10/25/2017, 09.20
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Moscow veto on extending UN investigations on chemical weapons in Syria

The draft Security Council resolution rejected. This is the seventh report on the attack on Khan Sheikhoun. It is the ninth Russian veto in favor of Syria.

New York (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Russia has blocked attempts to extend the inquiry intothe use of chemical weapons in Syria by vetoing the UN Security Council (CS) resolution drafted by the United States.

The operation, called Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), was set up in 2015 to identify those responsible for the chemical attacks in Syria. The only official mission in the country, JIM involves the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The publication of the report on the nerve gas attack that struck the city of Khan Sheikhoun last April, killing more than 80 people, including many children, is expected by the week’s end.

JIM's mandate ends November 17, and Moscow attempted to impede its extension, subject to a prior verification of the report. With no support for this proposal, the Kremlin decided to exercise its veto power, a possibility reserved for the five permanent Security Council members -Russia, the United States, England, France and China. It is the ninth time that Russia has opposed a resolution that targets its Syrian ally.

Recently, Moscow rejected an independent report by UN human rights investigators, according to which the Syrian government is responsible for the use of chemical weapons.

United States Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, accuses Russia of taking the side of "dictators and terrorists". The Russian representative Vasily Nebenzi rejects the criticism by saying that "what is happening is not pleasant" and that Russia was ready to discuss JIM's future after the report was published.

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