6 June 2013, 14:04

Russia asks Turkey for info on sarin terrorists

МИД России Сергей Лавров

Russia has called on Turkey to share its findings on the case of Syrian rebels who were seized on the Turkish-Syrian border with a 2kg cylinder full of nerve gas sarin.

Russia’s top foreign official Sergei Lavrov today said the Kremlin wanted to get clear on the issue of chemical weapons used in Syria, since the allegation had taken on the role of a trading card in the conflict, becoming a focus of constant provocations.

“I do not rule out that some force may want to use it [the rumour] to say that the “red line” has been crossed and a foreign intervention is needed,” the minister said.

“We are still waiting on a comprehensive report from our Turkish colleagues,” he added, citing the incident when a gang of terrorists carrying a canister with nerve gas sarin was arrested inside the Turkish territory about two weeks ago.

Moscow calls to pick side in Syria conflict

Russia’s chief of foreign affairs has urged the international community to finally take its pick and decide whether it is going to side with forces set to topple the Syrian regime or with the ones calling for a nationwide dialogue on Syrian peace.

Speaking at a press conference, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: “We want that… the international community took off the blinders that make its focus on its immediate urge to overthrow one leader, then unseat another one, while turning a blind eye on the outcome of these actions.”

“Whatever has been happening during this ‘Arab Spring,’ it is clear now that these events are closely connected, so it is important to choose who you are siding with… with those who want to cut the knot without looking back at the suffering nation – or with those who want to solve this problem though dialogue,” Mr. Lavrov said.

Russia urges prompt inquiry into chemical arms use in Syria - Lavrov

All of the possible instances of chemical weapons use in Syria should be established as soon as possible, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"I would like to support Guido [German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle] regarding the need to urgently establish all of the facts linked to reports about the possible use of chemical weapons by the sides," Lavrov said at a press conference in the Kaliningrad region on Thursday.

A serious mistake was made when the Syrian government's request to investigate the possible use of chemical toxic substances in the city of Aleppo on March 19 was left without any response, but unlimited and unhindered access to any facility on Syrian territory was demanded instead, the Russian minister said.

All opposition groups in Syria should be able to be involved in reaching compromise - Lavrov

Russia insists that all structures related to the settlement of the situation in Syria should take part in the international conference on Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"All structures should be present at that conference. That applies not only to the national coalition, which has so far failed to take a constructive stance in the conference. That also applies to those opposition structures that do not want to be present at the Geneva conference if it is called under the 'umbrella' of the national coalition," Lavrov told a press conference on Thursday.

Among the organization that want to take an independent part in the conference are the National Coordination Committee and the Syrian Kurds, he said.

"We believe all opposition structures in Syria should be given an opportunity to communicate their viewpoint and participate in the achievement of a compromise, which will ensure peace, stability, ad equal rights for all ethnic and religious groups in the country," Lavrov said.

Russia vows to bring Iran to Syria parley amid Western criticism

Russia is set to push for Iranian presence at the planned Syria conference, dubbed Geneva II, in Switzerland, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.

Mr. Lavrov stressed Moscow was intent on bringing all countries who can influence the parley to the negotiating table. And one of those world powers is Tehran, he pointed out.

The West has met this motion with a great deal of resentment. “At the current stage our partners have been quite outspoken and critical about Iran’s participation,” Sergei Lavrov said at a briefing today. “We think they are mistaken,” he added.

The Russian foreign minister vowed that Russia “will keep pressing for including all influential parties in the conference.”

Voice of Russia, Interfax, RIA

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