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Russia urges UN to cut off terrorists' access to chemical weapons

Russia calls on the United Nations Security Council to cut off terrorists' access to chemical weapons, Russia's deputy envoy to the UN said.

Speaking before the UN Security Council on Thursday, Vladimir Safronkov said militants of the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) "have developed technologies of manufacturing chemical weapons and are actively using them" in Syria and Iraq.

The reports that the terrorists have gained access to chemical weapons "need a prompt response of the UN Security Council and a thorough investigation," Safronkov stressed.

Moscow earlier suggested that a joint commission of the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), set up to investigate attacks with the use of toxic agents in Syria, should deal with this problem, he said.

The fight against weapons of mass destruction proliferation is "one of military and political priorities of Russia," the deputy envoy said. "Like on any other pressing issues, joint coordinated efforts are needed here."

Russia seeks common ground with partners "to advance the non-proliferation agenda as the problems here have started exacerbating," he stressed.

The UN Security Council held a meeting on Thursday to discuss implementation of Resolution 1540 passed in 2004 to prevent access of non-state actors, including terrorists, to the weapons of mass destruction.

[Source: Itar Tass, United Nations, 17Mar17]

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