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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 20, November 1997

Russian CWC Ratification

Statement by Russia

Statement by Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Moscow, 6 November 1997

"The Russian Federation has completed the process of ratifying the conventional on the prohibition of chemical weapons. After the Federation Council unanimously endorsed on November 5 the law on the ratification of this convention, it was signed by the President of the Russian Federation. Prior to that the law was adopted by a substantial majority in the State Duma of the Russian Federal Assembly.

The Russian instrument of ratification has been submitted to the United Nations Secretary General who is the depositary of the convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons. We would like to note that in the process of ratification concerted work had to be displayed both by the legislative and executive branches of government. This included work on the draft law. This is understandable because the convention is a very complex treaty that embraces a whole set of interests that are political, military, social, economic and financial in nature.

This work was crowned with success because there was a spirit of cooperation and search for mutually acceptable solutions, because there was a shared concern for the interests of our country.

The adopted law is called upon to ensure interaction within the constitutional delimitation of powers of the state structures involved in ensuring effective fulfillment Russia's international obligations and advancing its interests in the international arena.

Russia's ratification of the convention, I emphasize that this is an important document of international law directed at the universal liquidation of a whole category of weapons of mass destruction, is a major contribution by the Russian Federation to the strengthening of global security.

The ratification of the convention is of special importance for Russia because along with the United States of America Russia has major stockpiles of chemical weapons.

Russia's participation in this agreement is a mandatory condition of the effectiveness of the convention as such. We are interested in cooperation with other participating countries with the aim of ensuring the liquidation of chemical weapons throughout the world.

A month from now, when in accordance with the provisions of the convention it will enter into force for Russia, Russia together with the other participants in the convention will work within the framework of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to ensure its effective implementation.

We intend to take the most active part in the 2nd session of the conference of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to be held in The Hague on 1-5 December, 1997 whose decisions will concern Russia, including its economic interests."

Source: Federal News Service Transcript, 6 November. Reproduced with kind permission.

Reaction

OPCW

'Russian Federation ratifies Chemical Weapons Convention,' Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Press Release, 7 November 1997

Full text

"On 5 November 1997, the Government of the Russian Federation deposited its instrument of ratification of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (Convention or CWC) with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. All five Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council are now within the fold of the Convention regime. It means that the largest declared possessors of chemical weapons, the United States and the Russian Federation, are bound by its provisions, including in relation to the declaration and destruction of existing stockpiles and production facilities. In accordance with the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article XXI, the Convention will enter into force for the Russian Federation on 5 December 1997, 30 days after the date of deposit its instrument of ratification. This will ensure that the Russian Federation will be in a position to participate as a State Party on the last day of the Second Session of the Conference of the States Parties, which will be held from 1-5 December in The Hague.

The total number of instruments of ratification or accession which have been deposited has now reached 104. The number of States which have signed the Convention, but which have yet to deposit an instrument of ratification, is sixty-four. The following 103 States, in alphabetical order, have already deposited their instruments of ratification or accession: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Saint Lucia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, the former Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, and Zimbabwe.

[Editor's note: Nepal ratified the Convention on 18 November.] The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is responsible for supervising the implementation of the CWC, was established in The Hague when the Convention entered into force on 29 April 1997. The verification provisions of the Convention consist of a combination of detailed declaration requirements and routine inspections of declared chemical weapons and chemical industry facilities, as well as of short notice challenge inspections at any place under the jurisdiction or control of any State Party."

US

'Russian Ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention,' Statement by the President, The White House, 5 November 1997

Full text

"I warmly welcome the action by the Russian Government today in ratifying the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). This landmark agreement, which the United States ratified last April, is already proving its value in enhancing international security. To date, 104 countries have ratified the CWC, which outlaws the development, production, possession and use of chemical weapons. Russia's ratification makes it possible for Russia to join the United States in playing a leadership role in ensuring that all of the Convention's benefits are realized. I congratulate President Yeltsin, the Russian Duma and the Federation Council on successfully completing CWC ratification. Russia's action today is an important step forward in achieving our mutual arms control objectives. I look forward to further progress in the months to come."

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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