UN / SALISBURY UPDATE

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18-Apr-2018 00:03:39
UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu told the Security Council that samples collected by the UN chemical watchdog (OPCW) team “confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used on 4 March in Salisbury.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / SALISBURY UPDATE
TRT: 03:39
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / RUSSIAN / NATS

DATELINE: 18 APRIL 2018, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

18 APRIL 2018, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Wide shot, British ambassador speaking to US counterpart
4. Wide shot, Russian ambassador
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Izumi Nakamitsu, Under Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations:
“The results of analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW TAV team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used on 4 March in Salisbury. The TAV team has noted that the toxic chemical in question was of high purity.”
6. Wide shot, Security Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Karen Pierce, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations:
“Russia further developed some Novichoks after ratifying the convention and in the mid-2000s, President Putin himself was closely involved in the chemical weapons programme. It is highly unlikely, Mr. President, that any former soviet republic other than Russia pursued an offensive chemical weapons programme after independence. No terrorist group or non-state actor would be able to produce this agent in the purity described by the OPCW testing, and this is something Russia has acknowledged.”
8. Wide shot, British ambassador addressing Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Karen Pierce, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations:
“One accusation that we faced today and in recent days was that Julia had not been poisoned, that the British Government had in fact drugged her and put her in a coma and then injected her with the poisons that were found. Mr. President, this is more than fanciful, it is outlandish. That sort of thing may happen in Russia, but I can assure the Council it does not and will not happen in the United Kingdom.”
10. Med shot, Russian ambassador
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Nikki Haley, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations:
“We hope our colleagues on this Council will join us, as they have before, in delivering a clear condemnation of the use of a Russian nerve agent on another member’s soil. Because unless we stop this now, there will be more death and more scenes that nobody wants to see. There is nothing more troubling than the idea that the use of a weapon of mass destruction becomes routine.”
12. Wide shot, Security Council
13. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Vassily Alekseevich Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations:
“I wish once again to reaffirm our position in principle that we will not accept the results of any national or international investigations without familiarizing ourselves with the whole body of information, be it information from the criminal investigation or full technical reports from the laboratories, without exercising our right to consular access to Russian citizens, and most importantly, without direct participation of Russian experts in all operations related to shedding light on what took place in Salisbury on 4 March.”
14. Med shot, British ambassador
15. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Vassily Alekseevich Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations:
“Clearly London believes that the Russian President has a hobby, the time which is not taken up by his Presidential duties is spent on chemical weapons programmes. I do not know whether London understands, or the Permanent Mission understands here, that you have crossed the threshold of what is acceptable and all conceivable decency. I believe that you should thank our President for the fact that he is a highly restrained individual.”
16. Wide shot, Security Council

STORYLINE:


UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu told the Security Council that samples collected by the UN chemical watchdog (OPCW) team “confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used on 4 March in Salisbury.”

Speaking at the Council today (18 Apr), Nakamitsu said the OPCW team received information on the medical conditions of the three individuals affected by the nerve agent and collected blood samples from those individuals. It also conducted on-site sampling of environmental samples and noted that “the toxic chemical in question was of high purity.”

British ambassador Karen Pierce said the high purity of the nerve agent meant that it could only be produced by a state laboratory adding that “no terrorist group or non-state actor would be able to produce this agent in the purity described by the OPCW testing, and this is something Russia has acknowledged.”

Pierce said Russia had continued its chemical weapons programme after the fall of the Soviet Union. She said Russia produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichoks and further developed some after ratifying the chemical weapons convention adding that “President Putin himself was closely involved in the chemical weapons programme” in the mid-2000s.

The British ambassador said her country continued to face accusation from Russian officials, adding that question submitted to Russia over a month ago regarding the incident remain unanswered.

SOUNDBITE (English) Karen Pierce, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations:
“One accusation that we faced today and in recent days was that Julia had not been poisoned, that the British Government had in fact drugged her and put her in a coma and then injected her with the poisons that were found. Mr. President, this is more than fanciful, it is outlandish. That sort of thing may happen in Russia, but I can assure the Council it does not and will not happen in the United Kingdom.”

United States ambassador Nikki Haley said her Government agreed with the UK’s assessment that Russia is responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Salisbury. She hoped that Council members would join her “in delivering a clear condemnation of the use of a Russian nerve agent on another member’s soil.” Haley added, “Unless we stop this now, there will be more death and more scenes that nobody wants to see; there is nothing more troubling than the idea that the use of a weapon of mass destruction becomes routine.”

Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said the OPCW report does not help the British with their theory of Russian involvement adding that the promptness of the analysis confirmed that the nerve agent in question could be produced in any properly equipped laboratory which exist in the US, UK, and elsewhere. He noted that the formula for the nerve agent has been publicly known since 1998.

Nebenzia reaffirmed Russia’s position that it “will not accept the results of any national or international investigations without familiarizing [itself] with the whole body of information, be it information from the criminal investigation or full technical reports from the laboratories, without exercising [its] right to consular access to Russian citizens, and most importantly, without direct participation of Russian experts in all operations related to shedding light on what took place in Salisbury on 4 March.”

Responding to the British ambassador’s accusation that President Putin was involved in a Russian chemical weapons programme in the mid-2000s, Nebenzia said, “Clearly London believes that the Russian President has a hobby; the time which is not taken up by his Presidential duties is spent on chemical weapons programmes.” He said the UK had “crossed the threshold of what is acceptable and all conceivable decency” adding that it should thank President Putin “for the fact that he is a highly restrained individual.”
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