26 Oct 2017 09:50

Moscow explains its veto on UNSC resolution extending Syria Joint Investigative Mechanism's mandate

MOSCOW. Oct 26 (Interfax) - Russia has urged the United States and some other Western countries not to dramatize the situation around the extension of the mandate of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) - United Nations (UN) Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) in Syria and not to distort Moscow's stance on the issue, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"The White House and the Department of State have to understand that we did not object to extending the JIM mandate but were against rushing into a decision, without due account of the pending report on the JIM activity over the past year, information about which had been scarce," the ministry said in a commentary posted "in connection with the attempts to distort Russia's stance in the UN Security Council's vote on the draft resolution extending the JIM mandate."

Russia vetoed the U.S. resolution, which extended the JIM mandate, on October 24.

"It would be unprofessional and irresponsible of us to follow the U.S. lead and thoughtlessly approve the far-reaching decision without looking into the matter first," the ministry said.

"Despite the fraudulent statements made by Washington, London, and some other capitals, there is no reason whatsoever to dramatize the JIM situation," it said.

The current mandate of the mission will expire on November 16, the ministry said. "Three and a half weeks are a sufficient period for studying the pending JIM report and deciding on the mechanism's fate," the ministry said.

"We reiterate the intention to present our ideas as to what should be done for ensuring genuine independence, impartiality, and professionalism of inquiries into the use of toxic material by deeds rather than by words soon after the report is submitted," the ministry said.