MOSCOW, April 26. /TASS/. The US has refused a visa to a Russian expert on chemical weapons, UN Secretary General’s advisor from Russia, who was set to provide an analysis of the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) report on Syria’s Douma incident at a UN Security Council session, a source in the Russian government informed reporters on Friday.
"The US embassy has refused a visa to an expert advisor of the UN Secretary General from Russia, Dr. in Biological Sciences Dmitry Poklonsky. He was supposed to speak at a special briefing during a UN Security Council session on April 25," the source said.
The source added that Poklonsky was to present a Russian analysis of the OPCW report concerning the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria’s Douma on April 7, 2018.
The official added that the visa refusal was "unmotivated", with Poklonsky handing in all necessary documents. "The actions of the US side have jeopardized an important event on the UN platform, during which the general public could have found out facts not working in favor of the Western coalition headed by the US."
The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) issued its 106-page final report on March 1, drawing a conclusion that chlorine was used during the April 2018 attack in Syria’s Douma.
A number of NGOs, including the White Helmets, alleged that chemical weapons had been used in Douma, Eastern Ghouta, on April 7, 2018. According to a statement uploaded to that organization’s website on April 8, chlorine bombs had been dropped on the city, causing dozens of fatalities. The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed this as fake news. Representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria visited the site on April 9, but found no signs of a chemical attack.
On April 14, 2018, the United States, the United Kingdom and France launched missile strikes on Syria’s military and civilian infrastructure facilities without the UN Security Council's permission. The strikes targeted a scientific and research center in Damascus, the Republican Guard’s headquarters, an air defense base, several airfields and army depots. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Syrian air defenses managed to shoot down 71 out of 103 missiles. Washington, London and Paris claimed the strikes were a response to the alleged chemical attack.