Topic: Protests in Syria
- Russia ‘In Theory’ Ready to Change Stance on Syria – Kremlin
- US Prepared to Strike Syria if UN Deal Falls Short – Official
- Ukraine Offers Help in Destruction of Syrian Chemical Weapons
- Putin Slams West Over Vague Plans for Syria Without Assad
MOSCOW, September 22 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow insists that the Syrian opposition groups should also eliminate their chemical weapons stockpiles, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Sunday.
In the interview with Channel One, Lavrov said “when our western partners repeatedly say that only the regime has weapons and that’s why only the regime could have used them, and the opposition has no chemical weapons, they are cunning.”
The Russian foreign minister cited “Israeli reports” saying that the rebels had at least twice seized the districts where the chemical weapons were stored. He also said the rebels have their own laboratories where make chemical weapons.
Lavrov has stressed the need for “those who finance the rebel groups, including the extremists, to find the way to demand that they hand over those [weapons] that had been seized and are to be destroyed.”
Evidence given by witnesses and journalists showed that rebels acquired “some shells from abroad that they had never seen and had no idea of how to use them, and then finally they used them,” Lavrov said.
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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.