August 22, 2012
Russia believes Syria has no intention of using its chemical weapons and is able to safeguard them, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported on Wednesday, citing a unidentified Foreign Ministry official.
The report seemed aimed at reassuring the West that Syrian President Bashar Assad will not use chemical weapons against rebels after US President Barack Obama threatened “enormous consequences” if Damascus even moved them in a menacing way.
A “confidential dialogue” with the Syrian government on the security of the arsenal has convinced Russia that “the Syrian authorities do not intend to use these weapons and are capable of keeping them under control themselves,”Kommersant reported.
The Russian Foreign Ministry declined immediate comment on the report, which cited the official as saying Russia considered it “entirely probable” the United States would take military action if it saw a threat from chemical arms.