Reports that Damascus prevented OPCW from entering Syria are false - Lavrov

Monday, 16 Apr, 2018

Russian Federation is Syria's most important military ally in the country's civil war.

The foreign minister also said that Russian Federation has obtained proof of certain foreign actors staging the recent alleged chemical weapon attack in the Syrian city of Douma.

Moscow, he said, has "irrefutable information that it was another fabrication".

"Without the sanction of the UN Security Council, in breach of the UN charter and the norms and principles of global law, an act of aggression was committed against a sovereign state", the Kremlin said.

Russian Federation has dismissed the purported chemical attack as fake and strongly warned the US and its allies against launching a military strike in Syria.

The current escalation of the situation in Syria "has a destructive effect on the whole system of worldwide relations", the Kremlin said.

Trump said earlier that an attack on Syria could take place "very soon or not so soon at all", arguing he had never signalled the timing of retaliation for the suspected chemical weapons attack that he had suggested was imminent a day earlier. "The capital of a sovereign government, trying for years to survive under terrorist aggression, has been attacked", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook.

The Russian military said its chemical experts visited Douma shortly after the alleged attack and found no trace of chemical agents in ground samples.

"American and other Western media must understand their responsibility for what happened", Ms Zakharova wrote.

The suspected poison gas attack in Douma, which killed more than 40 people, has drawn global outrage and prompted the United States and its allies to consider a military strike on Syria, something Moscow has strongly warned against.

Immediately after the attack, Russia's ambassador in Washington Anatoly Antonov issued a statement saying: "The worst apprehensions have come true".

"Our warnings have been left unheard", he said.

"A pre-designed scenario is being implemented". "Again, we are being threatened".

A Kremlin spokesman warned the USA and its allies against any steps that could destabilise the situation in Syria.

"Insulting the President of Russian Federation is unacceptable and inadmissible". "The US - the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons - has no moral right to blame other countries".

And The Russian Center for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria reportedly examined Douma on Monday and found no traces of chemical weapons.

The chairman of the worldwide affairs committee of Russia's Upper House of Parliament, Mr Konstantin Kosachev, described the air strikes as a groundless attack on a sovereign government, Interfax said.

While UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson declared that the recent investigation conducted the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons regarding the so called Skripals' affair confirm earlier findings made by British authorities, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov insisted that his British colleague distorts the truth.

How might the West strike Syria?

"We hope that there will be no point of no return - that the USA and their allies will refrain from military action against a sovereign state", Nebenzia said, adding that "the danger of escalation is higher than simply Syria".