Sept. 19 - Russian President Putin said he is not 100 percent certain that a plan to destroy Syrian chemical weapons will be carried out but he sees reason to hope it will. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is not 100 percent certain that a plan for the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons would be carried out successfully -- but he sees reason to hope it will. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "Syria announced that it is ready to join, not only ready, but it already considers itself a member of the Chemical Weapons Convention. These are practical steps the Syrian government has already taken. Whether it will be able to bring this process to the end, I cannot be 100 percent sure, but everything we have seen until now in the last days gives me confidence that it is is possible, and that it will be done." In an interview with Fox TV Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denied that his government was behind last month's chemical weapons attack. Putin also says he strongly believes the attack was staged by rebel forces. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "We have all the grounds to suggest that this is a provocation. You know, a clever sneaky one, of course, but at the same time, judging by how it was executed, it was primitive. The old Soviet-made shell casings that had long ago been taken out of use from the Syrian army - 'made in the USSR' was still written there - were used. It's not the first time chemical weapons were used in Syria. Why haven't the previous cases been investigated?" Western governments say a U.N. report confirmed Assad's forces were behind the attack in rebel-held areas.