12 Apr 2018 18:13

Russia has not produced chemical weapons except those it submitted to OPCW - deputy minister

MOSCOW. April 12 (Interfax) - Russia has not produced any chemical warfare agents except for those it earlier submitted to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and all of them have been destroyed, Russian Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Georgy Kalamanov said.

"The Russian Federation has declared all of its chemical weapons stockpiles; they were inspected by the OPCW Technical Secretariat inspectorate and destroyed on a permanent basis under control by inspection groups. Russia has not produced any chemical warfare agents except those it declared under the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997. Hence, none of them are stored," Kalamanov said in an interview with Interfax in commenting on British media reports that the nerve agent dubbed as Novichok supposedly used to poison former Russian military intelligence officer (GRU) Sergei Skripal and his daughter was synthesized in a secret Russian lab.

Russia in 1992 reaffirmed its commitment to international obligations on chemical weapons, including in regards to the control of chemical weapons and their destruction, he said.

"The last chemical munition armed with sarin was destroyed at the Kizner chemical weapons destruction facility in the presence of OPCW Technical Secretariat leadership on September 27, 2017. Russian President Vladimir Putin issued the command to destroy the munition. Upon the completion of this procedure, the OPCW general director on October 11, 2017 signed a certificate verifying that all chemical weapons in Russia had been destroyed and handed it to Russia," Kalamanov said.

In addition, the OPCW Executive Council in March 2018 accepted a memo from the OPCW general director on the completion of the destruction of Russia's chemical weapon stockpiles, he said.