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MOSCOW, September 16 (Itar-Tass World Service) - Russia and the US have achieved a historic breakthrough in the Syrian direction: on Saturday in Geneva, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the US Secretary of State John Kerry adopted a plan for international control over the chemical weapon of Bashar Assad’s government. Moscow won a diplomatic victory, analysts say.
The Kommersant reports Syrian chemical arsenals will not be brought into Russia, though Moscow will finance some part of the work. The US estimates elimination of the Syrian chemical arsenal may cost $150 million.
The three-day talks in Geneva will become chapters of the History of Diplomacy courses: Russia and the US have agreed the peaceful scenario of settlement of the Syrian chemical weapon’s problem at the moment, where the West’s military intervention seemed unavoidable, the newspaper writes. However, to the very last moment the Russian delegation could not be absolutely sure the US would agree with Moscow’s plan for international control over the Syrian chemical weapon.
Moscow and Washington reached an agreement, which, possibly, in future may be called as a turning point in the Syrian conflict, which had lasted for over 30 months, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. The agreement is a demonstration of a favorable change in the Russian-American relations and in the entire international affairs. Undoubtedly, the Russian initiative helped Barack Obama to quit the controversial situation without damaging his reputation, the newspaper adds.
Moscow won a diplomatic victory by having agreed with Washington and Damascus elimination of chemical weapon. However, the operation is tough to fulfill, the Vedomosti says.
“Russia’s rating is up, Putin is riding high, Moscow’s suggestion offers a solution of a complicated situation even for Americans,” the daily quotes Nikolai Zlobin of the Centre for Global Interests as saying.
Anyway, having undertaken the responsibility, Russia will have to do a lot to follow the plan, the expert said.
The meeting, however, failed to answer the main question - does the agreement mean the West refuses from the military action against Damascus or only postpones the inevitable attack, the Izvestia wonders.
“The Russian initiative gives a unique chance to avoid a military intervention. Washington also realizes it: launching another unpopular war is not to the benefit of the United States,” Dmitry Suslov of the Centre for Complex European and International Research at the High School of Economy told the newspaper.
The Izvestia stresses Damascus would require not months, but years to eliminate fully the dangerous chemicals. Syria’s arsenal of several thousand tons of chemical weapons is stored at 45 facilities throughout the country.
It would be very complicated to eliminate that amount of toxic substances on the spot - Syria does not have special facilities. Neither is clear how to transport safely the weapon outside the country, where a civil war is raging, the newspaper concludes.