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Russia: Assad would not commit 'political suicide' by using chemical arms

Last modified: 24 Dec 2012 09:25

Russia says that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would not commit "political suicide" by using chemical weapons against the armed opposition.

Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said in an interview released by Russia Today that Assad had given Moscow repeated assurances he had no plans to order such an attack.

"I do not believe Syria would use chemical weapons," Lavrov said in comments translated by the channel into English. "It would be a political suicide for the government if it does."

Lavrov also said that Moscow checks on every report about the movement of Syrian chemical weapons with Damascus in order to make sure there was no danger of their possible use.

"Every time we hear rumours, or pieces of information come to surface that the Syrians are doing something with the chemical weapons we double-check, we triple-check, we go directly to the government and all the time we get very firm assurances that this is not going to be used under any circumstances," Lavrov said.