Russia "satisfied" with Syria's chemical weapons destruction
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has expressed satisfaction with the progress in the operation to remove Syria's chemical weapons.
Speaking at the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Monday, Lavrov said Russia has every reason to believe that the timetable will be followed and everything will be finished on time.
“We have every reason to think that the deadlines will be met,” he said at the meeting with Ahmet Uzumcu, director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
The Russian minister assured that Russia would continue to support the chemical weapons disarmament mission in Syria, and added both Russia and the US would benefit if the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons is completed.
Earlier this week, Sigrid Kaag, head of the joint mission of the UN and OPCW in Syria, also said Syria could meet a mid-year deadline for the elimination of its chemical weapons stockpile.
The OPCW said in a statement on March 19 that Syria had removed almost half of its chemical weapons stockpile including its entire stock of lethal mustard gas.
On September 27, 2013 the UN Security Council approved a resolution supporting a Russia-US deal to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons by mid-2014. The deal was reached after Moscow offered Syria to place its chemical weapons arsenal under international supervision and Damascus accepted the proposal.
The resolution prevented a US military strike on Syria under the pretext that the Syrian government had been behind a fatal chemical attack on the outskirts of Damascus on August 21. Damascus strongly rejected the allegation.
The two-day nuclear security summit at The Hague, which began on Monday, was attended by the leaders of the world leading developed countries (G8). The group is made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia (suspended), Britain and the United States.