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Russia warns of split in chemical arms body

Rogue Valley

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Russia warns of split in chemical arms body

opcw%20logo_0.png

OPCW

11/20/18
The Hague (AFP) - Russia warned Tuesday of a split in the world chemical weapons watchdog after Moscow failed to stall the body's new powers to apportion blame for attacks like those in Syria. After a bitter war of words, member states approved the 2019 budget for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which includes funding for the new role. They also shot down a proposal by Russia and China to set up an "expert group" which the West said would have effectively blocked the new powers. In June the Hague-based OPCW approved a British-backed move to allow the body to identify the perpetrators of chemical attacks. Previously it could only confirm whether or not toxic arms had been used. The West pushed through the new blaming powers after a string of chemical incidents in Syria, as well as a nerve agent attack on Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal in the British city of Salisbury in March. "A clear majority against an attempt to wreck the historic June decision," British ambassador to the OPCW Peter Wilson said on Twitter. "An overwhelming result, which clearly says #NoToChemicalWeapons."

But Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Georgy Kalamanov warned that there was now a "serious division" in the OPCW between the West and Russia's allies. The atmosphere at the OPCW was already toxic after Dutch authorities said in October that they had expelled four Russian spies who were trying to hack into the OPCW's computer system in April. It was the first time the OPCW had ever voted on the budget, after Russia and Iran, which both oppose the new attribution powers, insisted on a vote. The OPCW also voted 82-30 against Russia's joint plan with China to set up an "open ended" group to scrutinize how the new powers would work. Iran, Syria, Pakistan, South Africa, Palestine and Cuba were among those that backed Russia. OPCW chief Fernando Arias has said he aims to set up a team early next year that could attribute blame for all chemical attacks in Syria since 2013. It will also be allowed to point the finger for attacks elsewhere if asked to by the country where the incident happened. The alleged Russian agents caught by Dutch intelligence in April used electronic equipment hidden in a car parked outside a nearby hotel, the Netherlands said. At the time the organisation was investigating the attack on Skripal as well as a major chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma. The OPCW says it has overseen the destruction of 96.5 percent of the world's chemical arms stocks.

Russia and China, who held a joint military exercise in September 2018, sought to put constraints on any OPCW investigation. After an investigation, the OPCW can now verify to the world that chemical weapons were used, and who used them.

Unsurprisingly, some of the seedier governments of the world such as Damascus and Tehran joined with Moscow and Beijing in attempts to stymie and handcuff OPCW investigative powers.

Both Moscow and Beijing realize that the OPCW is the only international agency remaining that can identify the use of chemical weapons. Either of these nations can veto any such UN investigations.

Related: Russia fails to curb new powers of OPCW
 

Fledermaus

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Russia warns of split in chemical arms body

opcw%20logo_0.png

OPCW



Russia and China, who held a joint military exercise in September 2018, sought to put constraints on any OPCW investigation. After an investigation, the OPCW can now verify to the world that chemical weapons were used, and who used them.

Unsurprisingly, some of the seedier governments of the world such as Damascus and Tehran joined with Moscow and Beijing in attempts to stymie and handcuff OPCW investigative powers.

Both Moscow and Beijing realize that the OPCW is the only international agency remaining that can identify the use of chemical weapons. Either of these nations can veto any such UN investigations.

Related: Russia fails to curb new powers of OPCW

Can't have those investigators actually pointing fingers... Now can we?

Cue the Assad apologists....
 

Westphalian

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The issue here is that the OPCW Charter contains no such powers to attribute blame.

Moscow is all in favour of open-ness, but we have seen such politicisation of the OPCW that we can no longer have faith in that body not being hijacked by the cabal of the US and its supplicants. Therefore Russia favours the UN being the appropriate body to apportion blame because it is more balanced. For obvious reasons, the US doesn't care for the Security Council as it can't manipulate it so easily.
 

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The issue here is that the OPCW Charter contains no such powers to attribute blame.

Moscow is all in favour of open-ness, but we have seen such politicisation of the OPCW that we can no longer have faith in that body not being hijacked by the cabal of the US and its supplicants. Therefore Russia favours the UN being the appropriate body to apportion blame because it is more balanced. For obvious reasons, the US doesn't care for the Security Council as it can't manipulate it so easily.

We both know why Putin's Russia protests against pointing fingers.

Their pet state Syria has been using chemical weapons against their own people.
 

Westphalian

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We both know why Putin's Russia protests against pointing fingers.

Their pet state Syria has been using chemical weapons against their own people.


But we don't know that.


You believe that because that's what your state's propaganda machine tells you.
 

Westphalian

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Yes, we do.

You just feign ignorance.



No - you don't, and you can't precisely because no official independent body has ever opined on this. Isn't that precisely what this OPCW issue is all about from the West's perspective?


This is a really important illustration of how propaganda can morph into perceived facts based on repetition. You are unable to distinguish your beliefs or suppositions from fact based evidence. To you they all seem to be the same
 

Northern Light

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Are we really that shocked? The countries that normally upheld international agreements so steadfastly (like the U.S., Britain) are now reneging on many of their obligations while spitting in the face of diplomacy. The very institutions that are meant to keep an eye on how warfare is conducted are breaking down and this is one such warning sign.

First chemical weapons, then nuclear. Just wait and see.

If humans get lazy with their integrity, these are the consequences, and our leaders are certainly lazy these days.
 

Rogue Valley

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But we don't know that. You believe that because that's what your state's propaganda machine tells you.

Everyone knows that. Even you. But you have your assignment. For those interested.....

4.png


Barrel bombs in a Russian MI-8 helicopter. These re-purposed oil barrels are pushed out of the open rear cargo door.

The Syrians fill these barrels with explosive and ball-bearings/flechette materials (razor sharp metal shards)

They also fill these barrels with chlorine or Sarin ... chemical weapons.

04122017_Barrel_Bomb.jpg
 

Fledermaus

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No - you don't, and you can't precisely because no official independent body has ever opined on this. Isn't that precisely what this OPCW issue is all about from the West's perspective?

This is a really important illustration of how propaganda can morph into perceived facts based on repetition. You are unable to distinguish your beliefs or suppositions from fact based evidence. To you they all seem to be the same

Funny how Moscow cries "the OPCW hasn't declared Syria culpable" only to cry when OPCW is finally allowed to assign culpability...

Your second paragraph is simple PROJECTION.
 
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