US attack on Syria a serious blow to Russian – US relations, Russian ambassador says

Russian ambassador in Nicosia Stanislav Osadchiy said on Friday, that the US attack on Syria constitutes a serious blow to the Russian – US relations, while a US embassy official said his country is certain that chemicals were used by the Syrian President Bashar Assads regime.

Osadchiy was addressing an event at the University of Nicosia entitled “The EU, Russia and the USA in the Trump Era.”

On his part, Patrick Connell, in charge of political and economic matters at the US embassy in Nicosia said that his country is certain that chemicals were used by the Assad regime and that Russia has prevented UN resolutions condemning Syria for the recent chemical attacks.

The Russian ambassador called on the US if it has evidence for the existence of chemical weapons in Syria to hand it over, to stop using false news to support their actions and to blame Russia for everything.

In statements after the event Osadchiy said that Russia wishes to have better relations with Donald Trump and hopes that in time this will be possible. He added that Russia did not expect the US attack yesterday and was informed about it by the US a few hours before it was launched.

Noting that this act constitutes a serious blow in the relations between the two countries, he said that despite the fact that Russia wishes to have better relations with the US, he does not know how these will unfold.

Referring to the use of chemicals he said that the matter should be investigated, which is something that Russia has proposed at UN Security Council level, adding however that Trump could not wait because it was clear for him that Assad was to blame. He also said that two years ago Assad had handed over all his chemical weapons to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and that Russia does not have evidence that Assad has such weapons, which could be in the possession of the Islamic State.

On his part, Patrick Connell said that the “US are highly convinced that the attack with the use of chemicals which took place earlier this week, was launched by forces under the orders of the Assad regime.” He also noted that the assurances of Damascus and Moscow that all chemical weapons have been moved and destroyed do not apply. We are certain now that this is not the case, he added.

Source: Cyprus News Agency