17:35 GMT +325 April 2018
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    A Syrian man collects and bags the body of a dead bird, reportedly killed by a suspected toxic gas attack in Khan Sheikhun, in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, on April 5, 2017

    Russia Vetoes Draft US Resolution on Extending UN JIM Mandate

    © AFP 2018 / Omar haj kadour
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    Russia vetoed a US draft resolution to extend the mandate of United Nations-Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), current Council president and Italian Ambassador to the United Nations Sebastiano Cardi told the Council on Thursday.

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — The JIM's mandate expires on November 17.

    "The result of the voting is as follows: 11 votes in favor, 2 votes against, 2 abstentions, the draft resolution has not been adopted owing to a negative vote of a permanent member of the Security Council," Sebastiano Cardi said.

    Prior to the vote on the US draft resolution, Russia withdrew its own draft on JIM’s mandate extension.

    "I would like to make a proposal to withdraw the draft resolution that Russia has submitted," Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia told the UN Security Council.

    The United States and Russia had earlier presented two different versions of the renewal, both proposals suggesting extending the mission, but on different terms.

    On October 26, JIM presented to the UN Security Council a confidential report on the April sarin attack in the Syrian province of Idlib in which more than 80 people were killed. The report put the blame for the attack on the Syrian government. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the opinions of Russian experts were not taken into consideration during the investigation, though "they are indeed objective, because, unlike the JIM report, they are based on laws of physics, ballistics and technical analysis."    

    "The selective approach and disdain for the OPCW standards played a dirty trick on [JIM head Edmond] Mulet" as the OPCW-UN report is marked by "a low level of professionalism, on the verge of dilettantism" and its conclusions about Damascus' alleged use of sarin nerve agent are "fully untenable," the ministry statement read.

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    Tags:
    chemical weapons, Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), UN, Syria, United States, Russia
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