Shulgin: OPCW fact-finding mission to Syria is biased

Moscow, SANA- Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Alexander Shulgin, said that the fact-finding mission (FFM) of the OPCW to Syria is biased and follows the orders of Western countries blindly.

“The FFM obediently types everything that the representatives of the Western group suggest. We will seek a radical change in the situation in the [OPCW] technical secretariat,” Shulgin said in an interview with Novosti Russian Agency.
He added that the mission appeared to trust armed militants implicitly, but seemed extremely skeptical of any information provided by the Syrian government and the Russian military.

Shulgin explained that Russia decided to send the questions in writing after it became clear during the special briefing that the mission representative could not answer on the spot.

The Russian envoy said that Russia submitted written questions to the mission, but received no answers, which reinforced the feeling that the mission might be guided by double standards.

“We will demand a comprehensive review [of the preliminary report], we will pay attention to inconsistencies, gaps in the conduct of such an investigation. The truth must be established… It [publication of the final report] was promised in two or three weeks, but no one can say anything precise,” Shulgin said adding that he was told that on July 13.
He added that the OPCW is doomed unless the decision to expand the organization’s powers by allowing it to attribute responsibility for chemical attacks is reconsidered.

“It [the decision] was adopted by a minority. We have made it clear that we will not execute it and will do everything possible to rectify the situation. If the situation cannot be fixed, the days of the OPCW are numbered, at least as far as its truly universal character is concerned,” Shulgin said.

The envoy noted that the OPCW Technical Secretariat needed reforms.

“It is necessary to change a lot in the work of the technical secretariat of the OPCW, to ensure that the Fact-Finding Mission in the use of chemical weapons is staffed on the basis of the principle of fair geographical representation, so that there are representatives of all regions and not only representatives of the Western group from those countries that are knowingly hostile to the legitimate Syrian authorities,” Shulgin said.

Manar al-Frieh/Manal

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