22:21 GMT09 July 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia does not have plans to leave the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) despite the expansion of the organization's mandate, Russia's envoy to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin said.

    "Let's not peek so far beyond the horizon. We will now analyze the results of the Conference of the States Parties (CSP) [of the OPCW]. Let's see how events will be developing and what proposals will be made in this regard," Shulgin told Izvestia newspaper in an interview published on Monday answering the question about a possibility of Russia's exit from the OPCW.

    Shulgin noted that Russia's decision will be "verified, balanced and with the obligatory taking into account of Russian national interests."

    "I can say that Russia will do everything possible to allow a once successful organization to return to the full-fledged work on the basis of consensus and with mutual respect of the parties to each other's interests," the Russian envoy added.

    On June 27, the mandate of the OPCW was expanded in line with the UK-drafted motion allowing it to assign responsibility for chemical weapons attacks. Moscow said it would not recognize the decision as legitimate. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow was concerned about the future of the organization following this move adding that Russia will try to change this decision.

    Russia and the OPCW have differences over the issue of chemical attacks in Syria as the organization blames the Syrian government troops for a number of chemical attacks in the country while Moscow insists that the accusations are groundless.

    The United Kingdom and its allies, in particular, blame April's reported chemical weapons attack in Syrian Duma on the authorities in Damascus and President Bashar Assad. Damascus has denied the allegations, insisting that its military chemical capacity had long been destroyed.

    Both Russian and Syrian officials have said that the incident was likely staged to justify the Western offensive, which was launched soon after the reports emerged. Without waiting for the OPCW probe results, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States fired over 100 missiles on what they said were the Syrian government’s chemical weapons sites.


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    mandate, chemical weapons, expansion, UN’s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Alexander Shulgin, Russia, Netherlands
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