NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) says he does not trust Vladimir Putin, but he also welcomes any help the Russian president can provide in removing chemical weapons from Syria.
“Obviously, we’re going to have to be real careful,” Schumer said of an agreement between Russia and the United States that could prevent a U.S. military strike on the Syrian government. “Neither (Syrian President Bashar) Assad nor Putin is to be trusted. … I am not a fan of Putin. I think he does many, many bad things in his country and elsewhere, but if he finds it is in his interest to come clean here and help, it’s a good thing.”
Schumer, speaking Sunday to 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck on the Lower East Side, added that it may be in Putin’s interest to disarm Syria of chemical weapons.
- Despite Skepticism Of Putin, Schumer Welcomes U.S.-Russia Deal On Syria
- 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports.
“There are Islamic fundamentalists rebels in Chechnya, and some of those might be in Syria,” he said. “So if they get hold of these chemical weapons, (they might) send them up to Chechnya.”
Meanwhile, a high-ranking Syrian official called the U.S.-Russian agreement on securing Syria’s chemical weapons a “victory” for President Bashar Assad’s regime, but the U.S. warned Sunday “the threat of force is real” if Damascus fails to carry out the plan.
The comments by Syrian Minister of National Reconciliation Ali Haidar to a Russian state news agency were the first by a senior Syrian government official on the deal struck a day earlier in Geneva. Under the agreement, Syria will provide an inventory of its chemical arsenal within one week and hand over all of the components of its program by mid-2014.
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Source: CBS local New York