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Foreign Ministry comments on US anti-Russian sanctions over Skripal case

Earlier the US Department of State said that Washington would impose more sanctions against Russia

MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. The United States’ intention to take sanctions against Russia over the Skirpals affair pose a threat to the integrity of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and harm the authority of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on Monday.

"Washington’s current actions harm the CWC integrity and the authority of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, with which Russia cooperated most closely in the process of implementing the national program for the elimination of chemical weapons," the Foreign Ministry said. "The United States has more than once demonstrated its contemptuous attitude to the system of international law and the wish to use the existing multilateral arms control mechanisms for advancing its own political agenda."

Hypocritical position

The Foreign Ministry recalled that the United States tries to incriminate Russia of an act of using chemical weapons in the so-called Skripal case. "Nobody has been able to present any evidence of this yet. In defiance of our repeated requests the British side has refused to cooperate in investigating the March 4 incident in Salisbury," the Foreign Ministry said.

The US Department of State in its notification to Russia questions the full elimination of the Russian chemical weapons arsenal. "They prefer to ignore the fact that the Russian program for the elimination of chemical weapons, completed last year, was implemented under strict international control in strict compliance with the CWC," the Foreign Ministry said.

"We regard the groundless charges of complicity in the Salisbury incident, put forward against Russia, as yet another attempt to create an impression our country takes an irresponsible attitude to compliance with international commitments," the statement runs. "This approach looks particularly hypocritical in a situation where the United States is in no hurry to eliminate its own arsenal of chemical weapons and remains the sole CWC signatory that keeps considerable amounts of chemical warfare agents."

Policy of unbalance

Moscow regards Washington’s policies as a fresh confirmation "the Americans are purposefully conducting a policy of eroding the international disarmament and non-proliferation architecture."

"Among other vivid examples of Washington’s destructive behavior is the sudden unilateral refusal to join the 2001 finalized legally binding protocol on strengthening the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction, the official refusal from ratification in the context of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the simultaneous attempts to subordinate to its interests the international system of monitoring created within its framework, the blocking of efforts to draft legally binding agreements on the prevention of an arms race in space, and the pullout from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for a settlement over the Iranian nuclear program, which is a violation of Resolution 2231 of the UN Security Council, which approved the JCPOA," the Foreign Ministry said.

Russia has reaffirmed with its actions more than once that it most scrupulously observes its international commitments. "Any attempts to question this are unacceptable and impermissible," the Foreign Ministry said. "We are going to push ahead with systematic work to strengthen the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, just as the whole international legal system of arms control and non-proliferation, which required considerable efforts by the international community and several decades to establish," the Foreign Ministry said. "We are urging Washington to give up the irresponsible policy of throwing it off balance."

New sanctions

Earlier the US Department of State said that the US authorities as of August 22 would impose more sanctions against Russia over its alleged complicity in the March 4 poisoning of former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Britain’s Salisbury. In the first place Washington will ban the export of dual purpose products to Russia. Also, in 90 days’ time the US authorities will make a decision on a second package of sanctions against Russia depending on whether it will comply with a number of conditions set to it. The second package of restrictions will prohibit the planes of any Russian government-controlled air carrier from landing in US territory.