14:00 GMT31 May 2020
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    OPCW’s members had earlier approved a UK-proposed draft motion expanding the organization's powers to attribute responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria, the UK delegation said.

    Moscow doubts whether the chemical weapons convention and the OPCW could be preserved after an expansion of the organization's mandate, the Russian Foreign Ministry reports.

    "A lot depends on the practical behavior of a group of countries [the UK, the US and their allies] and the organization's secretariat. But the secretariat body, unfortunately, was also swept along by our opponents," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov noted.

    The diplomat admitted that he has doubts about the future prospects of the organization.

    "Russia does not recognize the OPCW’s right to determine guilt in the use of chemical weapons," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said, adding that Moscow will draw serious conclusions from the vote.

    According to him, the consequences of the decision adopted a day earlier "can and will be very difficult."

    Yesterday's vote at the special session of the Conference of the States Parties of the OPCW is a very serious blow to the convention itself and to the OPCW. Contrary to all the arguments put forward by the Russian side and our like-minded people, despite the obvious logic that such a serious decision cannot be taken simply by voting with one or another composition, after all, the UK, the US and the countries that joined them have, through coercive pressure, made this decision," he said.

    READ MORE: UK Proposes OPCW Begins Attributing Responsibility for Chemical Attacks in Syria

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

    The OPCW members approved on Wednesday the UK-tabled draft motion expanding the organization's powers to attribute responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

    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.


    OPCW Members Pass Draft Extension of Organization's Powers - UK Delegation
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    OPCW Chief: Chemical Weapons Report on Syria to Be Released Within Week
    UK Proposes OPCW Begins Attributing Responsibility for Chemical Attacks in Syria
    mandate, expansion, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Alexander Shulgin, Sergei Ryabkov, Russia
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