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Russia, US to discuss steps in response to chemical attacks in Syria — UN envoy

August 25, 18:18 UTC+3
Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin and his US counterpart Samantha Power have agreed to discuss the report on the use of chemical weapons in Syria
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© EPA/SEDAT SUNA

UNITED NATIONS, August 25. /TASS/. Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin is going to discuss with his US counterpart Samantha Power the possible steps in response to a report on chemical attacks in Syria. He said as much commenting on the report of the OPCW-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) to investigate the use of chemicals during the Syrian conflict.

"JIM is the creation of the Russian and US delegations working together. It was a very complicated process, and yesterday I talked to Ambassador Power, she was on vacation. Nevertheless, we agreed that as soon as she gets back from vacation, we'll get together and see what we can agree on on the basis of this report," the diplomat said.

According to Churkin, the report is very thorough and detailed, and it will take some time to study it. He also warned against jumping to conclusions, adding that it is necessary to work very carefully.

The report prepared by the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism will be discussed at a meeting of the UN Security Council that will be held behind closed doors on August 30. The delegations of three UN Security Council permanent members (the United Kingdom, the United States and France) have already said that they will seek measures against those responsible for the chemical attacks.

Syria agreed in September 2013 to place its chemical weapons at the disposal of the international community for their subsequent elimination as part of a deal concluded between Moscow and Washington. The deal was preceded by a gas attack in the suburbs of Damascus, which killed from 280 to 1,700 people, according to various data. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that by convincing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to give up chemical weapons stocks, Russia prevented a US strike against Syria whose consequences would have been destructive.

The agreement on Syria’s chemical disarmament was sealed by UN Security Council Resolution 2118 passed on September 27, 2013. The UN Security Council warned in this resolution that in case of the use of chemical weapons by anyone in Syria, it might take measures under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which admits of the possibility of imposing sanctions and using military force.

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