A convoy of UN vehicles carrying a team of UN chemical weapons experts, drive at one of the sites of an alleged poison gas attack in the southwestern Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya August 26, 2013. —Photo by Reuters
A convoy of UN vehicles carrying a team of UN chemical weapons experts, drive at one of the sites of an alleged poison gas attack in the southwestern Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya August 26, 2013. —Photo by Reuters
A UN chemical weapons expert (R) gathers evidence at one of the sites of an alleged poison gas attack in the southwestern Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya.—Reuters Photo
A UN chemical weapons expert (R) gathers evidence at one of the sites of an alleged poison gas attack in the southwestern Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya.—Reuters Photo
Secretary of State John Kerry talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the State Department in Washington on Friday.  — Photo AP
Secretary of State John Kerry talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the State Department in Washington on Friday. — Photo AP
UN chemical weapons experts visit people affected by an apparent gas attack, at a hospital in the southwestern Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya on August 26, 2013. —Reuters Photo
UN chemical weapons experts visit people affected by an apparent gas attack, at a hospital in the southwestern Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya on August 26, 2013. —Reuters Photo

MOSCOW: Russia on Tuesday warned a military intervention in Syria could have “catastrophic consequences” for the region and called on the international community to show “prudence” over the crisis.

“Attempts to bypass the Security Council, once again to create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region are fraught with new suffering in Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa,” a foreign ministry spokesman said.

“We are calling on our American partners and all members of the world community to demonstrate prudence (and) strict observance of international law, especially the fundamental principles of the UN Charter,” ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement.

Earlier Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said that Moscow regretted Monday's decision by the US to postpone a meeting on the Syria crisis, as Western powers mulled military action over last week's chemical attack in Syria.

The scrapping of the meeting, which was due to take place at The Hague later in the week, is the latest sign of a new peak in tensions between Moscow and the West over the possibility of military strikes against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

“It arouses regret that our partners decided to cancel the bilateral meeting” involving senior diplomats from both sides, Gatilov said on Twitter.

“Working out the parameters of a political solution in Syria would have been especially helpful right now, when military action is hanging over this country,” Gatilov said.

In such a climate, it was especially important to work in concert to try to organise the repeatedly postponed peace conference bringing together the Damascus regime and the rebels, Lukashevich said.

“However, the United States' decision to postpone the meeting in The Hague is sending precisely the opposite signal to the opposition, encouraging their intransigence as they await outside intervention,” he said.

Lukashevich said convening the peace conference was now a “most urgent task.”Western countries including the United States are considering their response to an alleged chemical weapons attack by Assad's regime on August 21.

Russia has said it believes rebels were behind the incident and has warned any military action without UN approval would violate international law.

On Monday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov condemned the “hysteria” over the claimed chemical attack and said the West had yet to come up with proof that Assad's regime was behind it.

He also said Russia would not get involved in a military conflict in Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told British Prime Minister David Cameron in a telephone call on Monday there was no evidence yet that the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons against rebels, Cameron's office said.

Pro-Kremlin Russian newspaper Izvestia on Monday published an interview with Assad who ridiculed as “nonsense” the idea his regime used chemical weapons and warned the United States of failure if it attacked Syria.

Russian officials are now comparing the possible use of force against Syria to the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, which was vehemently opposed by Moscow as based on flawed intelligence that Saddam Hussein's regime possessed weapons of mass destruction.

“Deja-vu,” Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian parliament's foreign affairs committee wrote on Twitter.

“It feels like in the White House it's still (George W.) Bush, (Dick) Cheney and (Donald) Rumsfeld and in Downing Street Tony Blair,” he said, referring to the former US president, vice president, defence secretary and British premier during the Iraq war.

“The faces change. But not the politics,” he added.

Published Aug 27, 2013 02:50pm

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Comments (12) (Closed)


mms (usa)
Aug 27, 2013 03:28pm

Typical Russia. All talk. No action. They remain friends, but will never get involved for you.

S. Lalani
Aug 27, 2013 03:34pm

The US and its allies kept silence on the attrocities committed by the regime of General Sissi in Egypt when it killed over 1000 innocent civilians who were protesting for the restoration of elected government of Morsi. The US and its allies are supplying arms to the rebels in Syria to oust the legitimate government of President Assad. How will the US and its allies feel if the Russia and China decide to supply arms to Muslim Brotherhood who are fighting against the US installed puppet government of General Sissi?

Omer Irfan Kayani
Aug 27, 2013 06:26pm

I totally agree with you,they will not intervene as they are involved in exploration of off shore oil and gas deposits near Israel and secondly they are not militarily strong enough to take on USA and it's regional allies in a global conflict.

saeed
Aug 27, 2013 06:33pm

@mms (usa): Its Russia who has saved Syria so far otherwise the gangster would have teared them apart by now.

Imtiaz Faruqui
Aug 27, 2013 06:49pm

There is a rouge country behind all this. GUESS WHO.

Gary
Aug 27, 2013 07:02pm

Why western countries(Crusaders) intervene Islamic countries matters. Let them to fight each other. Why western countries wasting their money in a financial crisis. Muslims can solve their problems. They are the great people. Allah will help them. Islam is the main cause of all the violence in the world. Religion and politics should not mix.

Jaihind
Aug 28, 2013 04:13am

Prudence means - using quiet diplomacy to ease out tensions and Russia is precisely doing it. Russia doesn't interfere for another country if it doesn't help its own country or people. Slap sanctions and freeze trade and commerce with Syria and ensure their sea and air cargo trade routes are sealed to bring sense to Syria. By bombing a few facilities, the bitter foe becomes more aggressive and the solution won't be at sight in near future. The costs could cripple the economies of these advanced countries as well. Leaves destruction and bad taste in the region.

sabeeh omer
Aug 28, 2013 01:10pm

Not that I support Basher al Assad one bit but where was the U.S. when Saddam's troops pounded Iranian soldiers with chemical weapons? It is no new fact that the U.S. has always demonstrated double standards when it comes to judging others. The leaders of the Muslim Ummah should sit and decide what best course to be adopted. Keep America and the West out of Muslim affairs!

bea
Aug 28, 2013 08:50pm

@saeed: America looking for a fight and so is the UK these countries should look closer to home and sort out their own problems and let Syria sort itself out at least Syria has friends In the shape of Russia and China to help them.

bea
Aug 28, 2013 08:52pm

@mms (usa): they will USA just wants another scrap as if Iraq and Afghanistan was not enough for them Russia will come out to hepl Syria when the time comes

vishnu
Aug 28, 2013 09:37pm

@Imtiaz Faruqui: Pakistan is it?

asdf
Aug 28, 2013 09:40pm

@Gary : christins r the main problem who colonized the entire humanity n left such problems n mess every where.christines should feel shame on it.n dont try to bring back that horrible time of crusaders..the merciless killers