THE HAGUE, July 9. / TASS /. Russia condemns attempts by Western countries to link a suspected chemical incident in Syria to the destruction of the Russian Su-25 attack plane in the country, Russia’s permanent representative to TASS told TASS. the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Alexander Shulgin on Friday.
“The attempt to make an artificial link between the chemical incident and the fact that the Russian Su-25 plane was shot down before the Saraqib incident is scandalous,” he said, summarizing the results of the OPCW Executive Council meeting on July 6. 9. “Such things are absolutely unacceptable, and this was firmly affirmed during the session of the Executive Council.”
On April 11, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) presented its second report, stating that Syrian Air Force planes dropped a chlorine-laden bomb on the militant-held town of Saraqib in Idlib Governorate in February 2018. One of the document’s provisions stated that revenge for the previously downed Russian plane was one of the most likely reasons.
Shulgin went on to say that the Syrian chemical dossier remains among the most pressing issues on the OPCW’s agenda. In its own words, while Western countries continued to criticize Syria during the Executive Council meeting, the Russian side focused on the “unprecedented openness” of the Syrian government in its relations with the OPCW.
“Our colleagues in the Europe-NATO group prefer to turn a blind eye to this fact, focusing only on criticism,” he said. “This clearly illustrates the real motivations for their actions: to use the authority of the organization to impose their own version of the world order, based on rules of responsible conduct that they themselves invented and which undermine the international law.”
Speaking about the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT), Shulgin said it “publishes questionable reports, which a certain group of nations are using to pressure dissident countries.”
“This makes the work of the OPCW even more politicized and sows discord within its ranks,” said the Russian envoy.