Double U.N. Veto Saves Syria From Sanctions
Both Russia and China vetoed a Security Council resolution condemning Syria for its oppression of forces against the government, which has, in turn, begun revolution rumblings across the country similar to the Arab Spring uprisings in other Middle Eastern nations. Such a move by two members of the Security Council is rare, and regarded as a move to cling to influence in the Middle East.
From The New York Times:
Russia enjoys military and commercial deals with Syria worth billions of dollars annually, plus its alliance and only reliable Arab friend give it an entree into the Arab-Israeli peace negotiations. In addition, Moscow maintains perks left over from its superpower days, for instance, a naval base at Tartus, Syria, that accommodates visits by warships like Peter the Great, a nuclear-powered missile cruiser, during its Mediterranean jaunts.
China worries that the reverberations from falling Arab despots will inspire civil disobedience at home.
But beyond those concerns, and a stated interest in averting violent change in Syria, China and Russia are also increasingly allied in shutting down what they see as Western efforts to use sanctions and other economic measures to put the United Nations seal of approval on Western-friendly regime change.
The veto by two major players in the U.N. didn't stop other countries from denouncing Syria and announcing future sanctions on the country.
From The Wall Street Journal:
"The veto [of the resolution] will not prevent our sanctions, just as it does not prevent the steps of some or all EU countries," Mr. Erdogan said, according to Anadolu Ajansi, Turkey's state news agency. He didn't specify the scope of planned sanctions.
His comments came as Turkey's military said it was beginning a week of routine military exercises close to Syria's border.
The European Union is set to impose sanctions on Syria's central bank, in effect freezing any assets of the bank held in Europe, to make it harder for Syria to get its hands on foreign currency, according to European diplomats.
The EU has imposed a range of sanctions against Syria in recent months, including banning Syrian crude-oil imports and investment in the Syrian oil sector.
Syrian officials continue to deny allegations that have been lobbied against them over the past week, including one that dignitaries were pressuring diplomats that had switched to supporting the opposition into changing their allegiance back.
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