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Putin: Syria's accession to CWC inspires confidence Printer friendly page Print This
By H. Said and M. Ismael
Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA)
Friday, Sep 20, 2013

Editor's Note: This important SANA report demonstrates the sincerity and force of President Putin's intention to push the diplomatic resolution of the US war on Syria, overcoming the duplicity of western governments and state-run corporate media. Read more below.

- Les Blough, Editor
Axis of Logic

Moscow, (SANA)-Russian President, Vladimir Putin said major international decisions have to be made collectively and should not be monopolized.

President Putin was speaking in Valdai International dialogue forum in Moscow on Thursday. ''Decisions must be made collectively, not on the basis of some countries' or groups' interests…the international law, not the law of force, must be implemented,'' he said.

Putin considered the Syrian government's agreement to join the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) a ''practical step that inspires confidence.''

The Russian President said that his country has all grounds to believe that the use of the chemical weapons in Syria was a provocation by the opposition.

Putin said "we have every reason to believe that it was a provocation, a sly and ingenious one." He added, however, that its perpetrators have relied on "primitive" technology, using old Soviet-made ammunition."

''Nonetheless, no one speaks whether it was the opposition who used these weapons,'' President Putin added.

Asked whether the Syrian government can be convinced of the necessity to destroy chemical weapons, Putin said that Syria has agreed to join the CWC which. He said, is a step that inspires confidence.

Such a strike, Putin warned, "would be a strike on world order, not on Syria," Putin said, referring to a possible US strike against Syria.

"Chemical weapons appeared in Syria as an alternative to the nuclear weapons of Israel, we know this very well," Putin said.

Bogdanov: Russia may submit Syria's evidence on opposition's chemical weapons use to UNSC today

The Russian President's Special Envoy to the Middle East, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Russia may today submit to the Security Council evidence proving that the "Syrian opposition" used chemical weapons in an attack in al-Ghouta area in Damascus Countryside on August 21.

The Russian President's Special Envoy to the Middle East, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov

Speaking to the reporters in Moscow on Thursday, Bogdanov pointed out that the Russian side may pay subsequent visits to Syria for consultation with the Syrian leadership on the various issues of the crisis in the country.

He added that the focus however will be placed on the necessity of launching the political solution process as well as addressing the humanitarian issues.

He also did rule out visits by representatives of the Syrian leadership to Moscow, adding that "the communications with representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition could take place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting."

In an interview with SANA correspondent in Moscow, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister stressed continued coordination and communication with the Syrian leadership to implement the internationally-approved Russian initiative on the chemical weapons on Syria.

Bogdanov referred to the visit of Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, heading a Russian delegation, to Damascus, stressing that Ryabkov, who participated in Lavrov-Kerry deliberations in Geneva, conveyed to President Bashar al-Assad all the information, details and elements of the agreement and all the ideas on how and what to do in this regard.

Bogdanov highlighted the importance that the international community and the Syrian government organize joint work toward implementing the Russian initiative.

On the information which Moscow recently received from Damascus on the use of chemical weapons by the "opposition", the Russian diplomat said "We will study this information through our specialized experts and will immediately convey it to the international Security Council and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)."

Bogdanov however noted that while formulating the final and comprehensive version of the UN report in this regard, it should be taken into consideration that the report would include all the cases and possibilities if the use of chemical weapons or chemical substances on the Syrian land.

In an interview with the Lebanese National News Agency on the sidelines of the 15th meeting of the General Assembly of the Organization of the Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA), which kicked off today, Bogdanov stressed the importance of following up on the efforts regarding the crisis in Syria so as to get to holding the international conference in Geneva.

He noted that the Syrian leadership will participate in the conference with a delegation, questioning the level of the representation of the "Syrian opposition" given the fact of its disunity.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed, following his speech at Valdai International Discussion Club in Moscow Wednesday, that Russia will hand over the Security Council the evidence provided by Syria on the involvement of the "opposition" in chemical weapons in al-Ghouta.

Lavrov said the "Syrian opposition" has resorted to provocations through the use of chemical weapons in order to encourage foreign military intervention in Syria.

Ryabkov: Syria is okay with Russia's participation in elimination of chemical weapons

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov announced that the Syrian government does not oppose Russia's participation in ensuring the security of the Syrian areas where chemical weapons are to be destroyed.

The Syrian side's stance stems from the need to solve the issue of destroying the chemical stocks in cooperation with the OPCW," Russia Today website quoted Ryabkov as saying in a statement to the Russian Kommersant newspaper.

He pointed out that Russia has expressed its willingness to participate in the measures to safeguard the institutions concerned before Geneva 2 meeting and the Russian-U.S. talks on the destruction of the chemical weapons.

Ryabkov speaks of a peaceful solution to crisis in Syria

In comments before leaving Beirut International Airport Thursday, Ryabkov spoke about "an agreement among all states, including Russia and the United States, to go to Geneva and this can be used to resolve the problem in Syria.”

He indicated that the Syrian officials have handed him three documents pertaining to the issue of chemical weapons, among them medical reports including blood and urine tests to show the results of the chemical agent.

''We will study the Syrian documents with our chemical weapons' experts in Moscow and we'll see,'' he added.

Ryabkov ridiculed the US officials' statements that ''Moscow is swimming against the tide,'' saying that "Moscow has established facts…and the major powers should not be humored in everything that they see fit.''

A Russian-U.S. agreement on Syria's chemical weapons will have a positive impact on the situation in Lebanon, he added.

“On our way from Damascus to Beirut through the Masnaa border crossing, we [noticed] the border between Lebanon and Syria was calm and the cars are flowing regularly and we did not witness the [once] large number of people fleeing Syria,” Ryabkov said.

The Russian official warned Thursday that a U.S.-led strike on Syria would exacerbate the problems between opposing sides in Lebanon.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu

Gatilov: Western-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution on CW in Syria unbalanced

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov described a UN Security Council draft resolution prepared by Western countries on the chemical weapons in Syria as unbalanced.

"Indeed, our Western partners have prepared in the UN Security Council a draft resolution on chemical weapons in Syria," he said. “We have familiarized ourselves with it and we can say that this document raises serious questions," the senior diplomat told Itar-Tass Thursday.

"Without going into detail, we must note that it is not balanced and has sharply anti-Syrian modality," he added. "For example, it says nothing about the fact that the Syrian government has voluntarily joined the Chemical Weapons Convention and is ready to begin immediately implementing it in cooperation with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons," Gatilov said.

" This means chemical arsenals will be placed under international control then to be destroyed, he added, noting that this was confirmed during talks between Russian representatives and Syria's leadership in Damascus.

"As if ignoring all that, Western partners seek the approval of a resolution" on Chapter VII, he said.

"The very modality of their draft resolution is at variance with agreements reached in Geneva by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry," Gatilov added.

Gatilov said that it is not planned to hold talks on Syria on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session. '''but the crisis in Syria will take center stage during the ministerial week of the 68 session of the General Assembly.''

The Russian diplomat warned of a conflicting media atmosphere on Syria that allows for distorting facts as regards the chemical weapons' use, calling for ultimate caution and that any violations reported to the UNSC be scrutinized.

Russian Foreign Ministry: Damascus, Moscow stressed need for complete UN investigation mission

In another context, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Ryabkov's visit to Syria, saying "Damascus and Moscow stressed the need for the completion of the UN experts' mission of investigating the allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria based on the agreement between the Syrian government and the UN on July 25."

Only then, the statement added, the UN experts could submit their final report.

It pointed out that Syria expressed the importance of the agreements in Geneva and its determination on full implementation of all its obligations in line with joining the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The statement clarified that the main focus during Ryabkov's visit was on discussing the Russian-U.S. agreement on the chemical weapons in Syria reached on September 14, noting that the Syrian side provided detailed explanations of all the issues related to this framework document.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in its statement that the Russian and Syrian sides stressed that it is the OPCW which should undertake the primary role regarding the elimination of the chemical weapons and that the Security Council should provide all support for this process and offer logistic and technical help.

In the same context, Kommersant quoted Russian military sources that military personnel from several countries, including Russia, will help the OPCW experts in the efforts of moving the chemical weapons stockpiles out of Syria and their destruction.

A source at the Russian General Staff of the Armed Forces said the Ministry of Defense is currently holding consultations about the number of military personnel to head to Syria.

Lavrov stressed after his talks with his French counterpart Lauren Fabius last Tuesday Russia's readiness to contribute to the process of eliminating the chemical weapons in Syria.

Russian Defense Minister: Russia is ready to join efforts to transport, destroy chemical weapons in Syria

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russia is ready to take part in efforts to transport and destroy chemical weapons in Syria.

He added that the Russian President, Vladimir Putin has proposed that chemical weapons' stockpiles in Syria be placed under international supervision.

Russia has no current plans to destroy Syrian chemical weapons on its own territory, Shoigu told reporters in Moscow.

"We have factories for the destruction of chemical weapons, but there is a big difference between 'ready' and 'willing'."

The Russian defense minister ruled out sending Russian special forces to Syria, saying ''the likelihood is that some Russian experts will be heading to Syria to be in charge of the preparations for putting chemical weapons under international control.''

Source: Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA)

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