Russia presents draft resolution to get ‘politicized’ Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons ‘back on track’

This file photo taken on April 4, 2018 in The Hague shows the headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OP...

This file photo taken on April 4, 2018 in The Hague shows the headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). (Photo by AFP)
Russia has presented a draft resolution to the UN Security Council to “get the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) back on track”, as it believes the UN’s chemical watchdog has been “hijacked by politics”.

After putting forward the draft UNSC resolution, Russia's UN ambassador charged that the OPCW had been hijacked by politics and its mandate derailed.

"We are trying to get the OPCW back on track because it (has) slided off the track and now it is so politicized," Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters.

"It was always a technical organ where consensus prevailed, and now we see that it is completely politicized, with politicized agenda from various parties."

"We want the OPCW to get back to where it was before," Nebenzia said.

The draft text, seen by AFP, notes "with concern the continuing politicization of the work of the OPCW" which "significantly reduces the efficiency of the organization's activities."

The draft resolution states that the Security Council - where Russia holds veto power - is the only international body that can impose measures on countries that violate the Chemical Weapons Convention.

That came after Western governments pushed for new blaming powers for the OPCW.

The OPCW agreed last year to set up a mechanism that would identify the perpetrators of chemical attacks, a move bitterly opposed by Russia and Syria.

Russia and Syria blame the attacks on western-backed terrorists, but the US and its allies say Damascus is to blame.

Western governments and their allies have never stopped pointing the finger at Damascus whenever an apparent chemical attack takes place.Syria surrendered its stockpile of chemical weapons in 2014 to a joint mission led by the United States and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which oversaw the destruction of the weaponry. It has also consistently denied using chemical weapons.

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