Russia responds to accusations of chemical weapons use
Russia is strictly adhering to the norms of international law, and suggestions that it is using chemical weapons are “fundamentally false,” the country's ambassador to the US claimed on Wednesday.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday morning, Anatoly Antonov called the accusation a fantasy, and instead suggested that Washington is trying to “demonize” Russia. His rebuttal came after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told journalists that Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken “aggressive steps” on the global stage.
“This is a country and a leader who has, you know, used chemical weapons, who has invaded multiple countries in the past several years,” Psaki said, at a press briefing on Tuesday.
However, according to Antonov, both these suggestions are untrue, and Washington would be wise to “look in the mirror more often before blaming or lecturing others.”
“The US has not backed up with any credible evidence its fantasies built on outright lies about the alleged use of chemical weapons by our country,” the ambassador said. “The accusations against our country of ‘invading’ other states also have no grounds.”
According to Antonov, Russia has completely destroyed its stocks of chemical weapons, while the US has not.
“Russia adheres to the principle of ‘non-interference’ in the affairs of foreign countries and strictly follows international law – unlike the United States, whose modern history looks more like a chronology of US military operations in different parts of the globe,” the ambassador continued, accusing Washington of conducting “bloody” experiments around the world, which cause “nothing but chaos, instability, and loss of lives.”
The latest statement by Psaki is not the first time that Moscow has been accused of illegally using chemical weapons. Last year, Washington imposed sanctions on a number of Russian officials and businesses for the alleged poisoning of jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny, in what the US dubbed “the use of a chemical weapon” in an “attempted assassination.”
“The U.S. government has exercised its authorities to send a clear signal that Russia’s use of chemical weapons and abuse of human rights have severe consequences. Any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and contravenes international norms,” a State Department press release said in March.
In response, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused Washington of using Russia as a diversion from America’s internal issues.