But he said Chapter 7, which can authorize the use of force or other measures, could be cited in the resolution as a possible means to counter any violations later on. “Chapter 7 can be mentioned only as an element of a possible set of measures against violators,” he said, referring to potential future cases of chemical arms use or stalling the work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. He reiterated Moscow’s stance that any Chapter 7 resolution could only come after any such cases are well proven and have been discussed within the Security Council. Ryabkov also highlighted Russian concerns that Western states want to use the chemical arms agreement as a pretext for eventual military action. U.S. officials “always mention that plans to punish Damascus remain in force. We draw certain conclusions from that and assume the threat of aggression in violation of international law is so far only delayed – not dismissed fully.” Asked whether the permanent Security Council members – Russia, China, the United States, Britain and France – could reach agreement on the resolution this week, he said: “We hope so, but there is no guarantee.” “Unfortunately it’s necessary to note that in contacts with the Americans, things are not going so smoothly … they are not quite going in the direction they should,” Ryabkov said. He gave no details. INSPECTORS RETURN Russia has been the Syrian government’s strongest backer during the conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people since 2011, delivering arms and, with China, blocking three Western-backed resolutions intended to put pressure on Assad. The U.S.-Russia deal for Syria to abandon chemical weapons was a rare exception to their disagreements over the conflict. It prompted U.S. President Barack Obama to hold back his request for Congressional approval to strike Syria to punish Assad for an August 21 sarin gas attack Washington says killed more than 1,400 people. Damascus denies it was the perpetrator.
Lack of consensus in U.S.-Russia deal on Syria
agreed to hold off on a military strike to punish the Syrians for a nerve gas attack last month. About 82 percent of Americans favor such a deal, while 15 percent opposes. When asked if Syria will turn over all of its chemical weapons, just 33 percent said it is likely and 66 percent said it is unlikely. Meanwhile, the top U.S. and Russian diplomats met Tuesday at the U.N. in hopes of working out the details. There has been very little progress since that deal was made 10 days ago. The U.N. meeting ran nearly two hours and there was a lot to discuss. Secretary Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov came into Tuesday afternoon’s meeting with sharp differences over the terms of the deal and how to enforce it. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met at the U.N. on Sept. 24, 2013, to discuss the chemical weapons agreement surrounding Syria.