Russia is not ready to support another UN Security Council draft resolution on Syria, but will continue to search for a solution, Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said on Saturday.
The draft, proposed by Morocco, echoes the Western-backed resolution on Syria vetoed by Russia and China last October on the grounds that it might clear the way for the “Libyan scenario” - a foreign military intervention into the country.
"I made it clear that we, the Russian delegation, did not see that draft as a basis on which we can agree. However... that doesn't mean that we refuse to engage,” the Russian diplomat said after a closed Security Council meeting to discuss ways to tackle the ten-month-long political crisis in Syria.
Russia has been one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s staunchest supporters during the more than ten-month uprising against his regime. Moscow has proposed its own draft UN resolution on Syria, but Western members of the Security Council have criticized it as too soft.
"We will continue to engage, we will continue to work with our draft and we will discuss with them what do we think is wrong with the draft and where we can go together with the Arab League to support the political process in Syria," Churkin said.
Russia has also spoken out against unilateral sanctions imposed on Syria by the European Union and the United States last year. On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov again said Moscow would stonewall attempts to gain UN approval for the sanctions.
Syria is currently under several sets of international sanctions for its brutal crackdown on protestors, which claimed the lives of some 5,000 people, according to UN estimates.
Damascus has rejected international criticism of its human rights record during the conflict and says some 2,000 police and members of the security forces have been killed by “terrorists and extremists.”