Russia has tabled a UN Security Council resolution calling for a through investigation of the chemical weapons incident in Idlib Governorate.
Vladimir Safronkov, Russia’s acting Ambassador to the UN who has stepped in to fill the position of the late Vitaly Churkin has said,
“…we submitted our short draft resolution, drawn up in a business manner and aimed at conducting a true investigation rather than to appoint the guilty ones until the facts are established”.
The Russian draft resolution proposes to,
“…fully investigate the reports about the incident on the ground under the mandatory condition that the list of investigators will be submitted to the UN for approval and will be geographically balanced as well”
This is in sharp contrast to the US-UK-France co-sponsored resolution which automatically assigned blame to the Syrian government in spite of clear evidence to the contrary. That resolution was vetoed by Russia.
The Russian resolution calls for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the group which helped the Syrian government to remove the remains of its chemical weapons stockpiles in 2013, to explore this incident.
It also demands that illegal terrorist groups cooperate with investigations, something which may not be possible.
This response is similar to Russia’s reaction to the use of chemical weapons in Donbass by forces loyal to the Kiev regime. At that time Russia called for an investigation rather than a war.