Russia has urged Syria to put its chemical weapons under international control for subsequent destruction to avert a possible military strike.
“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,” Lavrov said. “We have passed our offer to Al-Muallem [Syrian Foreign Minister] and hope to receive a fast and positive answer,” he added.
It is unclear if Syria will support the offer, but if it helps to avoid a military strike, Russia is immediately prepared to work with Damascus, Lavrov said.
The Foreign Minister’s statement comes shortly after US Secretary of State John Kerry’s comment that the Syrian President “could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community” to avoid a military strike on the country.
Following Kerry’s statement, a US State Department spokeswoman clarified that “Secretary Kerry was making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons”.
“His (Kerry’s) point was that this brutal dictator with a history of playing fast and loose with the facts cannot be trusted to turn over chemical weapons, otherwise he would have done so long ago. That’s why the world faces this moment,” the spokeswoman said.