Publish date1 Jun 2013 - 9:32
Story Code : 132237

Russia raps UN for playing 'political game' in Syria chemical probe

Russian foreign minister has accused the United Nations of playing “political games” in investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (file photo)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (file photo)

Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that political games by the UN have prevented Moscow from investigating the alleged use of toxic substances by militants in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo in March.

“We feel great disappointment with the political games of the UN General Secretariat that it failed to respond to this demand with the possible accuracy and speed,” said Lavrov, referring to a request by Damascus for an investigation into the use of chemical weapons by militants in Khan al-Assal area near Aleppo.

“They (UN) instead presented conditions (including demand for an expanded access to all the Syrian territories) that are, according to us, illogical and outside the rules of dealing,” Syrian official news agency SANA quoted Lavrov as saying.

The top Russian diplomat also said Moscow is waiting for Turkish officials to give more information about the confiscation of two kilograms of deadly nerve agent, sarin, in a string of raids on homes of militants affiliated with terrorist groups fighting against the Syrian government.

On March 19, at least 25 people were killed and many others were injured after militants fighting against the Syrian government fired missiles containing a chemical substance into Khan al-Assal. Syria’s call for a probe into the case hit a brick wall.

On May 6, head of the UN Commission of Inquiry Carla Del Ponte said that testimony from victims of the conflict in Syria suggests militants have used the nerve agent, sarin.

Sarin is a colorless and highly toxic nerve agent that can cause convulsions, paralysis and death within minutes if it is absorbed through inhalation, ingestion, or contact with skin or eyes.

Sarin is classed as a weapon of mass destruction and is banned under international law.

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