Topic: Protests in Syria
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PIONERSKY, Kaliningrad Region, June 6 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow has called on Turkey to provide more information about the reported seizure of the chemical agent sarin from militants detained on the border with Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.
“We are still waiting for comprehensive information from our Turkish colleagues in connection with the reports, made public more than a week ago, that militants found to be in possession of sarin were detained on Turkish territory,” Lavrov said.
“We would like to shed light on all these questions because the issue of chemical weapons has become a focus of speculation and provocation. I do not rule out that someone would like to use it to declare that a red line has been crossed and foreign intervention is needed,” the Russian foreign minister said.
US President Barack Obama said last summer that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would constitute a “red line” that would have “enormous consequences,” a statement that was interpreted by many analysts as a threat to deploy US troops to Syria.
Turkish media reported last week that its special forces had found a cylinder containing the deadly nerve agent sarin after searching the homes of previously detained Syrian militants from the Al-Qaeda-linked group Al-Nusra Front.
Last week, the UN Security Council added the group, which supports rebels fighting pro-government forces in Syria, to its global sanctions list.
Russia is widely regarded as an ally of Syria, and together with China has vetoed several Western-backed Security Council resolutions designed to pressure Syrian President Bashar Assad to end the use of force in his country, where more than 80,000 people have died since fighting broke out between government forces and rebels in March 2011.
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Russia has become very adept in playing the diplomatic game, in which victory depends on choosing the right associate or partner. But there are a growing number of claimants to this role in the new horizontal and interdependent world. Aside Syria and Iran, being still important, the new venues for the application of practical diplomacy may well be Ukraine, the East China Sea and Afghanistan.