council's previous decision and is prepared to consider any follow-up moves. The main thing is to prevent these issues from becoming politicized and used as a pretext for whipping up tensions and mobilizing world public opinion in support of foreign interference in the Syrian crisis," Lavrov said.

He went on to say that it is essential to go by the norms of international law in the issue of delivering humanitarian aid and this means cooperation with the host country.

Russia wants UN Security Council to pass resolution on Ukraine as soon as possible - Churkin

Russia will spare no effort to have a resolution aimed at relieving the humanitarian situation in Ukraine’s southeastern regions passed by the United Nations Security Council the soonest possible, Russian Permanent Representative at the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Tuesday.

"We will continue work on our draft resolutions," he said at a news conference dedicated to the beginning of Russia's presidency in the United Nations Security Council. He said that later in the day the Security Council members would have a meeting at the level of deputy permanent representatives to discuss Russia’s draft resolution. "We will decide what to do with this draft after these consultations," Churkin noted.

He said Russia's "brief non-politicized resolution" was geared to improve the humanitarian situation in Ukraine's southeastern regions. “It can play a role in stopping violence," he stressed.

The Russian diplomat expressed regret that "some members of the Security Council think that the situation in Ukraine could be solved by force."

"We think it is a serious mistake," he added.

Russia submits draft resolution on Ukraine to UN Security Council

Russia has submitted a draft resolution on Ukraine to the UN Security Council, the Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin told. The draft presumes an immediate ending of violence and the setting up of humanitarian corridors. "We submitted a draft resolution of the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine," Churkin said after a meeting, which the Council had held behind closed doors.

He stressed the absence of politicizing in the document.

"It demands an immediate end to violence and the setting up of humanitarian corridors, which will make it possible for the population to get safely out of the areas engulfed by combat operations," Churkin said.

Read more:

West tries to politicize Russian draft lodged with UN Security Council - Churkin 

UN investigating May 2 massacre in Odessa, says Russian ambassador

Ukraine must not be "muscle-flexing" exercise for US - Russian envoy to UN

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