(WMR)—Informed diplomatic sources have reported to WMR that Bahrain, representing the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), offered Russia a bribe of $5 billion if it did not use its veto in the Security Council to defeat an Arab League-sponsored resolution calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down.
In the February 4 vote on the resolution, Russia, along with China, used their vetoes to shoot down the resolution. U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice called the vetoes “disgusting” and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton referred to the Russian and Chinese action as “despicable,” with Germany’s UN ambassador Peter Wittig calling the vetoes a “disgrace.”
But in what could be termed disgusting, despicable, and disgraceful was the reported offering of a $5 billion bribe for Russia’s yes vote by Bahrain’s foreign minister, Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, during a trip to Moscow prior to the UN Security Council vote. Our sources report that the Russian government flatly turned down the offer of the money, which was bundled by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman.
WMR has also learned that a similar bribe by the GCC was offered to China in return for its yes vote on the Syria resolution. The offer, which was scoffed at by the Chinese government, was reportedly made during a visit by Chinese Prime Minister Wei Jiabao to Doha, the Qatari capital, on January 18.
Under U.S. law, specifically, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the involvement of any GCC financial institutions in arranging for bribe offers to Russia or China could be construed as a violation of the law. If Rice or other U.S. officials were involved with the GCC in making such offers, they could also be found in violation of federal law.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
Copyright © 2012 WayneMadenReport.com
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).