Claims of chemical weapons use by Syria regime ‘utter nonsense’ – Putin
According to the Russian President Vladimir Putin, allegations of Assad’s government use of chemical weapons in Syria are largely ungrounded. “While the Syrian army is on the offensive, saying that it is the Syrian government that used chemical weapons is utter nonsense,” Putin told journalists in Vladivostok.
At the same time Putin notes that next week’s G20 Summit in Russia’s St Petersburg could be a good platform to discuss Syria crisis.
“The G20 is a good forum for discussing the Syria problem, so why not take advantage of this?” Putin told journalists in Vladivostok on Saturday. Presidential aide Yury Ushakov said earlier that, while Syria is not on the official agenda of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, the issue could be brought up during bilateral contacts.
Putin also added that UK Parliament’s decision regarding operation in Syria shows that there are people guided by common sense there, although Russian President admitted that the British Parliament’s stance of Syria was an absolute surprise for him.
Addressing Obama as Nobel Peace Laureate, Putin urged him to think about victims in Syria in case of US intervention.
“Russia is urging you to think twice before making a decision on an operation in Syria,” Putin said.
“Regarding the position of our American colleagues, who affirm that government troops used chemical weapons, and say that they have proof, well, let them show it to the United Nations inspectors and the Security Council,” Putin told journalists. “If they don’t show it, that means there is none.”
Putin also said he has not had contacts with US President Barack Obama lately to discuss the Syria problem.
“The US president and I surely discussed this problem at the G8 [summit], and, by the way, we agreed then that we would jointly facilitate peace negotiations in Geneva, and the Americans committed themselves to bringing the armed opposition to these negotiations. I understand this is a difficult process, and it looks like they haven’t succeeded in this. But the US president and I have not had such negotiations of late, especially after the Syrian government was accused of using chemical weapons,” Putin told journalists on Saturday.
‘Any military action against Syria carried out by US bypassing UN would be act of aggression and violation of international law’ – Russian FM
Moscow calls on Washington to refrain from attempts to use events in Guta on August 21 in order to justify military pressure on Damascus, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said earlier today following a meeting between Russia’s Foreign Ministry Sergei Ryabkov and US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.
“Michael McFaul put forward arguments proving the US administration’s claims that Bashar al-Assad’s regime is allegedly responsible for a chemical weapons attack in East Guta on August 21,” the Ministry added.
Ryabkov called on the US “to refrain from attempts to use the incident in order to justify growing military pressure on Damascus giving a chance to act in compliance with agreements reached at the G8 summit in Lough Erne in June this year”.
“It was stressed that the report of the team of UN inspectors working in Syria has to be subjected to close scrutiny of the UN Security Council,” the Ministry noted.
The Russian side is convinced that “any military action against Syria carried out by the US bypassing the UN would be an act of aggression and the violation of international law”.
Voice of Russia, TASS