Russia warned Western powers on Monday against any military intervention in Syria, saying the use of force without a U.N. mandate would violate international law.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow had no plans to be drawn into a military conflict over the civil war in Syria and that Washington and its allies would be repeating “past mistakes” if they intervened in Syria.
"The use of force without the approval of the United Nations Security Council is a very grave violation of international law," Lavrov told a news conference at which he discussed accusations by rebel forces that Syrian government forces have used chemical weapons.
The Kremlin continues to insist that any formal discussions on Syria’s future must include current leader Bashar al-Assad, and there is little doubt that Russia will remain staunchly opposed to any/all U.N. Security Council resolution seeking to authorize military force against the Syrian president’s regime.
16:16 // 3 months ago
Saudi Arabia has offered Russia economic incentives including a major arms deal and a pledge not to challenge Russian gas sales if Moscow scales back support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Middle East sources and Western diplomats said on Wednesday.
The proposed deal between two of the leading power brokers in Syria’s devastating civil war was set out by Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow last week, they said.
Russia has supported Assad with arms and diplomatic cover throughout the war and any change in Moscow’s stance would remove a major obstacle to action on Syria by the United Nations Security Council.
In return for their offerings, Saudi Arabia is reportedly asking for guarantees that Russia would not block any future UN Security Council resolution(s) regarding Syria. Prince Bandar is also believed to have offered to purchase up to $15 billion in weaponry from the Russian government in an effort to sweeten the deal.
16:11 // 4 months ago