MOSCOW - Russia warned Western powers on Monday (26/08/2013) against any military intervention in Syria, saying the use of force without a U.N. mandate would be a grave violation of international law.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow had no plans to be drawn into a military conflict over the civil war in Syria and that Washington and its allies would be repeating "past mistakes” if they intervened in Syria.
"The use of force without the approval of the United Nations Security Council is a very grave violation of international law,” Lavrov told a news conference at which he discussed accusations by rebel forces that Syrian government forces have used chemical weapons.
Russia is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s key ally and one of its main arms suppliers, and a veto-wielding member of the Security Council.
Expressing concern about statements suggesting NATO had the right to intervene after a chemical attack without securing the approval of the United Nations, Lavrov said the unapproved use of force would "sharply aggravate” the situation.
He urged the West not to go down the "dangerous path” it had taken several times before and added: "We have no plans to go to war with anyone.”
"If anybody thinks that bombing and destroying the Syrian military infrastructure, and leaving the battlefield for the opponents of the regime to win, would end everything - that is an illusion,” Lavrov said.
(Reporting By Alexeci Anishchuk, writing by Thomas Grove, Editing by Timothy Heritage) - Reuters