Russia may change Syria position if Assad ‘cheats’

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Russia may change its position towards Syria if it sees any “cheating” from President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, a senior Kremlin official said on Saturday.

“I am speaking theoretically and hypothetically, but if we become convinced that Assad is cheating, we can change our position,” the Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies, according to Agence France-Presse.

He was speaking at a conference in Stockholm organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Ivanov did not clarify his remarks but repeated Russia’s objection to a military intervention in the country.

On Saturday, Syria completed the handover of an inventory of its chemical arsenal by a deadline laid out in a U.S.-Russian disarmament plan, the world’s chemical weapons watchdog said.

The "OPCW has confirmed that it has received the expected disclosure from the Syrian government regarding its chemical weapons program," the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said in an email received by AFP.

The U.S.-Russian plan to dismantle Assad’s chemical stockpile has halted American President Barack Obama’s call for military action in response to last month’s chemical attack in Damascus.

Under the plan, Assad's regime had until Saturday to supply details of its arsenal.

(With AFP)

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