Russia: Western countries try to blackmail us over Syria
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday announced there is no change in Russia's position regarding the conflict in Syria. He made his comments a few hours before the scheduled arrival of international envoy Kofi Annan to Moscow.
Speaking at a press conference, the Russian minister reiterated Moscow's opposition to a draft resolution on Syria currently discussed in the UN Security Council which includes the threat sanctions as well as the use of military force.
These threats include "elements of blackmail," said Lavrov, who urged Security Council members to support the Russian draft resolution that imposes no sanctions against President Assad regime. "We believe this approach is absolutely counterproductive and dangerous, because it is unacceptable to use the observers as a bargaining chip," said Lavrov.
"We will not allow the adoption of a resolution at the Security Council which is not based on the Geneva Accord," he warned, referring to the June 30 meeting in Geneva of the Action on Syria Group who agreed on principles a transition process in Syria.
"If our partners nonetheless decide to block our resolution, then the mission of the UN (observers) will be extended and they will leave Syria. This would be a shame," he added.
Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) considers that the fighting in Syria is a state of civil war. The ICRC has repeatedly asked the Syrian authorities to respect the wounded in the health centers and asked to allow one of its delegates access to detainees in various detention centers.