The UN Security Council should approve a mandate of any international mission in Syria, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Tuesday.
At the last meeting of the Arab League it was decided to send UN peacekeeping forces to Syria. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow was studying the suggestions of the Arab League. Later Russian Presidential Middle East Ambassador Mikhail Bogdanov added that Russia did not rule out its participation in a potential UN peacekeeping mission to Syria.
“Such a mandate would require very careful consideration as we have already witnessed the situation in Libya. When the approved mandate was later interpreted by our Western partners in their own way and in fact by their activity, it went beyond this mandate,” Gatilov said.
“We are ready to consider such an option but we should know exactly what kind of mission we are talking about. At the moment we have contradictory information, it is not clear whether it will be a mission or peacekeeping forces,” he added.
During consultations with Israeli partners, the Russian deputy foreign minister discussed issues related to cooperation in the UN and the issues of the reform process in the UN.
Also on Monday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it would temporarily halt the operation of the Russian Embassy School in Damascus. “The decision was made for the safety of the children studying there.”
The Russian Embassy itself continues normal operations, the ministry added.
The Arab League resolution came a week after Russia and China blocked a UN Security Council resolution on Syria.
The Arab League has been at the forefront of regional efforts to end violence in Syria. The group put forward a plan that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agreed to in December, and then sent monitors to Syria.
The League withdrew its monitoring mission from Syria in January because the regime failed to end the bloodshed.