Russia: We have ‘common understanding’ with US over Syria weapons

Secretary of State John Kerry with Russian President Vladimir Putin as they gather for the traditional "leaders' family photo Dennis M. Sabangan / AFP - Getty Images

Russia and the United States have reached a “common understanding” on how to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria, President Vladimir Putin reportedly said Tuesday after meeting Secretary of State John Kerry.

The pair chatted and shook hands in front of reporters at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade summit on the Indonesian island of Bali.

"We have a common understanding of what needs to be done and how. I am very glad that President (Barack) Obama is occupying this position (on chemical arms)," Putin later told reporters, according to Reuters.

The apparent agreement comes less than a month after the two countries were in a high-profile international deadlock over how to deal with Syria, with the White House considering air strikes on Damascus to punish the suspected use of chemical weapons on civilians in August.

International experts charged with starting the process of verifying and eliminating chemical weapons arrived in Syria earlier this month. Russia, Syria's long-time ally and arms supplier, has offered to assist with the demolition process.

Putin said he believed experts would be able to accomplish their goal of ridding Syria of its chemical arms within a year. 

Reuters contributed to this report.

Related: Kerry 'very pleased' at Syria compliance over chemical weapons