Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC briefing on the implementation of resolution 2118
Today Ms.Nakamitsu presented the 96th report of the Director-General of the OPCW that addresses the implementation of resolution 2118. All these reports use one and the same template and are designed to pursue only one task – create an impression that Syria allegedly try to conceal something and mislead the global community regarding its chemical file. The methods of the reports also remain unchanged: the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW, led by its Director-General, tries to bury one obvious fact deep under the layers of text. Here is this fact: against all odds, Damascus still upholds its obligations under the CWC and does not refuse to cooperate with the OPCW. Despite the manipulations of the Technical Secretariat, Damascus demonstrates political will and readiness to continue dialogue. Frankly speaking, we admire the composure and self-control of our Syrian colleagues. We can only imagine how hard it must have been to not succumb to emotion and provocations once the collective West pushed the Conference of OPCW States-Parties that convened in April to adopt (in violation of CWC norms) a decision incapacitating the Syrian Arab Republic at the Organization.
I have no doubt that today our Western colleagues will again heap praises upon this decision while fully neglecting facts and common sense; and commend broad support that it allegedly received from OPCW Member-States. Well, if less than 50 % of votes in favor and only 6 out of 15 possible votes from UNSC members is what you believe “broad support” is, we are not going to dissuade you. Apparently, math was taught differently to you and to us.
And not only maths for that matter, but also physics. For example, our schoolbooks write about such a notion as gravity that causes deformation to objects that have free-fallen from high in the air. It means that the cylinders with chlorine that were allegedly air-dropped onto Douma in April 2018 could not possibly avoid some characteristic damage. Same can be said about the bed that one of them allegedly landed on. Let aside the fact that the valve of the cylinder could not have passed the roof beams totally undamaged. Another example is the crater allegedly created by an air bomb in Khan Sheikhoun. By all appearances, it looks like a result of an on-the-ground explosion. There is more to this “collection”, e.g. fantastic conclusions of the FFM, which cite either projectiles landing in vent shafts “tailored” precisely to accommodate their diameter, or unguided air bombs flying a 5-kilometer distance along a horizontal trajectory before hitting the target. Neither you, nor OPCW inspectors seem bothered by this. If it goes on in this fashion, the OPCW will be able to qualify for another Nobel Prize, this time in alternative physics, for articulating new laws.
When it comes to chemistry, we again seem to have very diverging understandings of its laws. For example, we assume that a cylinder cannot become half-corroded within 12 hours after it hits the ground, as the IIT report on Saraqib would argue. Again, this is fantastic speed of chemical reaction. By the same token, attempts to present scant particles of chlorine as a chemical warfare agent can stand no science-based criticism. I mean chlorine that was discovered in Douma and that could have had a multitude of applications, including household use.
We have given up trying to spot tiniest sparkles of logic in your considerations. Should there be some, you would not deny (contrary to any common sense) that even if the Syrian troops had had chemical weapons, its usage would have been totally unprofitable, because they already had obvious military advantage by that moment. But why look for any reason-based arguments if one can just cover those events with a veil of “fakes” designed to blame Syria and its leaders for everything, and white-wash bandits from the Syrian opposition, whom you patronize, and present them as pioneers of freedom and democracy? This fits well into your vision, but virtually has nothing to do with reality.
The apex of hypocrisy is the illegitimate IIT, whose experts, while staying the comfort of their living rooms, keep issuing same-type reports about alleged cases of CW use by the Syrian leadership that base on pseudo-evidence and contradict the rules of physics, chemistry, and mathematics. We have repeatedly said that we reject conclusions of any further “masterpieces” to be issued by the IIT on the basis of methods that violate OPCW principles of handling data and information.
By the way, much of the guilt for destroying the good name and reputation of the OPCW rests upon the Organization’s incumbent Director-General, Mr.Fernando Arias, who instead of investigating blatant manipulations that occurred during the drafting of the Douma report, merely tries to “pressure into silence” those OPCW inspectors and experts who dared to disrupt the vicious circle; and to sweep under the carpet all facts that are unflattering for the Organization and for him personally.
Take today’s report for example. It blames Syrians for protracting the 25th round of inspections by the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT). The Technical Secretariat cites “utmost concern” in this connection. But again, not a word is uttered about the fact that it was DG Arias who undermined the inspections this summer – we all remember him say that summertime in Syria was “uncomfortable” for DAT deployment in the field. It means that considerations of “comfort” outweighed the importance of holding such consultations per se.
Another attempt to shift responsibilities manifests itself in the portion of the report that relays the episode with an air strike launched against a declared facility in Syria on 8 July. Why doesn’t it condemn the very fact of attacking a sovereign territory? The report again cites “concern”, caused by Syrians relocating the cylinders related to the Douma incident. But does it justify the use of force against a sovereign state? Apparently, this act of aggression means nothing to the OPCW Director-General. In this connection, we cannot but recall air strikes that the Western coalition launched against Shairat air base in 2017 and then undermined all efforts to start an OPCW investigation of developments in Al-Lataminah and Khan Sheikhoun.
In general, the stance of the OPCW Technical Secretariat looks rather unflattering, and it already affects a number of other episodes that have nothing but politics behind them. It is pitiful that due to this “ostrich-style” policy, the OPCW is turning into a politicized tool that collective West would use to punish the regimes that they do not favor.
In conclusion, I would like to stress that due to the tendencies that I referred to earlier, the Syrian chemical file has long lost any connection to issues of chemical non-proliferation. Current developments should not be considered in the context of dialogue between Syria and the OPCW, which is underway, no matter how hard one would try to prove the opposite. It should rather be considered as an attempt to punish an “unwanted” state with the help of the CWC toolkit. This is a dangerous trend. It can touch upon any state, should it stand in the way of geopolitical aspirations of the West. All illusions in this regard have long dissipated.