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Russia’s absence from OPCW Executive Council weakens Convention — senator

Russia received 65 votes against the required minimum of 66 votes

MOSCOW, November 29. /TASS/. Russia's absence from the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for a new two-year term, where the country has always been a member of the East European Group, significantly weakens the Chemical Weapons Convention, Konstantin Kosachev, the deputy speaker of the Federation Council, has told TASS.

According to the results of the vote held during the 28th Conference of the OPCW States Parties, Russia failed to secure re-election to the organization's Executive Council for a new two-year term. Russia received 65 votes against the required minimum of 66 votes.

"This is an outrageous decision that significantly weakens the Convention [on the prohibition of chemical weapons] as such and its regime according to the will of the authors of this scheme," Kosachev said.

From the East European Group, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine won seats on the OPCW Executive Council for the period extending from May 2024 to May 2026. Romania and North Macedonia retained membership until 2025. Russia’s term of office expires in May 2024.

About OPCW Executive Council

The OPCW Executive Council is the governing body of the organization and consists of 41member states, which are alternately elected by the Conference of the States Parties for a two-year term. The Council oversees the activities of the Technical Secretariat and is responsible for promoting the effective implementation of and compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention.

As Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Kirill Lysogorsky told the conference earlier, Russia has invariably held a seat on the OPCW Executive Council as a member of the East European Group, which has the most significant national chemical industry in the region. The Russian chemical industry, he said, accounts for almost 37% of all facilities in Eastern Europe, declared and subject to OPCW inspections.

The US and its associates have created a lobby of countries subordinate to the military and political interests of NATO and the EU with the aim to oust Russia from the OPCW Executive Council. Lithuania has applied for participation in the Council. Russia drew attention to the fact that Lithuania's membership would not contribute any added value to efforts to cope with the OPCW's tasks and urged Vilnius to withdraw its bid.