Russia has condemned the West for its “naive” allegations of banned arms use by government forces in Syria, saying it is doing its utmost to ensure that an investigation into the issue is conducted.
On Thursday, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations said the groundless allegations are made to hinder the efforts to arrange a UN investigation into chemical weapons use in Syria.
" Unfortunately I think what our Western colleagues have been doing is trying to produce the maximum number of allegations with minimum credibility in an effort, one might think, to create maximum problems for arranging such an investigation, " Vitaly Churkin stated.
He also refuted the charges by the US State Department that Russia is trying to prevent the UN from investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria. “The notion that Russia is blocking anything is completely misleading,” Churkin said, adding, “We have been doing everything we could in order to make sure that that investigations were to happen.” On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed the use of chemical weapons by foreign-backed militants fighting against the Syrian government. "Our experts took samples on the spot and studied them in the very lab which is certified by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and came to the conclusion that both the shell and the sarin it contained were home-made,” the Russian foreign minister said. “According to our additional information, these shells and the substance were made last February in the Syrian territory which at that time was under the control of the Free Syrian Army and made by one of the affiliated armed groups,” Lavrov added. On Tuesday, the Russian ambassador said firsthand evidence showed that militants, and not the Syrian army, manufactured sarin nerve gas and used it during an attack near the city of Aleppo in March. Churkin said that Russian experts collected samples at the site of the attack in the region of Khan al-Assal, where over two dozen people, including 16 Syrian troops, died on March 19. The Syria crisis began in March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.