Russia: finding who is responsible for sarin attack in Syria of "utmost importance"

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Finding the party responsible for the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict is of "utmost importance", Russian Ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, told the press on Monday.

Ambassador Churkin made the remarks following a briefing to the Security Council on the final report submitted by the UN team responsible for investigating Syria's chemical attacks.

He says the Russian Federation has looked very carefully at the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria and the work of Professor Sellström, head of the UN investigation team.

"Who is responsible for this is a question of utmost importance. There are two possible versions. The chemical weapons were used either by the Syrian government or by the opposition. If we are to assume that they were used by the Government, then the story is full of contradictions. If the Government forces used sarin on 19 March near Aleppo, how come the military personnel and the civilians in close proximity to them were hit? Why did the Syrian government immediately request an international investigation of that incident? Why did those who accused the Syrian government of this act did their utmost to derail or at least delay such an investigation?"

Ambassador Churkin says the most "alarming" are the two major cases of sarin use near the disputed area of Aleppo on 19 March and in Gouta on 21 March.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’33”

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