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Russian ministry dismisses US claims about Russian chemical weapons as blackmail

November 09, 17:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, November 9. /TASS/. Russia regards claims by US Department of State officials it is in breach of international chemical weapons control legislation as attempts to distract attention from internal contradictions. US allegations look like outright blackmail, the Industry and Trade Ministry told TASS.

"Russia sees the so-called conclusions by US Department of State officials it is in breach of international chemical weapons legislation, which outlaws the proliferation and use of chemical weapons, as outright attempts to distract attention from internal contradictions. Russia strictly complies with the Chemical Weapons Convention and it has coped in full with its obligations to eliminate the declared chemical weapons stockpiles under the strict control of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons," the ministry said.

The US Department of State’s demand Russia provide guarantees within a certain deadline it will no longer use nerve agents look like "flagrant mockery of common sense."

"Russia did not use chemical warfare agents either before the Chemical Weapons Convention took effect or after it assumed obligations under that international agreement. It has created a robust legislative basis envisaging punishment for violations in that sphere. Far-fetched US allegations about Russia’s non-compliance with the American chemical weapons law is another attempt to erode international treaties in the field of arms control and elimination," the ministry said, adding that US claims looked like "outright blackmail and unlawful pressure, which Russia cannot tolerate."

Russia is prepared to work with any partners over the problem of prohibiting the use of chemical weapons, the ministry said.

"However, it will be prepared to do so not in the form of presenting accounts of compliance with somebody else’s internal acts or results of investigation conducted without our participation, but exclusively on an equal footing and within the corresponding mechanisms and procedures," the ministry said.

The US and other foreign states did not request access to Russian chemical facilities. "The Convention for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons provides for consultations, cooperation and investigation of facts between member states or via the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in accordance with the provisions of Article 9. According to the information of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade - Russia’s national body responsible for implementing the Convention for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons - there have been no requests from the American side. We have no information on requests for access to chemical facilities on the Russian territory from any foreign states, organizations or institutions," the ministry stated.

The ministry stressed that in case of a request from OPCW member states, the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade will act in accordance with the articles of the Convention for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Earlier, US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert stated that the US plans to implement a second set of sanctions against Russia in accordance with the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991. She added that on Tuesday, the US State Department informed the US Congress that it could not certify that the Russian Federation met the conditions required by this act.

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