Russia and China expose divisions about role of UN in halting Human Rights abuses
"The Russian/Chinese veto of the UN resolution to urge President Assad to relinquish power has exposed significant tensions within the Security Council. Unless the West is willing to face the wrath of China and Russia and arm the Syrian uprising - which is highly-unlikely - the Syrian opposition will face President Assad alone", says Dr Tom Dyson.
Dr Dyson, of the School of Politics, said: "Russian opposition to UN action is partly a consequence of the deep political and above all, economic and military ties between itself and Syria. Regime change in Syria would threat Russia’s naval base in Tartus and Syria’s status as a major procurer of Russian arms.
"However, more importantly, both Russia and China hold deep misgivings about UN interference in the affairs of sovereign states. Neither state wishes to establish international norms which may restrict their room for manoeuvre in countering their own domestic insurgencies/opposition movements and in the use of military force within their geopolitical neighbourhood.
"Having seen how UN Security Council Resolution 1973 was used as a tool by the US, Britain and France to enable regime change in Libya, the Russians and Chinese are adopting a much stricter position on the scope of UN action in Syria. These divisions within the Security Council run very deep and cannot easily be solved through crisis crisis-diplomacy."