Putin to Send Delegation to Congress over Syria Crisis
Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that a parliamentary delegation will be sent to the United States to lobby the U.S. Congress to vote against a military strike on Syria. The idea was tabled by Russian lawmakers.
"The initiative is very timely and correct," Putin said as he met with the speakers of Russia's upper and lower houses of parliament.
He added: "Our American colleagues could better understand and feel what the Russian Federation's position is based on and listen to our arguments."
"We would like to address the Senate and the Congress," said Valentina Matviyenko Speaker of Russia's Upper House.
The delegation is intending to travel to the United States before September 9 when US lawmakers officially return from their summer recess.
The announcement comes on the heels of President Obama's hesitation to order an immediate strike on Syria, and could complicate his attempts to seal support for a military response to the deadly Sarin chemical attack which he says killed over 1400 civilians on August 21.
Putin has said that the proposed U.S.strike on Syria would be unacceptable and that the idea that Assad's forces could have used such weapons is "utter nonsense."
Russia has consistently backed the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad throughout the two and a half year conflict blocking several attempts to punish his regime at the UN Security Council.
Despite the vote yet to take place at Congress, the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Nimitz, accompanied by a group of warships, has moved into the Red Sea in preparation for a possible strike.