Netherlands: Russia's OPCW envoy declares opposition to attributive powers

Journalist (Russian): «You said that at the meeting?» Georgy Kalamanov, Russian Deputy Industry and Trade Minister (Russian): «Yes, yes.» Journalist (Russian): «Was there any reaction?» Georgy Kalamanov, Russian Deputy Industry and Trade Minister (Russian): «I looked into the audience attentively, everyone was thinking, there was a long pause after my speech. I assume that [these] colleagues... Еще had started to analyse it deeply.» The deputy Russian industry and trade minister stated that Russia considers a possible decision to increase the OPCW's budget by €4 million ($4.6 million) as «illegitimate,» since Moscow believes the money will be spent on giving the watchdog the power and capacity to attribute responsibility for chemical attacks. Speaking after a meeting of the organisation in The Hague, Wednesday, Georgy Kalamanov said «we think that the colleagues [there] are planning to spend this money on empowering the OPCW with the authority of detecting the 'guilty parties,' and we assume that this exact decision has to be blocked.» Moving on to comment on the expulsion of four Russian nationals from the Netherlands, following an alleged attempted cyber-attack on the OPCW in April, Kalamanov said the expelled Russian citizens had just been conducting regular ministerial work. «There’s no secret that they arrived in the Netherlands,» he said. «This is the usual work of the embassy, the usual work of the embassy of any country,» said Kalamanov of the four expelees' conduct. The Dutch security services have stated that it believed the disrupted cyber-attack was carried out by Russian nationals working for the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (GRU).

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