THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 5 April 2019 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, met the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, H.E. Mr Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow on 2 April. During his visit, he also met with the Minister of Trade and Industry, H.E. Mr Denis Manturov, and senior officials at the Ministry of Defence.
The Director-General updated the Foreign Minister on progress made in the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, including OPCW’s on-going work in the Syrian Arab Republic, and the efforts to develop essential capabilities for preventing the re-emergence of chemical weapons. The Minister and the Director-General also discussed ways to further promote cooperation among OPCW Member States.
The Director-General highlighted the need for all 193 OPCW Member States to undertake serious and concerted efforts to support the work of the OPCW as the world’s trusted authority in chemical weapons.
The Director-General said: “The OPCW has been and must remain the viable multilateral forum for constructive dialogue and cooperation on all chemical weapons issues. The verified completion of the destruction of Russia’s declared chemical weapons programme has been a major milestone in the achievement of the goals of the Chemical Weapons Convention. As we move forward, I appreciate the efforts of everyone committed to upholding the principle that the use of chemical weapons by anyone and under any circumstances is impermissible.”
The Russian Federation joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997 and is a member of the OPCW Executive Council. Russia, a former possessor State completed the destruction of its declared chemical weapon stockpile in September 2017.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Over 96% of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor States have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.