The plan to transfer control of Syria’s chemical weapon supply to the U.N. in order to thwart a military strike from the U.S. has run into an obstacle, as Russia has refused to approve the plan unless the U.S. agrees to stop threatening the Syrian government if it doesn’t comply.
According to the Washington Post, France suggested to the U.N. earlier today that if Syria does not end up going through with the proposal to relinquish its chemical weapons, it will be subject to a military strike licensed by the U.N. Security Council.
Though France’s resolution is yet to be formally backed by the U.S., Barack Obama is most likely behind it because he still refuses to give up pushing for a Congressionally-approved strike even in the midst of these so-called peace talks.
But a telephone conversation between French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and his Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov revealed that Russia strongly objects to threatening Syria with a military solution should it not honor its obligations.
Vladimir Putin also told a state-owned TV station earlier today that he would only approve a plan to put Syrian chemical weapons under international control if the U.S. renounces the “use of force.”
“Certainly, this is all reasonable, it will function and will work out, only if the U.S. and those who support it on this issue pledge to renounce the use of force, because it is difficult to make any country — Syria or any other country in the world — to unilaterally disarm if there is military action against it under consideration,” he told the state-controlled, English-language network RT (formerly known as Russia Today).
By not approving this resolution or any plan involving the threat of an American strike, Russia could potentially stall or even completely prevent Syria’s chemical weapons from being relinquished.
“It is difficult to make any country, Syria or any other country in the world, unilaterally disarm if there is military action against it under consideration,” Putin said.
The Huffington Post reports, however, that the U.S. has no intention of stopping the threats if Syria does not cooperate. White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday on MSNBC that if it weren’t for the threat of a strike, Syria would never have agreed to put its chemical weapons under international control in the first place.
He also said that President Obama would continue to push Congress to vote on authorizing a strike until these weapons have been physically given up.
Obama told NBC that he doesn’t think Syria will actually go through with the proposal, so he must persist with his pressure to see if there are any hidden motives behind Syria’s acceptance.
“I think you have to take it with a grain of salt, initially,” Obama said. “We’re going to make sure that we see how serious these proposals are.”
Via: Washington Post, Top Photo Credit: John Cantlie/Getty Images