The efforts to accuse Moscow of involvement in chemical attacks, allegedly carried out by the Syrian governmental forces, are shameful, Russia’s permanent UN envoy Vasily Nebenzya said following the meeting on UN Security Council on Thursday.
When asked to comment on respective media reports, he said: "I don’t want to use non-parliamentary expressions to answer your question. It is a shame. These reports are a shame."
"These chemical episodes intensify and start to happen out of the blue when something positive is going on in the political front. That is clear for us as well," the diplomat said.
On January 25, Russia called a United Nations Security Council meeting, putting forward an initiative to establish an independent mechanism to investigate chemical weapons attacks in Syria, which would also involve the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and would replace the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) that ceased to exist in late 2017 as UN Security Council member states had failed to agree on extending its mandate. However, Washington spoke out against this initiative.
Nebenzya also denied the information that Russia had ‘blocked’ the statement on the humanitarian situation in Syria. "Moscow was ready to adopt the statement, but there were two other delegations that said we cannot adopt it the way it was basically agreed upon," he said.
According to the diplomat, "it is not coincidental" that those articles appear in various media outlets. "After the success of the Congress of the Syrian national dialogue, we clearly see the intensification of efforts to defame Russia on Syria and to question its role in the political settlement," he said, adding that Thursday’s meeting "is also in that frame, because today the humanitarian situation in Syria, although bad and deplorable, is in no way much more different than it used to be a month ago, but now we are being presented with it as if something dramatic has happened.".