Introductory Remarks by H.E. Alexander Shulgin

Introductory Remarks by H.E. Alexander Shulgin 

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OPCW

(April 19th, 2021)


Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Very warm welcome to all of you! We appreciate your being with us to take part in this media event, organized jointly by Russian and Syrian Permanent Representations to the OPCW.

Actually, we take over from our colleagues in New York, where Russia initiated on 16 April 2021 the informal UNSC meeting under the so called Arria formula, entitled “Protection of the developing countries against political pressure: upholding the integrity of international non-proliferation regimes”.

The main focus has been made on Syria, which has been increasingly ostracised by a group of Western countries. This event was live-streamed. The link is available. You may use it to get acquainted with very talent discussion, held in New York.

For our part, we would like to entertain you over the issue called “Lies and truth about the use of chemical weapons in Syria”. This is quite topical all the more, so that tomorrow on 20 April 2021 the Conference of States Parties (the CSP), a supreme body of the OPCW – an international chemical weapons watchdog, resumes its session. It will be largely dominated by the discussion of the draft decision, tabled by France and some other countries, with the purpose of stripping the Syrian Arab Republic of its right and privileges under the CWC. This document has been submitted by countries, calling themselves “Friends of Syria”. This is just a euphemism. These countries are most certainly all but friends of Syria. Their main goal is to get a regime change in Damascus.

The pretext, chosen to launch unprecedented attack against Syrian legitimate authorities, is related to the accusations leveled against Damascus over the alleged violation of the CWC: ostensibly the regime (that is how they call the legitimate Government in the Syrian Arab Republic) does not hesitate using chemical weapons to gas its own people.

To create the illusion of solid evidence the “Friends of Syria” use the findings of the IIT, an illegitimate structure, set up by Western activists, in violation of the CWC and to the detriment of the UN SC exclusive prerogatives.

We know all too well what they are worth, the conclusions of the IIT and also of the Fact Finding Mission (FFM).

It is from start to finish fabricated stories about the alleged use of chemical weapons by Damascus.

At this point it will be appropriate to remind you that all over the years of bloodshed on the Syrian soil Damascus’ foes have been playing by the same playbook.

Essentially this is the endless repetition of the same pattern: as soon as the Syrian army is about to achieve military gains on the ground, the other side, especially Al-Kaeda and ISIS related groups, stage chemical provocations to whip up public opinion, to get Damascus flinch and back off.

Immediately all kind of pseudo NGOs, but primarily the notorious “White Helmets”, are enlisted to help stage provocations. These people, I am referring to the “White Helmets”, have long since gotten into the habit of pulling stunts, making videos to portray the alleged horrors of the use of chemical weapons, most frequently chlorine, but also sarin. Such videos are hastily sent to the Western sponsors. In no time at all, these videos are all over the main TV channels showing them endlessly, in kind of a loop to make people experience both horror and compassion for the alleged victims of chlorine and sarin.

We always knew – these were fake news, stunt footages, be it Khan Sheikhun, Aleppo or elsewhere. However, in Douma agent-provocateurs were caught red-handed. Really, I mean it: red-handed.

The point is that the “White Helmets” responsible for the Douma provocation did not expect Syrian and Russian servicemen to be soon on the site of the incident.

Everything became immediately clear. Witnesses of the provocation turned up spontaneously. Twelve Syrians, unwitting actors featured in a famous video footage of the “White Helmets”, came to the Hague. Each of them showed, using a laser pointer, the exact place, where he/she has been at the hospital during the scandalous video. Each of them explained in detail the exact role attributed to them by agent-provocateurs.

Today we will refresh your memories about what these people recounted in The Hague, first in the Headquarters of the OPCW, in the Ieper room, and then during a special press-conference. I expect you to pay particular attention to the explanation of 11-year old boy named Hassan Diab. It is a right time for all of us to recall the saying about the truth coming out of the child’s mouth.

Provocations set up by the “White Helmets” brought up dangerous consequences not only for Syrian people but also for the international peace and security.

The United States and their allies intend to punish Syrian authorities for the crimes they did not commit, violated international law, carried out unprovoked aggression against sovereign Syria, the UN Member State.

It is highly unfortunate that the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW, which is supposed to look into every case of the use of chemical weapons, proved not to be on a par with legitimate expectation of States Parties to the CWC. Evidence of this is a huge scandal, which broke out back in 2019, following the suspicions that the FFM report about the Douma incident had been tampered with. Indeed, there are serious grounds to believe that the report has been entirely rewritten, so as to spare the United States and their allies the responsibility for their violation of the international law, which is their unprovoked aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic back in April 2018, when they carried out a missile strike.

We would like to hope that the TS leadership will listen to the concerned people, scientists, experts, pundits, namely to a group led by the very first Director-General of the Secretariat Mr Jose Bustani, who continue to insist that light be shed on a murky story about the Douma report.

In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, the current situation in Syria is not such as portrayed by the notorious “Friends of Syria”. I wish you had some food for thought after out meeting. I wish you a good time with us.