29 May 2017
Moscow: 16:11
London: 14:11

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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.



29.05.2017 - Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on the continued hunger strike of Palestinian inmates in Israeli prison

Recently Palestinian-Israeli relations have been further strained by the negative developments concerning Palestinian inmates in Israel. Over 1,200 prisoners have taken part in an indefinite hunger strike since April 17. (According to the media, there are about 6,500 Palestinians in Israeli prisons.)

27.05.2017 - Ambassador Yakovenko takes part in Russo-British Chamber of Commerce Business Forum

On 25 May Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko took part in the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce (RBCC) Business Forum in London. The event gathered a large number of Russian and British companies.

26.05.2017 - Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, May 25, 2017

Over the past few days, we have noted with satisfaction the consolidation of positive trends in the military-political situation in Syria. This is directly related to the implementation of the memorandum on creating de-escalation zones in Syria, which was signed by Russian, Iranian and Turkish representatives at the international meeting on Syria in Astana on May 4.

26.05.2017 - Statement by Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich at the OSCE Permanent Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine and the need to implement the Minsk Agreements, Vienna, May 25, 2017

The situation in Ukraine is escalating. The domestic political struggle is intensifying, which takes the nation further away from settling the conflict and aggravates the contradictions in society. Such measures as the blockade of Donbass, the so-called de-communisation, rewriting history, the hunt for “separatists,” restrictions on information through banning Russian-language TV channels, websites and social networks are working against the peaceful settlement of the conflict. The list of such measures continues to expand.

25.05.2017 - Press release on the exchange of greetings between foreign ministers of Russia and Slovenia on the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations

On May 25, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Slovenia Karl Viktor Erjavec exchanged greetings on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two states.

24.05.2017 - Meeting of Vladimir Putin with FIFA President Gianni Infantino

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Infantino, we are glad that you have a positive view of Russia’s efforts to prepare for the FIFA World Cup and Confederations Cup.

23.05.2017 - Condolences to British Prime Minister Theresa May

President Vladimir Putin expressed his deep condolences to Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Theresa May over the tragic consequences of the terrorist attack at the Manchester stadium.

23.05.2017 - Press release on the arbitral tribunal on the law of the sea (claim of Ukraine against the Russian Federation)

On 12 May the arbitral tribunal established under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the request of Ukraine claiming violation by the Russian Federation of this Convention held its first meeting. The arbitral tribunal presided by Judge Jin-Hyun Paik (Republic of Korea) considered, with the participation of representatives of the Russian Federation and Ukraine, the principal procedural documents that will govern the work of the tribunal.

22.05.2017 - Press release on a meeting of the Russian-Palestinian Working Committee on the Middle East

On May 20, a meeting of the Russian-Palestinian Working Committee on the Middle East was held at the Russian Foreign Ministry. The Russian party was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov (co-chairman of the committee) and Sergey Vershinin, the Russian Foreign Minister’s Special Representative for Middle East Settlement and Director of the Ministry’s Middle East and North Africa Department. The Palestinians were represented by Nabil Shaath, the Palestinian President’s advisor on Foreign Affairs and International Relations and a member of the PLO Central Council (co-chairman of the committee), and Palestinian Ambassador to Russia Abdel Hafiz Nofal.

19.05.2017 - Press release on Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov’s meeting with a delegation of the Syrian High Negotiations Committee

On May 18, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov held a meeting with a delegation of the Syrian High Negotiations Committee (Riyadh Group). There was an exchange of views on the progress and prospects of the inter-Syrian talks under UN auspices, in particular, in the context of the latest proposals by the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

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