US convoy to the UN accuses Russia of holding council “hostage”
At the G20 on Thursday, the United States accused Russia of holding the UN Security Council “hostage” over the Syria crisis.
While the US is pushing Congress to approve military action in Syria over the alleged chemical attack by Assad’s government, Russia is making it impossible for the US to seek Security Council approval.
Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has opposed a military attack in Syria since the beginning, stating that there is no proof that Assad is responsible for the chemical attack carried out in Damascus on 21st August.
Russia is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and it has the power to veto any resolution.
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said Russia has used its veto power to block Security Council action against Syria since the civil war broke out.
“I have seen Putin’s comments. There is nothing in the pattern of our interactions with our colleagues in the Security Council, with our Russian colleagues, that would give us any reason to be optimistic,” she said.
She added: “And indeed, we have seen nothing in President Putin’s comments that suggest that there is an available path forward at the Security Council.”
Putin, however, said this week that Russia would be willing to consider Security Council action if the US would bring unquestionable proof that Assad’s government staged the 21st August chemical attack. Since then, Russia will not move any military action against Syria.
For her part, Power said she does not believe Putin will ever back the US over the Syrian crisis.
Beyond convincing Russia, US president Barack Obama has to persuade China, another veto-welding Security Council member, which has expressed great concern over unilateral military strikes. At the G20 summit, Chinese delegation spokesman Qin Gang told reporters that war cannot solve the crisis in Syria and summoned the other countries to go for a political solution.