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    A U.N. chemical weapons expert, wearing a gas mask, holds a plastic bag containing samples from one of the sites of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus, Syria. (File)

    Moscow: US Claims of Russia Refusing to Probe Syrian Chemical Attacks 'Slander'

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    Moscow has emphasized that Russia insists on full, inclusive probe into chemical attacks, not only in Syria.

    Russia categorically rejects the position of the US as Washington is complicating the investigation of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

    "You know that our positions diametrically diverge here. We do not agree with the US position," Peskov added and warned against "labelling without any basis."

    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has also commented on the issue, saying that considers Washington's statements on East Ghouta chemical attack too far-reaching, hopes US partners to 'cool down'.

    He added that the US groundless statements on latest chemical attack in Syria is a provocation ahead of Syrian National Dialogue Congress.

    READ MORE: Russia's UN Resolution Obliges Experts to Visit Chemical Attacks Sites

    "Every time before an important international event, [such as] now, when preparations for the Syrian National Dialogue Congress are being finalized, the US throws some unconfirmed, falsified and unfounded stories into the media space about the alleged use of new chemical weapons (in Syria)," — Ryabkov told Sputnik.

    "We urge the US to abandon their aspirations to impose their own will on us and the members of the international community, without even delving into the essence of those proposals and ideas that we are proposing," the Russian deputy foreign minister added.

    According to Ryabkov, the explanation for the the sharp tightening of anti-Russian rhetoric in the statements of high-ranking US representatives is basic: "The US does not want to face the truth."

    "They listen only to themselves, ignore not just arguments, but completely ignore the actual side of what is happening," the deputy minister stressed.

    READ MORE: US 'Engaged' With Turkey on Operation in Syria's Afrin — Tillerson

    "Yesterday there were several far-reaching statements made by high-ranking US representatives on the same topic. All of them can be explained by a single thought…: we, the US, are not interested in what Russia thinks on this topic, only we are right, another view of what is happening in Syria, as well as in general, probably in the world, cannot exist, and those who consider it possible to express alternative points of view deserve to be condemned and blamed for complicity in acts that, as the United States believes, took place," Ryabkov said.

    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson alleged that the Syrian authorities used chemical weapons on Monday, January 22 against civilians in Eastern Ghouta; the diplomat went on to blame Russia for the attack.

    The claim has been echoed by US Envoy to the UN Nikki Haley, who has also blamed Moscow for the alleged chemical attack.

    In his turn, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebezia lashed out at American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for having "hastily accused the Syrian — as they call it — 'regime'" of the reported attack in Eastern Ghouta that allegedly left its victims struggling to breathe.

    "Now they are trying to drag Russia into this as well," Nebenzia added.

    On Tuesday, the UN Security Council at the initiative of Russia gathered for an emergency meeting to discuss the situation with the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Russia proposed to the UN Security Council that it establish an independent UN mechanism to investigate the chemical attacks in Syria for an initial period of one year, and invite the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to participate in the group's creation.

    Since the chemical attack in the Syrian province of Idlib, Russia has repeatedly called for creating an unbiased mechanism for probing chemical attacks in the country. Damascus has strongly denied the allegations and reiterated that it does not possess any chemical weapons' arsenal, the full destruction of which was confirmed by the OPCW.


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