"The situation in this country, in our opinion, does not pose a threat to international peace and security," foreign ministry official Alexander Lukashevich told reporters in Moscow.
The resolution calls for an arms embargo but “we will not engage in military operations against Syria”, France’s Security Council representative, Gérard Araud, told RFI.
In Vienna a Russian statement dubbed a US-backed International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) resolution “untimely and not objective” and China said it saw “no reason to adopt the resolution or refer Syria to the Security Council”.
The US move comes after IAEA chief Yukiya Amano took the unprecedented step of declaring that it was “very likely” that a site at Dair Alzour was a covert nuclear reactor.
The site was bombed by Israeli planes in 2007 and the IAEA began investigating it in 2008. Apart from a one-off visit, Syria has refused to cooperate.
In other news:
- Syria’s foreign ministry slammed French Foreign Affairs Minister Alain Juppé for his criticism of the crackdown, saying it harked back to the early 20th-century French mandate over the country;
- Iran rejected British Foreign Secretary William Hague’s accusations that it is helping Assad’s regime put down protests, accusing the UK of “interventionist actions and destructive role in regional developments”;
- Turkey reported that about 1,600 Syrians have fled to its territory since the repression of protests began, with more than 1,000 crossing the border on Thursday.