Russia regards claims by US Department of State officials it is in breach of international chemical weapons control legislation as attempts to distract attention from internal contradictions. US allegations look like outright blackmail, the Industry and Trade Ministry told TASS.
"Russia sees the so-called conclusions by US Department of State officials it is in breach of international chemical weapons legislation, which outlaws the proliferation and use of chemical weapons, as outright attempts to distract attention from internal contradictions. Russia strictly complies with the Chemical Weapons Convention and it has coped in full with its obligations to eliminate the declared chemical weapons stockpiles under the strict control of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons," the ministry said.
The US Department of State’s demand Russia provide guarantees within a certain deadline it will no longer use nerve agents look like "flagrant mockery of common sense."
"Russia did not use chemical warfare agents either before the Chemical Weapons Convention took effect or after it assumed obligations under that international agreement. It has created a robust legislative basis envisaging punishment for violations in that sphere. Far-fetched US allegations about Russia’s non-compliance with the American chemical weapons law is another attempt to erode international treaties in the field of arms control and elimination," the ministry said, adding that US claims looked like "outright blackmail and unlawful pressure, which Russia cannot tolerate."
Russia is prepared to work with any partners over the problem of prohibiting the use of chemical weapons, the ministry said.
"However, it will be prepared to do so not in the form of presenting accounts of compliance with somebody else’s internal acts or results of investigation conducted without our participation, but exclusively on an equal footing and within the corresponding mechanisms and procedures," the ministry said.
Earlier, US Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the United States was going to act in relation to Russia in accordance with its law on chemical and biological weapons, which requires the introduction of a second package of sanctions against Russia. She also said the Department of State on Tuesday notified Congress it was unable to confirm if Russia had complied with the requirements contained in the chemical weapons law.