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Russia: Why the fury over UN veto on Syria?

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"There are some in the West who have given evaluations of the vote on Syria in the United Nations Security Council that sound, I would say, indecent and perhaps on the verge of hysterical," Lavrov said. "Those who get angry are rarely right."

Lavrov insisted that Russia was willing to come to a consensus with other Security Council members, but that its proposed amendments were shot down  and the resolution was put to a vote Saturday in a "hasty" way that seemed to invite Russia's veto in order to make Moscow look guilty for the ongoing violence in Syria.

"We asked them [supporters of the anti-Assad resolution] to wait a few days before putting it to a vote," while Russian officials traveled to Syria this week for consultations with Assad, Lavrov said. "But they thought it more important to transfer the blame for what is happening....  Their unwillingness to wait for us to return from Damascus is a clear case of disrespect. It is sad that the resolution met such a fate."

He added that he will go to Damascus anyway, in an effort to use Russian diplomatic leverage to pressure Assad into dialogue with his opponents.

"We've repeatedly urged Syria to speed up reforms and we are continuing to do so," Lavrov said. "But we also notice that there are those who have other goals, who are trying to use this situation to promote regime change in Syria." 

Russia as scapegoat

Several pro-government experts insisted Monday that Russia is being scapegoated for the violence in Syria because it has traditional good relations with that country that it is loathe to abandon.

They argue that the West, not Russia, is fanning the flames of sectarian civil war by recklessly backing Syria's armed opposition without any strategy for dealing with the state collapse and social catastrophe that's likely in the wake of Assad's overthrow.

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