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Russian diplomat says West impeding investigation of chemical attacks in Syria

July 11, 2013, 23:09 UTC+3

He indicated in addition to it that a decision on allowing the inspectors into Syria stays outside the scope of powers of the UN Security Council

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UNITED NATIONS, July 11 (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin has issued sharp criticism at Western countries at the UN Security Council, saying they engage in producing minimally veritable assertions about the combat utilization of chemical weapons in Syria.

One gets an impression that the West is trying this way to impede the investigation initiated at by UN at a request from the Syrian government, Churkin said.

“Unfortunately, what our counterparts are doing here boils down to the attempts to produce a maximum quantity of minimally veritable assertions so as to plant as many problems as possible in the way of organizing this investigation,” he said.

Churkin recalled that the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said attention would be given to trustworthy evidence when he was taking a decision to set up a team of the examination of the suspicious attacks.

As for the trustworthy evidence, he cited the results of an expert study carried out by Russia and confirming the use of combat chemical weaponry by the irreconcilable militants in Khan al-Assal near Aleppo March 19.

A detailed report on the study, which the Russian experts did on the spot, was handed earlier this week to the Secretary General and to other permanent members of the Security Council.

In the light of it, the U.S. Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki came up with a statement Wednesday where she claimed Russia is blocking U.N. Security Council efforts to push for "an independent and credible investigation" of chemical attacks in Syria.

These claims stand at variance with reality, Churkin said, adding that Russia has been doing everything in its power since the very date of the Khan al-Assal incident to assist the investigation commissioned to Dr. Ake Sellstrom of Sweden.

He indicated in addition to it that a decision on allowing the inspectors into Syria stays outside the scope of powers of the UN Security Council.

“For this to happen, there should be an agreement between the Syrian government and the UN Secretariat and that’s precisely what the Syrian government tried to attain by inviting the chemical weaponry experts their country in March,” Churkin said. “And it’s not our guilt in any way that Syrian government was offered a format of investigation, which it simply couldn’t accept.”

The investigation of the March 19 incident near Aleppo mired after the Western countries managed to ram through the examination of claims on other incidents where chemical weapons had allegedly been used in Syria. The U.S., Britain and France have so far submitted data on ten such incidents, traditionally blaming all of them on the Syrian government.

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