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Western countries may try to suspend Russia’s OPCW rights — envoy

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OPCW stressed that if Russia is suspended, it will "manifest the final collapse of the organization"

THE HAGUE, December 3. /TASS/. Western countries may attempt to suspend Russia’s rights at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), as it happened earlier with Syria, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin told TASS on Friday.

"Of course, such a scenario cannot be ruled out, especially, as in recent years, the Western countries have been demonstrating with enviable persistence on the Hague platform not only their lack of readiness to discuss and somehow resolve the mutual claims that have piled up over this time, but also their absolute unwillingness to do so," he said.

If Russia is suspended, it will "manifest the final collapse of the organization," Shulgin emphasized.

Russia will continue "to make every effort in the interests of restoring the rule of international law, maintaining the integrity of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and normalizing the OPCW functioning," the envoy said.

"We hope that our counterparts from the Western camp will eventually demonstrate a responsible approach to the future of the OPCW, which plays a pivotal role in maintaining international peace and security, and will finally switch from ‘megaphone diplomacy’ to genuine cooperation and dialogue," he added.

In April, the OPCW approved a resolution suspending Syria’s rights and privileges. Russia along with 14 more countries voted against the resolution that restricts Syria’s rights to vote in the Conference of the States Parties (CSP) and the Executive Council, to stand for election to the Council and to host any OPCW events.

The France-drafted resolution was put to the vote following the report of the OPCW’s Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) published on April 8, 2020. The report claims that the Syrian government was responsible for three incidents involving the use of toxic chemicals in Ltamenah, Homs Province, in March 2017.