Russia's ambassador to the European Union, Vladimir Chizov, has been talking to the euronews bureau in Brussels. Our correspondent Andrei Beketov started by putting it to him that the whole world with the exception of Russia has been shocked by the images of the aftermath of a purported chemical attack in Syria on Saturday.
Chizov: "Russia, let me correct you, is also shocked - by yet another provocation with the so-called chemical attack in Douma, Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus. Russian military specialists have visited this region, walked on those streets, entered those houses, talked to local doctors and visited the only functioning hospital in Douma, including its basement where reportedly the mountains of corpses pile up. There was not a single corpse and even not a single person who came in for treatment after the attack."
Euronews: "But we've seen them on the video!"
Chizhov: "There was no chemical attack in Douma, pure and simple."
Euronews: "And what did we see?"
Chizhov: "We've seen another staged event. There are personnel, specifically trained - and you can guess by whom - amongst the so-called White Helmets, who were already caught in the act with staged videos."
Euronews: "Nevertheless, we're heading towards a powerful U.S. strike against Syrian targets in response to such atrocity."
Chizhov: "In response to something that didn't happen!"
Euronews: "Still - is Russia prepared for an event like a strike that could eventually lead to Russians being hurt or even killed?
Chizhov: "Russia has warned US representatives, publicly as well as through proper channels, over the grave consequences that could arise if these strikes happen and whether deliberately or otherwise Russian citizens are hurt."