Last week, Russia and China were refusing to get on board with a United Nations condemnation of Syria’s use of chemical weapons against its own people. Monday morning, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters that Russia has urged Syria to put its chemical weapons under international authority.
“We are calling on the Syrian authorities not only agree on putting chemical weapons storages under international control, but also for its further destruction and then joining the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. We have passed our offer to [Syrian Foreign Minister] Muallem and hope to receive a fast and positive answer,” Lavrov said, according to RT.com.
Russia will urge Syria to move their chemical weapons to areas under international inspection in order to dismantle them.
This is a huge and important shift, both in possible U.N. support for Obama’s call to action against Syria and in unlikely aversion of a need for military strikes. Russia is basically offering to persuade Syria to give up its chemical weapons in exchange for the possible aversion of the U. S. strike on Syria.
Secretary of State John Kerry earlier today made a case for Assad averting the possible strike by turning over all of his chemical weapons, however his remarks were later clarified to express that he does not believe that Assad will ever turn his chemical weapons over to international control. Kerry made the case that doing nothing was unacceptable, “If you want to send Iran and Hezbollah and Assad a congratulatory message: ‘You guys can do what you want,’ you’d say: ‘Don’t do anything.'”
Even if Russia’s urging doesn’t stop a possible strike, it could signal support for a U.N. resolution since according to USA Today, Lavrov said that U.N. should present the results of their lab tests to the U.N. Security Council. “We have agreed to push for the soonest return of inspectors,” Lavrov said.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
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