Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump will never allow tensions between their nations to turn into an armed conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
“Speaking about the risk of a military confrontation, I feel absolutely confident to assume that the militaries will not allow this, and of course neither will President Putin or President Trump. They are leaders, after all, elected by their people and responsible for their peace,” Lavrov said in an interview with Director General of Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency Dmitry Kiselev.
The top Russian diplomat also noted that Russia had cautioned the US-led coalition that crossing certain “red lines” on the ground in Syria would prompt retaliation.
“This was said very clearly and unambiguously,” Lavrov said, referring to the aggression by US, Britain and France on Syria last week (April 14).
“Afterwards there were contacts at the level of military leaderships and generals, between our representatives and the US coalition command. They were notified of our ‘red lines,’ including geographical ‘red lines’ on the ground. And, as a result, these ‘red lines’ were not crossed.”
Lavrov also said that Russian military will soon provide evidence that Syrian anti-missile systems intercepted missiles launched by the United States, the United Kingdom and France.
The Russian FM said meanwhile, that Moscow is no longer bound by a moral duty not to supply Damascus with S-300 air defense missile systems after the last week’s strikes.
“We no longer have any moral obligations [in this regard],” Lavrov said.
“We promised not to do it around a decade ago at the request of our partners, and we took into consideration their argument that this would destabilize the situation, despite this [S-300] being a purely defensive system. We heeded their call. But now we have no such moral obligation.”
Lavrov insisted that Russia will respond “with dignity” to the anti-Moscow actions taken by Washington.”
Speaking about an alleged chemical attack staged by the Syrian government forces in Syrian city of Douma, Lavrov said that Russia has strong evidence proving the UK involvement in staging a chemical attack in the city.
“In fact, there is enough evidence. First of all, this footage… was a main pretext for the feverish attack carried out by the United States, the United Kingdom and France, which stroke alleged plants producing chemical weapons and depots [with such weapons],” Lavrov said.
The minister pointed out that the footage was provided by the White Helmets, which is operating only at the territories controlled by militants including the Jabhat Fatah al Sham terror group.
“They were linked to plotting the same provocation in Khan Sheikhoun a year ago and it is not a secret that they are financed by the United Kingdom and also the United States as well as a number of other Western states,” Lavrov added.
Russian foreign Minister also spoke on the case on the alleged poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. He said that the A234 nerve agent, referred by the Western countries as “Novichok,” was in the US arsenal, it is easy to manufacture this toxic substance.
The minister recalled that one of the nerve agent’s developers, Vil Mirzayanov, had immigrated to the United States where he had published the substance’s formula.
“This substance was patented, was in the US arsenal and was used by various institutions of biological and chemical troops of the United States. And it is easy to produce it,” Lavrov said.