Published on 4 Sep 2013
Syria: Vladimir Putin – September 3, 2013
★ “Russia needs CONVINCING PROOF, not rumors, from UN experts that chemical weapons were used in Syria;
★ It is up to the UN Security Council to decide on the next course of action…”
-Video from RIA Novosti
(Видео с Российское агентство международных новостей)
★ “We do not defend this government(of President Assad). We are defending absolutely different things. WE ARE DEFENDING THE NORMS & PRINCIPLES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW. We are defending modern world order.
★ We are defending the possibility, the discussion of a possibility to use force only within the existing international order, international rules and international law.
That is what we are defending. That is what represents the absolute value.
When issues related to the use of force are dealt with outside the framework of the UN and Security Council, then there’s risk that such unlawful decisions might be applied against anybody and on any pretext……”
-Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (President of the Russian Federation).
September 3, 2013, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region, Russia.
★ On the eve of the G20 Summit, Vladimir Putin gave an interview to Channel One and the Associated Press news agency. The interview was recorded in Novo-Ogaryovo on September 3.
JOHN DANISZEWSKI: Thank you for inviting us into your home and for answering questions for the AP’s worldwide audience. I know this is a very busy week for you — you have so many world leaders at the G20 meetings this week, and it’s much appreciated.
If I may, I’d like to begin with the story of Syria. President Obama says he will wait until getting Congress’ approval before moving on Syria. What do you believe should happen there? What do you believe happened there as far as the chemical weapons’ attack goes? What should be done about it?
PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: We have no accurate information as to what has happened. We believe that we should at least wait for the results of the investigation conducted by the UN weapons inspectors. But we have no evidence that these chemical substances — it is not clear yet whether it was a chemical weapon or just some harmful chemical substance — have been used by the Syrian Army.
Moreover, as I have already mentioned, in our opinion, it seems absolutely absurd that regular armed forces, which are currently on the offensive and in some areas have encircled the so-called rebels and are actually finishing them off, that in these circumstances they would start using forbidden chemical weapons while realising quite well that it could serve as a pretext for applying sanctions against them, including the use of force. It’s simply absurd, it’s illogical in the first place.
Second, we assume that if there are data that the chemical weapons have been used, and used specifically by the regular army, this evidence should be submitted to the United Nations Security Council — to the inspectors and the Security Council. And it should be convincing, not based on some rumours or information obtained by special services through some kind of interception or tapping or things like that. Even in the United States, there are experts who believe that the evidence presented by the Administration does not look convincing, and they do not rule out the possibility of a preplanned provocation by the opposition in an effort to give its sponsors a pretext for military intervention.
JOHN DANISZEWSKI: If I may follow up, the video was so dramatic showing the suffering children and people gasping for air. Did you look at that video and what was your reaction to it?
VLADIMIR PUTIN: As for the materials, video materials you have just mentioned, featuring dead children allegedly killed in the chemical attack, they are horrible. The question is only who did what, and who is responsible for this.
The pictures themselves do not answer the questions I have just posed. Some think it is a compilation made by these very rebels, who, as we are well aware, and the US Administration acknowledges it, are linked to Al-Qaeda and who have always been distinguished by extreme brutality.
At that, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that, if you have watched these videos carefully, they feature no parents, women or medical personnel. Who are these people and what has happened there? There is no answer to this question. And these pictures themselves are undoubtedly horrible, but they do not prove anybody’s guilt. No doubt it is subject to investigation, and it would be good to know who is responsible for these atrocities.
JOHN DANISZEWSKI: What would Russia’s position be if you became convinced that it was by the government of Syria? Would you agree to a military action?