Lavrov’s Move

Andrew Sullivan —  Sep 9 2013 @ 12:48pm

G20 Leaders Meet In St. Petersburg For The Summit

The Russian foreign minister’s support for international control over Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal is a big deal, it seems to me. And the scenario for this sweet spot in dealing with Assad’s chemical weapons is not new. Here is Israel’s former intelligence head, Amos Yadlin, on how that compromise could turn a disaster into something far more constructive:

Were Putin to offer to take Assad’s chemical weapons out of Syria, said Yadlin in an Israeli Channel 2 news interview, “that would be an offer that could stop the attack.” It would be a “genuine achievement” for President Barack Obama to have ensured the clearing out of Assad’s capacity, and that would justify holding fire, said Yadlin. For Putin, such a deal would also keep the US from acting militarily in a state with which Russia is closely allied.

The UN Secretary General has also now endorsed the idea. And just in:

Kerry gave a deadline of one week. That could be negotiated a little. But the key thing is that Russia is now pursuing an actually constructive proposal. That’s a huge win for president Obama’s strategy. And for the security of the world.

If Obama can take yes for an answer …

(Photo: Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, attends a meeting at the G20 Summit at the Constantine Palace at the G20 Summit on September 6, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Leaders of the G20 nations made progress on tightening up on multinational company tax avoidance, but remain divided over the Syrian conflict as they enter the final day of the Russian summit. By Roman Yandolin/Host Photo Agency via Getty Images)