MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. Moscow calls on Western countries to stop meddling with the work of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in Syria (OPCW), Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday, commenting on the French Foreign Ministry’s allegations that Russia and Syria are impeding the work of the OPCW mission.
She said that such position of the French Foreign Ministry "is surprising." "We call on Western countries that staged the illegitimate strike on Syria to stop manipulating public opinion and meddling with the work of international organizations," she stressed.
"First, it was Russia that called for an immediate OPCW inspection," she recalled. "Second, not being the organizer of the mission, the Russian side offered all possible assistance to it. And now, the inspectors have reached Douma (a city in Syria and site of a presumable chemical attack - TASS)."
She noted that it had taken that long of the OPCW inspectors to reach Douma because there still were militants in that city and the United Nations wanted additional security guarantees. "I don’t see why the French Foreign Ministry is speaking for the OPCW and its inspectors. If the inspectors had any problems, they would have made a statement on that matter themselves," she said.
SANA news agency said earlier that OPCW experts had arrived in Douma on Tuesday and had immediately begun their fact-finding mission. They are expected to assess the situation and collect information about the April 7 alleged chemical attack reported by a number of non-government organizations, including the White Helmets described by the Russian Defense Ministry as unreliable source of information.