Russian Foreign Ministry calls for verifying reports on use of chemical weapons in Syria
"Now it is necessary to stop speculating on the issue and to verify authenticity of reports about the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria, the modalities of which shall be agreed between Damascus and the UN Secretariat," - said in a statement.
Russia has presented five permanent UNSC members with the proof of chemical weapons use in Syrian Aleppo on March 19, said Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin. Churkin also stressed that Russia does not prevent the UN Security Council to gain access to Syria to investigate violation of international norms on chemical weapons use.
"I have just provided the Secretary General with the outcomes of the Russian studies that were conducted on samples taken at Khan al-Assal site," Churkin said.
"The results of the analysis clearly indicate that the ordnance used in Khan al-Assal was not industrially manufactured and was filled with sarin," Churkin added.
Speaking to the press about chemical weapons in Syria for the second time in three days, Russia's Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin on Thursday slammed the planned leak of Permanent Five Security Council members' failed negotiation of a resolution.
Churkin said the UK's Mark Lyall Grant convened the five Permanent members to discuss a draft resolution which would track the G8 statement as to chemical weapons. But, Churkin argued, that statement envisioned the team led by Ake Sellstrom coming up with a report for the Council to review and then act on.
The British drive on the wrong side of the road, Churkin jokes, and they got the order here wrong as well. His criticism, however, was of the immediate leaking “to the first journalist” around, that Russia blocked it. Churkin said he had the permission of China's Li Baodong to say China's position was identical to Russia's on this.
Churkin similarly criticized US State Department spokesperson Jennifer Psaki saying that Russia was blocking Sellstrom's probe, saying this is misleading about the Security Council's role in the probe. He reminded that it was Syria which asked for the probe in the first place, of the Khan al-Asal deadly incident in March.
Churkin was asked if too much time has gone by for Sellstrom or anyone else to make meaningful conclusions based on a visit to Khan al Asal now. Churkin replied that since the team keeps pushing, they must feel it or something is possible.
Russia's UN envoy said Tuesday he has handed over evidence to the United Nations which indicates Syrian rebels used sarin gas in an attack in March. The envoy, Vitaly Churkin, said Russian experts had been to the scene of the attack near Aleppo and had gathered firsthand evidence.
The Syrian government has refused to let a UN inspection team into the country, but this week invited UN officials for talks on launching an investigation.
Churkin told reporters the Russian inquiry had "established" that rebel forces had fired a Bashar 3 missile at the town, killing 26 people including 16 troops.
"The results of the analysis clearly indicate that the ordinance used in Khan al-Assal was not industrially manufactured and was filled with sarin," Churkin added.
Britain, France and the United States say they have handed over evidence to UN experts that President Bashar al-Assad's forces have used chemical weapons in the 26-month-old conflict.
Churkin added that he had just handed over that report to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The United States, however, contested the claim that Syrian opposition fighters had used sarin at any time during the two-year civil war.
“We have yet to see any evidence that backs up the assertion that anybody besides the Syrian government has had the ability to use chemical weapons or has used chemical weapons” in the war, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday.
At the same time, as stated on June 15 by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the U.S.-presented information on use of chemical weapons by the Syrian authorities does not comply with expert requirements of the organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
In addition, Russia believes it pointless for the regime of Bashar al-Assad to resort to use of chemical weapons at a time when his forces are prevailing over the armed opposition.
Up to 100,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011, according to UN figures.
Voice of Russia, Interfax, Inner City Press