The Deputy Director-General, Mrs. Grace Asirwatham, represented the OPCW at an official ceremony marking the inauguration of a newly built chemical weapons destruction facility (CWDF) at Kizner , Udmurt Republic in the Russian Federation on 19 December.
In her statement at the ceremony [PDF - 10 KB] the Deputy Director-General commended the Russian Federation for its strong commitment to achieve the complete destruction of its chemical weapons stockpiles, toward which goal the Kizner CWDF will make an important contribution. Mrs Asirwatham affirmed the support of the OPCW Technical Secretariat in achieving this goal.
The ceremony was attended by high-ranking officials and representatives of the State Commission for Chemical Disarmament and various ministries and agencies of the Russian Federation, including Colonel General Kholstov and Colonel General Kapashin, Head of the Federal Agency for Safe Storage and Destruction of Chemical Weapons. Also present were representatives of two donor countries for the project, Canada and Germany. Participants in the ceremony were afterwards taken on a tour of the destruction and support facilities.
With the inauguration of the Kizner facility the Russian Federation will have five CWDFs in operation. To date, Russia has destroyed 71% of its declared chemical weapons stockpiles.