OPCW Director-General Visits Russia to Mark Closure of Maradykovsky Chemical Weapons Destruction Facility

30 October 2015
Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü (right) and Mr Mikhail Babich, Envoy of the Russian President for the Volga Federal District

Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü (right) and Mr Mikhail Babich, Envoy of the Russian President for the Volga Federal District

At the invitation of the Government of the Russian Federation, OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü participated today in a ceremony marking the completion of operations at the Maradykovsky Chemical Weapons Destruction Facility in the Kirov region.

“The legacy of the Russian Federation’s chemical weapons destruction programme will be judged favourably by history,” said Ambassador Üzümcü in his remarks [PDF, 207KB] at the ceremony. “For it is a legacy that demonstrates how collective imagination and political will can rid the world of some of the most deadly weapons ever created.”

Ambassador Üzümcü acknowledged the efforts of the Russian Government to destroy its stockpile in a safe and efficient manner.  He also recognised the important financial and in-kind contributions made by other OPCW Member States in support of these efforts.

During his visit, the Director-General met with the Chairman of the State Commission on Chemical Disarmament, Plenipotentiary Envoy of the Russian President for the Volga Federal District, Mr Mikhail Babich. They reviewed matters related to the destruction of Russian Federation’s chemical weapons; the implementation of the Convention globally, including progress made towards its universal acceptance, as well as OPCW’s work in the Syrian Arab Republic. Mr Babich and the Director-General elaborated their concerns in the context of the prevention of the acquisition and the use of chemical weapons by non-state actors.

Maradykovsky is one among the four destruction facilities to complete operations in the Russian Federation this year.  The three other facilities – Leonidovka, Pochep and Shchuchye – close this year.

Russia has so far destroyed 92% of its declared stockpile and is expected to complete operations at its one remaining chemical weapons destruction facility at Kizner by December 2020.

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