News / Middle East

Lavrov: US Trying to Blackmail Russia on UN Syria Resolution

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks during a news conference after his meeting with French counterpart Laurent Fabius, unseen, in Moscow, Russia, Sept. 17, 2013.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks during a news conference after his meeting with French counterpart Laurent Fabius, unseen, in Moscow, Russia, Sept. 17, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Russia has accused the United States of trying to "blackmail" it into letting the U.N. Security Council authorize force against the Syrian government if Damascus fails to give up its chemical weapons.

The United States and its allies have been pressing the Council to adopt a Syria resolution under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which would permit enforcement through military action.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Sunday U.S. officials told him that if Russia does not agree to a Chapter 7 resolution, Washington will block the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons from helping to remove Syria's stockpiles.

Russia and the United States made a deal earlier this month for the Netherlands-based international body to monitor the disposal of all chemical weapons in Syria by the middle of next year.

Speaking to a Russian TV channel, Lavrov accused the United States of "blackmail" and trying to show "superiority" rather than focusing on the common goal of removing the weapons.

In a statement sent to VOA, a State Department official said U.S. diplomats are drafting a U.N. Security Council resolution with the "strongest possible enforcement mechanism" to ensure Syria's disposal of the stockpiles.

The official said Washington will not negotiate the details in public.

The official also said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with Lavrov on Sunday and "reiterated the importance of working together" on their recent agreement about the need to destroy Syria's chemical weapons. There was no direct U.S. response to Lavrov's allegations of blackmail.

Kerry and Lavrov reached the agreement after a chemical attack near Damascus killed hundreds of people on August 21. The United States says pro-Assad forces carried out the attack, while Russia blames it on rebels fighting to oust the Syrian leader.

Russia has long opposed Western threats of sanctions or force against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a longtime Russian ally.

OPCW said Saturday the Syrian government provided it with an inventory of its chemical weapons as part of the U.S.-Russian deal. OPCW said its "technical secretariat" was reviewing the information.

In his interview, Lavrov said Russia is willing to send military observers to Syria to guard the perimeters of all chemical sites where OPCW experts would conduct disposal-monitoring work.

Meanwhile, the Russian government accused Syrian rebels of firing a mortar at its embassy in Damascus on Sunday. It said the attack left three embassy workers with non-life threatening wounds. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid