Russia, China under pressure to accept US-backed Syrian sanctions

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Russia has proposed reauthorizing the mission for 90 days, without threatening sanctions. The United States, France, Great Britain and Germany for their part have drafted a resolution that would renew the mission for half that long and threaten Syria with sanctions if it does not stop using heavy weapons against rebels and civilians.

Speaking to reporters at her hotel in Jerusalem, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated the need for sanctions.

“I spoke with U.N. Special Envoy Annan yesterday before he left for Moscow, made it clear that there had to be consequences. He has said that. We agree with that completely,” Clinton said. “So we’re going to continue to press forward in the Security Council. We’re going to continue to press the Russians because that is an important part of reaching a resolution in the Security Council.”

Lavrov however warned that the observer mission could become a casualty if the United States and its allies press forward.

“If our partners decide to block our resolution no matter what, then the U.N. mission will not have a mandate and will have to leave Syria," he said. “That would be a pity.”

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