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Kremlin responds to US chemical weapons accusations

Washington’s claims that Moscow is engaging in banned warfare against Ukrainian troops are baseless, Dmitry Peskov has said

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has rejected claims by the US that Russia has engaged in chemical warfare in the Ukraine conflict.

The allegation was made as the US Department of State announced a new round of sanctions targeting Russian entities on Wednesday. Some of these measures were justified by reference to alleged breaches by Moscow of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

However, Peskov told journalists on Thursday that the claims were “absolutely baseless and not supported by any evidence.” Moscow remains committed to its international obligations, he added.

The latest American sanctions targeted a total of 280 individuals and entities, including the Troops of Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defence – a specialized branch of the Russian military tasked with protecting the military and civilian population from weapons of mass destruction. Washington alleges that the unit “facilitated the use” of chemical weapons in the Ukraine conflict.

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FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba.
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The US Department of State specifically claimed that Russia had deployed the toxin chloropicrin, which was used in chemical warfare during World War I and is now predominantly utilized as a pesticide and herbicide.

A senior Ukrainian military commander claimed last year that his troops had been targeted with chloropicrin on multiple occasions. In February, Kiev alleged that Russia had conducted more than 200 chemical weapons attacks on the battlefield in January alone.

Moscow has accused Ukrainian forces of staging chemical weapons incidents with a view to blaming Russia for them.

”The use of toxic chemicals by the Ukrainian militants has become systematic,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in late February. It added that the Ukrainians were also using improvised drone-dropped chemical weapons.

”The first recorded instance of the use of chloropicrin by Ukrainian neo-fascists happened during the siege of the House of Trade Unions in Odessa on May 2, 2014,” the ministry said. Fumes produced by the chemical during a fire at the building contributed to the high death toll arising from the incident, according to Moscow.

READ MORE: Ukraine using US-made chemical weapons – Russian diplomat

The US sanctions were announced one day before the tenth anniversary of the mass killings in Odessa, which claimed the lives of 48 people, according to the official Ukrainian count.

May 02, 2024 at 05:48PM

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