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Russia's Syria Resolution Disappoints West

UNITED NATIONS — Russia has circulated a revised UN Security Council resolution on the violence in Syria, but Western diplomats said it fell short of their demand for strong condemnation of President Bashar Assad's crackdown on civilians.

The Security Council has been unable to agree on a resolution since the violence began in March because of deep divisions between its veto-wielding permanent members.

In October, Russia and China vetoed a Western European draft resolution, backed by the United States, that condemned Assad's attacks and threatened sanctions.

Russia took the council by surprise in mid-December, introducing a draft resolution that called on all parties to stop the violence.

Although the Russian draft put forward Monday didn't meet Western demands, the United States and its European allies saw it as a potentially positive sign and submitted a series of amendments. Western nations have complained at Russia's slow response in coming up with a revised text — a charge UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin has rejected.

Diplomats said the draft resolution sent to the 15 council nations Monday doesn't appear to be a compromise.

Rather than producing new language, diplomats said, it included the original text alongside most amendments proposed by other council members — but Moscow didn't make clear whether it has accepted any changes or not.

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