Position of Russia`s opponents on Syria too weak, leads to unjustified aggression - Putin

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Position of Russia`s opponents on Syria too weak, leads to unjustified aggression - Putin
Published 4-09-2013, 16:57
The Position Russia's opponents is weak, that leads to unjustified aggression, said Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

"The Position of our opponents is weak, rather weak. It is good-for-nothing," he said at a meeting of the presidential Human Rights Council. It is agression which has no excuse, he added.

Operation against Syria pondered by US Congress would be aggression without UN sanction - Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the steps that the US Congress is considering now in relation to Syria as aggression and suggested that some untrue statements have been made there.

"The Congress of any country can sanction such things. They are sanctioning aggression, because anything that is beyond the UN Security Council framework, except self-defense, is aggression," Putin said at a meeting of the presidential Human Rights Council on Wednesday.

As Syria is not attacking the United States, the matter is not about self-defense, he said.

"What the US Senate is doing now is in fact legitimizing aggression and we have all glued ourselves to the TV screens and are waiting to see whether there will be a sanction or not. What we should be talking about is that this is absurd in principle," Putin said.

The Russian leader once again insisted that it would be absurd to presume that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "used chemical weapons while he is on the offensive."

"After all, this is a last resort weapon, if one can imagine this and if he is on the offensive, has encircled [the insurgents] in some places and is finishing them off, they need urgent help," Putin said.

"Surely, this lie is not very elegant," he said. "I watched the debates in Congress. A congressman asks Mr. [US Secretary of State John] Kerry: 'Is al-Qaeda there? There has been rumor that they are gaining strength'. He [Kerry] replies, 'No. I am telling you firmly: there are none of them there'," Putin said.

As a matter of fact, "the principal combative unit [acting in Syria now] is the so-called Nusra, which is an al-Qaeda unit," Putin said. "And they know this. I even felt quite awkward. We are communicating with them and assume that they are decent people and he is telling an outright lie, he knows that he is lying. This is sad," Putin said apparently referring to Kerry.

US Congress has no right to approve Syria strike - Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday the US Congress had no right to approve the use of force against Syria without a decision from the UN Security Council, and that doing so would be an "act of aggression".

Putin also accused US Secretary of StateJohn Kerryof lying toCongressabout the militant group al Qaeda's role in the Syrian conflict when seeking the approval of US legislators for military action against Syria's government.

Lies are spread during debate on Syria in US Congress that there are no Al Qaeda fighters in Syria - Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he managed to catch US Secretary of State John Kerry in a blatant lie on al-Qaeda in Syria.

"During a Congress debate, a senator asked Mr. Kerry if there was an al-Qaeda [branch] there. He answered with a 'no'," Mr. Putin said at a meeting with his top advisors.

The Russian president pointed out that the al-Nusra Front, or Jabhat al-Nusra, was known to be the main militant wing of al-Qaeda in Syria.

"They know it. He knew it and he went on lying about it. It’s so sad," Putin remarked.

Absurd to say Assad used war chemicals in Syria in conditions of an offensive by gov't troops - Putin

The Russian leader once again insisted that it would be absurd to presume that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "used chemical weapons while he is on the offensive."

"After all, this is a last resort weapon, if one can imagine this. And if he is on the offensive, has encircled [the insurgents] at some places and is finishing them off, they need urgent help," Putin said.

Russia not going to be engaged in Syrian or any other conflicts - Putin

President Vladimir Putin has commented on the chemical attack in Syria, on the Russian-Syrian military cooperation, on G20 summit in St. Petersburg, on the upcomming Olympic Games in Sochi, on the situation with human rights in Russia and the upcomming Moscow mayor elections in an interview with Associated Press and Russia’s Channel One.

Russia is not going to become involved in the conflict in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin said when asked whether he could confirm, similarly to what some other foreign leaders have done, that Russia would not get engaged in the conflict in Syria under any circumstances.

"We certainly are not going to and will not get engaged in any conflicts," Putin said.

Russia shipped some S-300 air defense systems to Syria but has not completed contract, has suspended it - Putin

President Vladimir Putin has confirmed that Russia had supplied Syria with parts of S-300 missile defense systems, though the delivery was later suspended. Mr. Putin also stressed Moscow’s next step on arms shipments would depend on further developments in the Syrian crisis.

"We have delivered some parts of S-300. But the delivery was not completed, we have suspended it for now," the president said in an interview with Associated Press and Channel One.

"But if we see that there are attempts to violate existing international norms, we may tailor our behavior accordingly and reconsider deliveries of such sensitive weapons to some regions."

Russia cooperating with legitimate Syrian gov't, continuing to honor contracts on supplies, maintenance of Syrian military hardware - Putin

Russia has never violated international law in pursuing military-technological cooperation with Syria, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Channel One television and the Associated Press when asked whether Russia is continuing to honor its contracts with Syria on the supply and maintenance of military hardware.

"Yes, sure, we are doing this and proceeding from the assumption that we are cooperating with a legitimate government and not violating any provisions of international law and any of our obligations," Putin said.

Proof of possible chemical weapons use in Syria should be submitted to UN security council, should be convincing - Putin

Russia needs evidence regarding anyone’s guilt in the use of chemical weapons in Syria for further decisive actions, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the First channel and Associated Press Agency.

"We will be persuaded by a deep objective study of the issue and the presence of evidence that would be obvious and clearly show, who used it and what exactly was used. After that, we will be ready to act in the most decisive and serious way," he said.

Earlier, the White House accused President of Syria Bashar al-Assad in the use of chemical weapons against the opposition and civilian population near Damascus on August, 21.

US President Barack Obama decided on conducting a military operation without UN Security Council sanctions, but he requested an approval of the Congress. The Syrian authorities deny allegations of the use of weapons of mass destruction.

Russia does not possess undeniable information on use of chemical weapons in Syria - Putin

If there is convincing proof of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, it should be submitted to the UN Security Council, and Russia does not have such information at the moment, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"We presume that if someone has information that chemical weapons were used, and that they were used precisely by the regular army, then this proof should be submitted to the United Nations Security Council. To inspectors and to the Security Council. And it should be convincing," Putin said in an interview with Channel One television and the Associated Press.

This proof "should not be based on any rumors or on information obtained by special services through tapping, from some conversations and so on," he said.

"There are experts even in the United States who believe that the proof presented by the administration is not convincing and does not rule out the possibility that the opposition could have conducted a carefully planned provocative action in trying to provide their patrons with a pretext for an armed intervention," he said.

Russia does not have accurate enough information on what actually happened in Syria, he said.

"We believe that it is necessary at least to wait for the results of the survey conducted by a commission of United Nations inspectors. But we don't have information that these chemicals - and it is not clear so far whether these were chemical weapons or simply some hazardous chemicals - were used precisely by the official Syrian army," Putin said.

If there is impartial information on who commited chemical attack in Syria, Moscow will react, will assume principled position - Putin

Moscow will react to the use of chemical weapons in Syria when it is found out for certain who committed this crime.

"If we have impartial and accurate information on who committed these crimes, then there'll be a reaction. It would be absolutely incorrect to presume something and say prematurely something like: yes, we will do this and that. Policymakers don't do that. But I'd like to assure you that we will assume a principled position," Putin said in an interview with Channel One television and the Associated Press.

In elaborating on how principled this position of Russia might be, Putin said, "The use of a weapon of mass destruction against people is a crime."

Putin doubts Syrian chemical attack video

The video of children allegedly killed in a chemical weapons attack in Syria does not answer the question of who is to blame, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"It is believed that it's a compilation created by the militants who, as we know very well, and the US administration admits it, are connected with al-Qaeda, which is known for its cruelty," Putin said in an interview with Channel One and the Associated Press.

Russia may back UN-sanctioned Syria airstrike if chemical claims proven

President Vladimir Putin has not ruled out that Russia may give a go-ahead to a military intervention in Syria if it is proven beyond reasonable doubt that Damascus had used nerve agent sarin against civilians.

Russia might well agree to a decision by some countries to launch a military operation against Syria if it is proven for certain that the Syrian government is responsible for using chemical weapons, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"I do not rule this out," Putin said in an interview with Channel One television and the Associated Press when asked what Russia's position will be if irrefutable proof that chemical weapons were used by the Syrian government is presented and whether Russia would agree to a military operation against the Syrian regime, possibly launched by the United States.

Mr. Putin also stressed such a military operation must be sanctioned by the United Nations.

You can find more extracts from Putin's interview with Associated Press and Russia’s Channel One here.

 

Voice of Russia

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