Russia closes one of four chemical-weapons destruction facilities

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü took part in a ceremony on Friday to mark the closing of the Maradykovsky Chemical Weapons Destruction Facility (MCWD) in the Kirov region of Russia.

The OPCW said the MCWD facility is one of four facilities in the country that are closing this year after destroying Russian stockpiles of chemical weapons. The Leonidovka, Shchuchye and Pochep are the other facilities.

During his visit, Üzümcü acknowledged the efforts of Russian officials in eliminating  stockpiles of weapons in the country.

“The legacy of the Russian Federation’s chemical weapons destruction program will be judged favorably by history,” Üzümcü said. “It is a legacy that demonstrates how collective imagination and political will can rid the world of some of the most deadly weapons ever created.”

Üzümcü also met with Mikhail Babich, chairman of the State Commission on Chemical Disarmament and Plenipotentiary Envoy of the Russian President for the Volga Federal District. During this meeting, they both discussed remaining issues concerning weapons-destruction activity within Russia, as well as issues relating to the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The OPCW said the Russian Federation has eliminated 92 percent of its declared chemical weapons stockpile.

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