Russia wants consensus on defusing Syrian crisis

Russia’s foreign minister has said Moscow is ready to seek consensus in the UN Security Council on a new resolution aimed at ending Syria’s civil war, but gave no indication how it would resolve a disagreement over a Britain-sponsored resolution.

Moscow’s draft resolution calls for the “immediate implementation” of a peace plan from Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League envoy for the crisis, and the guidelines for a political transition approved at a meeting in Geneva last month, but it objects to the resolution that would be tied to Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter, which could allow the use of force to end the conflict in Syria.

Although Western nations appear to have little appetite for force, Russia adamantly opposes any prospect of international intervention in the 16-month-old conflict. China, another veto-wielding member of the Security Council, also has backed Syria.

After a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Annan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov yesterday said, “I don’t see a reason that we couldn’t agree in the Security Council. We are prepared for that,” according to the Interfax news agency.

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