Russia is warning that a U.S. strike on Syria's atomic facilities might result in a nuclear catastrophe and is urging the United Nations to present a risk analysis of such a scenario.
The warning comes from Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich. He said in a statement Wednesday that a strike on a miniature reactor near Damascus or other nuclear installations could contaminate the region with radioactivity, adding: "The consequences could be catastrophic."
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China also warned on Thursday against a military strike on Syria saying it would hurt the global economy, in particular by causing oil prices to rise, and reiterated its calls for a political solution to the civil war.
"Military action would have a negative impact on the global economy, especially on the oil price - it will cause a hike in the oil price," Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao told a briefing on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit.
International Atomic Energy agency spokeswoman Gill Tudor told the AP in an email Thursday that her agency is ready to "consider the questions raised" by Lukashevich if it receives a formal request to do so from Moscow.
Russia's Interfax news agency says that Moscow intends to bring up the issue at next week's 35-nation IAEA board meeting.
The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution on Wednesday authorizing a limited U.S. military intervention in Syria, setting the stage for a debate in the full Senate next week on the use of military force.
The committee voted 10-7 in favor of a compromise resolution that sets a 60-day limit on any engagement in Syria and bars the use of U.S. troops on the ground for combat operations.
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