In Syria, West Is Operating Within an Outmoded Friend-or-Foe Framework: Sergey Ryabkov
July 7, 2012 • 9:07AM

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said the West is operating within a friend-or-foe framework that he called "outmoded." He accused the West of being stuck in a Cold War mind-set: "Unfortunately, we cannot press our partners, including Western ones, to understand several basic things. The West is still operating with the notions of 'ours-theirs,' 'who is whose client,' and so forth."

"We had the impression that such terminology should be left in the past. If it is still employed by these politicians, that means they are behind in their thinking," he said.

Ryabkov's statement was issued today as militant opponents of the Syrian government, Friends of Syria, was holding its third meeting at Paris. Although over 100 countries had sent delegations to the meeting, Russia and China did not attend. The meeting focused on pushing for tougher sanctions to force Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to leave office.

In his opening remarks, French President François Hollande said: "Today, our meeting here in Paris has set a goal: to encourage the Security Council to take as soon as possible its responsibilities to better support the plan to end the crisis."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attacked both Russia and China, saying: "It's not just enough to come to a Friends of Syria meeting, because, I will tell you frankly, I do not think Moscow or Beijing believe they are paying any price at all for standing up on behalf of the regime. The only way that will change is if every nation represented here directly and urgently makes it clear that Russia and China will pay a price. They are holding up progress, blockading it. That is no longer tolerable."