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When The Unsc Eventually Expressed

When the UNSC eventually expressed concern regarding the developing situation in Syria, Russian deputy UN ambassador Alexander Pankin was the first to offer a Russian outlook. Pankin dismissively assured that “despite increasing tension and confrontations, (Syria) does not present a threat to international peace and security” . Here, this echoed sentiments towards Libya and Pankin continued to suggest that UNSC involvement could “arise from outside interference in Syria’s domestic situation, including attempts to promote ready-made solutions or to take sides” . Here, you could suggest that Pankin contemplated whether the Syrian situation represented a situation that required external intervention. In doing so, Pankin could be seen to of re-affirming Russia’s anti-intervention stance that heightened following widespread concern that developed concerning the way Libya’s upheaval spilled over into Syria . This angle affirms a vision that sees Russian foreign policy in international society as reflecting pluralist notions. A Russian pluralist foreign policy will be used to explain Russia’s actions within the UNSC. Yet, Russia saw intervention in Syria as a higher threat to the stability in the international society, rather than the on-going threat at the time. Furthermore, when suggesting these actions reciprocate a pluralist vision, Russia reveals that they feel as if international society cannot reach an agreement on what constitutes as a humanitarian emergency.

When exploring how Russia’s continued vetoes were decided upon, an interview conducted by then Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev aids investigation. Here, Medvedev introduced and compared ulterior cases such as Georgia, Libya and Syria claiming that the individual cases were unique and should be treated that way. Concerning Libya, as Russia did not block the UN resolution leading to the intervention, Medvedev stated that “instilling order in Libya through military means” was not “the right thing to do” . Hereby, in Syria, Medvedev argued that continued discussions with al-Assad would demand the “launch of reforms, reconciliation with the opposition, restoration of civil accord, and start the development of a modern state” . Yet, if this was not achieved, Medvedev suggest that Syria is “in for a grim fate, and [Russia] will eventually have to take some decisions on Syria” .

5.2 Humanitarian Concerns

Regarding humanitarian concerns, Medvedev again compared the Syrian to the Libyan case, insisting that President al-Assad did not order the slaughter of his own people, as Gadhafi did. This according to Medvedev provided an essential difference between the cases. This led to Medvedev to suggest that humanitarian concerns should be concerned with persistent diplomatic efforts to make sure al-Assad solved the situation in Syria in order for Syria to develop its own state in the best manner. This viewpoint further replicates a pluralist foreign policy imposed towards Syria as Russia felt that any obligation held in international society to protect the civilians from suffering was not formed, in turn underpinning the pluralist approach to international society.

5.3 National Sovereignty Concerns

When examining to what extent Russia based their position upon sovereignty concerns, this can be seen as early as the 4 October 2011 UNSC meeting. Here, a well-backed draft resolution was drawn up that intended to condemn Assad as “the continued grave and systematic human rights violations and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities” . Yet, this draft was vetoed by Russia and China, where Russian permanent representative Vitaly Churkin, explained that the veto “reflects not so much a question of acceptability of wording as a conflict of political approaches” . This can be comprehended as reflecting that the Russian and Chinese vetoes were founded upon the rationality of respect for national sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Syria, as well as re-affirming their principle based upon non- intervention that was sustained recently with Libya. Furthermore, concerning sovereignty, Russia drew upon the principle of the unity of the Syrian people; refraining from confrontation; and inviting all to an even-handed and comprehensive dialogue aimed at achieving civil peace and national agreement by reforming the socio-economic and political life of the country .

Hereby, through the explanation of sovereignty concerns, the Russian’s can be seen to express that potential Syrian military intervention would prove illegitimate. Churkin went on to suggest that Russia’s sovereignty concerns also drew upon the necessity to continue diplomatic efforts that would liberate and allow the Syrian people decide a future for themselves. Once again, referring the Syrian position as suggesting Russian foreign policy stemming from a pluralist blueprint, additional comments from Churkin defend this view through outlining that principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the belief of non-intervention outweigh any compulsion to intervene in order to prevent atrocities committed by the Syrian regime against its inhabitants.

Likewise to Medvedev’s position based on comparisons, Churkin also expressed concern through using comparisons suggesting “compliance with Security Council resolutions on Libya in the NATO interpretation is a model for the future actions of NATO in implementing the responsibility to protect” . Here, Churkin clearly criticises the emerging norm of R2P, that was adopted in 2005 and disapproving its failed application in Syria.

When referring back to sovereignty concerns, contrastingly to other permanent UNSC members, Churkin refused to condemn the Syrian regime since “the continuation of this tragedy cannot be blamed only on the harsh actions of the authorities” . Moreover, Churkin positioned Russia as refusing to “get involved with legitimizing previously adopted unilateral sanctions or attempts at violent regime change” , where instead, Churkin took a diplomatic line suggesting that Russia is “prepared to develop a genuinely collective and constructive position for the international community” . When investigating where such statements stem from, the Russian angle suggestively highlights viewing the widespread violence as conducted jointly by the opposition and the regime, refusing to isolate the regime for individual condemnation. Additionally, Churkin expressed that Russia would not accept being subject to a NATO led intervention that stemmed from a unilateral approach that did not attain a universal consensus within the international community. Again using explanation through pluralist theory, the Russian position can be seen to highlight that they demand a consensus-based approach by the international community before taking any steps towards intervention, especially unilaterally. In doing so, Russia presents itself as seeing that state needs outweigh human needs.

5.4 Lessons from Libya

When discussing to what extent Russia drew from the Libyan situation, Churkin accused Western States as responsible for promoting more than stabilisation, advocating that “a number of States represented at this table (UNSC) had warmer relations with the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya” , this suggests that ulterior motives should not form the basis for intervention . Here, you could cultivate that Russia saw western-based intervention in Libya as decided upon through idealistic concerns that pushed military intervention in Libya. Russia, at this stage, expresses that they do not trust those involved and their true intentions. Notions of Russia’s anti-humanitarian intervention stance are also reaffirmed through suggesting that those in favour do so under the guise of introducing hidden strategic or geopolitical agendas without being truthful about them, which therefore contends the Libyan intervention as illegitimate. Again, Russian foreign policy stems from a pluralist approach as they view unauthorized military interventions as not solely motivated by humanitarian motivations, concluding that unilateral interventions threaten order and stability within international society. Here, foreign minister Sergei Lavrov implements such a position where he contends, “the situation is not a threat to international security” and could “create serious consequences for the entire Middle East” . Again, Russia reveals itself as exceedingly concerned with the consequences of a military intervention in Syria, arguing that intervention could do more harm than good and could cause instability across the entire region. This indicates a pluralist approach, because the stability in the international society is more important than humanitarian protection.

Hereby, lessons learnt by the Russian authorities from the intervention in Libya certainly translated into their outlook upon the comparable situation in Syria. Ultimately, Russia uses its anti-intervention perspective dismissing that they would partake in any developments where Western backed regime change is behind the removal of an authoritarian leader. Concerning Libya, Russia and Lavrov saw fit to blame the countries involved as overstepping the goals of the resolution . Lavrov added that decisions on Libya were “made in a rush” without a well thought out plan that would entail deciphering levels of force that could be exerted . From these statements, Russia openly suggested they would “not allow the Libyan experience to be reproduced in Syria” , adding that similar actions reciprocated in Syria would lead to the UN supporting one side of the conflict. Lavrov again amassed criticism towards Western states through dismissing their approach to the Arab Spring as constructive, highlighting that Russia held no approval for it. Suggestively, Russia was “in principle against interference in the internal affairs and imposing ‘foreign receipts’ and external scenarios” . Russia also viewed the actions taken by Western states regarding the Arab spring as guises for promoting regime change, which now has proved to be a failed approach, leading to higher levels of instability rather than the intended plan to form the opposite. Again, a pluralist foreign policy is revealed here, as Russia takes a disliking to the idea that with Libya any state knew what is best for another country. Likewise, Russia’s again denounces the role of the UNSC in failing to evaluate a situation enough to understand the potential danger of supporting one side of the conflict without a thorough assessment of what the consequences of such action may be. In Lavrov’s view, rushing a resolution through the UN Council would not guarantee a peaceful and stable development in Syria, and could threaten stability in the Middle East.

Lavrov’s notion was ultimately backed by Moscow’s approach to Syria, as Moscow was not willing to pile support for one of the sides in the conflict, and that the Syrian crisis had to be solved by the Syrian population itself. Lavrov suggested, “The fate of al-Assad would have to be decided by the Syrian people and not by foreign governments or parts of Syrian opposition groups. Therefore Russia has not been trying to convince the president to step down from power, as some has recommended us to do” . Lavrov’s stance again reaffirms the pluralist approach that states must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. This implies that the legitimacy of the leadership should be respected as a principle, and that the entire population must be taken into account when supporting calls for change in a state, not only parts of it.

President Putin also added to the argument suggesting that no one should conduct plans to “who should be brought to power and who should be ousted” . Putin further expressed his critical view of acting outside the UN framework, arguing that the action of Western states in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya had all created chaos.

5.5 Syria Conclusion

In conclusion, Russia’s position upon Syria can be seen to have developed through considering multiple principles. Firstly, Russia’s anti-intervention stance was drawn upon to form opposition upon UNSC resolutions, which were seen by Russia as useless in resolving atrocities; adding Western interveners intended to appeal towards R2P in order to mask more sinister motives. Additionally, Russian anti-intervention was justified through using Libya as a prelude and other examples such as Iraq were drawn upon, where Western states interrfered and replaced an out of favour leader with one that would suit western interests geopolitically, in turn leaving behind a failed state. Here, China has also backed Russia’s position regarding thoughts on Libya, arguing, “The bitter lesson from its belated and on-going unstable relationship with the Libyan National Transitional Council has prompted Beijing to adopt a more sophisticated hedging strategy on Syria” .

Secondly, Russia’s position may be justified through sovereignty concerns, in which Russia have clearly stated that they oppose the use of military force and believe any country’s sovereignty should be respected. Furthermore, while Russia only abstained as the international community sanctioned the dictatorship of Muammar al-Qada in Libya, Russia was determined to defend the Assad government in Syria. This can be explained as ties between Russia and Syria extend back to the Soviet era and span more than four decades. Ultimately, Russia stands by its old friend for larger geopolitical reasons. Moreover, if intervention led to Assad’s potential fall in Syria, this would challenge Putin’s own legitimacy, through empowering global Islamist networks, of which would lead towards an exacerbation of the problem in the Caucuses; it would hurt Russian economic interests in Syria; and, if the West intervenes, it would legitimize yet another Western-led regime change. Therefore, unlike in Libya, where Russia had little strategic interest, defending Syria was seen as an essential part of maintaining balance in the international order.

Finally, the Russian position may also be justified and defended to an extent through viewing Russian foreign policy as developed hand in hand with pluralist theory. A pluralist foreign policy can be used to explain Russian actions, as in Syria, Russian authorities held pluralist principles such as state sovereignty and non-intervention over the moral obligation to intervene in order to prevent gross human rights violations.

Hereby, Russia felt that after gaining nothing while losing everything in Libya through abstaining on UNSCR 1973, they must voice vetoes concerning the Syrian resolution to prevent implosion of the Syrian state. In doing so, perspectives that have shaped the Russian outlook upon military intervention may lead to Western states to become increasingly sceptical to Russian endorsement, which will lead to the UNSC to continue to face difficulties in dealing with threats to international peace and security.When the UNSC eventually expressed concern regarding the developing situation in Syria, Russian deputy UN ambassador Alexander Pankin was the first to offer a Russian outlook. Pankin dismissively assured that “despite increasing tension and confrontations, (Syria) does not present a threat to international peace and security” . Here, this echoed sentiments towards Libya and Pankin continued to suggest that UNSC involvement could “arise from outside interference in Syria’s domestic situation, including attempts to promote ready-made solutions or to take sides” . Here, you could suggest that Pankin contemplated whether the Syrian situation represented a situation that required external intervention. In doing so, Pankin could be seen to of re-affirming Russia’s anti-intervention stance that heightened following widespread concern that developed concerning the way Libya’s upheaval spilled over into Syria . This angle affirms a vision that sees Russian foreign policy in international society as reflecting pluralist notions. A Russian pluralist foreign policy will be used to explain Russia’s actions within the UNSC. Yet, Russia saw intervention in Syria as a higher threat to the stability in the international society, rather than the on-going threat at the time. Furthermore, when suggesting these actions reciprocate a pluralist vision, Russia reveals that they feel as if international society cannot reach an agreement on what constitutes as a humanitarian emergency.

When exploring how Russia’s continued vetoes were decided upon, an interview conducted by then Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev aids investigation. Here, Medvedev introduced and compared ulterior cases such as Georgia, Libya and Syria claiming that the individual cases were unique and should be treated that way. Concerning Libya, as Russia did not block the UN resolution leading to the intervention, Medvedev stated that “instilling order in Libya through military means” was not “the right thing to do” . Hereby, in Syria, Medvedev argued that continued discussions with al-Assad would demand the “launch of reforms, reconciliation with the opposition, restoration of civil accord, and start the development of a modern state” . Yet, if this was not achieved, Medvedev suggest that Syria is “in for a grim fate, and [Russia] will eventually have to take some decisions on Syria” .

5.2 Humanitarian Concerns

Regarding humanitarian concerns, Medvedev again compared the Syrian to the Libyan case, insisting that President al-Assad did not order the slaughter of his own people, as Gadhafi did. This according to Medvedev provided an essential difference between the cases. This led to Medvedev to suggest that humanitarian concerns should be concerned with persistent diplomatic efforts to make sure al-Assad solved the situation in Syria in order for Syria to develop its own state in the best manner. This viewpoint further replicates a pluralist foreign policy imposed towards Syria as Russia felt that any obligation held in international society to protect the civilians from suffering was not formed, in turn underpinning the pluralist approach to international society.

5.3 National Sovereignty Concerns

When examining to what extent Russia based their position upon sovereignty concerns, this can be seen as early as the 4 October 2011 UNSC meeting. Here, a well-backed draft resolution was drawn up that intended to condemn Assad as “the continued grave and systematic human rights violations and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities” . Yet, this draft was vetoed by Russia and China, where Russian permanent representative Vitaly Churkin, explained that the veto “reflects not so much a question of acceptability of wording as a conflict of political approaches” . This can be comprehended as reflecting that the Russian and Chinese vetoes were founded upon the rationality of respect for national sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Syria, as well as re-affirming their principle based upon non- intervention that was sustained recently with Libya. Furthermore, concerning sovereignty, Russia drew upon the principle of the unity of the Syrian people; refraining from confrontation; and inviting all to an even-handed and comprehensive dialogue aimed at achieving civil peace and national agreement by reforming the socio-economic and political life of the country .

Hereby, through the explanation of sovereignty concerns, the Russian’s can be seen to express that potential Syrian military intervention would prove illegitimate. Churkin went on to suggest that Russia’s sovereignty concerns also drew upon the necessity to continue diplomatic efforts that would liberate and allow the Syrian people decide a future for themselves. Once again, referring the Syrian position as suggesting Russian foreign policy stemming from a pluralist blueprint, additional comments from Churkin defend this view through outlining that principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the belief of non-intervention outweigh any compulsion to intervene in order to prevent atrocities committed by the Syrian regime against its inhabitants.

Likewise to Medvedev’s position based on comparisons, Churkin also expressed concern through using comparisons suggesting “compliance with Security Council resolutions on Libya in the NATO interpretation is a model for the future actions of NATO in implementing the responsibility to protect” . Here, Churkin clearly criticises the emerging norm of R2P, that was adopted in 2005 and disapproving its failed application in Syria.

When referring back to sovereignty concerns, contrastingly to other permanent UNSC members, Churkin refused to condemn the Syrian regime since “the continuation of this tragedy cannot be blamed only on the harsh actions of the authorities” . Moreover, Churkin positioned Russia as refusing to “get involved with legitimizing previously adopted unilateral sanctions or attempts at violent regime change” , where instead, Churkin took a diplomatic line suggesting that Russia is “prepared to develop a genuinely collective and constructive position for the international community” . When investigating where such statements stem from, the Russian angle suggestively highlights viewing the widespread violence as conducted jointly by the opposition and the regime, refusing to isolate the regime for individual condemnation. Additionally, Churkin expressed that Russia would not accept being subject to a NATO led intervention that stemmed from a unilateral approach that did not attain a universal consensus within the international community. Again using explanation through pluralist theory, the Russian position can be seen to highlight that they demand a consensus-based approach by the international community before taking any steps towards intervention, especially unilaterally. In doing so, Russia presents itself as seeing that state needs outweigh human needs.

5.4 Lessons from Libya

When discussing to what extent Russia drew from the Libyan situation, Churkin accused Western States as responsible for promoting more than stabilisation, advocating that “a number of States represented at this table (UNSC) had warmer relations with the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya” , this suggests that ulterior motives should not form the basis for intervention . Here, you could cultivate that Russia saw western-based intervention in Libya as decided upon through idealistic concerns that pushed military intervention in Libya. Russia, at this stage, expresses that they do not trust those involved and their true intentions. Notions of Russia’s anti-humanitarian intervention stance are also reaffirmed through suggesting that those in favour do so under the guise of introducing hidden strategic or geopolitical agendas without being truthful about them, which therefore contends the Libyan intervention as illegitimate. Again, Russian foreign policy stems from a pluralist approach as they view unauthorized military interventions as not solely motivated by humanitarian motivations, concluding that unilateral interventions threaten order and stability within international society. Here, foreign minister Sergei Lavrov implements such a position where he contends, “the situation is not a threat to international security” and could “create serious consequences for the entire Middle East” . Again, Russia reveals itself as exceedingly concerned with the consequences of a military intervention in Syria, arguing that intervention could do more harm than good and could cause instability across the entire region. This indicates a pluralist approach, because the stability in the international society is more important than humanitarian protection.

Hereby, lessons learnt by the Russian authorities from the intervention in Libya certainly translated into their outlook upon the comparable situation in Syria. Ultimately, Russia uses its anti-intervention perspective dismissing that they would partake in any developments where Western backed regime change is behind the removal of an authoritarian leader. Concerning Libya, Russia and Lavrov saw fit to blame the countries involved as overstepping the goals of the resolution . Lavrov added that decisions on Libya were “made in a rush” without a well thought out plan that would entail deciphering levels of force that could be exerted . From these statements, Russia openly suggested they would “not allow the Libyan experience to be reproduced in Syria” , adding that similar actions reciprocated in Syria would lead to the UN supporting one side of the conflict. Lavrov again amassed criticism towards Western states through dismissing their approach to the Arab Spring as constructive, highlighting that Russia held no approval for it. Suggestively, Russia was “in principle against interference in the internal affairs and imposing ‘foreign receipts’ and external scenarios” . Russia also viewed the actions taken by Western states regarding the Arab spring as guises for promoting regime change, which now has proved to be a failed approach, leading to higher levels of instability rather than the intended plan to form the opposite. Again, a pluralist foreign policy is revealed here, as Russia takes a disliking to the idea that with Libya any state knew what is best for another country. Likewise, Russia’s again denounces the role of the UNSC in failing to evaluate a situation enough to understand the potential danger of supporting one side of the conflict without a thorough assessment of what the consequences of such action may be. In Lavrov’s view, rushing a resolution through the UN Council would not guarantee a peaceful and stable development in Syria, and could threaten stability in the Middle East.

Lavrov’s notion was ultimately backed by Moscow’s approach to Syria, as Moscow was not willing to pile support for one of the sides in the conflict, and that the Syrian crisis had to be solved by the Syrian population itself. Lavrov suggested, “The fate of al-Assad would have to be decided by the Syrian people and not by foreign governments or parts of Syrian opposition groups. Therefore Russia has not been trying to convince the president to step down from power, as some has recommended us to do” . Lavrov’s stance again reaffirms the pluralist approach that states must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. This implies that the legitimacy of the leadership should be respected as a principle, and that the entire population must be taken into account when supporting calls for change in a state, not only parts of it.

President Putin also added to the argument suggesting that no one should conduct plans to “who should be brought to power and who should be ousted” . Putin further expressed his critical view of acting outside the UN framework, arguing that the action of Western states in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya had all created chaos.

5.5 Syria Conclusion

In conclusion, Russia’s position upon Syria can be seen to have developed through considering multiple principles. Firstly, Russia’s anti-intervention stance was drawn upon to form opposition upon UNSC resolutions, which were seen by Russia as useless in resolving atrocities; adding Western interveners intended to appeal towards R2P in order to mask more sinister motives. Additionally, Russian anti-intervention was justified through using Libya as a prelude and other examples such as Iraq were drawn upon, where Western states interrfered and replaced an out of favour leader with one that would suit western interests geopolitically, in turn leaving behind a failed state. Here, China has also backed Russia’s position regarding thoughts on Libya, arguing, “The bitter lesson from its belated and on-going unstable relationship with the Libyan National Transitional Council has prompted Beijing to adopt a more sophisticated hedging strategy on Syria” .

Secondly, Russia’s position may be justified through sovereignty concerns, in which Russia have clearly stated that they oppose the use of military force and believe any country’s sovereignty should be respected. Furthermore, while Russia only abstained as the international community sanctioned the dictatorship of Muammar al-Qada in Libya, Russia was determined to defend the Assad government in Syria. This can be explained as ties between Russia and Syria extend back to the Soviet era and span more than four decades. Ultimately, Russia stands by its old friend for larger geopolitical reasons. Moreover, if intervention led to Assad’s potential fall in Syria, this would challenge Putin’s own legitimacy, through empowering global Islamist networks, of which would lead towards an exacerbation of the problem in the Caucuses; it would hurt Russian economic interests in Syria; and, if the West intervenes, it would legitimize yet another Western-led regime change. Therefore, unlike in Libya, where Russia had little strategic interest, defending Syria was seen as an essential part of maintaining balance in the international order.

Finally, the Russian position may also be justified and defended to an extent through viewing Russian foreign policy as developed hand in hand with pluralist theory. A pluralist foreign policy can be used to explain Russian actions, as in Syria, Russian authorities held pluralist principles such as state sovereignty and non-intervention over the moral obligation to intervene in order to prevent gross human rights violations.

Hereby, Russia felt that after gaining nothing while losing everything in Libya through abstaining on UNSCR 1973, they must voice vetoes concerning the Syrian resolution to prevent implosion of the Syrian state. In doing so, perspectives that have shaped the Russian outlook upon military intervention may lead to Western states to become increasingly sceptical to Russian endorsement, which will lead to the UNSC to continue to face difficulties in dealing with threats to international peace and security.