23 Jan 2018 18:31

Ryabkov dismisses U.S. allegation that Russia obstructing probe into chemical incidents in Syria

MOSCOW. Jan 23 (Interfax) - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has called Washington's allegations that Russia is obstructing the investigation into the chemical incidents in Syria as 'dirty and mendacious'.

"The fact that they keep on leveling their actually dirty and mendacious accusations at us only shows the level of U.S. diplomacy's work," Ryabkov told Interfax on Tuesday, in commenting on the U.S. Department of State's statements that Russia is obstructing the investigations into the incidents involving the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

"This is a blatant and by any standard outrageous example of the American side's manipulating facts and ignoring what we've been saying for several years and have done so especially actively following the notorious incident in Khan-Sheikhoun on April 4 last year," he said.

"This mudslinging campaign against Russia cannot be called other than unbridled," Ryabkov said.

Speaking about the investigation into the Khan-Sheikhoun tragedy, Ryabkov said, "A true investigation deserving the international community's confidence and helping identify those responsible for such crimes is necessary and possible not on the basis on which, as we have to acknowledge, the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism has unfortunately functioned, contrary to our demands and our initiatives," he said.

"We also have considerable objections to the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission's activity in Syria. All of this has been explained on numerous occasions, and we are sure our American counterparts are perfectly aware of the essential aspect of our position. This just can't be brushed off," he said.

"To continue the mudslinging campaign against Russia, high forums have been used, including the UN Security Council," Ryabkov said. "In this particular case, I mean the recent session hosted by the president of Kazakhstan, which addressed nonproliferation and confidence building measures in this context," he said.

"A lot of reprimands were addressed to us there. This session was preceded by the circulation by the American delegation of a quasi-document fully distorting the essence of our position and containing some ad hominem attacks against Russian representatives, which is an absolutely unbecoming form of work. We never resort to this," he said.

"I should point out that our response to these insinuations, which is available on the Foreign Ministry website and which has been circulated as an official document at the UN Security Council, sets out the real state of affairs in a dry, sober, and calm manner," he said.

"But, in my view, this is the case where it would be appropriate to use phrases like 'flogging a dead horse' or 'talking to a brick wall'. I am sure the U.S. will keep on leveling just as unacceptable accusations at us, but this won't change our position, and the American diplomacy's political stock will plunge even lower in our eyes," Ryabkov said.