Russia says it will provide material and technical support to transport Syria’s chemical weapons to the place of destruction, but it will not participate in the annihilation process of the arsenals.
“At this stage, we would confine ourselves to providing logistical support. There is a certain division among members of the international community: some provide logistics, other – transportation, the third carry out liquidation of chemical weapons arsenal,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Friday.
Gatilov said that Russia will send peacekeepers to provide security in transporting the chemical weapons.
“The peacekeeping contingents issue is out of the question,” he said.
The Russian official said that Moscow will provide vehicles and other equipment to transport the chemical arms to Latakia port in Syria.
“It will then be loaded on a ship and moved to the place of destruction,” Gatilov said.
He said that the disarmament process will require donations of nearly USD140-150 million.
Gatilov further said that all necessary equipment for the operation should be delivered to Syria very soon.
Earlier this month, Denmark and Norway offered to transport the weapons out of Syria for destruction.
The removal is a part of a deal struck by Russia and the United States in September, under which the US backed off from a military strike on Syria in return for the Arab country eliminating its chemical weapons.
A joint mission of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is working to remove the munitions from Syria by the end of the year based on a UN resolution on the elimination of the chemical arsenal.
The UN Security Council approved the resolution on September 27.
The 60-member team also aims to eliminate the weapons at sea and destroy the entire Syrian chemical weapons program by mid-2014.
Commenting on the UN’s latest report, which said that chemical weapons were used at least five times during the turmoil in Syria, Gatilov said the report does not determine whether the Syrian government or foreign-backed Takfiri groups were behind the alleged attacks.
“The report makes no certain conclusions. The mission’s findings do not clearly indicate that the chemical weapons were used by the government,” Gatilov said.
“The report’s content does not lead to a conclusion that the Syrian government was solely responsible [for the attacks],” he added.
By Press TV
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