More ‘innocent victims’ if US strikes Syria: Putin
U.S. military intervention in Syria would result in "more innocent victims" and an escalation of tensions, Russia's President Vladimir Putin wrote in the New York Times Wednesday.
"A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa," Putin said in the opinion piece.
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"It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance," he added.
U.S. President Barack Obama, in an address to the nation late Tuesday, pressed for support for military strikes against Syria for the use of chemical weapons if diplomacy failed.
Russia opposes military action against Syria and has proposed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad surrender his chemical weapons to international control. Syria has agreed to the idea, which is seen by Obama as a way to avoid a military strike.
Putin said the U.S., Russia and the international community should take advantage of the Syrian government's willingness to put its chemical weapons under international control.
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"Judging by the statements of President Obama, the United States sees this as an alternative to military action," Putin wrote. "I welcome the president's interest in continuing the dialogue with Russia on Syria."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Thursday.
(Read more: Russia proposes Syria hand over weapons)
To read the full opinion piece, click here.