Interfax: Pushkov worries U.S. may interpret accords on Syria in its own way

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 16, 2013) The Geneva agreements between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are doubtlessly a significant diplomatic success but the question is whether or not they may be given different interpretations, State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov said.

“An important diplomatic success has been achieved in Geneva. First and foremost, the credit goes to Russian diplomats,” Pushkov told Interfax on Saturday.

A military strike against Syria would have been the worst-case scenario for Syria, the Middle East as a whole, Russia and, in the long run, the United States because it would have had unpredictable consequences and the U.S. would have been unable to control them, Pushkov said.

At the same time, the Geneva negotiations’ outcome did not answer the question how the Syrian crisis might develop, whether or not the U.S. would support the militants and try to achieve the ousting of the Bashar al-Assad regime and so on, he said.

There had been agreements regarding Syria before and they looked like a breakthrough at the start but it appeared later that Russia and the United States were interpreting the accords in their own ways, Pushkov noted.

“The main question is whether the Syrian peace process may again be given different or even opposite interpretations in the United States and Russia. We have seen that before,” he remarked.

If that happens, the value of the agreements will not be large, he said.

Pushkov did not rule out that the U.S. might repeat the threats of a military strike against Syria at some point.