26 August 2013, 17:10

Hysteria around chemical attack suits those who want military intervention in Syria - Lavrov

Сергей Лавров пресс-конференция

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday, any military intervention in Syria without a mandate from the United Nations would be a grave violation of international law. Lavrov appealed at a news conference to the United States and other Western powers to avoid "past mistakes" by intervening in Syria following accusations by rebel forces that Syrian government forces used chemical weapons against them.

Following last week’s chemical attack, the West has engineered a media campaign to facilitate a military incursion, says Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. He also cast doubts on the veracity of US and European claims about the incident.

“Officially Washington, London and Paris say they have incontrovertible evidence that the Syrian government is behind the chemical attack in Damascus, but they have not presented this evidence. Yet, they keep saying that the ‘red line’ has been crossed,” Lavrov said during an emergency press conference in Moscow.

“Now, we are hearing calls for a military campaign against Bashar Assad”.

Last Wednesday, footage began to emerge of civilians in a Damascus suburb suffering from what appeared to be the effects of a neurotoxic gas.

Medical aid group, Doctors without Borders, have reported that at least 355 people died as a result of the incident.

The Syrian opposition, which has been involved in the 30-month conflict with the government of Bashar Assad, said state forces had been behind the release. The Syrian government has denied the claims, saying that the use of chemical weapons after repeated warnings from the international community would be “illogical”.

In his conference, Lavrov questioned the rebel version of events.

“There is information that videos were posted on the internet hours before the purported attack, and other reasons to doubt the rebel narrative.”

“Those involved in the incident wanted to sabotage the coming Geneva peace talks. Maybe that was the motivation for those who created this story. The opposition obviously does not want to negotiate peacefully”.

Read the full transcript of FM Lavrov's emergency press conference on Syria here.

West launches 'campaign of intimidation' against Syrian gov't - Lavrov

The West has launched "a campaign of intimidation" against the Syrian government, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.

"A campaign of intimidation has begun. That's the way the events of 10 years ago in Iraq began [but] it doesn't pay to make predictions," Lavrov told a news conference in Moscow when asked how he assessed the odds of foreign military intervention in Syria.

"As soon as the smallest beam of light emerges in that endless tunnel, there will always be those who want to ruin any chance of the situation being dealt with by political means," he said.

Lavrov says is sure attacks on UN inspectors will be blamed on Syria gov't

Western force against Syria will be terrible mistake, which will lead to even more bloody stages of armed conflict, Russian FM Sergei Lavrov said.

John Kerry vows to weight arguments against use of armed force in syria, to call lavrov back in a few days, Lavrov said.

Action to intimidate syria has already begun, similar to what was against iraq ten years ago, Sergei Lavrov said.

NATO statements it can go into Syria to destroy chemical arms without un go-ahead mean it's embarking on dangerous path

Sergei Lavrov says John Kerry assured him was committed to make sure syrian opposition arrives to geneva conference in constructive frame of mind.

Russia says West has no proof for Syria weapons claims

The West has been unable to produce any evidence to back claims that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday, adding that threats of military action against Damascus went against G8 agreements.

"They (the West) have not been able to come up with any proof but are saying at the same time that the red line has been crossed and there can be no delay," Lavrov said, adding that calls for military action "contradicted" agreements from the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.

Voice of Russia, Interfax, AFP

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