The last chemical munitions from Russian arsenals of chemical weapons were liquidated in the southwest of Russia, officials said on Wednesday. Mikhail Babich, Chairman of the State Commission on Chemical Disarmament, reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the elimination process was completed ahead of schedule. “We can say without any unnecessary pathos that this is indeed a historical event, given the enormous volume of munitions we have inherited from Soviet times,” Xinhua quoted Putin as saying. Experts said the arsenal of chemical weapons could destroy all life on earth several times, according to the president. “This is a huge step towards making the modern world more balanced and more secure,” Putin said.
Recalling that Russia was among the first to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), Putin stressed that Moscow strictly fulfils its international obligations, including in the field of disarmament and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. He also underlined the key role of Russia in solving the problem of chemical weapons in Syria, adding that it is always open for “meaningful dialogue on global security issues, strengthening confidence-building measures.”
The CWC went into force in 1997 with the supervision of the Organization of Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), according to which, over 96 per cent of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by the convention’s 192 states parties have been destroyed under OPCW verification.