Moscow, July 13 (Interfax) – Moscow has not ruled out that Western countries pushing for an end to the United Nations’ monitoring mission in Syria could be testing the ground for a possible repeat of Libya’s scenario.
“In principle, one certainly cannot rule out such options. But it would be a great mistake if the removal of this mission from this country were followed by any steps that would complicate the situation there,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told Interfax, commenting on the opinion that some Western states do not want the UN observers to remain in Syria in order to be able to repeat Libya’s scenario in this country without any witnesses.
“And it [complication of the situation] will become unavoidable because the UN observers have been acting as a restraining factor to a certain extent and have been helping receive objective information about what is actually happening there, contributing to stabilization efforts in the regions where they worked,” he said.
The mandate of the UN monitoring mission in Syria expires on July 21. Russia wants it to be extended, but its Western partners link this step to the application of Chapter VII of the UN Security Council and possible sanctions against Syria.
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