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Russia used veto to avoid civil war in Syria: Ambassador

Russian ambassador Oleg Ozerov at his palace in Riyadh on Sunday. (SPA)

By MD Rasooldeen | ARAB NEWS | 8 Feb 2012

RIYADH: Russian Ambassador to the Kingdom, Oleg Ozerov, said on Tuesday that his country vetoed the UN Security Council resolution to avoid a civil war in Syria.

Speaking to reporters on the Diplomats' Day of Russia at his residence, Ambassador Ozerov, said that his country is sincerely interested in maintaining peace in the Middle East.

The recent resolution tabled at the UN that was vetoed by Russian and China called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down. Thirteen of the UN Security Council’s 15 members voted in favor of the resolution aimed at stopping the violence in Syria. Ozerov said the problem in Syria could be resolved through national dialogue. “The dialogue should include all concerned parties including the ruling government authorities and the opposition.”

“We are convinced that Saudi Arabia, like Russia, is firmly opposed to interference in the internal affairs of the countries in the region, and stands for the solution of existing problems through dialogue. This was the approach of Riyadh to the events in Bahrain and Yemen,” the ambassador noted.

“It is not quite correct to oppose Russia's position to that of the international community. Russia, like many countries in the world, has called for steps for ending violence and starting political reforms in Syria. Unfortunately, until now, there is no unified position in the Security Council on that,” the envoy said.

He said the Russian approach to the Syrian issue is shared by China. “Despite some differences in our approaches, we look forward to continuing constructive dialogue with other stake-holders, in particular, the Arab League, Turkey, as well as our American and European partners.”

Speaking on Saudi-Russia relations, he said: “We can speak with confidence today about the coincidence or closeness of the positions of Russia and Saudi Arabia on a majority of international and regional issues like the Palestinian-Israeli settlement, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, organized crime and drug trafficking. Our two countries are united in condemning acts of terrorism and extremism; they cooperate effectively and in good faith to resolve these issues both at international forums and in the bilateral ambit .”

“Russia and Saudi Arabia cooperate with other major nations in coping with the aftermath of the world financial and economic crisis and rely on G20 as the principal mechanism for harmonizing their approaches to global macroeconomic issues, reform the international financial architecture and raise the efficiency of regulating the financial sector,” the envoy concluded.



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