14:55 GMT30 October 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US demands for Russia to accept new inspections for chemicals weapons as a condition for not imposing sanctions are absurd since an international authority has confirmed Moscow scrapped all of them, former Canadian diplomat Patrick Armstrong told Sputnik.

    On Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry in a statement said that US Skripal-related sanctions unveiled last week calling for inspections undermines the authority of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which confirmed that Russia had destroyed all such weapons.

    "The official [US] justifications for this latest set of sanctions prove that they are not the real reasons because they are too ridiculous to be taken seriously by any thinking person," Armstrong said. "The OPCW certified… that Russia had eliminated its chemical weapons stocks. Who is supposed to certify that it still has?"

    The narrative claiming that Russia carried out the fatal poisoning of defector Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom town of Salisbury had collapsed into incoherence, Armstrong pointed out.

    Now that Washington was punishing countries and businesses that did not go along with its sanctions, the sanctions would hurt US allies and probably, as with the earlier sanctions and counter-sanctions, hurt them more than Russia, Armstrong predicted.

    "The upshot? The Moscow-Beijing alliance will be strengthened and Moscow's determination to reduce its exposure redoubled," he argued.

    On Wednesday, the US State Department rolled out two rounds of anti-Russia sanctions over the Skripal affair. The first set targeting security-related exports will be implemented August 22 and the second round three months later unless Russia agrees to chemical weapons inspections.

    The US government and its allies have blamed Russia for the March 4 chemical attack on former GRU officer Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, England. Russian authorities have strongly refuted the allegations as groundless, citing lack of evidence and London’s refusal to cooperate in a probe.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    Tags:
    absurd, certification, inspection, chemical weapons, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Patrick Armstrong, US, Russia
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