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US advisor points out Russia’s role in agreement on Syrian chemical weapons

December 24, 2013, 7:05 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
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WASHINGTON, December 24, 6:45 /ITAR-TASS/. Agreement on destruction of Syrian chemical weapons would not be possible without collaboration with Russia, U.S. National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said Monday in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass.

He said that some important results had been achieved through cooperation, and one of them was an agreement between the P 5 + 1 Group and Iranian authorities.

Rhodes indicated that an agreement on the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons would be impossible without bilateral cooperation between the U.S. and Russia.

He noted the positive character of continuing cooperation on Afghanistan and struggle with terrorism.

The U.S. is also coordinating efforts with Russia in the run-up to the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, as the two countries, according to Rhodes, are firmly set to rebuff any terrorist threats to these Games, although contradictions between them sprang up on some occasions during the outgoing year.

He admitted along with it that Moscow and Washington had failed reach the desired political settlement of the crisis in Syria in spite of collaboration on chemical weapons. Notwithstanding this, work in the format of the Geneva-2 process was going on.

The tensions caused by Edward Snowden’s presence in the territory of Russia were for some time an irritating factor in the U.S.-Russian relations and the two sides did not reach the desired progress in arms control and antiballistic defense missiles, although opportunities in the latter area had been opened up by the New START treaty, Rhodes said.

This means that, on the whole, there have been achievements on some crucial issues regarding Iran and chemical weapons but still there are spheres where progress is absent, he said, adding that the White House hopes for bigger results in 2014.

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