Monday, 23 July, 2018

Reports that Damascus prevented OPCW from entering Syria are false - Lavrov

UK to work with US France on Douma response Watch live: Sergey Lavrov could speak on Syria at press conference
Kayla Schwartz | 15 April, 2018, 07:11

A Russian official says the air strikes by the US, France and the United Kingdom on targets in Syria have come at a time when the Middle Eastern country was just about to return to peace.

Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the video shot in a Douma hospital and submitted by the "White Helmets" as evidence of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian forces on April 7th is fabricated, and people who took part in filming the supposed attack and appeared in the video admitted to this. The Swiss center sent the results to the OPCW.

Moscow also said it was calling an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council, where it is a permanent member, to discuss the "aggressive actions" of the USA and its allies.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has condemned the military action.

"You have to be quite abnormal to attack Syria's capital just at the moment when it had a chance for a peaceful future", she wrote.

Russia's foreign minister claimed on Friday that a suspected chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma last weekend was staged with the help of an unspecified foreign intelligence agency.

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Russian Federation and the United States are using their channels of communications on Syria, according to the minister.

"All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris".

Lavrov noted that Russian and US militaries have a hotline to prevent incidents, adding that it's not clear if it would be sufficient amid mounting tensions. "We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences", says a statement from Mr Antonov published on RT. "The US - the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons - has no moral right to blame other countries". They are due to arrive in Syria Saturday to investigate.

The chairman of the worldwide affairs committee of Russia's Upper House of Parliament, Mr Konstantin Kosachev, described the air strikes as a groundless attack on a sovereign government, Interfax said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also claimed that following Syrian rebels' withdrawal from the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus, stockpiles of chemical agents were allegedly found there.

"We are interested in meeting experts there to carry out necessary tests".

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