15 December 2017
Moscow: 18:46
London: 15:46

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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

18.11.2017

Response of the Embassy’s press-secretary to the media question on Syria

Question: UK Special Representative for Syria Martin Longden via Twitter accused Russia of “lack of commitment to protecting international peace and security in Syria” after Russia vetoed the UNSC draft resolution, put forward by the US, on renewal of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) on Chemical Weapons Use in Syria. What is the Embassy’s comment on this matter?

Press-secretary: This is yet another example of the hypocrisy of the UK’s policy on Syria. Our Western partners knew perfectly well about the motives of Russia’s decision to veto the draft resolution, as they were aware of our concerns as regards professionalism and impartiality of the work of the JIM. Instead, the US and the UK were trying to cover up systemic problems in the JIM's work that have been ever clearly exposed by the recent investigation into the Khan Shaykhun incident on 4 April. They vehemently opposed Russia’s proposals aimed at adjusting the Mechanism’s work in order to bring it closer to its original goals that were proclaimed at its establishment and to ensure the proper quality of investigations, in full compliance with the high standards of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The OPCW and JIM behaved not just unprofessionally, but in a biased and politicized way and were clearly fulfilling an external order. Such an approach is unacceptable. We do not deny the importance of investigating any chemical incidents in Syria and in the neighbouring countries, but only provided that the Mechanism is not used as a tool for manipulating public opinion and the UN Member States.   

Interestingly, in the same comment Mr. Longden mentions Russia’s initiative to convene the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi, implying that Russia wants to “wrest control of political support” and “engineer outcome” in favour of President al-Assad. It’s funny to hear such things from an official of the country, whose Syrian policy has been, at best, contradictory. Meanwhile, our only goal in bringing together all political groups and ethnic and religious communities of Syria is to give significant additional impetus to the positive trends that have emerged there and to promote necessary steps towards achieving a peaceful settlement.




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