Officials in Moscow say they've seen the evidence the U.S. says is proof that Syria has used chemical weapons, but it's not going to be enough to get the Russians to turn their back on their man. Yury Ushakov, an aide to President Vladimir Putin, said on the Friday that American sources have shown them the intelligence "but frankly we thought that it was not convincing."
Ushakov went on to say that he doesn't really want to bring up the whole Iraq-missing-weapons-of-mass-destruction-thing, but he's totally going to bring it up:
“We wouldn’t like to invoke references to the famous lab tube that [former US] Secretary of State [Colin] Powell showed, but the facts don’t look convincing in our eyes.
That reaction from Moscow shouldn't be totally unexpected since no country has done more to support Bashar al-Assad's cause with the international community. They will continue to push for a diplomatic solution to the problem while simultaneously ensuring that the only real diplomatic solution — U.N. condemnation and sanctions — never comes to pass. But whether they agree with Americans or not, it's increasingly unlikely that planned peace conference (that's been postponed several times already) will do any good at all.
The British, as you would expect, concur with the American assessment of things and have actually been pushing harder than anyone to arm the rebels. The matter is sure to be a major topic of conversation during the G-8 summit that takes place in Northern Ireland next week.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.