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Russia fears radical Syrian opposition provocations in elimination of chemical weapons

October 04, 2013, 0:00 UTC+3
“In principle, chemical arsenals are under control of the Syrian government, but I think not all of them,” Bogdanov added
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

RHODES, October 3 (Itar-Tass) - Russia fears that radical opposition in Syria may stage provocations in the process to eliminate chemical weapons, Russian president’s Middle East envoy Mikhail Bogdanov said here on Thursday.

“Objectively speaking this cannot be ruled out, and we have certain understanding with our western partners in this respect that there are real risks and different kind of provocations because terrorists and extremists who are not interested in a peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis might put different obstacles, quite serious, in the process to eliminate chemical weapons,” said Bogdanov, who is Deputy Foreign Minister.

“What really concerns us, and what objectively will be a problem, is that it will not be easy to get to the places where chemical weapons or some components are located,” he continued.

“In principle, chemical arsenals are under control of the Syrian government, but I think not all of them,” he added.

“But one can get to the depots that are controlled by the government only in crossing regions that are controlled by the opposition,” the Russian diplomat explained.

“That is why the question arises how to cross these regions and ensure the safety of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons who will work there,” Bogdanov added.

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