INTERVIEW-Russia says Syria committed to abandoning chemical weapons

by Reuters
Monday, 3 February 2014 17:54 GMT

By Alexei Anishchuk

MOSCOW, Feb 3 (Reuters) - The Syrian government is committed to abandoning its chemical weapons and Moscow is confident that a June 30 deadline to destroy the arsenal can be met despite delays, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Reuters on Monday.

Ryabkov rejected Western assertions that Damascus was deliberately stalling the chemical arms destruction programme, saying it had long been clear that an interim deadline to send all toxic agents abroad by this week was overly ambitious.

(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Editing by Steve Gutterman and Kevin Liffey)

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