Originally posted at 9:43
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MOSCOW, September 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russia does not rule out agreeing to a military operation in Syria, provided Damascus' responsibility for using chemical weapons is proven - but only with United Nations approval, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview broadcast Wednesday.
In an interview with the Associated Press and Russia's state TV network Channel 1, the Russian president stressed there is still no “exact information” about what exactly happened in Syria, or even that chemical weapons were used at all.
“It’s still not clear whether chemical weapons or simply some kind of harmful chemical substances were used,” Putin said. He stressed it was necessary to await the conclusions of the UN inspection team that was sent to Syria at the end of last month to investigate the sites of alleged chemical weapons attacks.
The Russian president described video footage of dead children allegedly killed by the chemical attacks as “horrible,” but said the footage did not provide any answers to his questions about who was responsible. He claimed the video could have been produced by militants linked to al-Qaeda, “which has always been noted for its brutality.”
Putin said if the UN analysis revealed “clear proof” that the Syrian government was responsible for a chemical weapon attack, Russia “would be ready to act in the most decisive and serious manner,” but stressed that military action could only be taken against Damascus following a joint decision by the UN Security Council.
“Any other methods to justify use of force against an independent and sovereign state are unacceptable, and can only be qualified as aggression,” he said.
Putin also confirmed that Russia has supplied some components for S-300 air defense missile systems to Syria, but has suspended completion of those deliveries.
“If we see that they [Syria] are taking some steps related to the violation of existing international standards, then we’ll consider how to act in the future, including supplying sensitive weapons in certain regions of the world,” he told the Associated Press.
Updated with quotes and detail, clarifying lead
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- ianmc99Russia should be part of the solution10:25, 04/09/2013I hope Russia and the West can come to a diplomatic solution, or at the very least work together to keep the world free of chemical weapons. When Russia and the West work together it is the best thing for peace.
- moistAs the only Russian media source today...12:46, 04/09/2013...RIA chooses to highlight that insignificant sentence out of it´s context, why is that?
Putin made a point and that is not that Russia will make a U turn and start to kill Syrians under USraeli command, clearly, that Russia want´s to see is clear evidence of NATO & Co´s accusations. Not second hand hearsay, rumours and eaves droppings from the only part in the world that benefits from this unrest, israel.
After the "humanitarian" bloodbath in Libya and the gruesome assassination of it´s leader under NATO guidance, it is clear to anyone that the US will not get any more mandates for it´s regime change business. It is all about the "Yinon-plan".
- ruypenalvaPutin should help Assad no matter...01:52, 05/09/2013Putin should help Assad no matter he did, do or will do. That is an honor question.
The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.