Putin says would be 'utter nonsense' for Assad to use chemical arms

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:25am EDT

Russia's President Vladimir Putin looks on during a meeting with journalists in the far eastern city of Vladivostok, August 31, 2013. Putin said on Saturday that it would be ''utter nonsense'' for the Syrian government to use chemical weapons when it was winning the war, and urged U.S. President Barack Obama not to attack Syrian forces. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolskyi/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Russia's President Vladimir Putin looks on during a meeting with journalists in the far eastern city of Vladivostok, August 31, 2013. Putin said on Saturday that it would be ''utter nonsense'' for the Syrian government to use chemical weapons when it was winning the war, and urged U.S. President Barack Obama not to attack Syrian forces.

Credit: Reuters/Alexei Nikolskyi/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

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VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Reuters) - Russia's President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday it would be "utter nonsense" for the Syrian government to use chemical weapons when it was winning its war with rebels, and urged U.S. President Barack Obama not to attack Syrian forces.

The United States said on Friday it was planning a limited military response to punish Syria's President Bashar al-Assad for a "brutal and flagrant" chemical weapons attack it says killed more than 1,400 people in Damascus 10 days ago.

Putin told journalists that if Obama had evidence Assad's forces had the chemical weapons and launched the attack, Washington should present it to the U.N. weapons inspectors and the Security Council.

"I am convinced that it (the chemical attack) is nothing more than a provocation by those who want to drag other countries into the Syrian conflict, and who want to win the support of powerful members of the international arena, especially the United States," Putin said.

The Russian president said Obama, as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, should remember the impact any U.S. attack would have on Syrian civilians.

World powers should discuss the Syrian crisis at a meeting of the leaders of the Group of 20 developed and developing nations in St. Petersburg next week, he added. "This (G20 summit) is a good platform to discuss the problem. Why not use it?" Putin said.

(Reporting by Denis Dyomkin; Writing by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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Comments (30)
Tolan wrote:
Some US media are writing that the chemical attack was prepared 3 days before it started. It means certainly that it was a provocation organized with help of CIA.

Aug 31, 2013 7:08am EDT  --  Report as abuse
infantile wrote:
Let’s just leave it then and put our faith in Russia and China…

Aug 31, 2013 7:21am EDT  --  Report as abuse
kenradke11 wrote:
Putin is in total denial. He was probably behind the whole plan to begin with. WHY??? did they practically carpet bomb the areas affected by the chemical attacks for 5 days then? Because they wanted to destroy as much evidence as possible…that is the only answer so Putin ..stay out of the fray or you will get yours too! Assad regardless had violated international law and now he must be punished!!!

Aug 31, 2013 7:28am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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