Moscow/ New York (SANA) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the Syrian opposition is resorting to provocation to spur foreign military intervention in Syria.
During his participation in the Valdai Club Middle East Dialogue conference on Wednesday, Lavrov told journalist that Russia has sufficient evidence that the news of chemical weapons use reflects the Syrian opposition’s resorting to provocation to spur strikes against Syria.
Lavrov also said that Moscow will hand the Security Council the evidence put forth by Syria on the use of chemical weapons by the opposition.
Lavrov pointed out that the Syrian government has handed the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov-currently in Syria for talks on implementing the decisions to be adopted by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on the chemical weapons in Syria-materials proving that the armed terrorist groups did use chemical weapons in Ghouta.
He affirmed that Russian experts will study the materials before submitting them to the United Nations Security Council.
”We also have information about many incidents similar to what happened in Ghouta last August. We will see into that at the UN Security Council, in addition to the report submitted by the UN investigators.” ”The UN investigators’ report proves that a chemical weapon has been used, but identifying the responsible side is still underway,” Lavrov said.
Kremlin: USSR never supplied warheads with sarin to any country
The Soviet Union has never exported warheads with sarin to foreign countries, the Head of Russian Presidential Administration Sergey Ivanov stated Wednesday.
Ivanov’s comments came to refute media reports that a USSR-produced rocket with a chemical warhead that bore Cyrillic lettering on it was found in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta.
“The USSR never supplied warheads with sarin either to Syria or any other country of the world,” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration head Sergei Ivanov told reporters.
Ryabkov: We received evidence from Syria on armed opposition’s use of chemical weapons in al-Ghouta
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, called upon the western countries to work within the framework of the Russian-US agreement and not to create obstacles regarding the crisis in Syria.
In a statement to Russian reporters by phone on Wednesday, quoted by Russia Today, Ryabkov said that it is important that private or specific political interests do not emerge again, particularly at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York where the discussions on implementing the Russian-US deal on the chemical weapons in Syria are taking place.
He said that Moscow has received evidence from Syria which proves that the “armed opposition” is responsible for using the chemical weapons in al-Ghouta, Damascus Countryside, on 21 of August, adding that Russia is currently analyzing the data.
He highlighted that Syrian militants equipped with Sarin gas were arrested in Turkey last May, adding that the armed terrorist groups along with Turkish individuals tried to buy 10 tons of materials that are used to manufacture chemical weapons.
He stressed that the incident in al-Ghouta was avoidable had a swift investigation taken place in the area of Khan al-Assal in Aleppo countryside where a chemical attack took place on 19th of March, adding that some countries hindered the investigation at that time.
He said that the investigations made by the Russian experts on the use of chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal proved that the armed terrorist groups were responsible for the incident.
He hoped that the UN investigators will return to Syria soon as to investigate the incidents in which the chemical weapons were used in Aleppo and in other areas, including the incident in which Syrian soldiers were exposed to chemical materials last August.
Ryabkov expressed Moscow’s disappointment at the politicized, biased and selective character of the UN report on the use of chemical weapons in al-Ghouta.
“We think that report was distorted, it was one-sided, the basis of information upon which it is built is not sufficient, and in any case we would need to learn and know more on what happened beyond and above that incident of August 21,” he said, adding “without the full picture, we cannot but call the nature of conclusions drawn by UN experts as politicized, biased and unilateral.”
Ryabkov said that Moscow has explained the Russian-US agreement to Syria, adding that Damascus is ready to work.
He highlighted that “Despite that the fact that the convention on prohibition of chemical weapons has not yet come into force regarding Syria, yet Damascus is already ready to comply with it,” adding that this is a somehow difficult legal and technical issue and that there are many aspects to be discussed in this regard.
He stressed that the UN Security Council should support the efforts and provide help, adding that the basic role is however for the Organization of Prohibition of Chemical weapons (OPCW).
Churkin calls for careful consideration of proofs that chemical attack in al-Ghouta could be a provocation
Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, said that Russia believes that it is important to carefully consider the evidence which indicated the possibility that the chemical attack in Damascus suburbs on August 21 could be a “provocation”.
Russian Itar Tass News Agency quoted Churkin as saying at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that there are several proofs which show that the chemical attack on al-Ghouta on August 21 was “a large-scale provocation” to encourage foreign military intervention in Syria, reiterating the need to carefully consider these proofs.
Meanwhile, Churkin told Reuters that “We do a very important work, we have offered a very significant proposal and we hope it will be implemented without interference.”
Earlier, Churkin said that Moscow hopes that a draft UN Security Council resolution on placing the Syrian chemical weapons under the international control, which the Western countries are preparing, will be based on the agreement reached between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his US counterpart John Kerry.
Lavrov and Kerry reached on September 14 an agreement on the chemical weapons in Syria in Geneva.
Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Blaming the Syrian authorities on the use of chemical weapon in Syria without evidence is “unsuitable and unserious”.
Lukashevich: Blaming Syrian authorities for chemical weapons use without evidence is inappropriate
The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier said that blaming the Syrian authorities for the use of chemical weapon in Syria without evidence is “inappropriate and unserious”.
“To simply blame the Syrian authorities and without proofs and absolve the opposition from any responsibility is an inappropriate and unserious matter,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement Tuesday.
He added that the report of the UN investigators, who will return to Syria to complete their investigations in the other cases of the use of the chemical weapon, encourages to clarify these cases more carefully and most importantly more professionally.
Lukashevich pointed out that the Russian side has clearly hinted in several open statements that the suspension of the armed terrorist groups’ involvement in the use of the chemical weapons in Syria are based on the facts that have been collected and the proofs posted on the internet.
Russia’s Ambassador to NATO calls for not drawing hasty conclusions from UN experts’ report on Syria
Russia’s Permanent Representative to the NATO, Alexander Grushko called for not drawing hasty conclusions from the UN expert’s report on chemical weapons in Syria and allowing the experts to complete their work.
Grushko was speaking to journalists in Brussels during a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on Tuesday.
”We’ve informed the Council’s members of evidence we obtained proving that the so-called proof of chemical weapons’ use in Ghouta is manufactured,” Grushko said.
A number of Russia’s partners at the Council spoke about the importance of implementing Geneva communiqué to the letter, he added.
Grushko also pointed out that some ambassadors at the NATO-Russia Council have expressed readiness to help in implementing the Russian initiative for placing the chemical weapons in Syria under international supervision.