Photo: RIA Novosti
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the steps that the US Congress is considering now in relation to Syria aggression and suggested that some untrue statements have been made there.
"Congress of any country can sanction such things. They are sanctioning aggression, because anything that is beyond the UN Security Council framework except self-defense is aggression," Putin said at a meeting of the presidential Human Rights Council on Wednesday.
As Syria is not attacking the United States, the matter is not about self-defense, he said.
"What the US Senate is doing now is in fact legitimizing aggression, and we have all glued ourselves to TV screens and are waiting to see whether there will be a sanction or not. What we should be talking about is that this is absurd in principle," Putin said.
The Russian leader once again insisted that it would be absurd to presume that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "used chemical weapons while he is on the offensive."
"After all, this is a last resort weapon, if one can imagine this. And if he is on the offensive, has encircled [the insurgents] at some places and is finishing them off, they need urgent help," Putin said.
"Surely, this lie is not very elegant," he said. "I watched the debates in Congress. A congressman asks Mr. [US Secretary of State John] Kerry: 'Is there al-Qaeda there? There has been rumor that they are gaining strength'. He [Kerry] replies, 'No. I am telling you firmly: there are none of them there'," Putin said.
As a matter of fact, "the principal combative unit [acting in Syria now] is the so-called Nusra, which is an al-Qaeda unit," Putin said. "And they know this. I even felt quite awkward. We are communicating with them and assume that they are decent people. And he is telling an outright lie, and he knows that he is lying. This is sad," Putin said apparently referring to Kerry.