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UN-OPCW report on Syrian chemical attacks 'gives no ground for sanctions'

Syrian chemical dossier is turning into a geopolitical tool with improper goals, the Russian diplomat believes

MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. The latest report by the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism on chemical attacks in Syria gives no convincing grounds for imposing sanctions against Damascus, Mikhail Ulyanov, the Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department, told TASS on Thursday.

According to Ulyanov, raising the issue of imposing sanctions against Damascus on such a shaky basis is only possible "if one is guided not by the interests of establishing the truth but by purely political motives associated with a desire to demonize the Syrian authorities at whatever the cost and have them ousted."

"Unfortunately, we must state that, due to some countries’ efforts, the Syrian chemical dossier is turning into a geopolitical tool with improper goals," the diplomat said.

UN fails to present credible proof 

The joint mechanism of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for investigating chemical attacks in Syria has been unable to provide a qualitative and effective probe, a senior Russian diplomat told TASS on Thursday.

‘Summing up the results of the work of the joint investigation mechanism over the year since its creation, it can be said that by definition it has been unable to ensure an effective and qualitative probe amid the conditions of present-day, war-torn Syria," he said. 

The report doesn't contain fundamentally new findings, while the evidence presented in it has the same old flaws, according to the Russian dipomat: 

"The investigators made no fact-finding trips. No samples, including medical ones, were taken. Testimonies by witnesses are conflicting. Moreover, the depositions were made by persons whose attitude to the authorities in Damascus is hostile."

"By virtue of this combination of factors we cannot find as convincing enough the JIM’s conclusion it is the government forces who are responsible for yet another incident in addition to the first two mentioned in the previous report." 

Ulyanov added that "the JIM, in its two recent reports, managed to place greater emphasis on chemical attacks coming from terrorist groups operating in Syria."

"That’s precisely what Western counties painstakingly turned a blind eye to. They stopped at nothing to obstruct our repeated attempts to initiate response from the UN Security Council to these growing threats. This report shows that this policy is both flawed and dangerous."