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MOSCOW, Russia — Russia said on Monday it would urge Syria to put its chemical weapons arsenal under international control if this would avert military strikes.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who called a news conference to announce the proposal, said he had already conveyed the idea to Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem at talks in Moscow and that Russia expected "a quick and, I hope, a positive answer."
US Secretary of State John Kerry said earlier on Monday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could avoid a US strike by surrendering all his chemical weapons within a week, but immediately made clear he was not making a serious offer.
Kerry also proposed US military strike on Syria to be "unbelievable small," with a "very limited, very targeted, very short-term effort."
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reiterated the State Department's message by saying Syria action would not equal the same war tactics that occured in Iraq or Afghanistan. Failure to take action will create more dire consequences than taking action in Syria, Carney said.
Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken also spoke at the White House on Russia, which offered to have international inspectors examine chemical weapons in Syria. "It’s clear that this proposal comes in the context of US action and the pressure the president is exerting.”