10 July 202019:53

Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on an OPCW Executive Council decision to accuse Syria of violating the Chemical Weapons Convention


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On July 7-9, The Hague hosted a regular, 94th session of the OPCW Executive Council. Experts from the member countries’ capitals did not take part due to the quarantine restrictions. This is regrettable, especially considering the importance of the issues that were discussed.

At the session, the Western countries actively promoted the approval of the first report by the “attributive” Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) they imposed on the OPCW over the events in Ltamenah, Syria on March 24, 25 and 30, 2017. The report accuses Syria’s Air Force of using toxic chemicals against civilians in this area.

Based on the evidence, we have repeatedly informed the OPCW that this report is biased, politically motivated, unauthentic, professionally weak and technically unconvincing. Even the wording of the IIT’s main conclusion that “that there are reasonable grounds to believe” shows that its authors could not reach an unequivocal opinion. The proponents of this anti-Syrian attitude did not even try to conceal the hidden motives behind the Western-inspired material which was used to prepare the draft of this unacceptable decision on Syria’s alleged failure to comply with the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The Russian Federation and many other states parties to the CWC are convinced that the creation of an “attributive mechanism,” notably, the IIT that was set up and is dominated by the US-led interested Western countries contradicts the provisions of the convention. The activities of this quasi-procuratorial group trample over the exclusive prerogatives of the UN Security Council. The goal of this geopolitical project is clear: to undermine the position of the Bashar al-Assad government through political manipulation and insinuation.

The Western countries decided to push this decision through by holding a vote. This is an obvious political farce. However, despite the numerical superiority of the participants in the Euro-Atlantic military political structures in the OPCW governing bodies and their unprecedented pressure on other Executive Council members, they managed to get the desired result, but only with great difficulty.

This faulty and underhanded approach causes indignation. Together with many other responsible members of the international community, Russia made a statement in The Hague against the further politicisation of the OPCW’s activities. This organisation must not be held hostage to the states that impose their self-serving mercenary agenda on it. If no end is put to their actions, the OPCW may become totally paralysed.


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