Tag Archives: OPCW

EU sanctions ‘Cloud Hopper’

The EU Council decided to impose restrictive measures against six individuals and three entities responsible for or involved in various cyber-attacks. These include the attempted cyber-attack against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and those publicly known as ‘WannaCry’, ‘NotPetya’, and ‘Operation Cloud Hopper’.

The sanctions imposed include a travel ban and an asset freeze. In addition, EU persons and entities are forbidden from making funds available to those listed.

Sanctions are one of the options available in the EU’s cyber diplomacy toolbox to prevent, deter and respond to malicious cyber activities directed against the EU or its member states, and today is the first time the EU has used this tool. The legal framework for targeted restrictive measures against cyber-attacks was adopted in May 2019 and recently renewed.

In recent years, the EU has scaled up its resilience and its ability to prevent, discourage, deter and respond to cyber threats and malicious cyber activities in order to safeguard European security and interests.

In June 2017, the EU stepped up its response by establishing a Framework for a Joint EU Diplomatic Response to Malicious Cyber Activities (the “cyber diplomacy toolbox”). The framework allows the EU and its member states to use all CFSP measures, including restrictive measures if necessary, to prevent, discourage, deter and respond to malicious cyber activities targeting the integrity and security of the EU and its member states.

Targeted restrictive measures have a deterrent and dissuasive effect and should be distinguished from attribution of responsibility to a third state.

The EU remains committed to a global, open, stable, peaceful and secure cyberspace and therefore reiterates the need to strengthen international cooperation in order to promote the rules-based order in this area.

EU condemns Syria use of chemical weapons

9/4/2020 “Declaration by the High Representative Josep Borrell on behalf of the EU on the release of the first report of the OPCW Investigation and Identification Team
The European Union welcomes the release of the first report of the Investigation and Identification Team to the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and to the Secretary General of the United Nations on 8 April 2020.

“We fully support the report’s findings and note with great concern its conclusions. The European Union strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Arab Air Force as concluded by the report. Those identified responsible for the use of chemical weapons must be held accountable for these reprehensible acts.

Accountability is essential to prevent the re-emergence of chemical weapons. The use of chemical weapons by anyone – be it a State or a non-State actor – anywhere, at any time and under any circumstances is a violation of international law and can amount to the most serious of international crimes – war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Impunity for these horrible acts will not be tolerated. It is now up to the International Community to duly consider the report and take appropriate action. The European Union, consistent with its own commitment to the Partnership against impunity of the use of chemical weapons, is determined to ensure that this clear violation of the core principles of the Convention receives the strongest possible response from the Chemical Weapons Convention’s States Parties.

The European Union has previously imposed restrictive measures on high-level Syrian officials and scientists for their role in the development and use of chemical weapons and is ready to consider introducing further measures as appropriate.

The European Union is a steadfast supporter of the Chemical Weapons Convention, a key instrument of international arms control and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The European Union is committed, at the highest level, to supporting the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in its efforts to implement the decision of States Parties, in June 2018, to put in place arrangements to identify the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic.

The European Union reiterates its full support to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and underlines the complementarity of its work with the United Nations. We have full confidence in the objectivity, impartiality and independence of the Organisation’s Technical Secretariat and its Investigation and Identification Team”.

Ambassador concerned with OPCW anti-Russian swing

Endowment of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) with attributive functions is directed against Russia, Permanent Representative to OPCW, Russian Ambassador to the Netherlands Alexander Shulgin.

“This will be directed against Russia. Western countries do not know themselves yet how this mechinsm will work, Shulgin said. “They want to do it in a format that will be maximally detrimental and painful for Russia,” he added.

It is not even clear to whom the OPCW Technical Secretariat will report its findings. Some say to the International Criminal Court, others say to the so-called impartial mechanism of investigating serious crimes in Syria which was established by the UN General Assembly,” Shulgin said. “It’s important for them to launch the process now, and the specifics will be developed later,” he continued.

The West’s main goal is to get a budget for this from the OPCW, the diplomat said. “They don’t care whether it will be 5 million, 2 million or 1 million. They want to launch the process. It’s clear that this will not be limited to Syria, the main effort will be directed against Russia,” Shulgin underlined. This will turn the organization into a “quasi-prosecution body,” the diplomat continued. “Will legal experts work there? This has nothing to do with the purpose of the Chemical Weapons Convention,” he concluded.

 

Zimmer MEP: Macron’s power politics has no place in 21 century

Gabi ZIMMER MEP shares her impressions on President Emmanuel Macron debate in EP Plenary Strasbourg (17/04/2018). Keeping critical eye on French President’s calls and promises, she ZIMMER agues one can not enhance democracy on European scale, without respecting it at home. Recent events in France, when President Macron jointed US and UK bombing of #Syria without consulting Assemblee Nationale, without waiting for the results of the #OPCW experts. ZIMMER denounces power-politics thinking, as rudiment of the past, putting forward new thinking of XXI century aligned with international law and democratic institutions, including #EU. ZIMMER warns about risks of military action outside the UN mandate, adventures, putting world at risk of an accidental clash between nuclear superpowers. She also questions President Macron’s decision to flaunt French military powers, preferring force to diplomatic talks, badly needed to restore peace in Syria.

EU condemns “chemical attack” in Douma

“The European Union reiterates its strongest condemnation of the repeated use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime, as confirmed by the OPCW/UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) and as reported continuously in recent months in Eastern Ghouta and other areas in Syria, including the most recent reports of a devastating chemical attack on Douma” – declaration by the High Representative Federica Mogherini on behalf of the EU on strikes in Syria.

“In this context, the EU was informed about targeted US, French and UK airstrikes on chemical weapons facilities in Syria, these specific measures having been taken with the sole objective to prevent further use of chemical weapons and chemical substances as weapons by the Syrian regime to kill its own people.”

“The EU is supportive of all efforts aimed at the prevention of the use of chemical weapons. It finds it deeply shocking that the international community is still confronted with the use of chemical weapons, as confirmed by the OPCW Fact Finding Mission. The reports of the Declaration Assessment Team show that the Syrian declaration cannot be fully verified as accurate and complete in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention.”

“Accountability is a must. The use of chemical weapons or chemical substances as weapons is a war crime and a crime against humanity. Perpetrators will be held accountable for this violation of international law. Therefore, the EU deeply regrets that the mandate of the JIM, established by UNSC Resolution 2235 (2015) to identify perpetrators of chemical attacks, has not been renewed in November 2017. In this respect, it is highly regrettable that the UN Security Council has so far failed to adopt a strong resolution re-establishing an independent attribution mechanism to ensure accountability for perpetrators of chemical weapons’ attacks in Syria.”

“In July 2017 and in March 2018, the EU imposed additional restrictive measures on Syrian high-level officials and scientists for their role in the development and use of chemical weapons and is always ready to consider imposing further measures as appropriate.”

“The EU calls upon all countries, notably Russia and Iran, to use their influence to prevent any further use of chemical weapons, notably by the Syrian regime, and supports the International Partnership against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons.”

“The EU reiterates that there can be no other solution to the Syrian conflict than political. We have a common goal in preventing any escalation of violence that could transform the Syrian crisis into a wider regional confrontation, with incalculable consequences for the Middle East and indeed the whole world. The EU calls upon all parties to the conflict, especially the regime and its allies, to implement immediately the ceasefire, and to ensure humanitarian access and medical evacuations as unanimously agreed in UNSC Resolution 2401. The EU repeats that any sustainable solution to the conflict requires a genuine political transition in line with UNSCR 2254 and the 2012 Geneva Communique negotiated by the Syrian parties within the UN-led Geneva process.”

“The Second Brussels Conference on Syria which will be held on 24-25 April 2018, co-chaired by the EU and the UN, will be the opportunity for the entire international community to relaunch its consistent support for the political process and commit new pledges to help the main victims of this ongoing conflict, namely the Syrian people inside and outside Syria.”

Skripals: Lavrov points at NATO warfare agent BZ

The substance used on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia was an agent called BZ, according to Swiss Spiez lab, the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said. The agent has been never produced in Russia, but has been in disposal of the US, UK, and other NATO states.

Skripals were poisoned with an incapacitating toxin known as 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate or BZ, Lavrov said, citing the results of the examination conducted by a Swiss chemical lab, which examined the samples London delivered to the Organisation for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The Swiss center conveyed the results to the OPCW. However, the UN watchdog on chemical weapons limited its report to confirming the formula of the substance  in its final report omitting the other facts indicated in the Swiss document, Lavrov continued. Further the Minister ensured that Moscow would request the OPCW to explain its decision to omit significant information provided by the Swiss report.

Lavrov revealed that the Swiss center that assessed the samples is the Spiez Laboratory. This facility is a Swiss state research center controlled by the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Protection and, ultimately, by the country’s defense minister. The lab is also an internationally recognized center of excellence in the field of the nuclear, biological, and chemical protection and is one of the five centers permanently authorized by the OPCW.

Syria denies use of chemical weapons

“We will facilitate the arrival of the team to anywhere they want, in Douma, to check whether or not there was any use of chemical weapons,” Syria’s Ambassador to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari told reporters, while discussing the mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which  is on its way to Syria. It will begin work on Saturday, according to OPCW spokesperson.

The OPCW engaged two separate groups who are expected to arrive on 12 and 13 of April to Damascus.

Previously Al-Jafari claimed toxic agents, used during the military conflict in Syria, have been illegally brought into the country from Libya with the assistance of the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, United States, Turkey and France, Syria’s UN envoy Bashar al-Jaafari  said.