no more Buntschiessen
OPCW Director-General Commends Major Milestone as Russia Completes Destruction of Chemical Weapons Stockpile under OPCW Verification
Wednesday, 27 September 2017
HE HAGUE, Netherlands – 27 September 2017 – The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, made a statement today marking the completion of the full destruction of the 39,967 metric tons of chemical weapons possessed by the Russian Federation.
The Director-General stated: "The completion of the verified destruction of Russia's chemical weapons programme is a major milestone in the achievement of the goals of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
I congratulate Russia and I commend all of their experts who were involved for their professionalism and dedication.
I also express my appreciation to the States Parties that assisted the Russian Federation with its destruction program and thank the OPCW staff who verified the destruction."
The remainder of Russia’s chemical weapons arsenal has been destroyed at the Kizner Chemical Weapons Destruction Facility in the Udmurt Republic.
Kizner was the last operating facility of seven chemical weapons destruction facilities in Russia. The six other facilities (Kambarka, Gorny, Maradykovsky, Leonidovka, Pochep and Shchuchye) completed work and were closed between 2005 and 2015.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997 – with its 192 States Parties – it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Over 96 per cent of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor States Parties have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Prize for Peace.
of course the Kremlin cannot help itself and pokes at others:
We can say that this is a historic event considering the massive amount of chemical weapons inherited from the Soviet Union. This is a huge step towards greater balance and security in the modern world.
We expect that Russia’s efforts to eliminate chemical weapons will serve as an example to other countries as well. As is known, the largest chemical weapons arsenals belonged to Russia and still belongs to the United States that, regrettably, does not abide by its commitments on deadlines for chemical arms destruction. The deadlines for their elimination have been postponed three times, including supposedly due to a shortage of necessary budget funds, which sounds strange, to be honest, but let it be. We expect the United States and other countries to fulfil their commitments under international agreements.
Russia is strictly fulfilling its international commitments, including its obligations on disarmament and non-proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction. We are always open to meaningful dialogue on enhancing global security.
I would like to thank all those who took part in implementing this programme, who displayed the utmost professionalism, responsibility and, at times, courage. I congratulate you on successfully eliminating the last of Russia’s chemical weapons.
I would like to note that our country planned to complete this work by 2020 but completed it ahead of schedule this year, 2017. This is a great success, the result of large-scale, comprehensive and important work of large teams of scientists, workers, and engineers who worked at enterprises specially built for this task.