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US Has Seemingly Taken Path to Partition Syria - Lavrov

© AP Photo / Hassan AmmarIn this May 18, 2017, photo, a Syrian National flag hangs out of a damaged building at the mountain resort town of Zabadani in the Damascus countryside, Syria.
In this May 18, 2017, photo, a Syrian National flag hangs out of a damaged building at the mountain resort town of Zabadani in the Damascus countryside, Syria. - Sputnik International
The US did not show evidence of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"In Syria, it seems very likely that the US has headed for the division of the country," the foreign minister said. "Plans for the actual partition of Syria exist, we know about it. We will ask our US colleagues how they imagine all this," Lavrov added.

Russian, US and Jordanian servicemen are trying to resolve a number of issues related to the operation of a de-escalation zone in southern Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"We keep these channels [of communication] with the United States open, we use them. There is some use in them, which is confirmed by the Russia-Jordan-US agreement on operations of the de-escalation zone in southwestern Syria, which is operating decently, even though there are a number of issues which we are trying to resolve via servicemen," he said.

Russian Athletes

The West has not provided any facts or evidence of alleged doping by Russian athletes, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday while speaking at a master class for participants of the Leaders of Russia competition.

"Now we are told in a categorical manner, without facts, that, yes, the sports arbitration in Lausanne has acquitted all of our athletes from the list of 32 people and coaches, but it is not necessary to be guided by this decision, because the IOC does not have confidence that the athletes did not use performance enhancing substances," Lavrov said.

"That is, there is no evidence, but there are doubts, there are suspicions… It turns out that no confession is required now," he said.

Earlier, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) granted appeals to 28 Russians, whom the IOC had suspended for life from the Olympics after nullifying their Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics results due to anti-doping rule violations.

READ MORE: 32 Russian Athletes File Suit in CAS Urging IOC Invitations to Games — Lawyers

The Russian Olympic Committee asked the IOC to send 15 invitations to the Games in Pyeongchang for individual representatives of Russia, but was refused on Monday.

IOC in December 2017 suspended the Russian national team from participating in the 2018 Olympics. At the same time, the committee left the opportunity for "pure" athletes to perform at the Games under the Olympic flag.

The Olympic Games in Pyeongchang will be held from 9 to 25 February.

Korean Crisis

Sergei Lavrov expressed hope on Wednesday that a military scenario on the Korean peninsula will never be implemented.

"We see how the United States over and over again tries to tighten the sanction screws and threaten to use force. I very much hope that such a scenario, which experts estimate will take away up to a million, and maybe more, human lives, will not become reality, and that the US will at least consult with the countries that will be affected by this situation — first of all, with the leadership of South Korea, Japan," Lavrov said at a master-class for participants of the Leaders of Russia contest.

"The use of force in this region will be catastrophic," the minister stressed.

INF Treaty

Russia wants to keep the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) intact, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

"We want to preserve the treaty on medium-range and shorter-range missiles, we want to keep it alive and effective," Lavrov said at a master-class for participants of the Leaders of Russia contest in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The Russian minister added that Russia also meets all obligations under the treaty on the further reduction of strategic offensive arms (New START treaty).

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