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Government response: Russian briefing on Syria chemical weapons use, 21 June 2018: UK response

Updated: Added translation

The Russian MFA’s briefing today on chemical weapons in Syria included unfounded criticisms of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)’s independent and objective investigations in Syria.

It is well known that the Syrian regime has a long history of using chemical weapons against its own people. The OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism was set up by the United Nations Security Council in 2015 to attribute responsibility for chemical attacks in Syria. Russia agreed to the working and investigative methods of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM).

The JIM has confirmed the use of chemical weapons in Syria by the Syrian regime on 4 separate occasions. Despite this clear evidence, the international community has been unable to respond due to repeated Russian vetoes at the UNSC.

A significant amount of information indicates that the Syrian regime was also responsible for the chemical weapons attack in Douma. An independent OPCW report is due to be published soon.

We hope that Russia will constructively cooperate with the OPCW investigation into Douma, rather than disrupt and undermine. Russia has a right to submit any relevant evidence to the OPCW for independent analysis.

It is vital all countries work together constructively to ensure the Chemical Weapons Convention is upheld.

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