Russia is insisting that Syria’s chemical weapons should stay in the country until they are destroyed. Moscow is ready to help guard stockpiles and factories when Assad’s government starts the disarmament process, a senior Russian official says.
"As Russia publicly stated previously, we will be ready to
help in guarding those facilities where work is being carried
out," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said.
Russia hopes that Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical
Weapons (OPCW) member states will “seriously consider the
possibility of taking part in this process.”
However, Ryabkov stressed that there is no possibility that
Syrian chemical weapons would be destroyed on Russia’s territory.
“There’s no doubt, we won’t do it,” Raybkov said. He added
that the chemical weapons should be destroyed in Syria, because
the Chemical Weapons Convention, which Damascus has just signed,
prohibits any export of such weapons.
Ryabkov says it was possible to “effectively organize” the
process on Syrian territory without changing the
At the same time, Ryabkov stressed that the question of Russia’s
assistance will “depend on the situation in Syria.”
Ryabkov declined to comment on whether NATO would take part.
"As to NATO’s involvement in this work, I do not presume to
comment, because I’ve had no opportunity to find out their
attitude on this issue,” Ryabkov said.
Earlier, EU countries offered help in destroying Syrian chemical
Germany is "prepared to make a technical or financial
contribution to the destruction of chemical weapons from
Syria," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said September 15.
Germany said it would give $2.7 million (2 million euros) to the
OPCW to help it oversee the destruction of Syria's arms stocks.
Ryabkov’s comments come amid discussions among UN Security
Council members about a resolution on the destruction of chemical
weapons in Syria.
The draft resolution to back Syria’s disarmament could be
finalized “very soon,” possibly “within the next two days,”
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told AP earlier.
The five permanent members of the Security Council have yet to
agree on a final text of the resolution.
One of the main points of disagreement between Russia and the
West is whether the resolution should be written under Chapter 7
of the UN charter, which allows military and non-military actions
to promote peace and security.
Gatilov said that the resolution would include a reference to
Chapter 7, but there will be “no automaticity in engaging” in
military or non-military actions without a separate discussion at
the Security Council.
The US and its allies have threatened Syria with military action
since the August 21 attack in Damascus's eastern Ghouta suburbs,
when UN experts say sarin gas was used “on a large scale.”