UN May Permit Force in Syria Only If Obligations Unfulfilled – Moscow

Syria Map

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 24, 2013) ­ The United Nations Security Council may permit armed intervention in Syria only if that government refuses to fulfill obligations, such as removing chemical weapons stockpiles, a senior Russian government official said Tuesday.

Washington and Moscow are expected to clash at the UN General Assembly later this week over the terms of a Security Council resolution that would enforce Syria’s compliance with a US-Russian plan for the Syrian government to hand over its chemical arsenal.

A Security Council resolution, in accordance with the UN Charter’s Chapter 7, may mention the use of force or sanctions only if the Syrian state refuses to collaborate or fails to fulfill obligations, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Russia’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday.

The US has not ruled out military strikes against Syria if Damascus does not abide by the US-Russian plan, a White House deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, said Friday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week that threatening the use of force was unacceptable, a position in line with Russia’s rejection of any military intervention in Syria’s civil war.

Lavrov said Sunday that Washington was “blackmailing” Moscow over a Syria resolution by threatening to stop working in the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons if Russia refused to back such a resolution.