Rinkevics: China and Russia are responsible that people continue to be killed in Syria

  • 2012-08-03

RIGA - In an interview with LETA today, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (pictured) said that China and Russia are responsible for the fact that innocent people continue to be killed on a daily basis in Syria, as they continue to veto proposed United Nations sanctions against the Syrian regime.

Asked whether the situation in Syria cannot be seen as a failure by the West, Rinkevics strongly denied such an interpretation of the situation. He said that he is very disappointed in the stance China and Russia have taken on this issue.

He also does not believe that the West is incapable of solving problems in situations when the international community is divided.

''Taking into account the fact that the European Union, the United States and the Arab League are doing everything possible to improve the situation, as well as the fact that many other countries have participated in the ''Friends of Syria'' conference, I do not wish to describe the global community as divided on this issue,'' Rinkevics said.

He added that discussions have been taking place for the past several years to reform the United Nations Security Council model, which was implemented in 1945, with the aim of making the work of the council more effective.

The AFP news agency previously reported that Russia and China in July vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on Syria for the third time, sparking outrage by the Western nations which demanded sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Eleven of the 15 nations on the council voted for the resolution, Russia and China voted against -- killing the resolution, as permanent members of the council have veto power -- while Pakistan and South Africa abstained.

More than 17,000 people have been killed since an uprising against Assad began 16 months ago, activists in Syria say, with some other estimates reaching 20,000 deaths.

The Security Council has been facing growing criticism over its failure to take action.