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OPCW’s mistakes have developed into system of fakes, says Russian diplomat

Maria Zakharova recalled Washington’s anti-Iraqi campaign when US Secretary of State had demonstrated a vial of white powder as evidence of the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq

MOSCOW, July 18. /TASS/. Inconsistencies and mistakes in reports of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have become systemic and fit well into the strategy of falsifications and fakes set forth by the West as far back as the anti-Iraqi campaign, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday, commenting on the OPCW report on the incident with Russian blogger Alexey Navalny.

"There have been lots of such mistakes for years and when there are that much of them, it becomes a system. We saw the same not only in the case of this invented story about Navalny’s alleged poisoning, but also in the Salisbury saga about the alleged poisoning of Skripal, his daughter and British nationals with Novichok," she said in an interview with the Rossiya-1 television channel. "The same chain of discrepancies, typos, mistakes, incoherencies, attempts to dodge a direct answer."

She recalled Washington’s anti-Iraqi campaign when at a UN Security Council meeting in February 2003 the then US Secretary of State Colin Powell had demonstrated a vial of white powder as evidence of the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He claimed that the white powder was a piece of chemical weapons found in Iraq, which was a reason to stage a military operation against Baghdad. "We have seen that from the beginning to the end, with a subsequent exposure of fraud. This is a story with the forgery of the same evidence like during and before the anti-Iraqi campaign," Zakharova stressed. "It was a fabricated pretext. History repeats itself. Moreover, it is nit mere repetition, it is the development of the same, so to say, trend or vector. This vector has been set. Regrettably, our Western partners cannot change. They think they must change all others, first of all, international law."

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier that the OPCW draft report had revealed fatal inconsistencies for the version of events claiming Navalny was poisoned, which the Technical Secretariat was unable to explain to Moscow. The document indicated that the OPCW Technical Secretariat had deployed a mission for technical assistance related to the suspected "poisoning of a Russian citizen" at Germany’s request on August 20, 2020 - the day of the Navalny incident. The diplomat emphasized that the drafting of Germany’s request to the OPCW had to take a considerable amount of time, as that could not have happened immediately.

On Wednesday, German Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Rainer Breul said that time discrepancies in the OPCW draft report in the part related to the alleged poisoning of blogger Alexey Navalny were caused by a mistake in the date, which was corrected in the second version.

Alexey Navalny was rushed to a local hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk on August 20, 2020, after collapsing on a Moscow-bound flight from Tomsk. He fell into a coma and was put on a ventilator in an intensive care unit. On August 22, he was airlifted to Berlin and admitted to the Charite hospital. On September 2, the German government claimed that the blogger had been affected by a toxic agent belonging to the Novichok family. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov pointed out that no poisonous substances had been detected in Navalny’s system prior to his transfer to Berlin.