From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
April 20, 2017
Comment by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov for TASS on the OPCW Executive Council session
The outcome of today’s vote at a special session of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Executive Council shows that the Western group of countries and some of the states that joined it are not interested in establishing the truth. They failed to demonstrate their willingness to take the only right step in this situation, specifically, to send a team of investigators to the scene of the chemical incident in Khan Sheikhun and to the Al-Shayrat air base, from which the alleged “chemical attack” was supposedly carried out, as they claim. Those countries continue to stick to their line, disregarding any argument, and continue to impose on the international community the same pseudo conclusions that they pushed on the UN Security Council.
They do not need the truth. For them, everything has been settled: Damascus is to blame, according to them, and Moscow, they say, is just obscuring the matter, preventing the OPCW from doing its job.
However, without collecting evidence at the location and establishing the facts, all their accusations against the legitimate government of Syria remain groundless. The West always has its own “pocket” specialists on hand, who are ready to write any report at the first signal and fit pseudo evidence into pre-formulated conclusions. Today, our diplomats in The Hague and the Russian Defence Ministry’s official representative talked about this amply and convincingly.
We are grateful to the countries that supported the joint Russian-Iranian draft solution. We heard many reasonable arguments in statements by representatives of the countries that abstained from voting.
And we strongly condemn the irresponsible stance of those that voted against it. The Western group has once again revealed the essence of its destructive approach.
These countries caused serious damage to the reputation and authority of the OPCW. By disrupting this badly needed process, they have again complicated the search for a way out of the Syrian crisis.