Russia Blocks Security Council Statement on Syria
Russia on Saturday blocked a United Nations Security Council declaration of alarm over the bloody siege of the Syrian town of al-Qusayr by Syrian troops and Hizbullah terrorists.
According to Security Council diplomats, Britain had circulated a draft statement to fellow members voicing “grave concern about the situation in al-Qusayr, Syria, and in particular the impact on civilians of the ongoing fighting.”
Russia, however, blocked the draft text which would have had to be agreed upon unanimously, saying it was “not advisable to speak out as the UN Security Council didn’t when Qusayr was taken by the opposition.”
Russia and China, close allies of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, have vetoed several Security Council resolutions against the Syrian regime.
In recent days Russia has indicated that intends to go ahead with the sale of S-300 advanced missile systems to Syria, despite requests by Israel and the U.S. to refrain from doing so.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Russian leader Vladimir Putin two weeks ago, in an effort to forestall the transfer of the missiles to Syria. While there were subsequent reports that the transfer of the advanced systems would not be carried out, Moscow said this week that it still plans to deliver the S-300 to Damascus, explaining the deliveries were part of existing contracts.
Assad suggested this week that his government has already received the advanced air defense missiles, but on Friday, Russian media reported they had not yet been delivered.
Sources in Moscow said that the S-300s that Russia has promised Syria will be delivered only in 2014.
On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that Russia’s deal to sell advanced S-300 missile systems to Syria endangers Israel’s security.
"It is not helpful to have a lot of other ammunition and other supplies overtly going in not just from the Russians -- and they are supplying that kind of thing -- but also from the Iranians and Hizbullah," he added.
He added the delivery would have a "profoundly negative impact on the balance of interests and the stability of the region, and it does put Israel at risk.”
"And it is not, in our judgment, responsible because of the size of the weapon, the nature of the weapon and what it does to the region in terms of Israel's security," Kerry added.