May 25, 2017, by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation:
On May 23, the UNSC held its successive discussion on the state of affairs around the so-called Syrian “chemical dossier”. The Western “troika” of permanent members of the UN Security Council sought to give an anti-Assad and anti-Russian pronounced spin to this event. It was reconfirmed that these “exposers” of Damascus were not interested in establishing the truth in a crucial issue of who actually stood behind the alleged use of sarin on April 4, 2017, in the Syrian province of Idlib. Representatives of the United States, Great Britain and France have desperately resisted any attempt to figure out to what extent their verdict delivered “in absentia” about the allegedly undeniable responsibility of the Bashar Al-Assad Government for this chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun was justified.
An unsightly scene has been developed. It seems that almost two months after the chemical incident nobody has been in a hurry to visit Khan Sheikhoun in order to examine all the circumstances of such a high-impact case. Moreover, the Westerners have ruled out even the very option of visiting the Shayirat airbase where, according to their own allegations, the sarin used in Khan Sheikhoun was stored.
Unfortunately, no activity has been undertaken in this regard by the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) that proceeds with postponing its visit to Khan Sheikhoun blaming unfavorable security conditions. As for the leadership of the OPCW – UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), it is yet to develop a plan of investigatory actions indicating sites to visit, individuals to question and documents to claim.
Russia’s position on this ongoing situation is well known and crystal clear: the investigation of this incident should be carried out as scrupulously as possible, in strict compliance with the JIM and FFM mandates approved by the UNSC and OPCW and include all investigatory actions, methods and proceedings envisaged in relevant UNSC resolutions and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Both Khan Sheikhoun and Shayirat airbase must be visited, the first as the site of this barbaric deed and the second as facility claimed to be allegedly in a direct relation with it. The established vicious practice within the JIM and FFM of conducting investigations in a remote mode based on the evidence provided by questionable witnesses or sometimes even “false victims” is absolutely unacceptable. The resources of NGOs that compromised themselves long ago and have established links with militants and terrorist entities are widely used. This is not just an imitation of work – we are dealing with a deliberate, intentional falsification in pursuance of clearly established political objectives.