03:37 GMT +314 October 2019
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    Member of UN investigation team taking samples of sands near a part of a missile that is likely to be one of the chemical rockets according to activists, in Damascus countryside of Ain Terma, Syria

    Moscow: Escalating Issue of Chemical Weapons Use in Syria Harmful to UNSC Work

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    Escalating the issue of the chemical weapons use in Syria has negative impact on the work of the UN Security Council, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Monday.

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — Accroding to Ryabkov, such attempts to escalate this issue are aimed at complicating the position of the Syrian government.

    "We face groundless criticism that we — as argued by our US colleagues — deny the use of chemical weapons by the government in Damascus. We would like to point out that the evidence to support these accusations is thin and fuzzy… the attempts to escalate the situation will fail to bring positive results and will instead lead to deterioration of an already complicated dynamics within the UN Security Council," Ryabkov told reporters.

    Syria has been hit with rounds of Western sanctions for years on accusations that its government exercised violence against its own people. Last spring, the European Union extended until June 2017 curbs on Syria linked to investment, oil production and trade.

    Syrian President Bashar Assad has repeatedly said that accusations of use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government are ridiculous, adding that such use runs contrary to the interests of Damascus.

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