Text: H.Res.742 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/26/2012)


112th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. RES. 742


Condemning the Government of the Russian Federation for providing weapons to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 26, 2012

Ms. Richardson (for herself, Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas, Mr. Camp, Ms. McCollum, Mr. Pascrell, and Mrs. Myrick) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


RESOLUTION

Condemning the Government of the Russian Federation for providing weapons to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.

    Whereas the Government of the Russian Federation has an extensive history of providing weapons and political support to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, a country designated by the Secretary of State as a “state sponsor of terrorism”;

    Whereas, at the Port of Tartus in Syria, the Government of the Russian Federation maintains for the Russian Navy its only permanent warm-water naval port outside of the former Soviet Union, which bolsters the Assad regime;

    Whereas the Assad regime responded to the widespread, peaceful, and sustained calls for political reform that began in March 2011 in a manner that has caused the deaths of more than 10,000 people in Syria, mostly civilians, as of June 2012, according to an estimate by the United Nations;

    Whereas the Government of the Russian Federation remains the top supplier of weapons to the Government of Syria, reportedly providing nearly $1,000,000,000 worth of arms to the Government of Syria in 2011 alone;

    Whereas the Government of the Russian Federation has unabatedly continued to ship arms to the Government of Syria during the ongoing popular uprisings;

    Whereas, on October 4, 2011, the Russian Federation, together with the People's Republic of China, vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that would have condemned “grave and systematic human rights violations” in Syria and would have warned the Government of Syria of the actions, including sanctions, to be considered against it, if warranted;

    Whereas, on January 18, 2012, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov criticized “the sending of so-called humanitarian convoys to Syria”;

    Whereas, on January 19, 2012, Foreign Minister Lavrov stated that, with regard to the Government of Syria, “For us, the red line is fairly clearly drawn. We will not support any sanctions.”;

    Whereas, on February 4, 2012, the Russian Federation, together with the People's Republic of China, vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an end to the violence in Syria, demanding that all parties in Syria cease all violence and reprisals and implement the plan set out by the League of Arab States, expressing grave concern for the deteriorating situation in Syria, and condemning the widespread gross violations of human rights;

    Whereas, on March 13, 2012, Deputy Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation Anatoly Antonov stated that the Government of the Russian Federation would not halt arms shipments to Syria, acknowledging that the Government of the Russian Federation has military instructors on the ground training the Syrian Arab Army and stating, “Russia enjoys good and strong military technical co-operation with Syria, and we see no reason to reconsider it. Russian-Syria military co-operation is perfectly legitimate.”;

    Whereas, on May 30, 2012, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations Susan Rice condemned recent reports of an arms shipment that arrived in Syria from the Russian Federation on May 26, 2012, as “reprehensible”, stating that “this is obviously of the utmost concern given that the Syrian government continues to use deadly forces against civilians”;

    Whereas, on May 31, 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the policy of the Government of the Russian Federation toward the Government of Syria “is going to help contribute to a civil war”, maintaining that Russian officials “are just vociferous in their claim that they are providing a stabilizing influence”, and stating, “I reject that. I think they are, in effect, propping up the regime at a time when we should be working on a political transition.”;

    Whereas the Government of the Russian Federation has thus far failed to effectively use its influence and relationship with the Assad regime to halt the murder of civilians in Syria, including the massacre of over 100 people, many of them women and children, in Houla on May 25 to 26, 2012;

    Whereas Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin rejected appeals by President of France François Hollande for tougher United Nations sanctions aimed at ending violence in Syria;

    Whereas, on June 5, 2012, Secretary of State Clinton stated that “it’s pretty clear that we all have to intensify our efforts to speed a political transition. . . . And we invite the Russians and the Chinese to be part of the solution of what is happening in Syria”;

    Whereas, on June 7, 2012, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin publicly criticized the Governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar for supporting the opposition in Syria; and

    Whereas, on June 12, 2012, Secretary of State Clinton stated that “there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria, which will escalate the conflict quite dramatically”: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) condemns the Government of the Russian Federation for—

(A) its longstanding and ongoing support for the criminal regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria;

(B) continuing to transfer weapons to the Assad regime, which cannot be considered legitimate for purposes 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 perpetrate 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 Government of 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 the Government of Syria, starting with the early departure of Bashar al-Assad.