‘Chemical attack in Syria must not go unpunished’: Russia's envoy to Turkey
A U.N. chemical weapons expert, wearing a gas mask, holds a plastic bag containing samples from one of the sites of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus in this Aug. 29 file photo. REUTERS photoRussian’s newly appointed Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, has said that even though the humanitarian dimension was not included in the United Nations Security Council’s recent resolution on Syria, this should not mean that those responsible for a chemical attack should go unpunished.
Karlov stressed the importance of finding a political solution to the crisis in Syria, a long-standing and clear stance of the Russian Federation. “We did not want text to include that. But this does not mean that those responsible for a chemical attack must be left unpunished,” Karlov said, in a press conference today, the first since taking up the position.
“Syria is a concern for the whole world. Our stance is clear from the start as voiced by our President [Vladimir] Putin. We think that we can only solve the Syrian crisis with political methods,” Karlov said, while reminding that the recent history had testified that the outcomes of military interventions were grave. “Russia has expressed that it will provide support in financial and technical terms,” Karlov added.
“Eliminating the nuclear weapon arsenal is an important step, but only the first step. Other steps are needed too,” Karlov noted.
When asked about how the chemical weapons would be transported to be removed and whether speculations that they would pass through the Bosphorus were well-founded, Karlov referred to the Security Council’s resolution, saying “In the agreed resolution, there is no expression as regards to removing the weapons outside Syria or carrying them through the Bosporus. Countries’ regulations ban taking chemical weapons outside the country.”
The U.N.’s Security Council had unanimously passed a landmark resolution on Sept. 27 ordering the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons and condemning the murderous poison gas attack in Damascus.
‘We can answer concerns on nuclear plant’
When asked about whether the environmental inspect assessment (ÇED) report would cause a delay in the launch of the Akkuyu Nuclear Plant, Kavlov said: “Akkuyu Nuclear Plant might be the most important project of our cooperation.” He added that: “Currently, there are no delays.”
When reminded of the concerns on the project’s environmental impact and the locals’ reaction to the project, Karlov confidently said, “We can answer the concerns of the Turkish side regarding this project.”
On another note, when asked about the arms deal Turkey had made with China, while Russia too was among the competitors in the tender, Karlov wittily said, “I am a patriotic person. Our arms are the strongest. However, Turkey made that decision independently.”