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Russia dubs as odd US words about shortage of funding for chemical weapons destruction

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin reminded that Russia destroyed its chemical weapons stockpiles in 2017

THE HAGUE, October 12. /TASS/. Russia views as strange the US explanations that the United States delays destruction of own chemical weapons due to a lack of financing, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OPCW, Ambassador to the Netherlands Alexander Shulgin said in an interview with TASS on Friday.

"As of today, the United States remains the only country with chemical weapons," he said. "Russia destroyed its stockpile in 2017. It was documented and there are special documents of the OPCW [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons]," he said.

"The Americans do not make haste, referring to the fact that they are short of finance," Shulgin said. "It is a rather strange explanation if one takes into account that they have enough money to launch so-called ‘smart’ missiles against Syrian facilities, each of those [missiles] costs millions of dollars. At the same time, there is no money to comply with their commitments under the Convention."

According to the ambassador, the United States "pins the blame on whoever else." "We have destroyed the entire arsenal of chemical weapons. The US tries to catch us out for covering something up and demands we should disclose the possession of Novichok-class nerve agents, whereas they have dozens, if not hundreds, of patents issued for ammunition using similar chemicals," he stressed.

"Washington does not remember this for some reason," he added. "When we tackle these issues at the OPCW Executive Council, the United States becomes very nervous trying to switch topics in discussion," Shulgin said.

"People who are present are capable of putting two and two together and they make right conclusions," he went on to say. "The other nations tied up by NATO and EU discipline are at the tail end of American demands."

On October 10, Georgy Kalamanov, head of the Russian delegation and a deputy trade and industry minister, in his address to the 89th session of the OPCE Executive Council urged the United States to destroy their arsenal of chemical weapons ahead of the designated timeframe.