OPCW Executive Council and Director-General Visit Russia to Review Chemical Weapons Destruction Activities

23 March 2012

A delegation of OPCW Executive Council members and Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü visited Moscow this week for two days of high-level meetings to discuss issues related to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), including Russia’s plans for completing destruction of its arsenal of chemical weapons. The delegation comprised the Council Chairman, Ambassador Peter Goosen, accompanied by representatives from each of the five OPCW regional groups, the United States and Canada.

“We are very pleased to commend the Russian government for its continuing strong commitment to the Convention, and to have this timely opportunity to review the progress it is making toward the elimination of Russia’s remaining chemical weapons,” Ambassador Goosen said.   

In Moscow, the delegation met with the Chairman of the Federation Council Committee for Defence and Security of the Federal Assembly, Mr V.A. Ozerov; with the Chairman of the State Committee on Chemical Disarmament, M.V. Babich; and with the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, Mr V.G. Kalamanov.  

Russia is one of three possessor States, together with the United States and Libya, which will not meet the final extended deadline set by the Convention of 29 April 2012 for completing destruction of their chemical weapons. By decision of the Conference of the States Parties, all three countries must submit detailed plans for eliminating their remaining stockpiles to the OPCW, with firm completion dates, and their destruction activities will be subject to enhanced scrutiny by the Council.   

On Thursday, the delegation made a day-long visit to inspect a new chemical weapons destruction facility (CWDF) that is under construction at Kizner, Udmurtia oblast. The facility is the seventh and final to be built by Russia to destroy its stockpiles. Two CWDFs at Gorny and Kambarka have already completed operations, while four other facilities at Leonidovka, Maradykovsky, Pochep, and Shchuchye were operating in 2011.