Syria Chemical Mission May Suffer Fallout From Ukraine Crisis

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
Global Security Newswire Staff
March 14, 2014, 8:40 a.m.

Wash­ing­ton’s top dip­lo­mat said it is un­clear how ten­sions over Ukraine could af­fect the re­mov­al of chem­ic­al arms from Syr­ia, Agence France-Presse re­ports.

Rus­sia played a cru­cial role in per­suad­ing Syr­i­an Pres­id­ent Bashar As­sad’s gov­ern­ment to cut 38 days from a re­vised timeline for re­lin­quish­ing its re­main­ing chem­ic­al-war­fare ma­ter­i­als, Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry said on Thursday.

“We be­lieve that could now be re­duced by an­oth­er 20 to 25 days, and we’d like to see that done,” he told law­makers at a Sen­ate Ap­pro­pri­ations Com­mit­tee hear­ing.

However, “wheth­er or not we can suc­ceed in get­ting that done will de­pend to some de­gree on the out­come of events … with re­spect to Ukraine,” Kerry said. “My hope is … that events in Ukraine will not in­ter­fere.”

Ten­sions have soared between Mo­scow and West­ern cap­it­als fol­low­ing the Rus­si­an mil­it­ary oc­cu­pa­tion of Ukraine’s Crimean Pen­in­sula at the start of this month. The sides have ex­changed threats of polit­ic­al and eco­nom­ic re­pris­als as Crimean res­id­ents pre­pared for a Sunday vote on wheth­er to pull away from Ukraine’s new, pro-West­ern in­ter­im gov­ern­ment.

On Fri­day, though, a Rus­si­an For­eign Min­istry in­sider sug­ges­ted the Syr­i­an dis­arm­a­ment op­er­a­tion would move for­ward as planned, Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

“If there are no dif­fi­culties then in a month, on April 13, the re­mov­al will be prac­tic­ally fin­ished,” Mikhail Uly­an­ov, head of the se­cur­ity and dis­arm­a­ment de­part­ment, said in a re­port by the state-run RIA Nov­osti news agency.

Kerry sug­ges­ted that “Rus­sia main­tains a sig­ni­fic­ant in­terest in not hav­ing [Syr­ia’s] chem­ic­al weapons loose, not hav­ing them fall in­to the hands of ter­ror­ists.”

As­sad’s gov­ern­ment — a close part­ner of Mo­scow — agreed to give up the chem­ic­als after an Au­gust sar­in-gas at­tack on an op­pos­i­tion-held area promp­ted in­ter­na­tion­al mil­it­ary threats. Ob­serv­ers have ques­tioned the Syr­i­an re­gime’s abil­ity to fully pro­tect the ma­ter­i­als from seizure by oth­er groups fight­ing in Syr­ia’s civil war, which is now en­ter­ing its fourth year.

What We're Following See More »
CITES CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Lieberman Withdraws from Consideration for FBI Job
2 days ago
THE LATEST
MINIMUM 2 PERCENT GDP
Trump Tells NATO Countries To Pay Up
2 days ago
BREAKING
MANAFORT AND FLYNN
Russians Discussed Influencing Trump Through Aides
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Source:
BUT WHITE HOUSE MAY USE AGAINST HIM ANYWAY
Ethics Cops Clear Mueller to Work on Trump Case
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."

Source:
BUSINESSES CAN’T PLEAD FIFTH
Senate Intel to Subpoena Two of Flynn’s Businesses
4 days ago
THE LATEST

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."

×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login