Western countries have rejected Russia’s request to hold an open discussion on a report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) devoted to the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria, Russia’s UN envoy Vasily Nebenzya told a press conference with journalists via a video link-up.
"Despite our open criticism of the illicit nature of the [OPCW Investigation and Identification Team] IIT, we were not opposed to the Director-General briefing the Council on the report. Our only request was that this interaction is conducted in an open setting," TASS quoted Nebenzya as saying.
"Regrettably, our Western partners and their allies insisted on holding this meeting behind closed doors and in an "informal-informal" setting of the IIT, despite the slogans of the openness and transparency of the Security Council," he noted.
The Russian envoy also noted that the claims against Damascus were unfounded and illogical. There is no evidence that the Syrian army had prepared a chemical attack, while terrorists mostly benefited from the accusations against Damascus, he stressed. There is hard evidence that this is absolute provocation, Nebenzya stressed.
In their turn, the envoys of European member-states of the UN Security Council (France, the United Kingdom, Estonia, Belgium and Germany) issued a joint statement on Tuesday supporting the OPCW report’s conclusions and the work of the IIT and called for punishing those responsible for these steps.