Russia made sure UNSC Syria resolution leaves no loopholes for use of force – Lavrov

Published time: September 28, 2013 18:58 Get short URL

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (C) speaks in the United Nations Security Council (AFP Photo / Stan Honda)

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Arms, Conflict, Opposition, Politics, Russia, Syria, UN

Russia reached its aim of making sure professionals from the international chemical weapons watchdog are the main actors regarding the UN resolution on Syria, and that there are no loopholes for military action, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov told Channel One.
Speaking in an interview with the Russian TV channel, Foreign Minister Lavrov admitted the Russian-American compromise on the UNSC resolution “did not come easy.”

But the Russian side has “achieved its goal” in that the resolution on Syria, supporting another document by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), “remains within the framework of the Geneva Communiqué.”

The resolution’s main principle holds that the leading role in taking under international control and destroying Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal belongs to OPCW professionals, an aim which will be achieved with the UN’s assistance and protection, Lavrov said.

The document states that both the Syrian government and the Syrian opposition bear responsibility for any violation of the inspectors’ security, Lavrov stressed.

The minister reiterated that the UNSC resolution rules out any military action against Syria prior to a new resolution, which could be drafted if one of the sides – either the Syrian government, or the opposition – does not comply.

Moreover, Russia made sure there are “no pretexts or loopholes” for the use of force in the resolution on Syria, bearing in mind the Libyan experience and “the capabilities of our partners to interpret the UNSC resolutions,” Lavrov said.

As the USNC resolution does not allow any use of force under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, the possibility of any state launching a strike against Syria and citing the resolution is “out of question,” the minister said.

Lavrov also stressed that the states sponsoring the Syrian opposition bear a particular responsibility for making sure their “fosterlings” would not try and carry out any future provocations.

In contrast to Western powers, Russia has repeatedly stated that the Syrian opposition fighters have the capability to deploy chemical weapons, and that there are facts proving that they possess such weapons.

According to Lavrov, Russia has demanded that “any option of further attempts [by the Syrian opposition] to get their hands on chemical weapons and its components, let alone using chemical weapons in the future, is ruled out.”

The Russian report, which provides proof “in a professional manner” that the sarin gas used in March 19 attack near Aleppo was crudely handcrafted, has been distributed among the UNSC member states and is now publicly available, Lavrov said. He added that Russia has “intelligence” that the substance used in August 21 attack in Ghouta was the same chemical used in a larger concentration.