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Regional and International News>>Putin: US Congress seeks to legitimize aggression on Syria

Putin: US Congress seeks to legitimize aggression on Syria

Sep 04, 2013

Moscow, (SANA)- President Vladimir Putin of Russia said the US administration is lying during debates about Syria in Congress.

"Washington knows quite well that it is lying about the militant group's al-Qaeda's role in Syria,'' Putin said during his meeting Wednesday with members from the Human Rights Council in Kremlin.

Al-Qaeda units are the main military echelon, and they know this," he said, referring to the United States.

He said "anything that is outside the U.N. Security Council is aggression, except self-defense. Now what Congress and the U.S. Senate are doing in essence is legitimizing aggression. This is inadmissible in principle."

"The US Congress seeks to legitimize the aggression. This is nonsense.'' Putin added.

The Russian president reaffirmed that ''it is inconceivable that the Syrian government used chemical weapons as its forces were making advancements.''

Putin signaled readiness to ''back contacts between the Russia and American lawmakers on the situation in Syria,'' expressing doubt that this might help eschew a tragedy.

The Russian president indicated that he is ready to instruct the Russian Foreign Ministry to establish contacts between lawmakers in the US and Russia.

He considered that President Obama's administration is in a bind with organizations in the US confirming that the evidence provided by the administration is unconvincing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that any pretexts or other means to justify the use of force against a sovereign state are unacceptable and can only be classified as aggression.

In an interview with the Russian Channel One and the Associated Press made on Tuesday, President Putin said that the UN Security Council is the only side that is authorized to allow using force against a sovereign country.

On the allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria, Putin said that "We have no data indicating that it was the Syrian Army which used chemical materials and it is not even known if that was a chemical weapon or just harmful chemical substances," stressing the need to at least wait for the results of the investigation conducted by the UN.

He added that the allegations that the Syrian army has used chemical weapons while achieving progress on the ground are unreasonable, noting that the Syrian army knows quite well that using such banned weapons could be used as a pretext to impose sanctions that could mount to using force.

He stressed that if there was any information proving that the Syrian army used these weapons, then this evidence should be submitted to the UN Security Council, adding that the evidence should be persuasive and not based on hearsays or on rumors or information acquired by secret services through wiretapping or conversations, asserting that Russia will only be convinced by an objective and in-depth investigation and by obvious evidence on what was used and by whom, at which point Russia will be prepared to take serious action.

Putin highlighted that Russia is not defending the Syrian government but rather the international order and the standing international rules when discussing the possibility of using force, warning against settling the issue of the use of force outside the UN and the Security Council as this opens up the possibility of taking such illegal decisions against anyone and under any pretext.

On the Russian weapons supplies to Syria, Putin said "We are continuing the implementation of our contracts with Syria… as we are dealing with a legitimate government and we are not violating the rules of the international law."

He added that there are no UN restrictions on weapons shipments to Syria, adding that "We however regret that the weapons supplies to the opposition's gunmen in Syria have been going on since the beginning of the crisis even though international law prevents sending weapons to any of the crisis' two sides."

Asked whether there are S-300 anti-air defense systems in Syria, Putin said that some of the S-300 components were delivered to Syria, adding that the contract has not been completely implemented yet.

He noted that these systems are not the most advanced systems in Russia despite the fact that they are better than the US Patriot systems, adding that Russia has S-400 and S-500.

Putin said that Russian forces aren't stationed outside Russia except for two bases in former Soviet Union territories and their participation in UN forces' operations, adding "We do not intend to take part in any conflicts, and I'm amazed that some countries announced that they will participate in the military act against Syria."

He noted that he believed that what happens in the West went according to a typical principle similar to the decisions issued by the Soviet Community Party, but it turns out that this is not so and that there are those who are proud of their sovereignty and brave enough to make decisions for the interests of their own country, which is very good and shows that the world really embraces multi-polarity.

The Russian President noted that Russia can seize the opportunity of the forthcoming G20 summit to discuss the situation in Syria, although Russia doesn't want to impose anything on participants as the summit's agenda had been set a long time ago and because the summit is mainly dedicated to economic issues.

Lavrov: using force without UNSC approval unacceptable

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov affirmed that the use of force against Syria without an approval by the UN Security Council is unacceptable.

A statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Lavrov received a phone call from the UN envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi as the two sides discussed the situation in Syria in light of the US potential military operation against the country.

"Using force against a sovereign state, which is considered as a step beyond the Security Council, is unacceptable and a flagrant violation of the international law," Lavrov added.

Moscow: US State Department gets away from discussing Syrian file

Meanwhile, The Russian Foreign Ministry announced that the US Department of State has broke off phone calls with Moscow on the Syrian file during the latest period without showing reasons, adding "before that, the US state Department was asking contacts with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov on Syria."

Spokesman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich told reporters that until last Saturday, the US State Department was continuously asking to hold contacts with Lavrov, but in spite of our repeated assertion to talk to the US Secretary of State, the US side was stressing the impossibility of contacts without elaborating reasons. 

Russian parliamentarians call for meeting with US counterparts to discus solving crisis in Syria

Russian Parliamentarians expressed readiness to meet their US counterparts to discuss means of solving the crisis in Syria without using force.

Russian Ria Novosti News Agency, said that Chairperson of the Russian Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko called in a letter she sent Tuesday evening to the US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for hold an urgent meeting on Syria that could be held in Washington or Moscow or any other place.

Chairman of the Russian State Duma Sergey Naryshkin and Matviyenko had earlier made a request to President Putin to use the Parliamentary connections between Russia and the US to encourage dialogue on Syria.

"I as a parliamentarian and diplomat urge you to work with us to avoid lethal steps before it's too late," Matviyenko said in the letter.

She warned that if the US decided to use the military forces against Syria without the approval of the UN Security Council, that would be a flagrant violation of the International law and it would give a free hand to the extremist radical groups in the Middle East.

Russian Putin expressed Monday support to the Russian Parliament's initiative on sending a delegation to the US Congress to discuss the crisis in Syria.

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