Russia says the United States' pressure on the UN Security Council to agree to a resolution on Syria is “illogical,” adding that the threat of foreign intervention in the Arab country has been moved aside but not ultimately lifted. Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov made the remark in parliament on Tuesday, saying a resolution on Syria could mention UN Charter’s Chapter VII, which allows force or sanctions, only if the deal on chemical weapons is violated. "Chapter VII can be mentioned only as an element of the measures against violators... if there is a refusal to cooperate, carry out obligations or if someone, it does not matter who, uses chemical weapons," Ryabkov said. The Russian official also said that the UN team of chemical weapons inspectors will return to Syria on Wednesday to continue investigation over August 21 chemical weapons use near the capital, Damascus.
"We are pleased that our persistent calls for the return of U.N. experts to Syria for the investigation of other episodes have born fruit," he said, adding, "According to the latest information, the group ... is leaving for Damascus tomorrow, Sept. 25."Ryabkov further noted that talks between Moscow and Washington over Syria crisis were not going very smoothly and that Kremlin was concerned that the recent deal may have only postponed the US military action. "Unfortunately it's necessary to note that in contacts with the Americans, things are not going so smoothly...they are not quite going in the direction they should," he said. The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister added the Americans "always mention that plans to punish Damascus remain in force. We draw certain conclusions from that and assume that the threat of aggression in violation of international law is so far only delayed, not dismissed fully." Russia and the US agreed on a deal in Geneva on September 14 to eliminate Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons by mid-2014. Syria accepted the proposal, which was initially put forward by Russia as a way to head off Washington’s possible use of force against Damascus. Washington had threatened to take military action against Syria over the unsubstantiated claim that the Syrian government carried out a deadly chemical attack near Damascus on August 21. Damascus has repeatedly rejected the accusation. SAB/HN