Western countries have sharply criticized Russia and China for vetoing a UN Security Council resolution against Syria’s ruling regime. They promised to impose more sanctions against Syria, declaring the veto will not stop them.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague has called Russia’s and China’s decision to veto “deeply mistaken and regrettable.” Speaking to the Conservative party conference in Manchester, he assured that they will “redouble” their “efforts to work with other nations to increase the pressure on the regime “wherever they can.”
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey and other nations would press ahead with sanctions.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has spoken out on Wednesday, saying the day on which Western countries failed to impose resolution has become a "sad day for the Syrian people.”
Germany has denounced the veto by Russia and China, with Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle calling it a "really sad day for international law and for human rights, too."
Westerwelle has supported Turkey and Britain in saying the Western nations would maintain pressure on Assad and that European countries are preparing an eighth package of sanctions against Syria.
“We will – not just in Europe, but also with our partners – not only keep up the pressure on the Assad regime, but increase it further if the killing and violence against peaceful demonstrators continues," he said.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Ministry has expressed the opinion that there has been a provocation against President Assad aimed at creating conditions for external intervention in Syria.
The Foreign Ministry response follows Western media publications which contained statements attributed to President Assad. According to the Western press he has threatened massive rocket and artillery fire against Israel. Assad himself has denied all such accusations.
“We think in this case we are dealing with gross provocation, an act of informational war against Syria,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in its statement. “Obviously, forces interested in tarnishing the image of Syria and its rulers in the eyes of the world are behind that – to thus create the conditions to justify foreign intervention in Syria.”
As political analyst Igor Khokhlov told RT the Western push for sanctions against Damascus is fueled by the desire of the West to gain control in the region and the illusion that they can do it.
“A lot of political leaders in the West now have a bit romantic approach towards the whole idea, they think, yes, we are going to remove those regimes which have ruled those countries for decades and then we will be able to install some kind of puppet democracy and to continue colonial policy of the 19th century,” says Khokhlov.
“It is a complete illusion,” he continues, “that puppet democracy is possible in such countries as Syria or Libya for instance, the country is most likely to turn into complete turmoil and havoc for many years or even decades.”
Moreover, according to Khokhlov, if the country changes hands, there is a serious threat it will repeat the Iraq scenario and become a place frequently attacked by Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.
At the same time, Professor Mark Almond from Bilkent University, talking to RT, voiced another reason for such a strong push from Western countries on Syria.
Almond believes Western powers try to push though the resolution, because Syria is ally of Iran.
“More broadly, the geopolitical issue is Syria is now ally of Iran and Syria acts like Iran’s eyes on the Mediterranean and eyes towards Israel. If you could change the regime in Syria then the United States and Israel would see a fundamental shift in the balance of power in the Middle East because Iran will be much more isolated,” Almond said.
Jacob Hornberger, founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation says that Western powers are so eager to carry out regime change in Syria that it does not matter to them how many people will suffer.
“It is a part of old imperial minds that if they can effect regime change and install one of their puppets, then they believe that it is all worth it. It does not matter how many people they kill,” Hornberger said.
On Wednesday a senior aide Bouthaina Shaaban to Assad hailed vetoes by Russia and China.
"I feel that the vetoes that Russia and China have used stand with the Syrian people and give the time for us to enforce and enhance reforms," AFP quotes Shaaban as saying.
"We are grateful to Russia, China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Lebanon for their position," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mualem said on Wednesday.