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Wed Sep 4, 2013, 04:51 AM

Russia "doesn't exclude" the possibility of supporting a UN resolution against Syria

Apparently Putin may be setting the stage for a way to relent on the UN sanctions, if the evidence is indisputable. UN approval could possibly change the whole situation for us if we ultimately end up going into Syria.


http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2013/09/20139454545354818.html


Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, has warned the US against taking one-sided action in Syria, but has also said that Russia "doesn't exclude" the possibility of supporting a UN resolution authorising military strikes.

He says that such an endorsement would require "convincing" evidence that President Bashar al-Assad's government used chemical weapons against citizens.

He also says the currently available evidence does not fulfill this criteria.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Associated Press news agency and Russia's state Channel 1 television, Putin said it would be "absolutely absurd" for Assad's forces to have used chemical weapons at a time when they were in the ascendency in the conflict.

...

If there was clear proof of what weapons were used and who used them, Russia "will be ready to act in the most decisive and serious way," Putin said.
...


This story is also in The Independent, that I've seen so far.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/vladimir-putin-doesnt-exclude-backing-military-force-on-syria-if-evidence-proves-beyond-doubt-assad-used-chemical-weapons-8797219.html


Another interesting one though, and I don't know what to make of it at all. From Ya Libnan News, which is out of Lebanon:

http://www.yalibnan.com/2013/09/04/ex-syrian-defense-minister-defects-to-turkey/


7 replies, 540 views

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Reply Russia "doesn't exclude" the possibility of supporting a UN resolution against Syria (Original post)
Waiting For Everyman Sep 2013 OP
Celebrandil Sep 2013 #1
Waiting For Everyman Sep 2013 #4
Celebrandil Sep 2013 #7
Schema Thing Sep 2013 #2
LearningCurve Sep 2013 #3
alcibiades_mystery Sep 2013 #5
LearningCurve Sep 2013 #6

Response to Waiting For Everyman (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 05:15 AM

1. UN is more important than many think.

I think too many Americans fail to understand how important UN really is, maybe not to them, but to most other countries. There are lots of European leaders that would change their minds, if strong evidence were made available through UN. It doesn't matter that American agencies already believe they have strong evidence, because here (in Europe) they have close to zero credibility. In fact, even for right-wing politicians it would be a political suicide to directly refer to American sources, without having anything from either it's own country or UN. The evidence provided by Kerry might have value in America, but not elsewhere. Having an American president say "look... here is the evidence... trust us" is just an insult to many Europeans.

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Response to Celebrandil (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 02:39 PM

4. I agree.

Both about the UN's importance in a matter like this, and the US government's credibility problem. There is so much money and corruption involved in government now, that we Americans too have to constantly "read between the lines" to figure out what is really going on.

Although I believe the attack happened and I think it's extremely likely that Assad did it, I will be very interested in the UN's objective analysis of what evidence it found.

Apparently Putin is too. Maybe he already knows that it will be too conclusive for him to plausibly stonewall, and is "hedging his bets". It reads as if he wants to create another option for himself, in case ones is needed. Just a guess, we'll see. I thought it was very interesting that he included these little comments in his interview though.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 04:30 PM

7. Yes...

It's a rather surprising opening from Putin's side. Maybe the point is to ease tensions before the G20 meeting, so that discussions can be as frank as possible. I think that even if Putin likes to preserve a friendly, but corrupt, Assad regime in Syria for the sake of influence and stability, he's seriously worried about the possible use of chemical weapons. Russia has had her own problems with terrorists and have probably been productive in her collaborations with America on anti-terrorism.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 05:33 AM

2. He's just playing politics vs Obama


He already has the same evidence the US, Uk, France, Germany, Turkey, Australia and the UN have. Quite likely, he has even better evidence.


But now he can say "look how reasonable I am".





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Response to Schema Thing (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 06:26 AM

3. Putin may be looking for an out as well

 

After all, it is not in Russia's interest either for an country to violate the chemical weapons ban.

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Response to LearningCurve (Reply #3)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 02:44 PM

5. Thank you for being one of the first people to make this point

A lot of people act like Putin is purely political gamesmanship, and that Russia itself wouldn't have its own moral and security interest in the chemical weapons ban. But why wouldn't they?

Putin's been signalling all day that he's ready to deal on a Security Council vote. The informal meeting with Obama at the summit will be interesting indeed.

What if there is a vote for sanctions, including military, by the UN Security Council? Do people's views of the situation change?

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #5)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 02:52 PM

6. My views change if the US doesn't act unilaterally

 

My objection to military involvement in Syria, is predicated on the idea that if we go it alone, we make things worse. An international response, lessens blowback to the US, and does a much better job of showing condemnation for violating the chemical weapons ban.

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