MOSCOW - Russia is ready to help guard Syria's chemical weapons sites when President Bashar Assad's chemical arms stockpiles and factories are destroyed, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying on Thursday by news agencies.
"We will be ready to help in guarding those facilities where work is being carried out," Interfax news agency reported Ryabkov as saying at an arms fair.
Ryabkov was speaking as the United Nations Security Council works on agreeing to a resolution on a chemical arms deal that is acceptable to both Russia and Western countries.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed earlier this month to a deal under which Assad would account for his weapons stockpiles within a week and allow their destruction by mid-2014.
A major sticking point between Russia and the West has been whether the resolution is written under Chapter 7 of the UN charter, which covers the Security Council's authority to enforce decisions with measures such as sanctions or military force.
Regardless of Syria's ability to follow through on the destruction of their chemical weapons cache, Assad believes there will always be a Western threat on Syria.
Speaking in an interview with Venezuelan state-run television station Telesur, Assad said "the potential for a (Western) military offensive will always be present. Either under the pretext of chemical weapons, or at other times under different pretexts."
The Syrian leader then went on the offensive, accusing the US of continually forgoing the United Nations, "violating all human and moral values."