Russia fails to secure seat in chemical weapons council


(MENAFN) On Wednesday, Russia failed to secure sufficient votes from members of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to retain its position on the Executive Council beyond May 2024.

The 193 member states elect the 41-member board to two-year rotational mandates, “with due regard to the principle of equitable geographical distribution, the importance of chemical industry, and political and security interests,” as stated by the OPCW.

Out of the five seats designated for the Eastern Europe region, four are presently occupied by NATO members: Albania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Romania. As Moscow's mandate, along with those of Tirana and Sofia, concludes in six months, the composition will see the addition of Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine.

During this week's OPCW conference, Moscow was represented by Russian Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Kirill Lysogorsky. He underscored that Russia has traditionally held a seat on the council and highlighted the country's significant chemical industry, constituting nearly 37 percent of all sites subject to OPCW inspections in the region.

Lysogorsky stated earlier this week that Moscow possesses “irrefutable evidence” that the US and NATO have given Ukraine poisonous substances and the means to deliver them, which he claimed were intended to assault “the leadership of the new [regions] that joined Russia.”

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