Russia warned the West against military intervention in Syria and called for a thorough investigation of chemical attacks claims.
“The use of force without the approval of the United Nations Security Council would be a very grave violation of international law,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov told an urgently called news conference on Monday to discuss Western threats to attack Syria.
Mr. Lavrov said the Western nations could not produce any proof that the Syrian government was behind the alleged gas attack last Wednesday, but were assuming the role of “both the investigators and the U.N. Security Council.”
“This glaringly contradicts the Group of Eight declaration at Lough Erne, which said any report on the use of chemical weapons must be thoroughly and professionally investigated,” he stressed.
“We should wait for the results of the U.N. experts’ work in Syria.”
Mr. Lavrov cautioned the West not to repeat its “past mistakes” by intervening in Syria.
“We are witnessing grave consequences of previous interventions in the conflicts in that region,” he said recalling the situation in Libya and Iraq.
“If anybody thinks that bombing and destroying the Syrian military infrastructure, and defeating the regime would end the civil war - that is an illusion,” Mr. Lavrov said. “The war will continue, with the government forces becoming the new opposition.”
The Russian Foreign Minister said Russia would continue to oppose foreign intervention in Syria but would not get involved militarily.
“We have no plans to go to war with anyone,” he said.
Mr. Lavrov, who had called U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday to discuss Syria, said Mr. Kerry promised to “once again weigh our arguments” against military intervention and to call back Mr. Lavrov “in a few days.”