No Serious Steps Taken to Probe Khan Sheikoun Incident: Russian Foreign Minister
Russia said no serious steps have been taken to investigate into the alleged chemical attack in Syria’s Khan Sheikhoun.
“Reports (about the alleged chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun) started coming 15 days ago but no steps have yet been taken in order to investigate into this incident,” Director of the Armaments Non-Proliferation and Control Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry Mikhail Ulyanov said on Wednesday.
He was addressing the special session of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), held in The Hague, Russia’s foreign ministry’s posted on its website on Thursday, according to TASS Russian news agency.
Ulyanov pointed out that all accusations against Damascus of using chemical weapons were groundless as they were based only on questionable data available on social media.
At the same time, according to the Russian diplomat, representatives of some countries are acting as if the circumstances surrounding the incident, as well as those responsible, have already been established.
“In this regard, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s article for the Telegraph is notable in which he said that ‘this was highly likely to be an attack by Assad.’ It means that the British Foreign Secretary is not completely sure. Then why do our British counterparts make such unequivocal statements on the international level?” Ulyanov said.
Meanwhile, he slammed Washington over its claims to be absolutely certain it was Damascus who was to blame.
“This is what our US counterparts call a bad case of deja vu. We heard them say the same things 14 years ago, ahead of the military invasion in Iraq,” the Russian diplomat noted.
On the other hand, Ulyanov voiced Russia’s readiness for consultations with the US before the OPCW vote on proposals on the incident.
“Before putting a draft up for vote, all possibilities for reaching a consensus should be exhausted,” Ulyanov said.
“We are ready for immediate intensive consultations for that purpose, including with the US delegation,” he added.
“If our US partners are indeed interested in establishing the truth by carrying out a serious and prompt investigation, we have chances to reach an agreement,” the diplomat said. “If not, there is almost no room to search for mutually acceptable solutions.”
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