MOSCOW — Russia says it is ready to help ensure security for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons.
Russian news agencies quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov confirming that Russia would help guard the facilities where the weapons are being destroyed.
Ryabkov, speaking Thursday during an arms exhibition in Nizhny Tagil, said he hoped that other members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization would also participate. The organization includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
UN inspectors returned to Syria on Wednesday to continue investigating three incidents of suspected chemical weapons use this year.
The US and its allies accuse the Syrian government of carrying out an attack near Damascus on August 21 that killed hundreds of people. Syria and Russia blame the rebels for the attack.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier Thursday reiterated claimed made by Moscow that the materials used in the August 21 attack were homemade.
“The main conclusion is that the type of sarin used in that incident [on March 19] was homemade, and we also have evidence that the type of sarin used on August 21 was the same, only of higher concentration,” Lavrov told The Washington Post.