MOSCOW, April 21. /TASS/. Russia reserves the right to take any measures that could shed light on the supposed nerve gas attack in the Syrian city of Khan Sheykhun, Idlib Governorate, Alexander Shulgin, the Russian permanent representative at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said on Thursday at a session of the OPCW’s Executive Committee.
The Russian Foreign Ministry published the text of his speech at its official homepage.
"The Russian side, which is committed to the objectives and tasks of the Chemical Weapons Convention and which is acting strictly within the framework of the Convention, reserves the right to take any measures that it will find to be rational in order to shed light on the incident in Khan Sheykhoun, as well as to probe into the U.S. claims that the Shayrat airbase was used to deliver airstrikes involving chemical weapons," Shulgin said.
He also said the joint Russian-Iranian proposal on an urgent launching of a full-scale investigation of the circumstances of the Khan-Sheykhun incident had failed to get the needed number of votes at the Executive Council and opposition to the draft resolution had come. first and foremost, from Western countries.
"The fact the delegations of some countries - and in the first place, the ones representing the Western group - are evading the solution proposed by Iran and Russia leads up to a conclusion they are really not interested in establishing truth," Shulgin said.
Along with it, he said a big enough number of countries had refrained from voting. This shows that "unequivocal automatic support of the vision of the situation superimposed by the West is giving way to critical reassessment."
"Irresponsible maneuvering - that’s the right way to assess the Western countries’ initiative for an urgent convocation of the Executive Committee session in the wake of events in Idlib and the subsequent befuddled claims that no decision was needed in the final run," Shulgin said. "We’re pleased to see many delegations are beginning to analyze the situation seriously."
"I think that’s a prerequisite for putting an eventual barrier to politicized, narrow, jingoistic approaches," he said.
The incident in Khan Sheykhoun that supposedly involved the use of the nerve gas Sarin or a similar agent occurred on April 4. The Russian Defense Ministry said the Syrian Air Force had destroyed the workshops where the militants had been manufacturing poison chemicals.
In the meantime, Washington accused the Syrian authorities of utilizing chemical weapons and delivered a ‘warning’ strike with Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase in Homs Governorate in the small hours of April 7.