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Russia wants to see how data for report on Khan Shaykhun was collected — UN envoy

October 24, 20:20 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

Earlier in the day, Russia blocked a United Nations Security Council resolution extending the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism’s mandate in Syria

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UNITED NATIONS, October 24. /TASS/. Russia wants to see a report with the results of the probe into the April 4 incident in Syria’s Khan Shaykhun, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said on Tuesday after a meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

He said Russia wants to study the report, to see "how they collected data, how they came to the conclusions." "We hope to see it in a non-politicized way," he stressed.

Earlier in the day, Russia blocked a United Nations Security Council resolution extending the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism’s mandate in Syria for another year.

Along with Russia, the US-initiated document receive a negative vote from Bolivia. Kazakhstan and China abstained.

Before the voting, Russia asked to postpone discussion of the matter to November 7 to see the mission’s report on the probe into the Khan Shaykhun incident of April 4. But the proposal was rejected by the majority of the Security Council members.

The mandate of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism expires in November. The mission is expected to issue its report on October 26. One of the previous such reports placed responsibility for three chemical attacks on the Syrian government army and the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) was held reposnsible for one such attack. The Russian foreign ministry said earlier that possible extension of the Mechanism’s mandate would depend on whether it would be able to conduct a proper probe into the Khan Shaykhun incident.

The OPCW report published on June 29 said that sarin or a similar nerve agent was sprayed in Syria’s Khan Shaykhun on April 4. As a result, nearly 100 people, many of them children, were killed. According to the Russia’s Defense Ministry, the Syrian aircraft struck terrorists’ workshops producing chemical warfare agents in Khan Shaykun. Washington accused Damascus of using chemical weapons, after which the US Navy delivered a missile strike in the small hours of April 7 on Syria's Shayrat military airfield in the province of Homs.

Last week, director of the Russian foreign ministry’s non-proliferation and arms control department, Mikhail Ulyanov, said that Russian tends to think that the Khan Shaykhun incident was a stunt attack.

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