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France: Moscow's Posture over Syrian Issue Won't Affect Mistral Sale

France: Moscow's Posture over Syrian Issue Won't Affect Mistral Sale 30.08.2012
Text: Vzglyad
Photo: Mistral-class landing assault ship. RusNavy.com
France will put pressure on Russia over the Syrian problem only by diplomatic ways, the country's foreign minister Laurent Fabius told France Inter radio station.

According to him, France "is putting pressure on Russia only in the diplomatic dimension". "We continue negotiations with Russians, we must find a solution [on Syria]", Fabius said.

Answering the question whether it is possible to suspend deliveries of Mistral-class landing ships to Russia to make Moscow change its posture over the Syrian problem, Fabius said it was impossible.

France normally suspends arms export only if there is information about reselling to third countries, reports Interfax citing the French foreign minister.

As was reported earlier, French president Francois Hollande suggested an overthrowing plan of Syrian president Bashar Assad. With this in view, on Aug 30 Paris initiated a special session of UN Security Council. Some foreign ministers have declined to take part in the session, including the Russian one Sergei Lavrov.

According to some sources, he was going to attend the session, but finally it was decided that Moscow would be represented by Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to UN.

"Obviously, Mr. Lavrov did not want to be the only foreign minister at the session except for the French one", supposes the interviewee.

However, according to him, there is another reason why Sergei Lavrov refused to attend the UN Security Council session.

"Even at the stage of preliminary talks it was apparent that the parties would fail to agree upon any final document", explained the source. "Russia and China insisted on humanitarian accents, i.e. assistance to refugees and sufferers, calls to both sides to cease bloodshed and so. France, Great Britain, and the US wanted a political manifest substantiating the urgent need for Assad's ouster. The parties haven't found common language so far".

In addition, serious discords amid members of UN Security Council were confirmed by latest statement of French president Francois Hollande. Prior to that, representative of EU Commission Michael Mann said that there would be no military intervention in Syria's affairs without appropriate resolution of UN Security Council.

According to Mann, Francois Hollande passed over the fact that without UN Security Council resolution, any military intervention is out of the question. The French president should be more careful with such kind of statements, Mann said.

Earlier on, Mann said that EU had taken into consideration Hollande's proposals on Syria.

On Monday, Francois Hollande said Syrian opposition must form a provisional government, and Paris would recognize it.

Up to this point, France had refrained from such step regarding Syrian opposition. As for French foreign ministry, earlier Syrian rebel groups were too scattered.

Hollande also expressed himself on Syria's chemical weapons. The French leader said the use of such arms would legitimize international military intervention.

Also, Holland criticized Russia and China as their posture was allegedly weakening of UN Security Council in resolving of the Syrian crisis.

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