Disinfo: The OPCW has a policy of throwing baseless accusations 

Summary

Russia may consider withdrawing from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), if the organisation continues its policy of bias against certain countries.

The accusations levelled against the Syrian authorities of using chemical weapons, Moscow and Damascus confirmed that there is no evidence of these accusations.

What happened with the former client, Sergey Skripal, and the activist, Alexei Navalny, also comes in the context of the bias of the organisation that did not base its statements on any facts or evidence.

The OPCW is an important organisation, although it is losing its credibility.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narratives attacking the independence and integrity of the OPCW and a disinformation narrative about the Salisbury and Navalny poisonings.

According to the OPCW's Director-General, the organisation has been targeted by a disinformation campaign when it granted new powers to assign blame for chemical attacks. 18 countries issued a joint statement, which called for an end to the unacceptable Russian defamation of the OPCW. Regarding the other allegations in the article:

Syria

The OPCW conducts probes into all allegations of chemical weapons' use in Syria, and its findings serve as the basis for publicly available reports and expert notes, and in its last report issued on October 1st concerning Saraqib, the OPCW was clear by stating that it has based its findings on “sample analysis, data examination and witness interviews”, and “materials that were made available by the interviewees, and hospital records… including information provided by the Syrian Arab Republic and others”.

Salisbury

Following the Salisbury attack, the United Kingdom notified the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), invited them to confirm the identity of the substance involved, and briefed members of the Security Council. The OPCW’s independent expert laboratories confirmed the UK’s identification of the Russian produced Novichok nerve agent, while emphasising that the OPCW team “worked independently and was not involved in the national investigation by the UK authorities", to ensure the integrity of the examinations and investigations.

Navalny

Clinical findings at the Charité hospital indicated that Navalny was poisoned with a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group.

These findings were later independently corroborated by labs in France and Sweden, and finally confirmed by the OPCW, which stated that [t]he biomarkers of the cholinesterase inhibitor found in Mr Navalny’s blood and urine samples have similar structural characteristics to the toxic chemicals belonging to schedules 1.A.14 and 1.A.15."

The OPCW's supposed complicity in "suppressing" the truth is a standard talking point in pro-Kremlin reporting on Syria. See our previous debunking of this narrative here, here, here, and here.

Read previous disinformation claims alleging that the chemical attacks in Syria have been staged and filmed by the media of the Western countries; that the Navalny poisoning could be a strategy of the West to introduce anti-Russian sanctions, that Russia is accused of poisoning without proof; or that US used Navalny case to block Russian vaccine against COVID-19.

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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