Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia may approve a military operation in Syria if evidence shows that Damascus carried out chemical weapons attacks, but only if the operation is conducted with U.N. approval.
In an interview with AP and Russia's First Channel, posted on the Kremlin website on Wednesday, Putin also said the video of an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack outside of Damascus could have been fabricated by groups "connected with al Qaeda".
In the interview conducted on Tuesday and released the day before G20 leaders begin a two-day summit in St Petersburg, Putin also said Russia would continue to fulfil its arms contracts with Syria.
When asked whether Russia would agree to military action if Damascus were proven to have carried out a chemical weapons attack, he answered: "I do not rule it out."
"According to the current international law, only the United Nations Security Council can sanction the use of force against a sovereign state. Any other approaches, means, to justify the use of force against an independent and sovereign state, is inadmissible," he said.