Answers to questions from the mass media by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov summarizing the results of his participation in the 10th conference of the Valdai Discussion Club, 18 September 2013
Question: Syria transferred its evidence to Russia, that chemical weapons were indeed used by militants. Does
the Russian party intend to present them to the UN Security Council?
Sergey Lavrov: We have a sufficient amount of evidence that the reports about the use of chemical weapons
reflect the fact that the opposition regularly resorts to provocations to initiate strikes and intervention against
Syria. There is a lot of data; it is widely accessible on the Internet, as well as being present in the report prepared
by our experts on the events related to the use of chemical weapons near Aleppo in March. We have data (a great deal)
regarding the incidents, which took place in August in the Ghouta region, near Damascus.
We will examine it all in the UNSC together with the report, which was presented by the UN experts. The report
confirms the use of chemical weapons. We still need to clarify, who did this. The array of information pointing to the
provocative nature of this episode is tremendous.
My deputy Sergey Ryabkov is currently in Damascus to hold negotiations with the Syrian government, including to
ensure perfect implementation of the decisions, which will be adopted by the Organisation for the Prohibition of
Chemical Weapons (OPCW). During these negotiations, the Syrian authorities have handed materials to him, confirming the
provocative nature of the mentioned events. I have not seen these documents myself, but I am convinced that experts
will work on them. And we will certainly present them to the UNSC.
Question: After the Russian-American agreement was reached in Geneva, the heads of the French and the British
foreign services expressed their disagreement. Is there any disagreement in the stands of western countries?
Sergey Lavrov: You have just said yourself that Russia and the United States agreed. Everybody welcomed the
agreements reached in Geneva, including, as far as I have heard, France and the United Kingdom. The agreement is
simple: first the OPCW has to make a decision on the basis of the propositions, which were formulated by myself and the
US Secretary of State John Kerry, and then the UN Security Council will support them. We expect everybody to respect