by Al Jazeera
A Kremlin spokesperson has said that Russia does not engage in Twitter diplomacy after US President Donald Trump used the social media platform to warn Moscow of imminent military action in Syria, the Interfax news agency reported.
“We do not participate in Twitter diplomacy,” Dimitri Peskov was quoted as saying by Interfax.
“We support serious approaches. We continue to believe that it is important not to take steps that could harm an already fragile situation.”
Trump told Russia in an early morning tweet on Wednesday to prepare for “nice and new and ‘smart!'” missile attacks in Syria after an alleged chemical attack on the last rebel stronghold in the country.
In response to Trump’s tweet, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said: “Smart missiles should fly towards terrorists, not [Syria’s] lawful government, which has spent several years fighting against international terrorism on its territory.”
Peskov said his country, which has been involved in the Syrian conflict since 2015 and an ally to President Bashar al-Assad, is convinced that the allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta’s city of Douma is false and cannot be used as a pretext to undertake any military steps against Syria.
Peskov also expressed Moscow’s support for serious initiatives on the Syrian crisis and other international issues.
UK discusses options
In London, British Prime Minister Theresa May summoned her senior ministers to a special cabinet meeting on Thursday to discuss options for joining the United States in possible military action against Syria.
May is prepared to take action against the Assad government in Syria without first seeking parliamentary consent, sources have told the BBC.
May recalled the ministers from their Easter holiday for a special cabinet meeting in Downing Street later on Thursday to discuss Britain’s response to what she has cast as a barbaric attack that cannot go unchallenged.
“The chemical weapons attack that took place on Saturday in Douma in Syria was a shocking and barbaric act,” May told reporters on Wednesday. “All the indications are that the Syrian regime was responsible.”
The Daily Telegraph newspaper said May had ordered British submarines to move within missile range of Syria in readiness for strikes against the Syrian military.
On Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council rejected rival draft resolutions by the US and Russia to set up a new expert body to probe chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
The US proposal called for establishing an independent investigative mechanism to conduct on-site inspections to find out who used chemical weapons, while Russia proposed its own plan to send investigators to the site of the alleged attack.