Russia wants to approve UN resolution on Syria without going beyond Geneva agreements - Lavrov

 All chemical weapons, including specific hazardous materials that could be held by the "opposition", must be destroyed in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Both Russia and the US reiterate that all chemical weapons in Syria must be destroyed. Because there are serious concerns that the opposition could hold some components of these hazardous materials," Lavrov said after meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Negotiations with US Secretary of State were productive - Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said his meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry at the UN General Assembly was productive.

"Our negotiations were productive," Lavrov told reporters after the meeting.

Lavrov said his meeting with Kerry "addressed many issues, the principal of which concerned Syria with a focus on preparations for the upcoming decision of the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and the UN Security Council resolution in support of this decision regarding the actions that need to be taken to liquidate Syrian chemical weapons," Lavrov said.

"We are operating on the basis of facts. And the facts are that the Syrian government has joined the Chemical Weapons Convention, expressed its readiness to immediately fulfill its obligations under this agreement, and provided the OPCW with a declaration about its chemical arsenals and their location," Lavrov said.

All chemical weapons should be destroyed – Lavrov

During a “constructive” meeting on the sidelines of UNGA, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have agreed to continue pushing towards destruction of “all” chemical weapons in Syria under international supervision.

 “There are some serious concerns that the Syrian "opposition" may possess components of chemical weapons,” Lavrov told the press after the meeting with his counterpart. “All chemical weapons must be destroyed in Syria including hazardous materials in possession of the opposition,” he was quoted by Interfax.

Lavrov also stressed that work on the UN Security Council resolution on Syria will be conducted “within a framework that had been agreed between Russia and US in Geneva.”

Russia hopes that the UN Security Council resolution on Syria’s chemical weapons will be adopted immediately after the decision of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the Hague in the coming days.

"The talks were productive. We have a common understanding of how to move forward,” Lavrov said. He also stressed that "the OPCW plays a major role in these matters." His counterpart John Kerry agreed saying, “we had a very constructive meeting.”


Ban: The only answer is a political settlement

UNITED NATIONS -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said a military victory in Syria “is an illusion” as he appealed Tuesday to major powers to stop sending weapons to all sides in Syria, according to Agence France-Presse.

"I appeal to all states to stop fuelling the bloodshed and to end the arms flows to all parties," Ban told world leaders as he opened the annual General Assembly summit.

The UN chief also called on the Syrian government  and the "opposition "-- and "all those I this hall with influence over them" -- to work immediately to arrange a second Geneva conference aimed at reaching a political solution.

"Military victory is an illusion. The only answer is a political settlement," he said.


Ryabkov: US Syria Policies within UNSC Illogical

 MOSCOW- Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has stressed that Washington's attempts to persuade the UN Security Council (UNSC) to adopt a resolution that would contain threats against Syria are illogical, according to the Voice of Russia.

 In the Russian State Duma, the lower chamber of Russia's parliament, Ryabkov said on Tuesday, "the Syrian side has clearly demonstrated its goodwill to join the Chemical Weapons Convention. In this situation, the Americans' attempts, which are vigorously supported by the British and French, to push the UN Security Council toward adopting a resolution that would contain an immediate threat against Syria appear to be illogical."

Ryabkov: UN experts to return to Syria on September 25

Ryabkov said The United Nation's chemical weapons experts are expected to return to Syria on September 25.

"We are pleased that our persistent calls for the return of UN experts to Syria to investigate other instances of chemical weapons use have produced results. The latest information available indicates that Salstrom's group will leave for Damascus tomorrow, September 25," Ryabkov clarified.

Russian Foreign Ministry against UNSC Syria resolution with automatic sanctions

Ryabkov also said that any UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution should not contain automatic sanctions that might be applied should the Syrian chemical weapons disarmament deal be broken.

"A UNSC resolution ought to come as a follow-up to the appropriate decisions made by Executive Council of the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons). I repeat once again that adopting a UNSC resolution enforcing Article 7 of the UN Charter or automatically applying sanctions, let alone military force, is out of the question," he stressed.

The Russian diplomat pointed out that the US Congress members' refusal to meet with Russian parliamentarians, who planned to visit the United States to discuss the Syrian crisis, highlights the weakness of Washington's stance on this topic.

"The American side's failure to respond to this initiative, which was effectively blocked by it, indicates the weakness of Washington's arguments and possibly the absence of the required support within the American Congress for the US administration's plans," he said.

Pushkov: There are limits for Moscow Cooperation with the US

Russian State Duma's International Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov said that Russia will not give the nod to a UN Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force against Syria.

At an Open Rostrum roundtable in the State Duma on Tuesday, Pushkov criticized the argument that Russia can only do something real in cooperation with the leading Western states and described it as dangerous.

"Yes, we must walk this way as we did (cooperating with the leading Western states) and this tendency should be consolidated. I agree. But the cooperative spirit must have its limits. We demonstrated maximum willingness to cooperate on Libya. The result is well known: We lost absolutely everything we could there, including in terms of image," Pushkov said.

Russia has been opposing for two and a half years the adoption of a resolution that would authorize air strikes against Syria. Due to this Russia has gained much in terms of image, he said.

"We are demonstrating that we can do quite a lot," he added. "What is meant here is the resolve to pursue our own line. Yes, Russia will be cooperative with the United States as much as possible and for as long as possible. But there are limits to this," Pushkov said.

H. Mustafa

Lavrov to attend UN General Assembly session

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected to take part in the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced earlier it was expected that the search for ways to resolve the crisis in  Syria on the basis agreed earlier would continue during Lavrov's meetings with US Secretary of State John and UN peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi.

A trilateral meeting of Lavrov, Kerry and Brahimi could be held as well,according to Voice of Russia, Interfax.

Lavrov will have a busy time during the current UN General Assembly Session, where the Russian delegation is leading, according to Russia's Foreign Ministry.

"Besides some bilateral meetings, Lavrov will take part in a conference of the foreign ministers of BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa], a session of the International Quartet on the Middle East, and a meeting of the P5+1 on the Iranian nuclear program," the ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

"There are also meetings planned with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, including in the five-party format of the permanent members of the UN Security Council," it said.

Lavrov's bilateral meetings with EU Foreign Policy Chief Baroness Catherine Ashton, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, Palestinian National Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and other officials are expected to take place on the sidelines of the General Assembly session as well.

The program of the 68th session includes a number of high-level events, which will address nuclear disarmament and other pressing issues on today's international agenda, the ministry said.



UN sees 'opportunity for Syria diplomacy'

The UN's undersecretary general for political affairs has said there is a fresh opportunity for a political, diplomatic approach to the crisis in Syria, now that Damascus has acknowledged it has chemical weapons and agreed to join the Chemical Weapons Convention.

In an interview with the BBC's Kim Ghattas, Jeffrey Feltman also suggested that Tehran would have to play a role.

"It's very hard for us to imagine a political solution for Syria that works, that doesn't somehow have Iran as part of the conversation", he said.


CSTO opposes military action as a way to settle crisis in Syria – Putin

 The Collective Security Treaty Organization’s members have passed a statement on the situation in Syria at the summit in Sochi. They underlined the necessity of peaceful settlement and unacceptability of the outside aggression, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has said, reports VoR's Polina Chernitsa.

 “The CSTO countries are unanimous in their opinion that the situation in Syria should be settled peacefully and any outside military action would be a severe violation of international law or as the UN charter calls it – aggression,” the Russian leader stressed.


China, Russia Lawmakers Urge Geneva Conference on Syria

Russian and Chinese parliaments have called to speed up the long-overdue conference on Syria’s peace. Parliamentary foreign policy assemblies released a joint statement today denouncing any possibility of a foreign interference in the conflict in Syria, according to Itar Tass.

On Monday, Russian upper-house Speaker Mikhail Margelov reported that a delegation of China’s National Assembly representatives had met Russian lawmakers of the country’s Federal Assembly.

Chinese and Russian MPs said in the statement, which was unveiled on the heels of the gathering, they hoped for sooner peace talks on Syria, stressing they were open for a compromise that would put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people and stave off other dramatic conflicts in the region.


Lavrov: CSTO Supports International Efforts to Settle Crisis in Syria


MOSCOW-Moscow expects the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to support international efforts towards a peaceful settlement in Syria, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, according to the Voice of Russia.

"We are worried about the Syrian situation both because of the negative implications for the entire region and the negative consequences for the international legal system. As you know, there is a need for the soonest possible solution of challenges with regard to dialogue and the problem of chemical weapons. I think we should actively support international efforts concerning Syria today," he said at the opening ceremony of the CSTO Council of Foreign Ministers' session on Monday.

China's FM: International Community Should Reach Consensus on the Issue of Chemical Weapons in Syria as Soon as Possible

In New York, Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, has said China is willing to send experts to join the process of inspecting and destroying chemical weapons in Syria.

According to China Central Television (CCTV), the remark was made during the talks with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Syria at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

During their meeting, Wang said China supports the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to carry out its work in an objective, fair and professional manner. Wang said at present it is important for the international community to reach consensus on the issue as soon as possible, to send out a message of unity.

He has also stressed that the attainment of a political settlement for the ongoing crisis in Syria should be advanced at the same time.

H. Mustafa