WASHINGTON— U.S. Sens. Jim Risch (R-ID); John Cornyn (R-TX), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) yesterday introduced S. Res. 494, a bipartisan Senate Resolution condemning the Russian government for their continued support of the Assad regime in Syria through arms shipments, which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has acknowledged and Russia has denied, as well as sustained opposition to United Nations Security Council actions against Assad.
"While Russia's refusal to condemn the Syrian government's slaughter of their citizens is troubling, their sale of arms to the Syrian military is downright disturbing," said Sen. Risch. "The U.S. Senate needs to be on the record in condemning this activity, and the administration must actively work to end the flow of arms to the Syrian regime."
"For years Russia has been arming Assad, and the United States can no longer turn a blind eye as they prop up his despicable regime and enable its murderous reign over the Syrian people," said Sen. Cornyn.
"It is time for us to step back and say to the Russians: If you are going to subsidize the killing of innocent people, you will face global condemnation. This resolution calls on the Russian Government to stop the sale of weapons to Syria, end its support for Assad’s brutal regime and join the rest of the world in finding an end to the violence in Syria," Sen. Durbin said.
"By transferring weapons to the Assad regime, Russia has been an accomplice to the murder of thousands of innocent civilians in Syria," said Sen. Ayotte. "I urge Russia to immediately halt all weapon shipments to Syria, and to join the international community in seeking an end to violence and the departure of Assad from power."
"We have all witnessed the horror of President Assad’s brutal and bloody assault of his own people," said Sen. Gillibrand. "We condemn Russia’s involvement in aiding the Assad regime. It is time for Russia to stop the flow of weapons to Assad’s forces, which are massacring thousands of innocent people."
A copy of S. Res. 494 is attached. Below is an excerpt:
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) Condemns the Government of the Russian Federation for—
(A) its longstanding and ongoing support for the criminal regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria;
(B) continuing to transfer weapons to the Assad regime, which cannot be considered legitimate for reasons of self-defense; and
(C) its troubling opposition to resolutions from the United Nations Security Council regarding Syria, including those recently tabled by the United States;
(2) concludes that the actions of the Government of the Russian Federation—
(A) have enabled the Assad regime to maintain power and perpetuate mass atrocities against its own people; and
(B) directly undermine the core national security interests of the United States, as well as the stability of the entire Middle East; and
(3) Urges the Russian Federation to—
(A) immediately end all transfers of weapons to the Assad regime;
(B) call on the Assad regime to end all violence against civilians;
(C) support international sanctions against Syria; and
(D) support a peaceful transition of leadership in Syria, starting with the early departure of Bashar al-Assad.