Russia made it clear Monday that it would oppose a military strike against Syria, complicating the Obama administration's hope for an international response to the latest allegations of chemical weapons use.
“We have no plans to go to war with anyone,” Lavrov said. “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.”
Continued Russian support for Bashar Assad puts President Obama in a bind as he weighs a response that could include airstrikes against the Syrian government's chemical weapons launchers.
Bucking the Kremlin could permanently doom a proposed U.S.-Russian peace conference on Syria that's already been repeatedly delayed, but Obama is under intense pressure to respond to allegations that Assad has crossed his “red line” on chemical weapons.
China is expected to join Russia in vetoing any resolution calling for a military response to the latest events in Syria.
The other veto-yielding members of the Security Council, Britain and France, have made clear their preference for the use of force. British Foreign Secretary William Hague told the BBC on Monday that “diplomacy has not worked” and that action “based on great humanitarian need and distress” could be taken “in accordance with international law” even “without complete unity on the UN Security Council.”
“There is no doubt that a failure to act now will have long term consequences on the strength of the United Nations,” Hague told the BBC, “and above all on our capacity to control the use of the weapons of mass destruction.”
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