Sergei Lavrov
Photo: AFP
Syrian President Bashar Assad
Photo: EPA
Russia opposes arms embargo on Syria
Moscow believes international community should stop threatening Damascus with ultimatums

Russia opposes the imposition of an arms embargo on Syria and believes the international community should stop threatening Damascus with ultimatums, local news agencies quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Tuesday.


The UN Human Rights Council said on Monday that Syrian military and security forces had committed crimes against humanity including murder, torture and rape, and called for an arms embargo on Syria.


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Russia teamed up with China last month to veto a Western-backed UN Security Council resolution condemning President Bashar Assad's government for violence the United Nations says has killed more than 3,500 people.


The Arab League approved sweeping economic sanctions against Syria on Sunday, over its crackdown on protesters and the Qatari foreign minister said other powers might intervene if Arabs fail to contain the crisis.


The sanctions, including a travel ban on top Syrian officials and a freeze on assets related to President Bashar Assad's government, were approved by 19 of the League's 22 members to be enforced immediately.


On Monday, the European Union governments agreed to impose additional financial sanctions on Syria.


The new measures include a ban on long-term financial support for trade, excluding food and medicine, and on loans to the government, both bilateral and through international financial institutions.


Last week, Germany's ambassador to the UN, Peter Wittig, urged the Security Council to take action against Syria: “The decision of the Arab League was a really remarkable if not historic,” Wittig said.


"I think the council cannot stand idly by regarding what the regional organization has said so strongly: The council should take up that decision and endorse and reinforce it."



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