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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Belarus Denies U.S. Charges over Syria Arms Supplies

RIA Novosti

17:34 20/09/2012 MINSK, September 20 (RIA Novosti) - The Belarusian Foreign Ministry refuted on Thursday U.S accusations against a Belarus state-owned arms firm suspected of trying to supply munitions to the Syrian government.

The U.S. Treasury on Wednesday accused Belvneshpromservice of preparing to supply Syria with fuses for aerial bombs in March 2011 and slapped it with sanctions that “target the assets of proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters.”

“All accusations by the American side against Belvneshpromservice are groundless and untrue,” the ministry spokesman Andrei Savinykh said in a statement.

“The accusations are nothing but an attempt to put pressure on Belarus for the country’s open and principled stance in favor of a peaceful resolution of the domestic conflict in Syria,” the official said.

The Syrian conflict has claimed up to 20,000 lives according to estimates by various Syrian opposition groups. The UN estimates the death toll at over 18,000 people. The Syrian authorities say 8,000 were killed.

The West is pushing for President Bashar al-Assad’s ouster while Russia and China are trying to prevent outside interference in Syria, saying that the Assad regime and the opposition are both to blame for the bloodshed.

Belarus has traditionally sided with Russia on international policy issues.

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