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Russian envoy, UN chief to discuss possible chemical weapons provocations in Syria

August 28, 22:00 UTC+3

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters on Tuesday that Moscow was making every possible effort to prevent chemical weapons provocations in Syria

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UNITED NATIONS, August 28. /TASS/. Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya will discuss a possible chemical weapons provocation in Syria, as well as a UN directive hampering the country’s reconstruction, with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, as he himself told reporters.

"We have been providing information to the Secretariat on a regular basis and I plan to discuss this particular situation with the Secretary General at our upcoming meeting," he said. The Russian envoy also confirmed that a secret UN directive hampering the reconstruction of Syria would also be touched upon at the meeting.

"The directive itself is totally illegal," Nebenzya said in response to a TASS question.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters on Tuesday that Moscow was making every possible effort to prevent chemical weapons provocations in Syria. He pointed out that the Jabhat al-Nusra terror group (outlawed in Russia) "is about to stage a very serious provocation in the Idlib province, which would involve chlorine-containing chemicals." According to Ryabkov, "it will be used as an excuse to carry out a large-scale military attack on Syria."

On August 20, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated there was a secret directive issued by the United Nations Secretariat, which prohibited UN agencies from participating in projects aimed at reconstructing Syria’s economy until a political transition took place. According to Lavrov, a UNESCO source informed Russia about the directive. "The United Nations system was established based on the UN Charter and the principle of equality of all states. I call on our western partners to return to those principles and abandon attempts to use international organizations in a behind-the-scenes game," the Russian top diplomat stressed.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres pledged to sort the situation out but on August 22 his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that such a directive had never existed.

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