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    (FILES) In this file photo taken on April 20, 2018 a laboratory technician controls a test vial at the OPCW (The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) headquarters in the Hague, The Netherlands, on April 20, 2017

    OPCW Members Pass Draft Extension of Organization's Powers - UK Delegation

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    On Tuesday, Peter Wilson, the UK permanent representative to the OPCW, submitted the UK proposal to adopt a draft decision on giving the organization greater powers to identify those responsible for chemical attacks.

    The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) members have approved the UK-proposed draft motion expanding the organization's powers to attribute responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria, the UK delegation said.

    The decision was approved after the proposed amendments to the UK draft extension of the OPCW powers were rejected.

    "All the proposed amendments to the #UK proposed @OPCW Decision have been voted down. The Conference of States Parties will vote on UK text in 20 min," the delegation wrote on Twitter.

    Russia and China have withdrawn their draft decision at the OPCW session in favor of Burundi, the Russian Delegation reports.

    Earlier, Russia's envoy to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin said that Western countries' attempts to give the OPCW powers to determine perpetrators of chemical attacks undermined the whole system of international relations since only the UN Security Council is eligible to make such judgments.

    READ MORE: UK Wants to Empower Chemical Arms Watchdog Despite Russia's Protests

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

    Russia-UK relations reached their lowest level since the end of the Cold War following the March Salisbury attack, when the UK claimed that the nerve agent used in the attack was developed by the Soviet Union.

    After Russia denied London's accusations, Theresa May imposed on the Kremlin a series of sanctions, including the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats who were allegedly intelligence agents. Russia responded with tit-for-tat measures, expelling British diplomats and closing the British Council.

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    amendment, session, vote, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Russia, United Kingdom
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