A delegation of representatives from the 41 member Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons praised the pace of destruction activities at the Kizner chemical weapons destruction facility in Russia, during an on-site visit yesterday.
Executive Council Chairperson, Ambassador Francesco Azzarello, stated, “The various political and parliamentarian meetings we had in Moscow in the days before our on-site visit have confirmed strong support that the programme receives in the Russian Federation at all levels. The Executive Council delegation in Kizner has been very impressed by the work that is being carried out.”
The Executive Council delegation had met with senior officials of the State Duma and Upper Chamber of the Russian Parliament, Ministry of Industry and Trade, and State Commission on Chemical Disarmament in Moscow prior to visiting the chemical weapons destruction facility in Kizner.
The catalyst for this visit of the Executive Council delegation is a 2012 decision of the OPCW Conference of the State Parties – the principal organ of the Organisation – stating that the Russian Federation, and other countries like the United States, invite the OPCW Executive Council to see and learn about the chemical weapons destruction activities completed, in progress, or planned within the country.
To date, Russia has destroyed almost 93 per cent of its declared stockpile of chemical weapons. As a result of this progress, out of seven chemical weapons destruction facilities in Russia, two facilities completed work and were closed in previous years (Kambarka and Gorny) and four additional destruction facilities completed operations last year (Maradykovsky, Leonidovka, Pochep and Shchuchye). Kizner is the last chemical weapons destruction facility in operations and expectations are that its task will be completed by December 2020.