“Providing this effort is fully implemented, it can end the threat that these weapons pose not only to the Syrian people but to their neighbors, to the region,” and the rest of the world, he said.
Lavrov stressed that the documents released Saturday constitute an “agreed proposal” that does not yet have the force of law.
Senior administration officials had said Friday that the Obama administration would not press for U.N. authorization to use force against Syria if it reneges on any agreement to give up its chemical weapons.
One fear throughout the more than two-year civil war has been that the weapons would fall under the control of militant groups or that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, if desperate enough, could sell them to the highest bidder.
Syrian rebel commander Gen. Salim Idriss reiterated his rejection of the Russian initiative Saturday, saying that it effectively leaves Assad unpunished for an allegedchemical weapons attack in Damascus on Aug. 21.
“What about the murderer Bashar who gave the order? Should we forget him?” he said, speaking at a televised press conference in Istanbul. “We feel let down by the international community. We don’t have any hope.”
Idriss said that the United States and other international allies of the Syrian opposition are backing the Russian deal despite knowing that it is a ploy to protect the Syrian government. Russia and Syria are “playing games” to buy more time, he said, adding that with the focus now on chemical weapons, the Syrians killed by other weapons such as Scud missiles have been forgotten.