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Moscow to assess possibilities for expert work in Idlib following OPCW voting

April 21, 10:30 UTC+3

The deputy foreign minister is hopeful that "Russia’s opponents will not keep on hyping the same old accusations against Damascus and Moscow in the coming days"

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MOSCOW, April 21. /TASS/. Moscow will consider the possibilities left to investigate into the alleged chemical attack in Syria’s Khan Shaykhun after the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) voted against Russian-Iranian proposal, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told TASS on Friday.

"We will assess the situation to figure out what possibilities are left to carry out activities on the scene and what practical steps could be taken for that," he said. "But it clearly will require some time."

The deputy foreign minister was hopeful that "Russia’s opponents will not keep on hyping the same old accusations against Damascus and Moscow in the coming days." "It will not help matters while it is sure to flare up tensions," the Russian diplomat pointed out.

"The most reasonable thing to do right now would be to weigh what is more important - achieving a result or playing the kind of dangerous political games that the Western countries engage in," Ryabkov added.

OPCW voting

On Thursday, the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons rejected a joint Russian-Iranian proposal concerning the chemical weapons incident which allegedly took place in the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun, the Idlib Governorate, on April 4.

Moscow insisted that an investigated should be conducted on the scene, that is, in Khan Shaykhun and at the Shayrat airbase which became the target of a US missile strike. Russia also said that the investigation should not be based only on information provided by the Syrian opposition members and the data available on the internet, while the make-up of the investigating group should be balanced.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, on April 4, the Syrian air force delivered airstrikes on several militant facilities where munitions filled with poisonous substances were being made. However, Washington came to the conclusion that Damascus had used chemical weapons which led the US to carry out a missile attack on a Syrian military air base located in the Homs Governorate on April 7, as the US believes that the attack on Khan Shaykhun was launched from there.

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