THE HAGUE, November 20. /TASS/. The Russian delegation to the 23rd Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention has secured a vote on the Russian-Chinese initiative to set up an international expert group to look into the decisions concerning the establishment of an OPCW attribution mechanism made by the Technical Secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), a TASS correspondent reported on Tuesday.
During a debate on the issue, Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Georgy Kalamanov, who heads the country’s delegation, suggested that "in accordance with the OPCW rules, a discussion of the Russian-Chinese project and a vote should be launched at 11:30." "This is a common procedure for our organization," he noted.
The Russian delegation’s proposal was adopted.
Russian Permanent Representative to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin said earlier that the US delegation had violated procedures seeking to rush the vote on the Russian-Chinese project. According to the Russian envoy, western countries want to make a decision on allocating money for attribution activities as soon as possible, while the Russian-Chinese initiative may disrupt their plans.
A special session of the Conference of the States Parties in late June decided to give the OPCW Technical Secretariat the right to attribute responsibility for the use of poisonous substances. In order to setup a relevant mechanism, the Technical Secretariat put forward an initiative to raise the organization’s 2019 budget by more than two mln euros. Russia has on numerous occasions opposed attempts to turn the OPCW into a punishing organization. According to Moscow, in case the OPCW is granted the right to attribute responsibility for the use of chemical weapons, the question of the organization’s infringement upon the exclusive prerogatives of the United Nations Security Council will arise.
On Monday, Russia and China came up with an initiative to create an international expert group to look into the attribution initiative’s consistency with the Chemical Weapons Convention.