Russia says Western accusations on Syria 'immoral'
Russia on Tuesday said Western accusations that it was blocking UN action condemning the Syrian regime's crackdown on the opposition were "immoral" because the West was refusing to put pressure on armed rebel groups.
"There are those who refuse to put pressure on the armed, extremist part of the opposition and are at the same time accusing us of blocking the UN Security Council's work. I would call this position immoral," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in televised comments.
France's UN ambassador Gerard Araud on Monday condemned what he called the "scandal" of the Security Council's silence over the civilian deaths and accused those blocking action of being "morally responsible" for them.
And German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the UN's updated Syrian death toll of more than 5,000 people showed the need for "countries in the Security Council which are still hesitating to change their mind."
Lavrov said that "armed extremist groups" were expanding their presence in the Syian flashpoint city of Homs and staging attacks on police stations and civilian buildings in an attempt to escalate the violence.
"There is no doubt their goal is to instigate a humanitarian catastrophe and obtain the pretext for demanding foreign intervention in this conflict," Lavrov said.
© 2011 AFP