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Ukraine war

Russia, Ukraine trade allegations of chemical weapons use at global watchdog

Russia, Ukraine trade allegations of chemical weapons use at global watchdog
Ukrainian rescuers work at the site of a glide bomb attack on civil infrastructure objects in Kharkiv, Ukraine, 30 April 2024, amid the Russian invasion. At least one person died and three others were wounded, according to the State Emergency Service. EPA-EFE/SERGEY KOZLOV

AMSTERDAM, May 7 (Reuters) - Russia and Ukraine have accused each other at the global chemical weapons watchdog in The Hague of using banned toxins on the battlefield, the organisation said on Tuesday.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said that the accusations were “insufficiently substantiated” but added that “the situation remains volatile and extremely concerning regarding the possible re-emergence of use of toxic chemicals as weapons.”

Last week, the U.S. said Russia had violated the international chemical weapons ban overseen by the OPCW by deploying the choking agent chloropicrin against Ukrainian troops and using riot control agents “as a method of warfare” in Ukraine.

Russia denied the allegations.

The OPCW said it had been monitoring the situation since February 2022, when Moscow invaded Ukraine.

Under the Chemical Weapons Convention, any toxic chemical used with the purpose to cause harm or death, is considered a chemical weapon.

“It is against the Convention to use riot control agents at war on the battlefield. If used as a method of warfare, these agents are considered chemical weapons and, hence, are prohibited under the Convention,” the OPCW said.

(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch, Editing by William Maclean)

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