The Russian Ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, has levelled criticism at French President Francois Hollande’s statement to the effect that France is prepared to recognize the recently formed Syrian opposition government.

This runs counter to the international community’s stance on the issue, set down in the Final Communiqué of the Action Group for Syria, a group that comprises government and opposition officials, the Russian diplomat said in the wake of a Security Council meeting on the situation in the Arab country.

Vitaly Churkin condemned the material support of the US, Saudi Arabia and some other nations for the Syrian opposition and spoke negatively of the idea of setting up so-called buffer zones on Syrian soil.

Moreover, stressing that economic sanctions against the regime of Bashar al-Assad will adversely affect the humanitarian situation in Syria, the diplomat urged States that have anti-Syrian sanctions in place to facilitate their immediate withdrawal.

The sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council on Syria "have nothing to do with real efforts to promote a settlement of the Syrian crisis. They only complicate the lives of ordinary citizens," said Churkin.

Currently there are unilateral sanctions on Damascus by the United States, the European Union and the Arab League.

Some Western countries are pushing for sanctions against Syria at the UN Security Council, but these initiatives have not met with support from veto-wielding Russia and China.

Source: Voice of Russia