04:31 GMT14 July 2020
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    Moscow considers the situation with voting in the UN Security Council on a draft resolution on alleged chemical weapons use in Syria provocative, Director of the Foreign Ministry Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Mikhail Ulyanov told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — He pointed out that Moscow had warned other countries about possible negative consequences of such a step, though it was ignored. Ulyanov stressed that the authors of the draft resolution knew for sure that Russia would veto it, but still put the resolution on vote.

    "In fact, the whole idea of voting in the Security Council was absolutely provocative. It is sufficient to say that the draft resolution on the introduction of sanctions against a number of Syrian individuals and legal entities was prepared in the beginning of December, though the western co-authors refrained from putting it on vote. They did it only at the end of February, exactly during the resumption of peaceful settlement talks in Geneva," Ulyanov said.

    "The goal is obvious — to try to present Russia as a country, 'covering' crimes allegedly committed by Damascus," Ulyanov added.

    He highlighted that no evidence of Damascus using chemical weapons had been presented so far, while the names of the sanctioned individuals and entities had never been mentioned in any related reports.

    In late February, Russia and China used their veto powers to block a UN Security Council draft resolution to impose sanctions on Syria over the government's alleged chemical weapons use. The draft resolution, co-sponsored by France, the United Kingdom and the United States, suggested imposing sanctions against ten entities and 11 Syrians considered responsible for using chemical weapons in Syria in 2014 and 2015. The vote came amid intra-Syrian talks in Geneva that brought together representatives of Syrian government and opposition groups.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, commenting on the draft resolution, said sanctions against Syria would hinder ongoing peace negotiations.

    Russia's decision to veto the draft resolution was criticized by Western states, in particular, France and Germany.

    So far, there has been a number of reports on use of chemical weapons in Syria, putting responsibility for attacks both on Syrian authorities and Daesh terrorist group.


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