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Lavrov considers US data on chemical weapons use in Syria inconclusive

September 02, 2013, 10:38 UTC+3

"Some layouts were shown to us, which have nothing concrete, no geographic maps, no names," Russia's Foreign Minister stated

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Photo ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuev

Photo ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuev

MOSCOW, September 2 (Itar-Tass) - The US data presented to Russia about the use of chemical weapons in Syria does not contain anything concrete, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday during his traditional annual meeting with students and teachers at the MGIMO University (Moscow State Institute of International Relations).

The minister said it was strange for him to hear the statement of his counterpart State Secretary John Kerry that the United States had presented irrefutable evidence to Russians that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons, but the Russians consciously refused to accept the fact. "As for consciously or unconsciously, we try to do everything consciously, when we recognize a fact or not recognize," he noted. "I would not wish anybody to act unconsciously."

"Yes, some layouts were shown to us, which have nothing concrete, no geographic maps, no names. They did not contain proof that the samples were taken by professionals. There were no comments at all on the fact that many experts had serious doubts about the videos, which are shown in the Internet," Lavrov noted.

"There are a lot of discrepancies, nonsense. Very much doubt," the minister noted.

"What was shown earlier and in recent time by our American, British and French colleagues does not convince us at all. There are no facts," he said.

"There is just a talk about what we surely know, and when they are asked for more detailed confirmation, they say it is a secret and cannot show." "It means there are no such facts for aims of international cooperation," the minister added.

John Kerry said on August 1, speaking on ABC television, that the United States had presented evidence of chemical weapons used by the Syrian authorities against own citizens, but Moscow did not believe it and remained with its viewpoint. They proposed Russians to give a briefing for them on this issue. They even sent their people to Russia, who presented evidence related to the last cases of the use of poisoning substances in Syria, Kerry said. However, Moscow preferred not to believe it or at least not to recognize it publicly, the U.S. State Secretary added.


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