Holding Russia Accountable for Chemical Weapons Use in Salisbury, UK
Today, the UN Security Council and the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) met to discuss the OPCW’s recent findings related to the March 4 use of a military-grade nerve agent in Salisbury, UK.
The OPCW’s independent report, released last week, confirms the UK lab analysis regarding the identity of the chemical used in Salisbury. We applaud the OPCW’s expeditious support and technical efforts to uncover the facts.
We fully support the UK and the need for today’s special meetings of the OPCW Executive Council and the UN Security Council to discuss the chemical weapons attack in Salisbury and the OPCW’s detailed independent analysis.
As we have made clear, the United States agrees with the UK’s assessment that Russia is responsible for this use of chemical weapons on UK soil– either through deliberate use or through its failure to declare and secure its stocks of this nerve agent.
Only the Government of Russia has the motive, means, and record to conduct such an attack. Russia developed the type of military-grade nerve agent used in Salisbury and has a record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations.
Rather than changing its harmful and destructive behavior, the Russian government offers only denials and counteraccusations to deflect attention from its culpability.
The United States condemns the use of chemical weapons anywhere, anytime, by anyone, under any circumstances. We urge our colleagues on the UN Security Council and the OPCW Executive Council to join us, as they have before, to create a unified front against the use of chemical weapons. We cannot allow the normalization of chemical weapons use.