In this citizen journalism image provided by the United media office of Arbeen which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, black smoke leaps the air from government forces shelling in Damascus, Syria, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/United media office of Arbeen)
MOSCOW — The Russian news agency Interfax says President Vladimir Putin hopes to send a delegation of lawmakers to the U.S. to discuss the situation in Syria with members of Congress.
Russian legislators Valentina Matvienko and Sergei Naryshkin proposed that to Putin today, saying polls have shown little support among Americans for armed intervention in Syria to punish its regime for an alleged chemical weapons attack.
The lawmakers said maybe U.S. legislators can be persuaded to take a “balanced stance” on the issue. Putin supported the initiative, which would require formal approval by the Foreign Ministry.
Russia has been a stalwart ally of Syria’s Bashar Assad, and Putin spoke out on Saturday against the prospect of U.S. military intervention in Syria, calling such a move “foolish nonsense” that “defies all logic.”