Sept. 2 - Russian legislators tell President Vladimir Putin they want to fly to Washington and meet with U.S. lawmakers ahead of a critical vote on whether the U.S. should carry out military strikes on Syria. Deborah Gembara reports.
Russian lawmakers have a message for their American counterparts in Congress, and they want to deliver it in person: 'don't attack Syria.' Meeting with President Vladimir Putin, senior lawmaker Valentina Matviyenko told him delegations of lawmakers are ready to board a flight Washington. SOUNDBITE: SPEAKER OF FEDERATION COUNCIL VALENTINA MATVIYENKO SAYING: "I think if we were able to establish a dialogue with our partners in the U.S. Congress, to exchange opinions, facts, we could possibly understand each other better. We hope that the U.S. Congress will take a balanced position in the end and, without strong arguments in place, and we see today that the arguments don't really exist - Congress probably won't support plans to use force in Syria." Congress is due to vote on whether to carry out a military strike on Syria just days after the Obama administration says it confirmed that Syrian forces used sarin gas to kill more than 1,400 people. Russia has so far, been dismissive of these findings. What influence Russian legislators might have is unclear. What is clear is that Obama's bid to gain support from congress will be more challenging now in the wake of the British parliament rejection of David Cameron's push for an attack.