MOSCOW, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Russia is surprised by a decision of Saudi Arabia to turn down its seat on the U.N. Security Council as a non-permanent member, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday.
"We are surprised with that unprecedented decision of Saudi Arabia, whose candidacy was supported by the majority of the General Assembly," it said in a statement.
Russia expressed "bewilderment" with Riyadh's decision, which was allegedly based on grounds that the U.N. Security Council applies double standards.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry said the kingdom could not accept the two-year term on the Security Council because the council "has failed to address the Syrian crisis and the Palestinian cause, as well as failed to make the Middle East a region free of weapons of mass destruction."
Russia said that as the Security Council had unanimously adopted Resolution 2118 on Syria, Saudi Arabia's rebuff of the world body means Riyadh removed itself from collective work to sustain world peace and security.
Russia expects that a replacement will be found shortly, the ministry said.
On Thursday, the U.N. General Assembly elected Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia to a two-year term on the 15-seat Security Council.