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Obama says Russia will be responsible if UN resolution on Homs fails

April 5, 2014 at 3:31 pm

US President Barack Obama warned on Tuesday that Russia will be blamed if a UN Security Council resolution demanding to lift the siege imposed on Homs and to facilitate humanitarian aid to desperate civilians throughout Syria is blocked.

At a White House press conference with French President Francois Hollande, Obama stated that, “There is great unanimity among most of the Security Council on this resolution.” He added that US Secretary of State John Kerry told the Russians that “they cannot say that they are concerned about the well-being of the Syrian people when they are starving civilians.”

“It is not just the Syrians that are responsible, the Russians (are) as well if they are blocking this kind of resolution,” he warned.

Western countries have sought for days to persuade Russia to back a draft resolution that calls to facilitate the safe passage of humanitarian aid to Syrians and to immediately lift the blockade imposed on several Syrian cities, including Homs.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated on Tuesday that the draft is “absolutely unacceptable” to Moscow, one of the main allies of the Syrian regime. Lavrov pointed out that the reason the draft is unacceptable is “because it contains an ultimatum to the government of President Bashar Al-Assad.”

However, the resolution is not binding and does not provide automatic sanctions. If its provisions are not enacted within 15 days, only then will the Security Council be able to vote for sanctions against those who “blocked humanitarian aid” or committed crimes against civilians.

Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, Russia has blocked three Security Council resolutions aimed at pressing Damascus to end the conflict. This time around, Western countries are hoping that it will be difficult for Russia to freeze a humanitarian-based resolution.