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Russia’s UN envoy calls UN Security Council vote on Syria mission ‘orchestrated show’

October 24, 23:10 UTC+3 UN

During Tuesday’s Security Council session, Russia vetoed the US-initiated draft resolution on the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) to investigate chemical accidents in Syria

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Russia’s UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzya

Russia’s UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzya

© AP Photo/Craig Ruttle

UN, October 24. /TASS/. The UN Security Council vote on extending the mandate of a UN mission investigating chemical attacks in Syria was "an orchestrated show," Russia’s UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzya said after the vote on Tuesday.

During Tuesday’s UN Security Council session, Russia vetoed the US-initiated draft resolution on the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) established by the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate chemical accidents in Syria. The mission’s mandate expires on November 17.

"It is entertaining to see a number of delegations, not just one of them, making ready-made statements condemning the use of veto by certain countries. Did they know in advance that we were going to use the veto right today? This only confirms that today we witnessed an orchestrated show which had only one purpose - to put one nation in the pillory," he said.

The Russian envoy said he regretted that the authors of the resolution "have chosen the path of confrontation and controversy in the Security Council."

"However, it is evident that those who requested holding this session knew beforehand how the situation would unfold, and that their goals were totally different from what they claimed in their speeches," Nebenzya said.

The Russian diplomat said the vote was "senseless," because it "in no way affected the future" of the mission.

Nebenzya called on his Security Council partners to wait for the UN mission’s final report, due on October 26. The document is expected to carry the mission’s conclusions regarding the April 4 chemical incident in the Syrian city of Khan Shaykhun.

"We will again raise the issue of extending the JIM mandate once the report is delivered and carefully discussed by the UN Security Council. We will see how the JIM mandate should look like to enable an unbiased and professional work and to prevent sessions like this one in the future," he said.

The Russian envoy reiterated that Russia favors a thorough investigation of every chemical incident in Syria and believes that those responsible must be brought to justice. "In fact, this is what we are trying to achieve," he said.

 

Russian veto

Earlier on Tuesday, 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, Bolivia voted against the US-initiated document. 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.

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