A United Nations official says a U.N. team on a security mission to the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria was sacked upon and had to return to its base in Damascus. The Western countries say the Syrian government, which now controls the town, is keeping the inspectors out and may be tampering with evidence, both accusations Damascus and Moscow deny.
"The security of the OPCW has been guaranteed not only by the Syrian side but also by the Russian command in Syria".
"Also, just recently, our defence ministry's troops liberating Douma found a stockpile of chemicals produced in Germany, Porton Down and Salisbury, among others, ' Mr Lavrov said".
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) sent a team to Syria at the weekend, but it has not yet been able to visit Douma and examine the site of the alleged attack.
The suspected chemical attack killed dozens of people in Douma, medical relief organisations say.
According to military analysts, the S-300 surface-to-air missile system would improve Russia's ability to control air space in Syria, where Moscow's forces support the government of President Bashar al-Assad, and could be aimed at deterring tougher USA action.
In Syria, inspectors from the global chemical weapons watchdog are waiting to enter the site of the April 7 alleged gas attack in Douma.
However, journalists who were escorted to the site on 16 April by Syrian government authorities filed differing accounts of what happened in the alleged attack. The mission "will continue its work", the official said.
"There were military leadership contacts between generals, between our representatives and the coalition leadership", Lavrov told state news agency RIA.
The attack came one year after United States forces took out a Syrian government military airfield, which it said supported chemical attacks.
The United Nations' special envoy for Syria says he is encouraged that Russian Federation continues to support the so-called Geneva process for a political resolution in Syria despite tensions over the Western missile strike.
"It demonstrates the unwillingness to shed light on yet another made-up provocation with the use of toxins, which served as a reason for the missile strike of the three western countries, members of the UN Security Council", Zakharova concluded.
The Syrian state news agency SANA earlier reported that the worldwide experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had entered Douma to begin their investigation of whether chemical agents were used as a weapon.
In response to the attack, four Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s joined co-ordinated missile strikes, launching Storm Shadow missiles at a base 15 miles west of Homs.
Asked about the danger of a Russia-U.S. military clash, Lavrov voiced hope that military leaders realize that "any actions that could provoke a direct clash between the Russian and the U.S. militaries are unacceptable".