Russia, U.S. In a Stalemate Over Syria Chemical Weapons Probe

Russia was playing double speak on Monday, on one hand stating that it was still in talks with the United States about the ongoing inquiry by the U.N. Security Council into the Syrian governments use of chemical weapons on their own people, but the US countered that the Russians have refused to engage on the draft resolution sponsored by Washington.

The U.N. and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), has found the Syrian government used the banned nerve agent sarin in an April 4 attack. But yet Moscow continues to play this game that the investigation proving that isn’t over and must continue.

Russia vetoed an initial U.S. bid to renew the joint investigation on Oct. 24, saying it wanted to wait for the release of the latest investigation’s report two days later. It has since proposed its own rival draft resolution.

“We are talking to the U.S., it’s not over yet,” Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters on Monday.

“Russia has refused to engage on our draft resolution – which the vast majority of council members agree is the most viable text – in spite of our multiple attempts to consider Russian concerns,” a spokesman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations said on Monday.

A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by Russia, China, the United States, Britain and France to pass. The council unanimously created the inquiry, known as the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), in 2015 and renewed it in 2016.

There is precedence here, the Syrian government used chlorine gas in two attacks in 2014 and again in 2015 and the Islamic State used mustard gas. And yet Syria still maintains that it destroyed its chemical weapons arsenal in 2013.

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