Russia on Thursday rejected the findings of a chemical weapons investigation led by the United Nations that found Syrian forces had used chlorine bombs at least three times in the past two years.
During a Security Council meeting, Russia called the investigators’ findings inconclusive and no basis for punitive action. The response intensified the bitter rift between Western nations and Russia over the Syria war.
It came three years after Syria renounced the use of chemical weapons, signed an international treaty banning them and agreed to destroy its stockpile under a Security Council resolution supported by Russia and the United States.
Ambassador Vitaly I. Churkin of Russia said the investigation, carried out by a joint panel of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which monitors treaty compliance, was “full of contradictions and therefore, unconvincing,” according to a text of his remarks to fellow council members.