23 Nov 2017 18:57

OPCW/UN no longer revivable, new structure needed - Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. Nov 23 (Interfax) - Attempts to revive the joint mechanism of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations (UN), which investigates chemical incidents in Syria are pointless, there is a need for a qualitatively new entity, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

"In this situation, it is absolutely pointless to try and revive this entity, this mechanism, which in just over two years of its existence has never created the necessary expert potential and the necessary technical toolkit for conducting professional and objective inquiries into the use of chemical weapon in Syria," Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.

The mechanism "has proved unable to resist the unprecedented political pressure from Washington and other western partners of the U.S.," she said.

"At this stage, one can only talk of creating a qualitatively new entity which, in conducting inquiries, would be strictly guided by the rules and procedures determined by the chemical weapons convention and other OPCW regulations," Zakharova said.

"Obviously, the new mechanism also should have worked on the mistakes already made, namely: conduct additional investigations of, at least, two incidents, in Khan Sheikhun, in April of this year, and in Sarmin, in March of 2015, but in full compliance with the OPCW's high standards and, of course, without political biasness," Zakharova said.

The new entity would be expected to pay "obligatory visits to the locations of chemical incidents and comply with the fundamental principle of keeping material evidence intact," the spokeswoman said.