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Trust for OPCW mission continues to dwindle, Russian diplomat says

Moscow would like OPCW specialists to visit Khan Shaykhun in Syria’s Idlib province and Shayrat airdrome in Homs province without delay

MOSCOW, April 14. /TASS/. The trust for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)’s mission continues to dwindle and skepticism over the work of its specialists grows, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Friday.

Ryabkov answered a question if experts of the OPCW plan to travel to Syria from Turkey. "We are very skeptical over the way they have worked," the high-ranking diplomat stressed.

"The trust for their activity continues to dwindle as they ignore obvious facts," he said, adding that the experts rely on information with conclusions prepared for them in advance. "They later impose these conclusions on the entire international community as the ultimate truth," he stressed.

Moscow is also dissatisfied with the remote methods of work of the OPCW’s mission on investigating the suspected chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun, in northern Syria’s Idlib Governorate, he said. Western countries have blamed the Syrian government for the attack on April 4, which reportedly killed scores of people.

"We are dissatisfied with the remote method of collecting information, when everything is downloaded from the Internet, and alleged eyewitnesses of events are questioned remotely," Ryabkov said.

Russia seeks "unbiased investigation," insisting that specialists of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) should to visit Khan Shaykhun and Shayrat airfield in Homs province without delay.

The mission should include the representatives of those countries that can assess the situation without bias rather than be guided by the narrative imposed by their government, he said.

"I want to note that the permanent member-states of the UN Security Council and other countries such as Iran, Brazil and India should take part in this mission. We will insist on this," Ryabkov said.

Moscow is interested in finding out the truth about the suspected chemical attack in Syria’s Khan Shaykhun, Idlib Province, according to Ryabkov.

"The logic is clear. If the United States is right and planes at the Shayrat base were loaded with chemical ammunition, then the respective equipment and traces are to be found there," he said. "We are very much interested in establishing the truth and are not interested at all in the gambling the United States, Britain, France and other countries continue for the sake of attaining their geopolitical aims. We would like inquiries at Khan Shaykhun and the Shayrat base to be made as soon as possible."