Russian challenge to chemical weapons watchdog rejected

November 20, 2018 - 6:24 am

BRUSSELS (AP) — The U.S. and Western powers have staved off a challenge by Russia and China questioning whether the global chemical weapons watchdog could start apportioning blame for poison gas and nerve agent attacks.

Following a heated session at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons' annual conference, members voted 82-30 to reject a proposal by Russia and China to reassess a June decision to set up a new investigative team with the power to name perpetrators of chemical attacks — a major change in the group's rules.

Russia and China argued that the widely-backed June decision to allow the organization to identify those responsible should be reviewed to ensure it didn't go beyond the OPCW mandate.

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