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Special conference may further polarize OPCW — Russian mission

May 29, 21:15 UTC+3

Earlier on Tuesday, the British Foreign Office said that the United Kingdom called for a special conference of the states parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention

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THE HAGUE, May 29. /TASS/. The West’s call for a special conference of the states parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention is untimely and harmful to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Russia’s Permanent Mission to the OPCW said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the mission "strongly opposes the initiative of Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, the UK and the US to convene a special session of the Conference of State Parties." "Taking into consideration the complexity of the situation at the OPCW we consider such an initiative as untimely and harmful to the Organization," the document says.

"This year The Hague hosts the IV Review Conference that will determine the development of the OPCW for the upcoming 5 years. Any question could be raised as during the Review Conference as during its preparation stage," the mission noted.

"The Russian party expresses its concern about the fact that the group of countries have decided not to make any efforts to lead the Organization out of the crisis and to work within the uniting agenda using the full potential of the review process but to convene a special CSP," the document adds.

"We are certain that under the outwardly neutral wording of the agenda calling upon the upholding the global ban against chemical weapons use stands nothing more than concrete political goals leading to the further polarization of the Organization and widening of the split among its members," the Russian mission concluded.

Earlier on Tuesday, the British Foreign Office said that the United Kingdom called for a special conference of the states parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention. "The special Conference must be held within 30 days of today’s letter. With 11 states already cosponsoring the call, the UK is confident that the OPCW will soon receive the 64 supportive responses needed for the conference to go ahead," the Foreign Office said.

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin earlier requested that OPCW members reject that initiative, pointing out that the West sought to use the event to fuel anti-Moscow and anti-Damascus sentiment over the Skripal case and the alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

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