UK-sponsored proposal for change of OPCW mandate is ‘illegitimate’, we won’t accept it – Moscow

The UK-sponsored changes to the mandate of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are “illegitimate” and Moscow will not adhere to them, Russia’s envoy to the OPCW, Aleksandr Shulgin, told Izvestia daily in an interview. The change, which empowers the OPCW to assign blame for chemical weapon-related incidents, was pushed through in late June. So far, there is only the framework for the so-called “attribution mechanism” in place, Shulgin said, while it might be implemented later this year. The mechanism violates the OPCW’s charter, since none of its members agreed to take a “quasi-prosecution” and “quasi-police” role. It also challenges the long-established international bodies, namely the UN, which already have the power to punish for the use of chemical weapons, the official stated.