MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United States seeks to legitimize its attack on a Syrian military airfield late last week by forcing a UN Security Council resolution, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday.
"Attempts to push through the UN Security Resolution against this backdrop are nothing more than a desire to legitimize the attack," Ryabkov told reporters.
Russia could consider a version of the resolution on Wednesday that condemns Friday's US missile attack on the Sha'irat air base, he said.
"But since such an option is not proceeding, then there is nothing to talk about," Ryabkov stressed.
A Russian mission to the UN official said Tuesday the Security Council vote on a draft resolution submitted by the US, the United Kingdom and France was set for Wednesday afternoon.
On April 7, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha’irat. US President Donald Trump said that the attack was a response to the alleged chemical weapon use in Syria's Idlib province on April 4, which resulted in the death of over 80 people, an incident which Washington blames on the Syrian government.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on April 5 that the airstrike near Khan Shaykhun by the Syrian air force hit a terrorist warehouse that stored chemical weapons slated for delivery to Iraq, and called on the UN Security Council to launch a proper investigation into the incident.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on April 6 that groundless accusations in the chemical weapons incident in Syria's Idlib were unacceptable before the investigation into the matter had been carried out while Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday criticized the US missile attack as a violation of the international law.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei described the US missile strike against the Syrian airfield as a strategic mistake.
The US missile attack claimed the lives of 10 people, an officer of the Syrian Armed Forces told Sputnik. The Russian Defense Ministry said that the attack left two Syrian servicemen missing, four killed, and six suffering severe injuries from the fire. Homs Governor Talal Barazi said on April 7 that at least two civilians from a nearby village and five Syrian servicemen were killed.
After the missile attack, the Russian Defense Ministry suspended a point-to-point communications link with the US military under the memorandum of understanding on de-confliction in Syria.
"In general, the [US] administration's line with regard to Syria remains a mystery. Inconsistency is what comes to mind first and foremost," Ryabkov said.
"In all, primitivity and rudeness is something that is very characteristic of the current rhetoric coming from Washington," Ryabkov told reporters.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will discuss all aspects related to the Syrian conflict settlement efforts with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday.
"All issues related to the situation in Syria will be discussed during the forthcoming talks," Ryabkov told reporters when asked whether the diplomats would discuss the establishment of safe zones.
He said, "we do not really understand what exactly the US administration is referring to when it mentions at various levels either safe zones or stability zones."
The deputy foreign minister added an emergency Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) session on Syria is scheduled to be held Thursday.
Earlier this year, Syrian President Bashar Assad said that the country’s government had never used weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, against the Syrian people. Besides, under a Russian-US deal after the east Ghouta sarin gas incident in 2013, Damascus joined the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and agreed to destroy its stockpile under Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) oversight. In January 2016, the OPCW announced that all chemical weapons in Syria had been destroyed.
Ryabkov also said that Lavrov and Tillerson would discuss the Ukrainian conflict which is "undoubtedly, one of the main topics".
In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Despite the agreement brokered by the Normandy Four states (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine), the ceasefire regime is regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord.