Interfax: Pushkov hopes Obama won’t reject Russian initiative on Syria

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 10, 2013) The Russian proposal to put Syrian chemical weapons under international control is advantageous for the U.S. administration and Russia hopes the U.S. president will confirm his support of this initiative, State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov told reporters on Tuesday.

“Let us hope that President Obama will confirm the support that he earlier expressed,” Pushkov said.

In his opinion, the Russian proposal “is extremely advantageous” for the U.S. leader. A U.S. military strike against Syria would be damaging for the standing of the United States and the president himself, he said. If the United States starts a military operation against Syria, Obama’s image as a peacemaker would be destroyed, he added.

Another advantage of the Russian proposal is that it will prevent Obama’s possible defeat in the vote on a military strike against Syria in the U.S. Congress, Pushkov said.

There is “a Congressional majority that remains skeptical of such plans,” he said. The idea is also preferable because it comes from Russia instead of the United States, Pushkov said.

If the U.S. authorities had proposed that the Syrian government put chemical weapons under international control it would have looked like “blackmail at gunpoint,” he said. He thinks the Syrian authorities would have rejected the U.S. offer.