US proof given to Russia has nothing concrete: Lavrov

Moscow, Sep 2 (IANS/ITAR -TASS) The information presented by the US to Russia about use of chemical weapons in Syria does not contain anything concrete, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

Lavrov said this during his traditional annual meeting with students and teachers at the MGIMO University or the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

He said it was strange for him to hear the statement of his counterpart, US Secretary of State John Kerry, that the US had presented irrefutable evidence to Russia that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons, but the Russians consciously refused to accept the fact.

"As for consciously or unconsciously, we try to do everything consciously, when we recognise a fact or not recognize it," the minister said.

"I would not wish anybody to act unconsciously."

He said the evidence presented had some layouts but nothing concrete.

"Yes, some layouts were shown to us, which have nothing concrete, no geographic maps, no names. They did not contain proof that the samples were taken by professionals. There were no comments at all on the fact that many experts had serious doubts about the videos, which are shown in the internet," Lavrov noted.

"There are a lot of discrepancies, nonsense. Very much doubt," he added.

He said Russia was not all convinced by whatever has been shown to it.

"What was shown earlier and in recent time by our American, British and French colleagues does not convince us at all. There are no facts," he said.

"There is just a talk about what we surely know, and when they are asked for more detailed confirmation, they say it is a secret and cannot show.

"It means there are no such facts for aims of international cooperation," lavrov added.

John Kerry had said, speaking on ABC television, that the US had presented evidence of chemical weapons used by the Syrian authorities against their own citizens, but Moscow did not believe it and remained with its viewpoint.

Kerry said the US proposed to Russia a briefing on the issue.

The US even sent its people to Russia, who presented evidence related to the last cases of the use of poisoning substances in Syria, Kerry said.

However, Moscow preferred not to believe it or at least not to recognise it publicly, the secretary of state added.

--IANS/ITAR-TASS

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Updated Date: Sep 03, 2013 02:00:21 IST