Russia has never supplied chemical weapons to Syria, Colonel Vladimir Mandych, deputy head of the Federal Department for Safe Storage and Destruction of Chemical Weapons, told a press conference in the central office of Interfax.
Responding to a question as to what he can say about the foreign media reports saying that the Soviet Union supplied chemical weapons to Syria, Mandych said: "I would not say that the chemical weapons possessed by Damascus is Soviet-made or Russian-made. Russia has not supplied chemical weapons to Syria."
The situation with chemical weapons in Syria "once again revealed the international need for international control over the storage and use of chemical weapons," Mandych said.
"Chemical weapons are weapons of mass destruction. Its use leads to colossal consequences for people involved in armed conflicts and the civilian population and inflicts irreparable damage to the environment. Of course, the international community should take measures to prevent the use of chemical weapons in different regions in the 21st century," Mandych said.
The Syrian authorities' remarks recognizing the possibility of using chemical weapons for defense purposes highlight the urgent need for all countries to dispose of such weapons, added. "When a conflict broke out in Syria and the authorities spoke about the possibility of using chemical weapons for defense purposes, all this offered another argument in favor of fully disposing of these weapons all over the world."
Such statements "run counter to the Convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons," he said, - The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons ought to tackle this issue."
Of the United Nations' 195 member states, five countries - Syria, North Korea, Angola, Somalia and Egypt - have not signed the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, Mandych said. "Myanmar and Israel have not ratified it," he added.
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