Russia’s opposition to the Security Council’s resolution is less about President Bashar Assad (pictured) staying in office than it is about letting Syrians decide their fate—according to Russia.
On Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council’s attempt to pass a resolution strongly encouraging regime change in Syria, which by definition would mean the end of President Bashar Assad’s tenure in office, was again met with resistance from Russia. However, Russian officials stressed that this stance wasn’t to be confused with a pro-Assad agenda. —KA
The New York Times:
“The Russian policy is not about asking someone to step down; regime change is not our profession,” Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. during a stop on his Asia tour.
“We are not friends or allies of President Assad,” he went on, according to a transcript on the Interfax news service, evidently hoping to deflect accusations that Moscow should be held responsible for the widening bloodshed. “We never said that Assad remaining in power is a precondition for regulating the situation. We said something else — we said that the decision should be made by Syrians, by the Syrians themselves.”