US blackmailing Russia over Syria: Lavrov

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the United States of blackmailing Russia to support a tough UN resolution against Syria, and said the West is blinded by the idea of regime change in the war-torn country.

“Our American partners are beginning to blackmail us: if Russia won’t support a resolution under Chapter 7 in the UN Security Council, then we will stop the work in the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,” Lavrov said in a Channel One interview, according to Russian agencies.

“Our partners are now blinded by their ideological goal of regime change (in Syria)” Lavrov added. “All they talk about is that Bashar al-Assad must leave,” while Russia’s goal is to “solve the problem of chemical weapons in Syria”.

Washington had threatened to take military action against Syria over the unsubstantiated claim that the Syrian government carried out a deadly chemical attack near Damascus on August 21.

Damascus has repeatedly rejected the accusation.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011.

A very large number of the militants operating inside Syria are reportedly foreign nationals. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies, especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.