Russia says it will veto final 30-day extension of UN observer mission in Syria

The Associated Press
Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia says it will veto a British resolution that would extend the 300-strong U.N. observer force in Syria for a final 30 days.

Russia supports a rival Pakistani resolution that would extend the mission for 45 days, with the possibility of further renewals.

The U.N. Security Council was scheduled to vote on the draft resolutions Friday morning. It is under pressure because the mandate for the unarmed observer force expires Friday.

Pakistan called for consultations before the vote.

Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters "we're going to vote against" the British draft.

Russia and China's vetoes Thursday of a Western-backed U.N. resolution aimed at pressuring President Bashar Assad's government to end the escalating civil war left the future of the observer mission in limbo.