26 Oct 2017 09:25

Russia not to support tough version of UNSC resolution on Myanmar - newspaper

MOSCOW. Oct 26 (Interfax) - Moscow is set to block the French-British draft of a UN Security Council resolution pertaining to Rohingya refugees in Myanmar if the document is too critical of the Myanmar authorities, the newspaper Izvestia said on Thursday citing Russian diplomatic sources familiar with the situation in the region.

"Sources in the United Nations have told Izvestia that Paris and London will submit a draft resolution on Myanmar this or next week. The document will hardly contain such terms as 'genocide', 'ethnic cleansing' or 'crime against humanity'. Yet Moscow will not support even a strong condemnation of Naypyitaw in this resolution," the newspaper said.

"Myanmar is trying to settle the situation on various tracks," a Russian diplomatic source told Izvestia.

"A dialogue is being conducted with Bangladesh; they [the authorities of Myanmar and Bangladesh] are discussing repatriation of the refugees. This is a lengthy process but at least they have launched it. We think they should be given time to do so. All that criticism will not help normal cooperation between Myanmar and the UN," the source said.

According to the UN estimates cited by the newspaper, the number of Rohingya refugees living in an improvised camp in Bangladesh will exceed 1 million in the coming day.

French Ambassador to the United Nations Francois Delattre described the events that occurred in the Rakhine state as ethnic cleansing at the first debate on the Myanmar situation at the UN Security Council on September 28. U.S. diplomats have described the situation in a similar way, the newspaper said.

The United States, Western Europe, and a number of Islamic countries have taken a course towards unilaterally accusing Myanmar top military commanders in the Rohingya genocide, while Russia, China, and India have been invariably urging the international community not to put excessive pressure on the Myanmar authorities over the Rakhine situation.

'Whenever we speak about Myanmar, we define the situation as a humanitarian catastrophe. [...] Moscow has always been opposed to sanctions, which will not be helpful in this case. So, we should study the resolution prepared by Paris and London for starters. Russia will not impose restrictions on one of the sides," Alexei Chepa, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, told Izvestia.