Russian President Vladimir Putin said the U.S. claims about Syria's use of chemical weapons are 'absolutely absurd' and said that if quality evidence does exist it should be brought to the U.N. Security Council and be debated before the international community.
"If there are data that the chemical weapons have been used, and used specifically by the regular army, this evidence should be submitted to the U.N. Security Council," said Putin in a joint interview with the Associated Press and Russia's state Channel 1 television. "And it ought to be convincing. It shouldn't be based on some rumors and information obtained by special services through some kind of eavesdropping, some conversations and things like that."
Putin suggested Russia would even consider backing a U.N. resolution against Syria, but warned the U.S. against unilateral action and said his country was readying its response if such an attack were to take place. "We have our ideas about what we will do and how we will do it in case the situation develops toward the use of force or otherwise," he said.
"We have our plans," he added, though he did not comment on what they included, saying it was "too early" to discuss broadly or in detail Russia's potential response to a U.S. attack on Syria.
Putin's interview comes ahead of the G20 meeting taking place in Russia this week, where heads of state, including President Obama, will be in attendance.
Striking again on the flimsy evidence presented so far by the U.S., Putin referenced the intelligence failures that led to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
"All these arguments turned out to be untenable, but they were used to launch a military action, which many in the U.S. called a mistake. Did we forget about that?" Putin said.