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Completion of Destruction of Russian Chemical Weapons Stockpile



russiaOn 27 September 2017, the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Üzümcü, made a statement on the completion of the full destruction of the 39,967 metric tons of chemical weapons possessed by the Russian Federation.

The remainder of Russia’s chemical weapons arsenal was destroyed at the Kizner Chemical Weapons Destruction Facility, the last operating facility of seven in Russia. The six other facilities completed work and were closed between 2005 and 2015. Therefore, USA is now the only member state still possession of the chemical weapons arsenals and is expected to eliminate them by 2023 under supervision of OPCW's inspectors.

In his statement, while appreciating the efforts of states parties which assisted Russia as well as OPCW staff, Director-General said: "[this] is a major milestone in the achievement of the goals of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)."

As the implementing body for the CWC, the OPCW oversees the permanent elimination of chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, 192 states have joined the convention and with the total elimination of Russia’s declared chemical weapons, 96.3 per cent of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor States have been destroyed. Considering these, CWC is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.

For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Prize for Peace.
TPM congratulates the international community for this success and wishes for the complete elimination of the rest of stockpiles in the world.