Syria: Russian plan for destruction of chemical weapons leaked ~ Roland Oliphant, Moscow, The Telegraph.
The Russian proposals, leaked to a Russian newspaper on Thursday, lay out a four step plan to be discussed at today’s meeting in Geneva between the US Secretary of State and his Russian counterpart.
Under the plans, Syria would first join the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Damascus would then make a declaration of its chemical weapons production and storage facilities, and a team of inspectors would be dispatched to the sites. Finally, agreement would be reached on how the weapons would be destroyed, Kommersant reported citing a Russian diplomatic source.
Exactly who would carry out the decommissioning of the country’s stocks of Sarin, VX and mustard gas is not yet clear, but the diplomat raised the possibility of a joint US-Russian effort as part of the Nunn-Lugar programme, a post-cold war arrangement for securing and decommissioning Soviet-era WMD stockpiles.
On Wednesday night Russian news agencies said the Kremlin had “passed the United States a plan for fulfilling the initiative on international control of Syrian chemical weapons”.
It said that the plan would be “considered” at today’s meeting between Mr Lavrov and Mr Kerry, but the foreign ministry in Moscow declined to say anything about its contents at the time.
The details released this morning include no timetable and make no mention of sanctions or other measures should Syria fail to comply – key demands laid out in rival US-French proposals on Wednesday and likely flash points at tonight’s talks between Mr Kerry and Mr Lavrov
President Barack Obama has said the apparent diplomatic breakthrough achieved earlier this week when Russia suggested that Syria surrender its chemical arsenal to international control was only achieved in the face of a credible threat of force.
But President Vladimir Putin has ruled out coercive measures and said on Tuesday that the plan would only work if the US took the threat of force off the table.
The diplomat said the plan had actually been drawn up by Tuesday, but that France had asked for more time to produce its own proposals.
- US struggles show hazards of chemical weapons destruction (theguardian.com)
- India backs Russian proposal for Syria (thehindu.com)
- Writing the Wrongs: Lavrov Helped Obama Dodge the Syrian Bullet (writingtw.blogspot.com)
- Russia gives Syria chemical plan to US (bigpondnews.com)
- France: Military option in Syria still valid if diplomacy fails (jpost.com)
- UN resolution on Syria to test if Russian chemical weapons plan is ‘ruse’ (theguardian.com)
- Syria welcomes Russia’s offer to put its chemical weapons under intl control (rt.com)
- Kerry: Russia’s Syria chemical weapons proposal the ‘ideal way’ to end impasse (theguardian.com)
- Syria Agrees To Russian ‘Plan’ To Transfer Control Of Chemical Weapons And Avert A US Attack (businessinsider.com)
- Destruction of Syria’s Chemical Weapons Could Prove Difficult (voanews.com)