Russia presents UN measure to rein in chemical weapons watchdog

United Nations, United States: Russia on Thursday offered a draft decision to the Safety Council accusing the UN’s chemical weapons watchdog, the OPCW, of politicization simply earlier than a brand new probe begins of chemical assaults in Syria.

The draft textual content, seen by AFP, states that the Council — the place Russia holds veto energy — is the one worldwide physique that may impose measures on nations that violate the Chemical Weapons Conference.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) agreed final 12 months to arrange a mechanism that might establish the perpetrators of chemical assaults, a transfer bitterly opposed by Russia and Syria.

The proposed decision notes “with concern the persevering with politicization of the work of the OPCW and rising deviation from the established follow of taking consensus-based selections.”

UN diplomats mentioned the Russian proposal was geared toward conserving the OPCW in examine because it pushes forward with the investigation to uncover these behind chemical weapons use in Syria.

“What it’s actually about after all is the Russians attempting to strangle OPCW,” mentioned a diplomat, who spoke on situation of anonymity.

The West pushed via the brand new blaming powers after OPCW studies confirmed chemical weapons use in Syria, in addition to a nerve agent assault on Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal within the English metropolis of Salisbury in March 2018.

“The Russian rationale is to weaken the OPCW and the Chemical Weapons Conference, with an eye fixed on Syria but in addition Salisbury,” mentioned one other diplomat.

It remained unclear when the draft decision can be put to a vote. UN resolutions require 9 votes and no vetoes to be adopted within the council.

The proposed decision is backed by China, diplomats mentioned.

“This appears like a determined bid to forestall additional affirmation that the Syrian authorities, like ISIS, repeatedly used chemical weapons in violation of worldwide legislation,” mentioned Louis Charbonneau, UN director for Human Rights Watch.

The Russian mission to the United Nations didn’t instantly reply to an AFP request for remark.—AFP

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