Russia FM: US Blackmailing World Into Backing Syria Threats

Trying to Parlay Chemical Weapons Deal Into Authorization to Attack

In an interview today with Russia’s Channel One network, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov condemned the US over delays on a UN resolution for Syria’s chemical weapons disarmament, accusing US officials of trying to blackmail Russia and the world into turning the resolution into an authorization for war against Syria.

According to Lavrov, the US has threatened to withdraw from all cooperation with the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) if the UN resolution doesn’t include a Chapter VII authorization for military action if Syria is ever seen as “not complying.”

In practice that’s a blanket authorization for military force, since chemical weapons disarmament is a long, complicated process and deadlines are certain to be missed by the very nature of the process. The US, for instance, has been trying to disarm for nearly 50 years, and is still nowhere near done, and expects Syria to finish the entire process in just a matter of months.

Russia and China have repeatedly blocked Syria resolutions seeking to authorize military action, and the US had seemingly given up on the idea until Syria’s ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) opened up the prospect of a UN Security Council resolution affirming Syria’s intent to disarm and offering international assistance.

Instead of standing on its own, the resolution is being cynically turned into a catch-all authorization for war by US officials, and may ultimately leave Syria disarming without any direct UN support.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.