First Published: 2013-09-04

 

Putin demands West present 'convincing' proof of Syria chemical attack

 

Russian President says Moscow will act in most decisive way if there is clear proof who was behind chemical attack.

 

Middle East Online

Show me the evidence

MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday urged the West to present convincing evidence of the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria to the UN Security Council, saying Moscow would react decisively if it was proven who was behind the crime.

In an interview with state-run Channel One television ahead of the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg this week, Putin warned the West that military action against the Syrian regime without UN Security Council backing would be considered an "aggression".

Asked whether Russia would agree with US-led military strikes if it was proven that the Syrian regime had carried out the chemical attack outside Damascus on August 21, Putin replied: "I do not exclude that."

But he said the West still needed to put forward watertight proof of the circumstances of the attack, which some Russian officials have blamed on rebels.

"If there is evidence that chemical weapons were used, and by the regular army,... then this evidence must be presented to the UN Security Council. And it must be convincing," Putin said.

If there was clear proof of what weapons were used and who used them, Russia "will be ready to act in the most decisive and serious way," Putin said.

But he said it would be unacceptable for the West to go ahead with military action against the regime of Bashar al-Assad without the assent of the UN Security Council, where Russia has veto-wielding permanent membership.

"Only the UN Security Council can give approval for the use of force against another state," Putin said.

"Any other ways to justify the use of force against another sovereign and independent state are unacceptable and cannot be qualified as anything other than aggression," Putin said.

In an interview apparently aimed at presenting a more pragmatic face to the world ahead of the G20 summit, Putin confirmed that Russia had delivered some components of sophisticated S-300 missile systems to Syria.

But he revealed for the first time deliveries had now been halted.

"We have delivered separate components but the whole delivery has not been completed and for the moment we have suspended it," Putin said.

 

Britain votes to break away from EU, PM resigns

Yemen govt says rebels must withdraw before any transition

UN Chief, Saudi prince discuss situation in Yemen

5,000 migrants rescued from rubber dinghies in Mediterranean

Heat, long fasting days take their toll on Cairo residents

Libya govt. forces repel ISIS counterattack in Sirte

Oil slides on British referendum result

Crashed EgyptAir black boxes to go to France for repairs

Turkey acquits British academic over 'terror propaganda' charges

24 jailed in Bahrain for forming IS cell

Iraq commander says forces control over 80% of Fallujah

Israel sentences 4 Palestinians to life

Turkey in new quest to patch up with regional foes

Defiant Bahrain moves to dissolve opposition bloc

Kurdish-Arab forces push into IS Syria bastion of Manbij

Turkey confirms new accession talks with EU

Saudi suspect found dead after gunfight in Shiite town

Suspended Kuwait sues IOC for damages

Erdogan lashes out at EU treatment of Turkey

Turkey blocks visit of German delegation to Incirlik air base

Trump goes on blistering offensive against Clinton

EU negotiators endorse new border force proposal

Head of EU parliament hopes to arrange meeting of Israeli, Palestinian leaders

Turkish prosecutors demand 14 years for activists

Final push for votes as EU leaders warn over Brexit

Egypt government appeals court block on islands’ transfer to Saudis

Assad names Imad Khamis as new Prime Minister

Turkey wants Britain to stay in EU 'under any circumstances'

EU to open new membership talks with Turkey

Turkey arrests 3 IS suspects over 'LGBT rally plot'

Yemen rebels say consensus president crucial for peace deal

Fallujah 'almost cleared' of ISIS jihadists

Dawn prayers stoke fears for Turkey's Hagia Sophia

Turkish FM says normalisation deal depends on Israel

25 civilians killed in air raids on Syria’s Raqa

UN urges international community to aid civilians who fled Fallujah

UN envoy proposes roadmap for Yemen peace

Israel to open mission at NATO headquarters

6 Jordan soldiers killed in car bomb attack

France's Peugeot-Citroen returns to Iran in €400 million deal

Israel says Palestinian teenagers were shot 'mistakenly'

Pro-government forces prepare 'decisive' assault on Libya's Sirte

Huthi rebels advance towards Yemen's biggest airbase

17 bids for canal project linking Red Sea and Dead Sea

Egypt court deals blow to cession of Red Sea islands to Saudi