The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has rejected Russia's call for a joint investigation with Britain in the case of nerve-agent poisonings of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the United Kingdom.
Russia stated that the number of countries that abstained from the vote suggested that many have doubts about Britain's allegations that Moscow was behind the attack. Russia has denied any involvement in the ex-spy poisoning and the nation now plans to take its case to the UN Security Council.
• Russia's proposal for a joint investigation in the case received only six votes at a special session of the executive council of OPCW, while 17 abstained. The council comprises representatives from 41 countries.
• Russia requested the session in The Hague, Netherlands, to reiterate its rejection of Britain's claim that Russia was behind the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.
• The British government on March 4 had invited experts from OPCW to help identify the substance that had proven toxic to the two people.
Speaking on the development, Russia's OPCW envoy Alexander Shulgin said that the 17 abstentions from the vote meant that more than half of the executive council members refused to support the US and UK position on the matter.
Russia has now requested for an open meeting of the UN Security Council on the case.
More than 21 nations led by the United States have expelled over 200 Russian diplomats to show solidarity with Britain over the poison attack. Russia also responded by expelling over 150 foreign diplomats.