Syria Live Blog
Russia to veto UK proposal to extend UN observer mission in Syria
Russia will veto a British proposal to extend a UN observer mission in Syria if it comes up for a vote, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations said Friday.
The 15-nation council went into emergency consultations in a bid to avoid a second Russia veto on a Syria in 24 hours and a fourth since the start of the crisis in March last year.
The council has to take a decision on Friday, when the 90-day mandate of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) is due to run out.
If it fails the UN would have to hurriedly get its nearly 300 unarmed military observers and 100 civilian staff out of the country.
Britain has proposed a resolution which would extend UNSMIS for a "final" time for 30 days. "We are going to vote against. We told them yesterday," Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters before Friday's talks.
Russia vetoed a Western-backed resolution on Thursday which would have threatened sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad if he does not end the use of heavy weapons in the conflict.
Russia supports a Pakistan draft resolution which would extend the mission for 45 days but without any conditions meaning it could be prolonged again.