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From: UN Press Secretary Lehnerz

Russia Blocks Consensus at CWC Conference

Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) met in November to review the treaty. Russia may be complicating the issue and undermining the work done to uphold the norm against the use of chemical weapons in Syria, as it takes action to “weaken or eliminate” investigative and verification procedures. This includes proposing postponing investigations into the chemical weapons attack in Syria and attempting to undercut the budget of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).


Impact: Russia is one of the permanent members of the Security Council and uses its veto power to disrupt consensus around the issue. Russia has worked together with the United States constructively to adopt the chemical weapons ban in 1997, but has had a rather sharp turn in behavior in recent years. While Russia has not been completely successful in blocking actions of the OPCW, it has succeeded in wasting limited time and resources with “investigations of staged incidents.”


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