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Yanukovich offers Ukraine’s assistance in destroying Syria’s chemical weapons

September 20, 2013, 11:58 UTC+3

"We have vast experience and this is our concrete proposal," the Ukrainian President said

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YALTA, September 20 (Itar-Tass) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has offered services of Ukrainian specialists in liquidating chemical weapons in Syria.

“Ukraine wants to send its specialists to Syria to help destroy chemical weapons,” he told the 10th Yalta Annual Meeting, organized by the Yalta European Strategy (YES), on Friday. “We have vast experience and this is our concrete proposal.”

Earlier on September 19 Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made a statement on the sidelines of the Valdai International Discussion Club saying that Russia can send experts on chemical weapons to Syria and the Russian Armed Forces can take part in the transportation of Syrian chemical weapons and their destruction. “We have enterprises to dispose such weapons, but there is a gap between “we are ready” and “we can,”” he said, when asked whether Russia could offer its services to dispose Syria’s chemical weapons. He did not give a straight answer, noting only that Russia would have its say only as a member of an international coalition, “should it be decided this way.”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said September 19 that Syrian government was preparing the data on its chemical weapons that would be submitted to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. He also said that Moscow was planning to submit evidence on the use of chemical weapons by Syria's irreconcilable opposition.

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