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Russia pressing Syria to release chemical weapons

Russia’s foreign minister said Monday that Moscow will “immediately” pressure Syria to relinquish its chemical weapons stockpile in an attempt to avert a U.S. military strike.

Sergey Lavrov told reporters Russia would ask Syria to place its chemical weapons in certain areas that would receive international oversight and then dismantle them, according to The Associated Press.

Lavrov spoke the same day Secretary of State John Kerry said Syria could avoid a strike it if turned over all of its chemical weapons.

Asked Monday if there was anything Syrian President Bashar Assad could do to prevent a strike, Kerry said: “Sure. He could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week.”

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