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    Russia Maintains Contacts With France, US Despite Syria Tensions - Embassy

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    Tensions Mount as Douma Provocation Triggers Syria Strike Threat (107)

    PARIS (Sputnik) - Contacts between Moscow and Paris, including those at the highest level, as well as Russia's communication channels with the United States remain close and active despite existing tensions with Washington caused by differing assessments of the current situation in Syria, Artem Studennikov said on Thursday.

    "No, we did not break off ties. The contacts with France are very intense: the presidents, the foreign ministries and their heads, are in contact," Artem Studennikov, the minister-counselor at the Russian Embassy in France, told France Info.

    Studennikov did, however, note that the situation with the United States was more complicated, but that a dialogue was ongoing.

    READ MORE: "France Wants Frank, Demanding Dialogue With Russia" — French Lawmaker

    "Trump's Twitter-diplomacy is not out business… How can we react? Our military services are in contact, we always have channels of communications," Studennikov told the broadcaster.

    The same day, the French president stated that he would make a decision on whether or not to strike Syria 'when the time comes', adding that he would make a final decision on whether to airstrike Syria after the necessary verifications were carried out.

    The United States and many of its allies, including France, have blamed the Syrian government for an alleged chemical attack in Syria's Douma reported on April 7 by a number of Syrian opposition media outlets. On April 10, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe had called for a resolute reaction from the international community to the attack.

    The Syrian government has refuted all these claims, reiterating the fact that it had destroyed all its chemical weapons stockpiles several years ago under the supervision of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Damascus has also pointed to reports from the Red Crescent, which confirmed it hadn't received any reports of such an incident and the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria, which sent specialists to ground immediately after the alleged chemical attack. The Center verified that the soil analysis on the site hasn't shown any sign of nerve agents and chlorine-containing poisonous substances.

    READ MORE: Soil Analysis in Douma Didn't Reveal Any Poisonous Substances - Russian MoD

    Both Damascus and Moscow have called for a thorough investigation into the alleged attack before drawing any conclusions.

    READ MORE: Syrian MP: Why Didn't US Use Its 'Smart Missiles' Against Terrorists in Syria?

    Tensions Mount as Douma Provocation Triggers Syria Strike Threat (107)


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