Russia is not standing up for Syrian President Bashar Assad but advocates the supremacy of international law, Russian President’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told the Russia Today TV channel on Thursday.
“Russia’s position is very simple, clear and obvious,” he said. “We insist that principles of international law be strictly observed and we are trying to bring it home to our partners. And in compliance with the international law, the United Nations Security Council is the sole body that is authorized to take decisions about the use of force against a sovereign state. No other world countries, no other international organizations enjoy such authorities. Both Washington and Moscow, as well as all other states are categorically against the use of mass destruction weapons, including chemical weapons in the case of Syria. Russia completely shares United States’ and our other partners’ concerns about the possible use of such weapons in armed conflicts.” He recognized the fact that there were such weapons in Syria. “It is an internationally recognized fact,” he noted. “The legitimate government and the legitimate army is responsible for it.”
Peskov noted that Russia was fulfilling its liabilities under contracts between Russian and Syrian companies, including arms supplies. “No international sanctions have been imposed against Syria, so, Russia’s actions are in full compliance with the international law,” he stressed. “I will say it once again: not a single provision of the international law is violated by Russia’s actions.”
According to the Russian President’s press secretary, the Syrian problem is sure to be raised at the Group of Twenty summit in St. Petersburg. G20 leaders, in his words, will have a good opportunity to exchange views on that matter, although the summit’s agreed agenda is focused on economic issues. “But the G20 leaders will have to find time to address the Syrian problem,” he added.