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Russia denies supplying Syria with chemical weapons

(Xinhua)

17:14, August 21, 2012

MOSCOW, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Russia has never supplied Syria with chemical weapons, a senior Russian official in charge of chemical weapons safety said Tuesday.

"I would not say the chemical weapons possessed by Damascus were made by the Soviet Union or Russia. Russia didn't supply Syria with chemical weapons," said Vladimir Mandych, deputy head of the Federal Departments for Safe Storage and Disposal of Chemical Weapons.

He stressed the situation in Syria has highlighted the need of the international control over storage and use of chemical weapons.

In July, senior Syrian officials said that Damascus would not use chemical weapons unless it was attacked by foreign forces.

"When a conflict broke out in Syria and the authorities spoke about the possibility of using chemical weapons for defense purposes, all this offered another argument in favor of fully disposing of these weapons all over the world," Mandych said.

He added such statements contradicted the UN Convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons, and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons must tackle this issue.

The official also called on the international community to undertake measures to prevent chemical weapons being used in various regions.

Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction was signed in 1993.

Eight countries have not signed the Convention yet, including Syria.
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