Russia: UN’s Syria agreement possible
Syrians rebels ask Western countries’ help for their fight against regime.REUTERS photo
Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed yesterday to do everything to support U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s plan for ending the violence in Syria, his foreign minister said there is no reason why the U.N. Security Council cannot find a consensus for a resolution on the crisis.
Annan arrived for his first meeting with the Kremlin chief since Putin’s return for a third term, hoping to avert a new Moscow veto of a Security Council resolution threatening sanctions against Russia’s ally.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after the 90-minute meeting that he could “see no reason why we cannot also agree at the UN Security Council. We are ready for this.” But neither Putin nor other Russian official offered any sign that they were ready to take a harder line with President Bashar al-Assad or compromise on punitive measures against the regime’s brutal use of force.
“From the very start, from the first steps, we supported and continue to support your efforts aimed at restoring civil peace,” Putin told Annan at the start of their talks. “We will do everything that depends on us to support your efforts,” the Russian leader said. “The Council, I expect, will be sending out a message that the killings must stop and that the situation on the ground is unacceptable,” Annan said.