Russia will not interfere with the work of the mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Syrian city of Douma, Russian Permanent Representation to the OPCW stated on Monday, commenting on the meeting of the organization’s executive council.
“The US is trying to undermine confidence in the Mission regarding the establishment of facts of the use of chemical weapons in Syria ahead the experts’ arrival in Douma,” the Permanent Representation stressed. “Russia confirms its adherence to the provision of security for the mission and does not plan to interfere with its work.”
Bulgaria, as the EU chairman, stated at the meeting that solution to the Syrian crisis should be searched for in the sphere of politics, the Russian mission reported. “It is hard to disagree with this statement, especially after two (yet) members of the community conducted a strike [on Syria] two days ago,” the Permanent Representation noted.
An OPCW meeting devoted to the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria is being held in The Hague on Monday. A number of NGOs, including the White Helmets, stated that chemical weapons were used in Eastern Ghouta on April 7. The Russian Defense Ministry stated that the White Helmets are an unreliable source of information and are notorious for disseminating falsified material. Representatives from the Russian Reconciliation Center for the Opposing Sides examined Douma on April 9, and found no trace of any use of chemical weapons there.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, warplanes and warships of the US, the UK and France carried out missile strikes over military and civil infrastructure facilities in Syria on Saturday from 03:42 to 05:10 Moscow time on April 14. Syrian air defenses shot down 71 out of 103 cruise missiles, the ministry reported. Washington, London and Paris earlier stated that the strikes are a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Syrian city of Douma. On Saturday, an OPCW expert group arrived in Syria to investigate the incident.