And today, I think in record times, we have an agreed proposal. I would like to state that this is a proposal that should gain – judicial form, a low form, but we cannot overestimate it.
I would like to thank all our American partners, especially John Kerry, for a constructive work in the course of which we could – the rhetoric that was not related to the – our negotiations, and to concrete – on the professionalism and to put under international control of the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal, and for the furtherance of its destruction.
And the parting point was the decision of Damascus to join the OPC – the Convention on Chemical Weapons and the readiness of Damascus to be committed – its obligations to the formal entering into force of this convention after 30 days. And this convention and the obligations by the Damascus – will start implementing its obligations much in advance. We have agreed on the mutual steps that our delegations are going to do in – within the organization, OPCW, according to the procedures of it are enlisted in the CWC, that permit operatively and without any delays, without any difficulties, to resolve the objectives of destruction of chemical arsenals.
We hope that the members of the Executive Committee of the OPCW will share our approaches, the Russian approaches and the American approaches, and to adopt a decision on measures about the chemical weapons in Syria…
…And of course, in these approaches agreed on, there is nothing said about the use of force, not about any automatic sanctions we – as I said, all violations should be approved in the Security Council convincingly. And we understand the decisions that we have reached today is only the beginning of the road. And I have said about it, this fact, to a complete resolution of the objective to put under control and elimination and destruction of the chemical weapons in Syrian Arab Republic…
Moderator: The first question will come from Anne Gearan of The Washington Post.
Question: …Minister Lavrov, if I could beg your indulgence to please give at least part of your answer in English, could we get a couple of specifics, please? When is the first inspection? Is there a deadline for that and for further action? I heard you say, Secretary Kerry, that it would be as soon as safely possible. But what’s your idea of the view of when that might be?
And, separately, can you reconcile what I thought I heard you say, Secretary Kerry, about a Chapter 7 resolution with what Minister Lavrov said about taking this – that this removes the threat of the use of force? Is the threat of the use of force within the Security Council still an option here? And is U.S. military action separate from that still an option? Thank you very much.
Foreign Minister Lavrov: (Via interpreter) As for the question that you posed to me, I hope that the interpreters who are working here – they are highly – the interpreters are of high level. Therefore, I will continue to speak Russian.
I would emphasize once again that the documents that you will see for yourself, you will be – we will have this opportunity to read the documents, and they do not need any additional interpretations. Everything is clear in these documents. And these documents cannot – the documents of direct effect – these are Russian and American proposals, and they should be considered first and first of all in the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. After this organization and its executive council adopt corresponding decisions, we will tell you exactly when the first inspection will start, and when these inspections will end. In these documents that will be distributed today, you will see those terms that our experts consider reasonable and simultaneously expeditious that would allow – professionally ensure security of the process of placing under control and elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons…
…Of course, it does not mean that every violation that will be reported to the Security Council will be taken by word. Of course, we will investigate every case, because there are a lot of false information, pieces of information in the world, and we should be very cautious about every fact. And when we are sure, 100 percent, then we in the Russian Federation will be ready to adopt new resolution of the Security Council to embed the measures to punish the perpetrators of this violation, and it’s nonsense to continue the speculations on the matter today.