Comment by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov on the OPCW Executive Council’s special session re-opening in The Hague on April 19

Wednesday, 19 April 2017 08:13

Russia is concerned and alarmed with regard to the ongoing attempts of a number of countries to deliberately distort the situation surrounding the Khan Shaykhun incident on April 4 and, in effect, to dictate to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons their rash, but far-reaching conclusions. Moreover, this is increasingly being done in an unacceptably pushy and defiant manner. The assessment already made at the level of the OPCW Technical Secretariat that the accusations of the use of chemical weapons at Khan Shaykhun are "credible" is not doing any good for the cause.

The situation urgently requires an early inspection by an international group of experts in the area of this incident and the Shayrat airbase, which, as our opponents claim, was used to deliver that strike.

Demanding an unbiased investigation on a geographically balanced basis, we do not pursue any goal other than establishing the truth. The algorithm of the Fact-Finding Mission in Syria, where evidence and testimony are collected remotely, often without visiting the sites, and conclusions are made to fit pre-defined political goals, which we do not share, does not sit well with Russia.

We propose a reasonable alternative, which, we hope, will bring the situation out of its current impasse and allow us to put an end to meaningless public bickering.

We hope that the OPCW Executive Council members and the OPCW Technical Secretariat will rise to the occasion and act responsibly at this juncture.

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