Putin: U.S. Must Take Military Action Off The Table
Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing some diplomatic hardball in connection with the proposal his Foreign Minister put forward yesterday:
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that for the proposed Russian agreement that Syria turn over its chemical weapons to work, the United States must take military action off the table.
“Certainly, this is all reasonable, it will function and will work out, only if the US 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,” Putin said, according to RT.com.
Putin also confirmed that he and President Barack Obama discussed the possibility of such a solution on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit last week, saying they agreed to have Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart get in touch to move the idea forward
The White House on Tuesday said it would work with the United Nations to try to move forward on a path to the solution proposed by the Russians, which Syria has agreed to, but it is urging skepticism as to whether Syria will actually follow through.
It’s unclear where the diplomatic game will head now. Secretary Kerry is supposed to be meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister Thursday in Geneva, though, so it would appear that it is indeed moving forward. More importantly, though, this would seem to blunt the momentum in Washington for military action. Considering that the President was likely to lose that vote, that’s actually a win for him.