26 April 2017
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London: 01:05

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Russian MFA on the investigation of the chemical weapons use in Syria

We pay attention to the massive stove-piping of various information aimed
at placing the responsibility for the alleged chemical weapons use in Syria
on Damascus, even though the results of the UN investigation have not yet
been revealed.

By such means the way is being paved for military action against Damascus.

In this view, we would like to share the main conclusions made by the
Russian investigators, who analysed samples taken at the site of the March
19 attack with the use of chemical warfare gas at Khan al-Assal near Aleppo.

The Khan al-Assal attack killed at least 26 civilians and Syrian army
soldiers, 86 more suffered injuries of varying severity.

On the 9 July, the results of the probe analysis carried out on the request
of the Syrian government by a Russian laboratory certified by the
Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were handed over to
the Secretary-General of the UN after Damascus had appealed to the latter
for an independent investigation of the incident.

The main conclusions of the Russian experts are as follows:

– the shell used in the incident does not belong to the standard ammunition
of the Syrian army and was home-made according to type and parameters of
the rocket-propelled unguided missiles manufactured in the north of Syria
by the so-called Bashair al-Nasr brigade;

– RDX, which is also known as hexogen or cyclonite, was used as the
bursting charge for the shell, and it is not used in standard chemical

– soil and shell samples contain the non-industrially synthesized nerve
agent sarin and diisopropylfluorophosphate, which was used by Western
states for producing chemical weapons during World War II.

The findings of the report are extremely specific as they mostly consist of
about 100 pages of scientific and technical data from probes’ analysis. We
expect that this data can substantially aid the UN investigation of the
incident. Unfortunately, in effect, it has yet not started.

The attention of those who are set to place the responsibility for all
chemical attacks on the Syrian government has switched to the eastern
Damascus suburb of Ghouta. And again, certain states have adopted a flawed
selective approach in reporting the incidents of alleged chemical weapons

There have been apparent attempts to cast a veil over the incidents of gas
poisoning of Syrian army soldiers on 22, 24 and 25 August. They suffered
poisoning after discovering materials, equipment and tanks with traces of
sarin in the outskirts of Damascus.

The condition of the soldiers has been examined and documented by the UN
experts group headed by Oke Sellstrom. Obviously, any objective
investigation of the 21 August incident in eastern Ghouta is impossible
without the consideration of all these facts.

In the view of the above, we welcome the words of UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon, who said that the UN investigators group headed by Oke Sellstrom
was set to return to Syria to investigate several other cases of alleged
chemical weapons use, including the 19 March incident in Khan al-Assal.



25.04.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions during a joint news conference with OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, Moscow, April 25, 2017

I have held talks with OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier and his delegation. OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier has come to Moscow to attend the sixth Moscow International Security Conference sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Defence. We welcome this opportunity to hold a detailed exchange of views on current issues on the OSCE agenda.

25.04.2017 - Draft OPCW decision on Syria chemical incident that Russia proposed and UK opposed

DRAFT DECISION ADDRESSING THE SITUATION AROUND THE ALLEGED USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN THE KHAN SHAYKHUN AREA OF SOUTHERN IDLIB IN THE SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC The Executive Council, Noting with grave concern reports regarding the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Khan Shaykhun area of Southern Idlib in the Syrian Arab Republic on 4 April 2017; Underlining that the use of any chemical weapons and toxic chemicals as a weapon anywhere by anyone and under any circumstances is reprehensible and completely contrary to the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (hereinafter “the Convention”) and all norms of international law and affirming that those responsible for the use of chemical weapons must be held accountable; Recognising the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and its readiness to continue the cooperation with the OPCW; Welcoming the request of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic for assistance in ensuring immediate and impartial investigation in the Khan Shaykhun area of Southern Idlib and the Shayrat airbase, as well as its readiness to ensure free and safe access to the Shayrat airbase, as contained in the letter to theDirector-General of the OPCW Technical Secretariat (hereinafter “the Secretariat”) dated 11 April 2017;

24.04.2017 - Foreign Ministry statement on the OSCE car explosion in Ukraine

According to statements coming from the OSCE, on the morning of April 23, 2017 an OSCE Special Monitoring Mission vehicle returning from a patrol, experienced a mine explosion in the district of Slavyanoserbsky, Lugansk Region, two kilometres away from the line of contact, resulting in the death of one paramedic from the United States working as a contractor with the OSCE. International monitors who were also in the vehicle were wounded.

21.04.2017 - Victory Day Сelebrations in the UK

Programme of 9 May Victory Day celebrations around UK

21.04.2017 - Embassy Press Officer on Sir Alan Duncan’s comments regarding protection of rights of LGBT community in Russia

On 20 April Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Sir Alan Duncan, speaking in the Commons, accused the Government of Chechnya of inciting violence against LGBT people, persecution of gays and ill-treatment of over 100 men because of their sexual orientation. These allegations are solely based on publications in the “Novaya Gazeta” newspaper and are not supported by any other proven data. Russian law enforcement authorities received no notifications from the so-called “victims” of threats. Nevertheless, they conducted proper checks, which didn’t reveal any evidence of violence and ill-treatment of LGBT persons.

21.04.2017 - Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov’s interview with Kommersant newspaper, published April 19, 2017

Question: Do you know when and where President of Russia Vladimir Putin will meet with US President Donald Trump? Sergey Ryabkov: We have reaffirmed our readiness for such a meeting several times. We understand that contacts at the highest level are crucial for adjusting the agenda, areas of focus and the direction we are moving in.

20.04.2017 - Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, April 19, 2017

I would like to touch on fake news and hoaxes – in fact, blatant misinformation – in this context. I announced a figure today that shows that Russia has sent over 60 humanitarian convoys to the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. Just remember what it all began with: tweets and Western press reports about Russia launching an armed invasion of Ukraine. Convoys in duly marked white lorries were made out to be carrying armoured vehicles and not humanitarian aid.

20.04.2017 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the planned meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on Spitsbergen

In connection with media reports on the plans to hold a meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on Spitsbergen in May, we believe it is necessary to make the following statement.

19.04.2017 - "Diplomacy of Plants" Article by Consul General Mr Andrey Pritsepov and Regius Keeper of Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Mr Simon Milne in "the Herald" newspaper, published 12.04.2017

The key commonality between plant science and diplomacy it is the sensitivity towards passing seasons. Both must learn to adapt to withstand good times and bad. In an unsettled period for world politics and diplomacy some respite is sorely needed. When diplomatic relations are strained, innovative and creative approaches to building bridges between nations is even more in demand.

19.04.2017 - Press release on the Foreign Ministry reception to mark Orthodox Easter

Оn April 18, a reception was held at the Reception House of the Russian Foreign Ministry on behalf of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the occasion of Orthodox Easter. Attending were Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Russian Orthodox Church hierarchs, representatives of traditional faiths, Russian state officials, public figures, and diplomats.

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