‘We have our plans’: Vladimir Putin warns US against Syria military action
Russian president says it is too early to say what Russia will do but does not exclude supporting a UN resolution
Dan Roberts and Spencer Ackerman in Washington, Haroon Siddique and Angelique Chrisafis in Paris
Wednesday 4 September 2013
Vladimir Putin has warned the US against launching military action in Syria, stating that Russia has “plans” on how it would react if such a scenario unfolded.
The Russian president’s comments came as Barack Obama for the first time portrayed his plans for US military action as part of a broader strategy to topple Bashar al-Assad, as the White House’s campaign to win over sceptics in Congress gained momentum.
In an interview with Associated Press and Russia’s state Channel 1 television, Putin said it was too early to talk about what Russia would do if the US attacked Syria but added: “We have our ideas about what we will do and how we will do it in case the situation develops toward the use of force or otherwise. We have our plans.”
At the same time he said Russia did not exclude supporting a UN resolution on punitive military strikes if it were proved that Damascus used poison gas on its own people. But he described the idea that Syrian government forces would use chemical weapons at a time when he said they were in the ascendancy and knowing the potential repercussions as absurd. Given his comments, and the fact that Russia has protected Syria from punitive action at the UN security council before, his suggestion that Russia might support a resolution on strikes is unlikely to be given much credence in the US.