cbsnews.com The speaker of Russia's national legislature said Friday that a plan to send a parliamentary delegation to Washington to try and convince U.S. lawmakers that a unilateral military intervention in Syria would be unwarranted and counterproductive had been cancelled. Sergei Naryshkin, speaker of the State Duma, said the delegation would no longer travel to the U.S. and called the decisions by House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to refuse to meet their Russian counterparts deplorable. Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson confirmed Thursday that Reid had turned down the offer. Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said the speaker had also declined the offer. "We are really disappointed by their decision not to meet with their Russian colleagues," said Russian Embassy spokesman Maxim Abramov on Thursday after the U.S. congressmen made their decisions public. Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed the delegation on Monday. Meanwhile, Russia's government-linked news agencies quoted senior military officials as saying two more of the country's warships were headed for the Mediterranean, near Syria's western coast. The RIA-Novosti agency said two ships from Russia's Black Sea Fleet, the frigate Smetlivyi and the landing ship Nicholai Filchenkov, an electronic surveillance vessel, were ready to head to the region, according to a high-ranking source in the defense ministry. Russian news agencies said at the end of August that the navy was dispatching an anti-submarine ship and a missile cruiser to the Mediterranean. Russia has a military base on Syria's west coast at Tartus, and has been slowlyincreasing its naval presence in the region, along with the U.S., in recent weeks. CBS News correspondent David Martin reported that one U.S. submarine and five missile destroyers were expected to take up positions in the eastern Mediterranean -- all armed with cruise missiles. to read more click here: cbsnews.com
Sign up for our free e-mail list to see future vaticancatholic.com videos and articles.