September 18, 2013
The Syrian authorities handed over to Russia evidence proving that
opposition forces were allegedly involved in the use of chemical weapons
last month, a senior Russian diplomat said.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Tuesday night
after the meeting with his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem in Damascus
that “this evidence must be analyzed.”
UN inspectors said Monday that they had found “clear and convincing
evidence” that chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, were
used in an August 21 attack that killed hundreds of people in the
Damascus suburb of Ghouta.
The inspectors had no mandate to determine who had launched the
attack – which the US and some of its Western allies have attributed to
the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, but Moscow and Syria have
called a provocation by anti-Assad rebels.
The diplomat added that Moscow was “disappointed” with the way the UN
mission of experts in Syria approached the report and called it as
“Without the full picture of the events here [in Syria] we cannot but
call the nature of conclusions drawn by UN experts… as politicized,
biased and unilateral,” Ryabkov said.