Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:39 pm on 10th September 2018.

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Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development) 3:39 pm, 10th September 2018

Russia has continued its close military co-operation with the regime in spite of the atrocities that it has committed, including the use of chemical weapons. It has chosen to shield the regime’s use of chemical weapons from international scrutiny. Its repeated blocking of the mandate of the UN-OPCW joint investigative mechanism sent a dangerous signal to the Syrian regime that it could continue to use chemical weapons with impunity.

Russia must change tack. It must end its destructive support for the regime’s military campaign and instead support de-escalation and a political settlement. Of course, when information is available about those who may have taken part in war crimes, the accountability mechanisms that I have mentioned should, and must, come into play.