26 September 2013, 11:01

Russia has info homemade sarin was used in Aug 21 attack near Damascus - Lavrov

Сергей Лавров

Sergei Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov

Moscow has sufficient evidence to assert that homemade nerve agent sarin was used during an attack in the suburbs of the Syrian capital Damascus on August 21, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"On the occasion of the incident in Aleppo on March 19, when the UN, under the pressure [from] some Security Council members, did not respond to the request of the Syrian government to send inspectors to investigate it, Russia, at the request of the Syrian government, investigated and the results this investigation have been made widely available to the Security Council and the public," Lavrov said in an interview with The Washington Post newspaper.

The text of the interview was circulated by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

"The main conclusion is that the type of sarin used in that incident was homemade, and we also have evidence that the type of sarin used on August 21 was the same, only of a higher concentration," Lavrov said.

Syrian government is fulfilling obligations under chemical weapons convention - Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gave a big interview to the Washington Post. Lavrov made it clear that Russia is determined to see Syria remain unified, but that it does not insist that President Bashar al-Assad remain in power.

In particullar Lavrvo said, that Syrian government is fulfiling all obligations un Chemical Weapon Convention.

"The president of Syria addressed the secretary general of the United Nations and the director general of the OPCW with a formal request to accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention. . . .He asked formally to accede to the convention and now he’s under legal obligation derived from this convention. And the steps of the Syrian government indicate clearly that they are fulfilling their obligations under this convention. . . . We also agreed in Geneva with John Kerry that we will initiate a Security Council resolution which will support and reinforce the decision of the Chemical Weapons Convention. . . .We will be very serious about any use of chemical weapons by anyone in Syria and those issues will be brought to the Security Council under Chapter 7 [of the United Nations Charter, which includes a provision for the use of force]." Sergei Lavrov said.

Russian Foreign Minister also added Russian experts have examined samples of sarin used in Aleppo on March, 19. It's the same type of sarin that was used near Damascus on August, 21.

"On the occasion of the incident in Aleppo on March 19, when the United Nations, under the pressure [from] some Security Council members, didn’t respond to the request of the Syrian government to send inspectors to investigate, Russia, at the request of the Syrian government, investigated and the results of this investigation are broadly available to the Security Council and the public. The main conclusion is the type of sarin used in that incident was homemade, and we also have evidence that the type of sarin used on August 21 was the same, only of higher concentration."

Speaking about US-Iranian relations Sergei Lavrov said:

"What we hear from Tehran is encouraging. They confirmed the need to continue negotiations, they expressed their desire and willingness to be more transparent and to be more concentrated on reaching a result. Provided, of course, that the reciprocity is there....The sanctions were imposed because of the lack of results in resolving the Iranian nuclear issue. If progress is achieved, this must be followed and reciprocated by softening and eventually lifting the sanctions."

Russian foreign minister said Russia insists it was the rebels who fired the chemical weapons on August 21. But Mr. Lavrov has remarked that Russia does not insist that President Bashar al-Assad remain in power:

"We are not wedded to anyone in Syria. We are not concerned with any personality. We are concerned with keeping Syria in one piece, territorially integral, sovereign, independent and secular, where the rights of all groups, ethnic and others, are fully respected. And that is the goal which I believe the United States also has. The more we try to find common approaches to get there, the more efficient our cooperation will be."

Speaking about Russian-US cooperate on the Syrian issue Sergei Lavrov said:

"Putin and Obama agreed to think how we can make sure that all these reports are investigated and the results are brought to the Security Council."

Voice of Russia, Washington Post, Interfax

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