RUSSIA has blasted a UN General Assembly resolution on Syria, calling it “blatant” support for rebel groups battling President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia‘s UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said the main backers of the resolution, overwhelmingly passed by the UN assembly, was providing “mercenaries and arms” to the Syrian opposition.

Churkin said the resolution, which condemned Assad’s government and the UN Security Council’s failure to act on the Syria crisis, would not halt the civil war.

“Behind the facade of humanitarian rhetoric, the resolution hides a blatant support for the armed opposition,” Churkin told the assembly on Friday.

Without naming them, he said the “most active” backers of the resolution “are actively supporting and financing” the opposition, “giving them mercenaries and arms,” Churkin said. Saudi Arabia drew up the resolution with strong support from other Arab and western nations.

Russia and China have three times vetoed UN Security Council resolutions that could have led to sanctions against Syria, and Churkin also criticised the attack on the Security Council’s failure to act on Friday’s resolution.

He said the resolution “contradicts” efforts to implement the peace plan of Kofi Annan, who resigned on Thursday as the UN-Arab League envoy to Syria. “It undermines the chances of launching a Syrian process for a political settlement,” the Russian ambassador added.

China also voted against the General Assembly resolution. Its deputy ambassador, Wang Min, said “a position of pressure on only one party will not help resolve the Syrian issue”.

“On the contrary, it will derail the political settlement of the crisis, cause a further escalation of the turmoil and let the crisis spill over to other countries in the region,” Wang told the assembly, reaffirming China’s condemnation of any military intervention in the crisis.