UNITED NATIONS, November 19 (Sputnik) — Draft Security Council Presidential Statement on illegal use of chemical weapons by non-state armed groups in the Middle East, proposed by Russia, has been de-facto blocked by a number of delegations in an attempt to shift attention to chemical demilitarization of Syria, Russia's envoy to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said Wednesday.
“We regret that the draft Security Council Presidential Statement on chemical weapons in Syria, proposed by our delegation, was de-facto blocked by a number of delegations who introduced amendments to it with the single purpose – to shift all the attention to the issues of chemical demilitarization of Syria,” Churkin said addressing the UN Security Council.
Churkin stressed that covering up terrorists while they are improving their skills of production and use of chemical weapons is “inadmissible and extremely dangerous.”
According to Churkin, terrorists and especially the Islamic State (IS) group already have chemical weaponry at their disposal. “There is a growing body of evidence [showing] the use [of chemical weapons] by the terrorist fighters in Iraq and Syria. The threat of them getting access to the remaining arsenals in Libya and Iraq is real,” the diplomat warned.
Churkin believes that the United Nations should “express strong stance regarding this issue and make it clear that the use of chemical weapons by any side will have its consequences.”
Earlier on Wednesday Churkin announced that the Russian delegation had submitted a draft Security Council Presidential Statement on the use of chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria and the possible access to such weapons by the non-state armed groups in Iraq and Libya.
However, Churkin lamented that other Security Council members suggested shifting the focus of the document from radical Islamist groups to the Syrian chemical weapons program.