Russia would veto a draft United Nations Security Council calling for Syria to be hauled before the International Criminal Court, deputy foreign minister Gennady Gatilov said Tuesday.
“The draft resolution that is currently submitted to the Security Council for us is unacceptable and we will not support it. If it is put to a vote, we will veto it,” Gatilov told the Interfax news agency.
Gatilov called the resolution drafted by France and expected to be put to the vote on Thursday “intentionally politicised.”
Russia was already widely expected to veto the measure along with China as they have vetoed three previous Western resolutions since the start of the Syrian crisis three years ago.
Gatilov said that Russia opposes Syria going before the International Criminal Court “since we consider that this is counterproductive in the current situation.”
He said that he believed the real aim behind the draft resolution was to gain permission for the use of force in Syria under Chapter Seven of the UN charter.
“The main plan is to get a Security Council resolution passed on Chapter 7 of the UN Charter as a basis for future use of force in Damascus,” Gatilov said.
Russia is a long-term ally of Syria and has backed the regime of President Bashir al-Assad throughout the conflict.