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    A Syrian man collects samples from the site of a suspected toxic gas attack in Khan Sheikhun, in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, on April 5, 2017

    Russia Vetoes Japan's Draft Resolution on Extending UN JIM’s Mandate

    © AFP 2017/ Omar haj kadour
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    Russia vetoed Japan’s draft resolution to temporarily extend the mandate of United Nations-Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), current UN Security Council president and Italian Ambassador to the United Nations Sebastiano Cardi said.

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — Russia has vetoed Japan’s draft resolution to temporarily extend JIM's mandate.

    "The result of the voting is as follows: 12 votes in favor, 2 votes against, 1 abstention, the draft resolution has not been adopted owing to a negative vote of a permanent member of the Security Council," Cardi told the UN security Council on Friday evening.

    The Trump administration in a press release condemned Russia's veto saying it was protecting the Syrian government of Bashar Assad from being held accountable for using chemical weapons.       

    Immediately following the vote Sweden called on the UN Security Council to hold informal consultations to discuss the future of JIM's mandate.

    "We ask that informal consultations be convened immediately following this session to ensure that we are absolutely convinced that we have exhausted every avenue, every effort before the mandate of the JIM expires later on tonight," Swedish Ambassador to the UN Olof Skoog told the Council on Friday.

    Meanwhile, Russian draft resolution on the extention of the mandate is still on the table but renewal is possible only in if fundamental changes are made in the Mechanism, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia told the Council.

    "In order to do that [extend JIM's mandate] we need to reach a common ground on the need to eliminate systematic flaws in JIM's work," Nebenzia said on Friday. "Our draft resolution is still on the table. If those who want to renew JIM's mandate are truly concerned with its fate, they can start substantial work on the draft."

    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.

    Related:

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