30 August 2013, 14:22

Russia welcomes British parliament rejection of Syria military strike

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Russia on Friday welcomed the British parliament's rejection of military action against the Syrian regime and warned that such an attack without UN approval would deal a major blow to the existing world order.

President Vladimir Putin's chief foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov said the British vote showed growing public understanding of the dangers of an attack against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"This reflects the opinion of the majority of British and Europeans," Ushakov told reporters.

"It seems to me that people are starting to understand how dangerous such scenarios are," he said,

He added that military strikes on Syria without UN Security Council approval would damage the existing world order which is based around the Council where Russia has permanent membership.

"Such actions bypassing the UN Security Council - if they take place of course - will inflict huge damage to the system based on the central role of the UN," Ushakov said.

"They will deal a serious blow to the entire system of world order. And it is unlikely the situation in Syria itself and the Middle East will become more stable and calmer," he added.

Ushakov also complained Washington has not shared its intelligence that according to the United States implicates Assad's regime in an alleged chemical attack outside Damascus which activists say killed hundreds.

"They (US officials) are referring to the classified nature of the information. So someone apparently believes it but we - not having this information - we do not believe it," he added.

Kremlin official called into question principles of UN chemical arms experts' work in Syria.

"It is not entirely clear why they all should simultaneously return to The Hague when lots of questions remain unanswered concerning the possible use of chemical weapons. They are currently investigating only one such instance - the one that occurred on August 21," Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said.

Issue of Syria is not on agenda of G20 summit, but may be addressed

The issue of Syria is not on the agenda of the G20 summit, but the leaders may discuss the situation in the country during bilateral meetings held at the summit, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said.

"Russia is operating on the assumption that there will be a regular discussion of the agenda, and Syria is not on the agenda. However, every leader can address this issue in his speech. No one will restrict anyone," Ushakov told a briefing on Friday.

"Syria should and will be discussed in the meetings with the leaders of the other countries," he said.
The visiting UN inspectors are investigating only the August 21 alleged chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus, Ushakov said.

"Our position on this matter is well known to you: we would like to witness a situation where one state or a group of states would bring up accusations, hold trials and carry out the verdicts reached on their own," the Kremlin official said.

"If such measures that bypass the UN Security Council are taken, they will cause extensive damage to the system based on the UN's central role, as well as will deliver a powerful blow to the current world order. All of this will hardly make the situation in Syria and in the Middle East in general more stable or peaceful," Ushakov said.

Kremlin does not possess information about Syria’s payment of the contract on delivery of S-300 - Ushakov

Moscow has no information about Syria’s payment of the contract on deliveries of the Russian S-300, RF Presidential Aide Yuri Ushakov said.

"We know nothing about it," he said in response to a request to comment on the information that Bashar al-Assad had allegedly began payments of the Russian supplies of the S-300 systems.

Touching upon the contracts signed earlier, he said that "deliveries in accordance with the contracts signed between the two parties are being carried out".

"All of this is normal practice for any country, it does not contradict any international rights, and no bans are hanging over us, it is a normal military-technical cooperation", - Ushakov said.

Voice of Russia, AFP, Interfax

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