Russia suspects international PR to justify use of force in Syria intervention
“Moscow is concerned by the signs of preparing the public opinion in the world to the possibility of intervention using force into the lingering internal conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic,” reads Monday statement by the ministry’s spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich.
He also noted that the situation in Syria and around aggravated sharply in past few days.
“A lot of reasoning appeared in a number of Arab and other international mass media regarding the use of chemical weapons in the standoff between the government forces and the opposition guerillas,” Lukashevich warned.
The Russian side again drew the attention of the international community to the statement made by Carla Del Ponte, a member of the independent commission for investigation of human rights abuse in the republic. Del Ponte claimed that the UN expert possessed some data that could testify for the possible use of chemical weapons by anti-Assad rebels and not the government troops.
“From our side we persistently call to stop the politicizing of this exceptionally serious issue and the inflating of the anti-Syrian atmosphere ,” Lukashevich emphasized.
He added that Moscow deemed unacceptable the postponing of the reaction to the address of the Syrian government to the United Nations regarding the reported use of chemical weapons by armed units of the opposition in the settlement of Khan al-Asal on March 19 this year.
The Russian representative also expressed particular concern over the Israeli airstrikes on targets near Damascus on May 3 and May 5. The Russian side is verifying and analyzing all circumstances connected with this dangerous development, he said.
Russia warned that the continuing inflating of armed confrontation would sharply increase the risks that new hotbeds of tension would appear not only in Syria, but also in Lebanon and in the relatively calm region around the Israeli-Lebanon border.
Lukashevich again underlined that the international community must join efforts and return the events in Syria to the peaceful course.
“Russia is doing everything in its power and counts on a similar approach from all other nations that are capable of influencing the different sides in Syrian conflict,” he said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov also raised the question of the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria and the reaction of the international community.
"The UN special commission believes that chemical weapons in Syria could have been used by the armed opposition. The conclusion was based on witnesses’ accounts," Gatilov tweeted. He claims this fact proves the need for an independent expert examination of what happened in Aleppo in April.
Also on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed international efforts to settle the Syrian crisis with Lakhdar Brahimi, the envoy to this country from the United Nations and the Arab League. According to the Foreign Ministry, the two officials discussed the arrangement of efficient international mediation, including with the use of UN mechanisms, to help settle the crisis in Syria through urgent implementation by all parties of the Geneva accords of June 30, 2012.
Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday afternoon that the Russian president had a telephone conversation with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the two officials discussed the situation in the Middle East and the state of events around Syria.