Putin, Obama to meet Oct. 7 to discuss Syria progress

Russian President Vladimir Putin is poised to meet with his US counterpart, Barack Obama, on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation on October 7. The two leaders are expected to discuss the progress of their Syria plan, Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said, according to Voice of Russia.

"The sides are coordinating organizational parameters of this meeting, and we think the meeting will take place," Ushakov told a press briefing on Thursday.

"That was our proposition, which the U.S. side immediately supported," he said. According to the presidential aide, the Russian and US leaders will discuss, amongst other issues, "the development of [earlier] agreements and prospects for joint work on the Syrian dossier."


Syria chemical weapons: used by terrorists, smuggled to Iraq – Russian FM

Russia has evidence that chemical weapons components are used by terrorists in Syria and smuggled into Iraq for possible provocations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday, reports VoR's Polina Chernitsa.

"We read reports and hear from various sources, semi-official and trustworthy, that some official representatives of a number of the countries of the region surrounding Syria allegedly established contacts and meet regularly with leaders of "Jabhat al-Nusra"and other terrorist groups, and also that those radicals have some components of chemical weapons maybe found in Syria or maybe brought from somewhere, and not just on the Syrian territory, but also that chemical weapons components have been brought to Iraq and that provocations are being prepared there,” Lavrov said at a news conference following talks with Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid.

All that has intensified after the UN Security Council passed a Russian-US-proposed resolution on Syria’s chemical weapons and the Geneva-2 conference, the Russian minister said.

Sponsors of Syrian "opposition" should stop attempts to disrupt Geneva-2

Sponsors of the Syrian "opposition " should stop attempts to disrupt the Geneva-2 international conference on Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.

 “There are enough provocateurs, and there will probably be more provocations. What’s important now is that it shouldn’t be them who calls the tune but Russia and the United States as the initiators of Geneva-2 along with the United Nations secretary general to whom a request to that effect was submitted in New York,” Lavrov said.

He urged all the Syrian forces to agree to attend Geneva-2 without preliminary conditions in keeping with Geneva communique signed last June.

Those who sponsor and finance the Syrian "opposition"“should realize their responsibility and stop attempts to disrupt preparations for the conference in a bid to reanimate a military scenario,” Lavrov said.

Syrians are able to agree implementation of Geneva communique

Russia hopes that the Syrians will be able to find common ground on the implementation of the June 30 2012 Geneva Communique, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow.


He reiterated calls for the Geneva-2 international conference on Syria to be convened in the nearest future.

“We hope that consultations that are now being conducted by the UN secretary general and his special representative, Lakhdar Brahimi, will produce positive results enabling us to organize initial events needed to launch this conference. It’s important that all the Syrian factions be fully represented at the talks for the future agreements to be really stable and lasting,” Lavrov said,according to Voice of Russia, RIA, Interfax.


Coordinated intl actions can help avoid use of force in Syria - Putin


Coordinated actions of the countries involved in the Syrian settlement process may help avoid the use of force, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the Russia Calling investment forum in Moscow on Wednesday,according to Voice of Russia, Reuters, Interfax.

"I presume it will be unnecessary to use force and increase casualties on the Syrian land if our coordinated actions persist," he said.

The Syrian settlement plan "is not just our achievement, it is a common achievement, an achievement of the United States and President Barack Obama who made a related decision, and a result of our collective efforts at the UN Security Council," Putin said.

"It refers to the unwavering position of China, India, Brazil, Argentina and Indonesia," he said.

Putin thanked "the colleagues who were eyeing a military scenario but generally agreed with our opinion about the need to use all forces and means for settling the problem peacefully - France, the UK and Turkey, I hope."

Putin says Syria chemical disarmament 'on right track'

Global powers are "on the right track" with a plan to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons arsenal, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.


US intervention in Syria would be catastrophic for everyone - Lukashenko

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has warned the US administration against military intervention in Syria, which would have dire consequences, according to Voice of Russia, Interfax.

"This will come to no good. God forbid that the Americans get in there, as they did in Libya, and drop bombs; that would be catastrophic. The entire Arab world would burst into flames and we would witness dire consequences. Iran and other states would become involved in this conflict; it would be extremely dangerous," Lukashenko said in an interview with the Kazakh channel 24KZ in Minsk ahead of his official visit to Kazakhstan.


Russian parliamentarians to accept US colleagues in Moscow for dialogue on Syria

Chairman of the State Duma Sergei Naryshkin said that the Russian parliament did not intend to give up contacts with the US congressmen and ready to take their delegation in Moscow, despite the earlier refusal of Washington to discuss "the Syrian issue" with the deputies of the Russian Federation.

"We are open for discussion. This is the strength of our position ", - told reporters on Tuesday Naryshkin, answering the question on board of the aircraft which took off from Strasbourg to Moscow, according to Voice of Russia, TASS, Interfax.

At the invitation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe speaker participated in the fall session of this international organization and spoke today at the PACE tribune and answered the questions of European parliamentarians.

In early September, when there was a real threat of force strike against Damascus, and the issue had to be discussed in Congress, a group of deputies of the State Duma was formed, ready to immediately fly to the US for meetings with the US colleagues.

Russian MPs wanted to use all the possibilities, including parliamentary diplomacy for the peaceful settlement of the conflict around Syria. However, Congress did not support this initiative and refused to accept the Duma delegation.

Naryshkin, meanwhile, believes that it is in the mutual interests to continue communication, despite the difference of positions, especially that at the level of diplomats resolution on Syria has been reached.

The speaker shared with the reporters information which he said, has not yet officially been confirmed, "The information was passed that allegedly they (the Congress) are discussing the possibility to come here."

Responding to a question if he was satisfied with his performance in PACE, Naryshkin said: "I have a good mood."

He added that that was the first time he visited Strasbourg and he enjoyed the city.

PACE to debate Syria situation, hear Naryshkin

An autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has  opened  . A speech to be made by Sergei Naryshkin, Speaker of the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament, as RF delegation leader Alexei Pushkov put it, will be the session's "central event".

Pushkov recalled that Naryshin's visit had been planned at PACE a year ago but "was frustrated through the efforts of a number of national delegations that suggested draft recommendations about a discriminatory double monitoring of Russia".

"In such conditions, the (Duma Speaker's) trip turned out to be impossible. The draft recommendations were then turned down, and there are no obstacles (to the visit) any longer now," the RF chief delegate emphasized.

He said that about 50 Europarliamentarians expressed readiness to put questions to the State Duma Speaker.

"There will be five main questions from all political groups of PACE," Pushkov pointed out, adding that he expects a discussion of the most acute problems of the Russia-Europe agenda.

An urgent debate on how to settle the conflict in Syria is expected to be held within the scope of the session. "Syria is the key issue of world politics and, undoubtedly, PACE must adopt its own resolution on the issue," Pushkov said.

In the opinion of the RF chief delegate, "A very serious evolution (of views) on the  crisis in Syria occurred in Strasbourg".

Pushkov said that a statement had been even adopted at the PACE Bureau session in Croatia, the statement which laid emphasis on the assumption that the crisis in Syria must be solved by political methods, not by the use of force, and that any use of chemical weapons by any side involved in the conflict is inadmissible".



Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been singled out for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize, with claims that he is more deserving of the award than US President Barack Obama.

The International Academy of Spiritual Unity of the Peoples of the World announced Tuesday that it had written to the Nobel Prize committee, backing Putin for his plan that helped avert a new world war.”

The patriotic Russian group said Putin deserves the award for his efforts in brokering an agreement for Syria to hand over its chemical weapons under international control.

Ruling party lawmaker and famous singer IosifKobzon also added that Putin was more deserving of the Nobel Prize than Obama.

Our president, who is trying to stop the war and suggest a political solution,

is more worthy of such a title,” said Kobzon, adding that Obama is the person who initiated and approved such aggressive acts as Iraq and Afghanistan and who is preparing for intervention in Syria.”

In August, Putin called for Obama to remember his Nobel status and not initial a military intervention in Syria to avoid casualties.

A number of Western countries, including the United States, France, and the UK, were quick to engage in a major publicity campaign to promote war against Syria despite the fact that Damascus categorically rejected the claim that it has been behind a chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21.

Putin also expressed surprise at a vote in the British parliament that rejected London™s role in a potential war on Syria.

The Russian president also condemned the West for its interventionism and the adoption of “missile-bomb democracy” in solving international disputes, saying he will not allow a 2011 Libya-like scenario to be repeated for Syria.

Putin pointed out that the West’s influence was waning around the word due to the economic meltdown.

The Nobel Peace Prize was created by the efforts of the Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in 1901, and is awarded annually to the person or group that has done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

Source: press TV


Syrian "opposition" may participate in Geneva II

MOSCOW-The main task is to bring to the negotiating table the Syrian government and those opposition forces that are concerned about the fate of their country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday,according to ITAR TASS.

Speaking about the possible timeframe of the Geneva-2 conference on Syria, Lavrov said “We expect to convene it in mid-November”.

As for representatives of the Syrian opposition, he said “We expected that our western partners, who had committed themselves to bring the "opposition" to that conference would be able to do it rather quickly”.

“I do not rule out that the armed opposition, if they do not take up extremist or terrorist positions, may be represented there,” the Russian foreign minister told a news conference after the talks with Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (IOC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in the Russian capital of Moscow on Tuesday.

 “So, this is a matter of those who have a larger influence on the "opposition" than we have,” he added. “We are working with all parties, but our Western partners and key countries in the Middle Eastern region have a major influence on the opposition,” Lavrov noted.


Dialogue between Syria gov't and moderate "opposition" is possible - Sergei Ivanov

Russian presidential chief-of-staff Sergei Ivanov has reaffirmed the possibility of a dialogue between members of the Syrian government and representatives of Syria's moderate "opposition' as part of a planned international conference on Syria in Geneva.

"The war between the government and the "opposition" stopped [in Syria] a long time ago", and today the Syrian opposition "is made up of at least five independent factions that frequently hate each other," Ivanov told the Russia media,according to Voice of Russia.

"The West is beginning to understand that maybe the "opposition' should be divided, that it is necessary to stop trying to persuade al-Qaeda and other extremists to speak about Geneva-2, and that weapons deliveries to them should preferably be stopped," he said.

If the West "supplies weapons to the so-called "Syrian Popular Army", which consists of Syrians who are fighting against the Syrian government, there will still be no reason to doubt that al-Qaeda is not seizing their weapons" because al-Qaeda is stronger than Syria's internal opposition, Ivanov said.

"But even if we put all of these circumstances aside, first we could split the opposition into two parts and invite both the Syrian government's representatives and what we can describe as a reasonable opposition to the Geneva-2 [conference], where dialogue may be launched," Ivanov said.