Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has promised that he would surrender Syria's chemical weapons but warned that disposal would take at least a year and could cost up to a billion dollars.
In a confident interview with a US TV network, President Assad reiterated his pledge to co-operate but warned against unrealistic expectations.
"I think it's a very complicated operation, technically.
"And it needs a lot of money, about a billion," he said.
"So it depends, you have to ask the experts what they mean by quickly.
"It needs a year or maybe a little bit more."
Mr Assad insisted that Syria was a victim of terrorism.
"What we have is not civil war. It's a new kind of war," he said, pointing out that Islamist guerillas from more than 80 countries had joined the fight.
The Syrian president admitted that at the start there had been non-jihadist rebels, but said that Islamist extremists had become a majority.
He added that "tens of thousands of Syrians" and 15,000 government troops had been killed "mainly because of the terrorist attacks and suicide bombers."
He also repeated his protestations of innocence over chemical attacks during the war.
Meanwhile, the five UN security council nations held talks on a resolution backing the Russian arms surrender plan.
UN envoys from the US, Russia, France, Britain and China held two hours of talks at the US mission.
"There is no accord yet, there will be more negotiations," said one UN diplomat.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.