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US accusations that Moscow still has stockpile of chemical weapons are ‘groundless’ and ‘without proof,’ says Russian ambassador

US accusations that Moscow still has stockpile of chemical weapons are ‘groundless’ and ‘without proof,’ says Russian ambassador
Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov has called on Washington to destroy its chemical weapons and end the “baseless insinuations” that Moscow still has its own stockpiles. Russia says it has eliminated its entire supply.

The comments came after Antonov was asked about accusations from the US State Department that Russia is developing its own military chemical program.

“This is not the first time we see such groundless accusations against our country, without any actual proof,” the ambassador said. “We have repeatedly requested such information from our foreign partners and proposed to establish a professional dialogue in order to find the truth.”

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According to Moscow, Russia fully implemented its obligations to destroy its stockpiles three years ago, under the supervision of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The OPCW also regularly sends inspectors to the country.

“At the same time, the USA remains the only state party to the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (CWC) that has not yet fulfilled its obligations to destroy its chemical weapons stocks,” Antonov concluded.

“We call on Washington to finalize its chemical demilitarization and stop spreading baseless insinuations about our country.”

Chemical weapons came back to the forefront of international discussions following the alleged poisoning of opposition figure Alexey Navalny. After German scientists declared that they found the nerve agent Novichok in Navalny’s system, the activist accused the Kremlin of being behind an attempt on his life. Moscow has consistently denied that it played any part in the attack.

On January 26, a joint statement by the G7 foreign ministers called on the Russian authorities to “credibly explain the use of a chemical weapon on its soil.”

“We remain strongly committed to the Chemical Weapons Convention, and to our support for democracy, the rule of law and human rights in Russia, as well as to bolstering our support to Russian civil society,” the press release concluded.

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