Pressure on Damascus and Moscow by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

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Syria and Russia are facing new pressure today to show transparency over the alleged use of toxic weapons, ahead of a meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, the Netherlands.

The Syrian authorities always fail to declare their stockpile of chemical weapons and to accept researchers of this international organization in their territory, said the general director of OACHO Fernando Arias.

Poisoning with the help of a neuroparalytic agent of the now-opposition and imprisoned Alexei Navalny in Russia also continues to pose a “serious threat” to global efforts to eradicate chemical weapons, Arias added.

Syria denies use of chemical weapons of Damascus, the capital.

However, OACHO member states voted in April to suspend Syria’s voting rights, following an investigation into new toxic gas attacks. Its rights will remain suspended until these countries decide that the Damascus government has fully declared all its chemical weapons and weapons facilities.

“To date, Syria has not implemented any of these measures,” Arias said, adding that Damascus’ statements “cannot always be considered accurate and complete.”

The director general said he was organizing a meeting with the Syrian foreign minister to discuss the situation.

Russia has also been accused of failing to answer questions from Western nations about Navalny’s 2020 poisoning, which they attribute to Russia, which denies involvement in the incident.

“Serious threat”

“The use of chemical weapons in the territory of the Russian Federation also poses a serious threat to the contract,” Arias said.

“We reiterate our call on Russia and the regime (of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad) to abide by their obligations,” said Bonnie Jenkins, the US Secretary of State for Disarmament Affairs.

British Defense Secretary Anabel Goldi said Russia should not only answer questions about Alexei Navalny, but also about the Novitzok poisoning of former KGB agent Sergei Skripal in Britain in 2018.

“There is no reasonable explanation for these poisonings other than Russia’s involvement and responsibility,” Goldie said.

Moscow denies any involvement in the two incidents.

The Syrian ambassador rejected the “politicized” decision to suspend his country’s rights to OACHO.

Russia’s ambassador to Russia, Alexander Sulgin, said the allegations were “completely baseless” and a “major scandal”.

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