Russia on Monday accused
Washington of ignoring Moscow's appeals for proof of Syrian
government involvement in chemical weapons attacks in Syria
during the country's more than two-and-a-half-year-old civil war.
Moscow's allegations against Washington come as both say
they are encouraging peace talks that Western powers and Gulf
Arab states hope will lead to the departure of Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad and the formation of a transitional government.
"Our requests for additional information which could prove
the Syrian government involvement in the use of chemical weapons
were ignored by Washington," Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly
Churkin told reporters after a closed-door meeting on chief UN
chemical arms investigator Ake Sellstrom's final
Churkin said allegations about Syrian government involvement
in chemical attacks, including an Aug. 21 sarin gas attack that
killed hundreds of people, "were not persuasive." He said Moscow
viewed the Aug. 21 incident as a provocation by the rebels.
The Russian ambassador referred to what he said was
information released by former US spy agency contractor Edward
Snowden. US relations with Russia have been strained in recent
months over Moscow's decision to grant temporary asylum to
Snowden, who leaked documents about widespread US surveillance
"The lack of any proof (about Syrian government use of
chemical arms) was particularly strange because as the public
learned from the media reports based on Edward Snowden's
materials the United States had powerful intelligence assets in
Syria," Churkin said.