Russia: UN delaying access in Syria



April 15, 2018 - 11:00 PM

BEIRUT (AP) — A senior Russian diplomat said today that the mission from the international chemical weapons watchdog cannot access the site of an alleged chemical attack near the Syrian capital without an appropriate U.N. permit.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov’s remarks could indicate a possible attempt to bog down the team from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, though both Russia and the Syrian government have welcomed the OPCW visit in the wake of the West’s air-strikes in Syria over the weekend.

Ryabkov told reporters in Moscow that what is hampering a speedy resolution of the mission’s visit to the Syrian town of Douma, affected by the alleged chemical attack, was “the consequences of the illegal, unlawful military action,” a reference to the punitive airstrikes.

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