Report: Boehner rejects request to meet Russian delegation

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has rejected a request from the Russian Embassy to meet a delegation regarding Syria, CNN reported Wednesday night. 

“The Speaker has declined the Russian Embassy’s request that he meet with a delegation," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told the network.

An embassy spokesman told CNN that a delegation, including members of the upper and lower chambers of the Russian Parliament, intends to meet with Senate and House leaders of both political parties next week on Capitol Hill.

The Kremlin has disputed U.S. intelligence reports that say Syrian President Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons against the people in his country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier Wednesday that he would consider a military strike against the Assad regime in Syria, but only if it was sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council.

“I do not exclude this,” Putin said in an interview with The Associated Press.

“But I would like to draw your attention to one absolutely key aspect. In line with international law, only the U.N. Security Council could sanction the use of force against a sovereign state. Any other pretext or method which might be used to justify the use of force against an independent sovereign state is inadmissible and can only be interpreted as an aggression.”

Russia is a strong ally of Syria and has close military ties to the country. There’s a Russian naval base in Syria, and Moscow sells arms to the Assad regime.