EU To Formally Adopt Sanctions Regime For Chemical Attacks On October 15 - London

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EU to Formally Adopt Sanctions Regime for Chemical Attacks on October 15 - London

LONDON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th October, 2018) The EU leaders will formally adopt a sanctions regime on chemical weapons at the Foreign Affairs Council that will take place in Luxembourg on October 15, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said on Sunday in a press release obtained by Sputnik.

"A sanctions regime on chemical weapons, tabled by the UK and France in the wake of the Syria and Salisbury attacks, will be adopted formally tomorrow at the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg. This follows extensive lobbying efforts from the UK and close partners," the press release read.

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will meet with his counterparts from Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania in his official residence before going to Luxembourg, according to the press release.

"The Foreign Secretary will use this momentum to ensure specific individuals and entities responsible for the use and proliferation of chemical weapons across the world are listed under the new sanctions regime swiftly. He will also tell counterparts at the FAC that discussions on a new cyber-related sanctions regime must now be accelerated," the press release noted.

Hunt said as quoted in the press release that these new sanctions "are vital but they are not the end of the story."

"For years there has been an international taboo on the use of chemical weapons but that is at risk now after Syria and Salisbury. We now need to redraw the red line that says that for anyone using these horrific weapons the price will always be too high," he stressed.

On March 4, Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench at a shopping center in the UK city of Salisbury. London claimed they were poisoned with what UK experts claimed was the A234 nerve agent, accusing Russia of orchestrating the attack.

Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in it. The Russian Foreign Ministry has sent some 60 diplomatic notes to the UK Foreign Office demanding that Russia be given access to the investigation and the Skripals, who have Russian citizenship, as well as proposing legal assistance and cooperation.

The Russian Embassy in London said in late September that it had received a reply from the UK Home Office with a refusal to fulfill requests for legal assistance filed by Russian prosecutors in March and April.

On April 4, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, supported by the United States, blamed Damascus for the Khan Sheikhoun chemical weapons attack that killed 80 people, including children, and injured 200 more. The Syrian army strongly rejected the accusations and laid the blame on local militants. The Syrian authorities said that they had never used chemical weapons against civilians or terrorists, and that the nation's entire chemical arsenal had been destroyed under the control of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Reacting to the incident, Washington, which had not presented any proof of chemical weapons use by Damascus, launched 59 cruise missiles at the Syrian government's military airfield in Ash Shayrat on April 7.

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