- Barack Obama - Bashar al-Assad - Russia - Sergei Lavrov - Syria
Syria intervention without UN violates law, Russia says
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the West on Monday that a military intervention in Syria without UN Security Council approval would violate international law while failing to bring an end to the country's civil war.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the West on Monday that intervening militarily in Syria without UN Security Council approval would be a violation of international law while failing to bring an end to the conflict.
"Using force without the approval of the UN Security Council is a very grave violation of international law," Lavrov told reporters, adding that it would be "a very dangerous path, a very slippery path".
Moreover, he said, intervention would not help bring an end to the country’s bloody civil war.
"If anyone thinks that destroying Syria's military infrastructure and leaving the battleground open for the opposition to take victory would be the end of it, that is an illusion," Lavrov said.
"Even in case of such a victory, civil war will continue – only the side of the government will be the opposition side."
Speaking at a news conference urgently convened just a few hours before, Lavrov said military intervention would be a grave mistake and would undermine hopes of convening a peace conference to resolve the conflict.
"Why would they (the opposition) agree to go to the conference, if now the military is bombed and the opposition marches into Damascus to rule?" he asked.
Lavrov said any military action taken by the West would only lead to more violence. "This is not just an illusion, it is a grave mistake that will not lead to any peace, but only mark a new, even bloodier stage of the war in Syria."
Lavrov also expressed doubts over claims that the Syrian regime was behind the suspected chemical weapons attack last week that has prompted fresh calls for military action, saying the West has been unable to produce any evidence to back those claims.
"They (the West) have not been able to come up with any proof but are saying at the same time that the red line has been crossed and there can be no delay," Lavrov said.
He added that calls for military action "contradicted" agreements made at the G8 summit at Northern Ireland's Loch Erne in June.
Lavrov compared the current round of bellicose rhetoric to the run-up to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the 2011 NATO-led air campaign against Muammar Gaddafi's regime in Libya.
"The intimidation campaign has already begun, the events in Iraq ten years ago and in Libya, more recently, began the same way," Lavrov said.
He slammed the West for formulating "ad hoc policy, while we need policy that is comprehensive and logical".
Lavrov also accused the West of holding double standards in foreign policy in its willingness to deal with some authoritarian regimes and not others.
"You cannot fight with a regime only because you don't like the dictator that heads it, and then not fight another regime where you like the authoritarian ruler," he said.
(FRANCE 24 with wires)