Russia refuses to recognize UN Commission's conclusions on chemical weapons in Syria
Russia supported its ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the UN Security Council on August 30 in New York. Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN Vitaly Churkin refused to accept the facts provided in the report of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
After the meeting of the UN Security Council, he rejected the US and other countries demands to condemn the chemical attacks and punish al-Assad's regime for the use of chemical weapons. The report "does not contain any names, specifics, there are no fingerprints," Churkin said, and therefore "there is no one in the report, against whom to impose sanctions." At the same time, he acknowledged that "it's likely that chlorine was used."
The Syrian representative also rejected the accusations against his government and said that the Commission has no "tangible evidence".
International human rights organization Human Rights Watch harshly criticized the statements of Russia. According to the organization, Moscow complicates the work of the UN Security Council and blocks the transfer of the case to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. This, in particular, was said by the expert of the Human Rights Watch at the UN, Louis Charbonneau. "The UN Security Council will reduce its own significance, if it will not take a clear position against the proved use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government," he said to the AFP agency.
The United Kingdom and France considered the guilt of the Syrian government in the use of chemical weapons proven and demanded sanctions against those responsible for chemical attacks. Permanent representatives of these countries have accused the Syrian leadership and President Assad of committing war crimes. USA, at the end of the report, demanded a rapid response of UN Security Council.
The day before, the French President François Hollande called on Russia to support the initiative of Paris and to approve the UN Security Council resolution that condemns the chemical attacks by the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
On August 24 UN investigative commission stated that the Syrian government as well as terrorists of the Islamic State used chemical weapons during the fighting in 2014 and 2015.