UNITED NATIONS — Russia on Monday distributed a new draft resolution on the Syria crisis at the UN Security Council after facing weeks of criticism over the slow pace of talks, diplomats said.
Western diplomats said however there is no apparent change in the Russian position opposing any strong UN action against President Bashar al-Assad’s crackdown on protests which has left thousands dead.
The new resolution was distributed as Germany again complained at the 15-member council over the lack of UN action on the worsening crisis, a spokesman for Germany’s UN mission said.
“It is high time for the council to have serious negotiations,” said the spokesman stressing how there has been no talks among all 15 members of the council on a Syria resolution for more than three weeks.
Russia and China vetoed a European resolution on Syria in October calling a move by Western nations toward regime change in Syria.
Russia proposed its own resolution in December but Britain, France, Germany and the United States have said the text is not acceptable because it puts opposition violence on the same level as the government’s assault which the UN says has left more than 5,400 dead.
Diplomats said the latest text distributed by Russia will be discussed by experts on Tuesday. The new text, however, only takes the existing Russian resolution and adds a list of amendments proposed by the European nations and the United States.
“It is a maneuver playing for time,” one Western diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity of the new text.