Remarks to the press by Ambassador V.Churkin after the Security Council meeting on establishing of the Joint Investigative Mechanism OPSW-UN


Full transcript

V.Churkin: I don’t want to make big statements but I think it is an important step, an important indication of our ability to work together and to resolve difficult issues. You could hear that a number of delegations were voicing that in the course of the discussion. I hope it will translate into our continued joint work on the political front. I mentioned before that we are working very well on PRST (President of the Security Council’s statement) in support of Staffan de Mistura’s efforts I hope it will be adopted early next week. Let’s hope we will maintain the momentum.

Q: Do you want accountability with Syria? What’s the mechanism?

V.Churkin: This is what the resolution is about. You should read it. Now it is the final text.

Q: Do you think this is a beginning of more agreement between the US and Russia on Syria and other issues?

V.Churkin: We have been in a close contact about it. Minister S.Lavrov and Secretary J.Kerry have been talking a lot about it. I think one can say that there is a greater commonality of the understanding of the complexity of the situation there. Some of the shortcuts, which were voiced by our Western colleagues when the conflict was breaking out, they did not really work and actually they exacerbated the situation. But we still do not have complete understanding of what needs to be done. One element that is particularly clear is that our Western colleagues do not yet accept the need to focus first of all and primarily on the terrorist threat in Syria and Iraq and our joint struggle against ISIL. As you know we have proposed the concept of anti‑terrorist front in Syria and Iraq but at this point we do not have the required unity of effort by the international community, mostly because the US and other Western countries, our Western colleagues in the Security Council do not want to involve the Syrian government in that joint struggle, which in our view is wrong. It undermines the effectiveness of the effort. Speaking about the chemical weapons which we were addressing today, of course, it is in contrast to what happened during the operation for the destruction of the Syrian chemical arsenal where everybody was cooperating with the Syrian government. If we could do it then, why can’t we do it now under this very serious challenge posed to the international community by ISIL and other terrorist groups fighting in Syria but we continue our discussions. I think it would be an important step if we do have that PRST in support of Staffan de Mistura, which in my recollection will be the first consensus document of the Security Council on the political aspects of the settlement of the Syrian crisis. We continue working.