The member nations of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) met in Hague, Netherlands on Monday. During the meeting, the head of the OPCW, Fernando Arias informed the audience that the OPCW can confirm the destruction of 98.9% of the world’s chemical weapons stockpiles and the only member of the OPCW with chemical weapons stockpiles is the United States. According to him, the destruction of the US’s stockpile is currently ongoing and scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023, whereas Russia has completed the liquidation of its reserves in 2017.
According to reports, the head of the Russian delegation, Oleg Ryazantsev, expressed serious concern about the development of events on the site of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). According to Ryazantsev, the Centrifugal tendencies within the OPCW forum are growing and the practice of making decisions by consensus has been lost, while the atmosphere is utterly politicized.
He accused a small group of countries of replacing international law with their own invented rules. According to the Russian Chief delegate, in 2018 the OPCW’s technical secretariat was empowered with prosecutorial functions to identify those responsible for the use of chemical weapons and create an illegitimate Investigation and Identification Group, which in its reports accused Syria of using chemical weapons. He also accused the small group of countries of orchestrating a campaign in connection with the case of alleged poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in August 2020. The Russian Envoy blamed Great Britain, Germany, France and Sweden for doing everything possible to hide the truth.
The platform of OPCW had become a battlefield between the Russian Federation and its western opponents including the UK and the United States since early 2018, when Great Britain called an emergency session of the forum on the issues of poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in England and the alleged use of Chemical Weapons by Syrian government against the rebel forces in Syria. The UK intended to fix the responsibility of these alleged uses of chemical weapons and to hold the perpetrators legally accountable. However, the forum failed in achieving consensus of the member states on both issues.
In fact, the issue of the use of chemical weapons has become more political than legal because of Russia’s rivalry with the west. Russia was the major player and an important ally of President Bashir Al-Asad in the Syrian conflict and played a vital role in the failure of the western plans in Syria. Therefore, UK’s efforts to nominate Syria for using chemical weapons can cause serious repercussions for Russia and the same is likely to happen in the poisoning case of Skripal. According to the UK, the use of chemical weapons on its territory is a chemical attack against its people as well as its sovereignty.
Despite utmost efforts, the west could not get any desired verdict from the OPCW, and a group of 45 western nations formally put questions to Russia regarding poisoning of Alexi Navalny under Article IX of the Chemical Weapons convention (CWC).Presently, the world forum has become a play-field between the big powers and each one of them is trying to knock out the rival, the game is continuing but it must be win in the law instead of conspiracy designs.