Russia guarantees quality of study that uncovered chemical weapons use in Syria - Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia guaranteed the quality of the study, which uncovered the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and that the study was completely in line with the criteria of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia guaranteed the quality of the study, which uncovered the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and that the study was completely in line with the criteria of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

"I have heard the reaction of U.S. representatives indicating that they had been convinced by the accuracy of our conclusions. We have handed over a full package of documents, over 80 pages, including photos and certain lists of geographical locations, procedures and results. At that, we guarantee that the samples were taken by experts, who did not lose sight of these samples until they delivered them to the laboratory," Lavrov said at a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday.

"The statements made by the United States, our French and British partners, saying they had evidence of the regime using chemical weapons, did not have such an evidentiary basis," Lavrov said.

"They did not contain indications of a place or time, moreover, they said that the information from which the conclusions were drawn did not confirm that the samples were taken directly by those who later performed the study," Lavrov said.

"The samples changed hands, a part of them, according to our western partners' reports, was received from reporters," the Russian foreign minister said. "All this decidedly does not comply with the existing standards of the OPCW," he said.

"Our investigation was conducted in full and 100% in compliance with these standards," Lavrov said.

Lavrov said that the situation involving the chemical weapons must not be used as a pretext for speculations and achieving geopolitical goals or "some maneuvers in diplomatic games."

"As for the influence of this development on the prospects of calling an international conference, I think that the only consequence is the increased need to convince the opposition, as a regime, to agree to attend this conference without preliminary conditions," Lavrov said.

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