World News

Russia will not back U.N. resolution on Syria: Medvedev

SKOLKOVO, Russia (Reuters) - President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday that Russia would not support a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria if it were similar to the resolution authorizing military intervention in Libya.

“I will not support such a resolution, even if my friends and allies ask me,” Medvedev said when asked whether Russia would back a Syria resolution “analogous” to the one that paved the way for air strikes to protect civilians in Libya.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Tuesday that France and Britain were close to getting enough votes to adopt a resolution on Syria provided that it is not blocked by veto-wielding permanent members Russia and China.

Medvedev did not say whether Russia would use its veto if a resolution on Syria comes to a vote.

He reiterated allegations that the NATO-led coalition has gone beyond its mandate in Libya and said Moscow opposes foreign intervention in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad has used the army and police to try to crush pro-democracy protests.

“President Assad has announced reforms, it is necessary to make these reforms effective and not try to pressure (Syria) with resolutions.”

“It’s necessary to let states themselves choose their own path of development and give the Syrian leadership the opportunity to resolve the internal problems that exist there.”

Russia abstained from the vote on the March resolution authorizing intervention in Libya.

Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Steve Gutterman