17 Nov 2017 11:47

OPCW-UN JIM mandate-extension problem due to coalition's lack of arguments - Shamanov

MOSCOW. Nov 17 (Interfax) - The unwillingness of coalition members to lose their ability to interfere in the region is the root of the failure to extend the mandate of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) probing chemical-arms incidents in Syria, the Chair of the State Duma Defense Committee, Vladimir Shamanov, told reporters on Friday.

"The closer we get to the completion of the military phase of the anti-ISIL operation, the more obstacles will be created for us in various fields. The use of chemical weapons was the first allegation of the coalition against the al-Assad regime. They will be doing their best to muddy the waters," Shamanov said in his comments on the UN Security Council's decision.

"They have no arguments, and the fake [news] they have been producing no longer works, so they have to torpedo the existent mechanism," he said.

On Thursday, the UN Security Council failed to extend the mandate of experts investigating chemical-arms incidents in Syria. Russia vetoed the U.S. draft, which was also opposed by Bolivia, while China and Egypt abstained. Seven countries refused to support the draft proposed by Russia, Bolivia, and China, and it did not gain a sufficient number of votes.

Immediately after the Security Council's meeting, Japan released a draft resolution on the technical extension of the OPCW-UN JIM's mandate for 30 days, an informed UN source told Interfax.