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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Putin Confirmed Russia Ready to Return to Air Safety Memorandum in Syria With US

Sputnik News

22:20 12.04.2017(updated 00:14 13.04.2017)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Moscow is ready to return to the memorandum on preventing aerial incidents in Syria with Washington, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) –Putin said that Russia will return to the memorandum of understanding on preventing aerial incidents in Syria, if the United States confirms that their goal there is to fight terrorism.

"We have discussed the current state of affairs in actions of our air forces, both Russian and the US-led coalition's, in the context of the existing memorandum on preventing incidents and maintaining flight security in course of operations in Syria. As you know, the memorandum was suspended by Russia, and today the Russian president confirmed our readiness to return to the implementation of the memorandum, with the understanding that the initial goal of the US and Russian air force is confirmed as fighting Daesh, the Nusra Front (terrorist groups, both outlawed in Russia) and other terrorist groups affiliated with them," Lavrov said at a press conference after his meeting with the US State Secretary Rex Tillerson.

Russia's head of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security Viktor Ozerov stated that the memorandum will be restored on April 12.

"Today this memorandum will be put back in force…after the president, the supreme commander-in-chief, gives a relevant order to the Ministry of Defense," Ozerov told Sputnik.

On April 7, Russia suspended its memorandum of understanding on air safety over Syria with the United States after the latter launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha'irat near Homs late Thursday. US President Donald Trump claimed that the strike was a response to the alleged chemical weapon attack in Syrian Idlib on Thursday, an incident which the White House blames on Damascus.

The Syrian government has denied the allegations, referring to the fact that Damascus joined the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in 2013 after the east Ghouta sarin gas incident and agreed to destroy its stockpile under Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) oversight. In January 2016, the OPCW announced that all chemical weapons in Syria had been destroyed.


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