Churkin: OPCW-UN report on Syria chemical attacks not enough to impose sanctions on Damascus

Washington, SANA – The findings of the latest joint report of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that blamed Damascus for several chemical attacks lack specifics, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin asserted.

He was quoted by Russia Today website as saying “Already at this stage, we have a number of questions regarding the findings of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism on some cases. Evidence provided in the report gives rise to serious doubts. It could have been fabricated by the forces opposed to Damascus and terrorist groups, perhaps not without outside help.”

Churkin’s remarks came in response to a question on whether there is sufficient evidence in the report to impose sanctions on Damascus, following a closed-door session of the UN Security Council on Tuesday.

He told reporters that there are a number of questions which have to be clarified before Russia will accept all the findings and conclusions of the report.

“Clearly, there is a smoking gun. We know that chlorine most likely has been used — that was already the finding of fact-finding mission before — but there are no fingerprints on the gun,” Churkin said

He added that “There is nobody to sanction in the report which has been issued….It contains no names, it contains no specifics. … If we are to be professional we need to question all the conclusions.”

R.J/H. Said

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