UN, April 10. /TASS/. Russia’s draft resolution on investigation into a reported chemical attack in Syria’s Douma failed to get required support at the UN Security Council on Tuesday.
The document was supported by six UN Security Council members, including Russia and China. Seven nations voted against, two countries abstained. A resolution needs nine votes to be adopted.
Russia’s UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzya, said prior to the vote: "After the mandate of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) to investigate chemical weapons use in Syria expired in November last year, it was Russia who spearheaded efforts to fill this void. We compiled a relevant draft UN Security Council resolution, which was brought before our colleagues on January 23."
"It immediately got a hostile reception from the West, because our text removed loopholes, allowing to manipulate the investigation, as was the case with the JIM," he went on.
"I would like to stress that our concept is nothing new, it only brings the principles of the new mechanism in correspondence with the standards of the Chemical Weapons Convention," Nebenzya said. "Right now we have an opportunity to create a truly independent and impartical working mechanism that would help the UN Security Council to establish those responsible for the use of chemical weapons within the context of the Syrian conflict. The only thing that is needed is to support our draft resolution, and we call on the member states to do so."
Later in the day, the session was suspended for consultations on a draft resolution, earlier put forward by Sweden, which includes Russia’s proposals.
Nebenzya said the draft resolution "has been compiled in quite a constructive manner."
"Regretfully, this initiative did not go any further, it was trampled down as a result of confrontational steps by the United States," he said. "We decided to develop Sweden’s initiative. Our draft contains the Syrian government’s invitation for the OPCW fact-finding mission to immediately visit the site of the presumed incident. It welcomes the OPCW director general’s decision to send it to Syria to hold investigative actions in line with the Chemical Convention’s standards," Nebenzya added.
A number of non-governmental organizations, including Syria’s White Helmets, allege that chemical weapons were used in Douma, Eastern Ghouta, on April 7. According to a statement uploaded to the organization’s website on April 8, chlorine bombs had been dropped on the city, causing dozens of fatalities. Many civilians were rumored to have been taken to hospital.
The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed this as fake news. The Russian Defense Ministry recalled that White Helmets were notorious for spreading falsehoods. Earlier, several Russian official agencies repeatedly warned that preparations were being made in different parts of Syria for provocations and simulated chemical attacks, which could be blamed on government forces.