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Russian envoy asks UK foreign secretary to explain his ‘airstrike’ statements on Syria

March 02, 2018, 13:03 UTC+3 LONDON

On February 27, the UK top diplomat said that London may support military action against Syrian government forces, but only if there is convincing evidence of the use of chemical weapons by Damascus

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Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson

© AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

LONDON, March 2. /TASS/. Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko has demanded an explanation from Britain’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson on his recent statements about the possibility of conducting strikes against Syria’s government forces, the embassy told TASS.

"Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko has sent the head of the Foreign Office a letter asking to provide a clear explanation on what Boris Johnson meant when he did not rule out the possibility of conducting airstrikes by Britain on government forces over the use of chemical weapons in Syria in his interview to BBC Radio 4 on February 27," the embassy said.

"Presenting the problem in this way raises concerns," the embassy added. "Armed aggression against Syria’s legitimate government will be a flagrant violation of international law with all ensuing negative consequences for London’s international positioning. The threat of the use of force against Syria that the Foreign Office’s head must have spoken about, does not contribute to a political settlement that had been galvanized by the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi in January and diminishes the prospects of finding a compromise solution to the conflict in Syria, and sends a wrong signal to the armed opposition and the terrorists."

The embassy believes that such remarks demonstrate another case of the United Kingdom’s disdain for the norms of international law. "If Boris Johnson’s statements correspond to Britain’s plans, then London is again demonstrating its disregard for international law and the absence of interest in a peaceful solution to the Syrian conflict based on UN Security Council Resolutions 2254 and 2401," the embassy said. In addition, the diplomatic mission highlighted a story that had happened five years ago. "In 2013, the British parliament prevented a mistake that the British government headed by David Cameron could have made if it had received a go-ahead for illegal aggression against the sovereign state of Syria. Through their decision, the MPs indicated to the government the insufficiency, unreliability and inconsistency of the information that had been received from the site of the chemical attack in August 2013 in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta," the embassy stated.

On February 27, Boris Johnson, the UK’s top diplomat, said that London may support military action against Syrian government forces, but only if there is convincing evidence of the use of chemical weapons by Damascus.

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