OPCW praises Russia for opening chemical weapons destruction facility

Grace Asirwatham, the deputy director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, commended Russia on Friday for its commitment to destroying its stockpile of chemical weapons.

Asirwatham made the remarks while representing the OPCW at an official ceremony to mark the inauguration of a newly built chemical weapons destruction facility in Kizner in Russia's Udmurt Republic. Asirwatham affirmed the support of the OPCW technical secretariat in achieving Russia's goal of destroying its chemical weapons stockpile.

"As a concrete step towards meeting destruction targets, the launch of this new facility is a strong and very encouraging sign of the Russian Federation's continued and unwavering resolve to fulfill its solemn obligations under the (Chemical Weapons Convention)," Asirwatham said. "The destruction of over 71 percent of Russia's declared chemical weapons stockpiles to date represents remarkable progress, and I wish to commend wholeheartedly the Russian authorities on this important achievement."

Multiple high-ranking officials of the State Commission for Chemical Disarmament and various agencies and ministries of Russia attended the ceremony. Following the ceremony, participants were taken on a tour of the destruction and support facilities.

With the inauguration of the Kizner facilities, Russia now has five operational chemical weapon destruction facilities.