25 May 2013, 09:46

No genuine data that Syrian authorities use chemical weapons - Patrushev

Директор Федеральной службы безопасности РФ Николай Патрушев
Nikolai Patrushev
Nikolai Patrushev

There is no evidence that Syrian authorities use chemical weapons against the opposition, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said.

"The United States and some other countries have recently been stating their concerns over the use of Syrian chemical weapons. Despite the given references, including within the framework of consultations between security councils, we still do not have any real evidence and facts of its use by government forces," Patrushev said.

"We have many times warned Damascus that it is unacceptable to use chemical weapons in military actions. Syrian authorities every time refuted suspicions of our Western colleagues and stated publically that they do not use chemical weapons in the internal conflict. However, we have not heard similar statements from illegal armed units," he said.

"As to the full disposal of Syrian chemical weapons, only the country's government can make such a decision. In any case one should at first stabilize domestic political situation in Syria, attain Damascus entry to the Chemical Weapons Convention and then within its framework destroy weapons of mass destruction with technical and financial support to Syria from the Convention's participants," Patrushev said.

Russian journalists have proof Syrian insurgents used chemical weapons

Russian journalists who were on assignment in Syria have handed the United Nation Secretariat videos showing chemical weapons attacks allegedly committed by opposition fighters in the vicinity of Aleppo on March 19. This was confirmed by the spokesman for the Deputy Secretary General Farhan Haq.

He said that the information will be passed along to Oke Selstemu, the head of the group of experts investigating the possible use of weapons of mass destruction in Syria.

In late March, Damascus notified the UN Secretariat of the chemical attacks carried out by armed insurgents.

In a report RTR journalist Anastasia Popova confirms the use of toxic substances, apart from footage of the event, there are eyewitness accounts, reports from doctors who took care of the dead and injured and statements from experts from the University of Aleppo.

In response to the formal request by Damascus UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sent a special mission to the area. However, the Syrian government has not let a team of experts into the country after the Secretariat of the United Nations decided to investigate other reports of the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria.

UK says Syria uses chemical weapons

The UK’s Foreign Minister William Hague says that his office has evidence that chemical weapons are being used in Syria.

He says that the UK has samples of biological materials from Syria that show that the poisonous substance sarin is being used as a weapon there.

Mr. Hague claims that there is every reason to say that sarin is being used by the Syrian government, not the opposition. However, it is impossible to say from what the UK has at hand, how widely sarin is being used in Syria.

UN secretary general asks Damascus to permit chemical arms use probe

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said that specialists investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria will be prepared to travel to the country within the next two days, VoR's Olga Denisova reports. 

Speaking at a press conference after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Sochi on Friday, Ban urged the Syrian government to allow the experts to visit the site where the incident happened.

The team is ready and will be prepared to leave for the site of the incident within a day or two, he said.

Ban called on the Syrian authorities to demonstrate flexibility.

Voice of Russia, TASS, RIA, Interfax

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