'Russia will not give away for anything else the assistance she gets to dispose of chemical weapons, which is her key position', said Sergei Kirienko, the Plenipotentiary of Russia's President in the Privilzhsky Federal District before he left for the Hague. According to Mr. Kirienko's press service, there he will attend the conference of the member states of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
According to Mr. Kirienko, 'a new programme for disposing of Russia's chemical weapons will be discussed at the conference'. As to the outcome of the discussion, the Plenipotentiary of Russia's President said, 'At the very best, the period of time afforded to us for disposing of the chemical weapons included in the first stage of the programme may be extended'. According to the Convention on the Ban of Developing, Producing, Accumulating, and Use and on the Destruction of Chemical Weapons, Russia must dispose of all her declared stock of such weapons before April 29, 2007. However, the document provides for the possible extension of this period by 5 years, if the members of the conference agree.
'In the meantime', Mr. Kirienko further said, 'we believe that disposing of chemical weapons is subject to international obligations and not Russia's domestic matter.' He emphasised that Russia was carrying this programme out openly, adding that 'We will continue carrying out this programme regardless of the outcome of the discussion at the conference'.
According to Mr. Kirienko's press service, while staying in the Hague, the Plenipotentiary intends to meet with Mr. Rogelio Pfirter the new Director-General of the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. A number of meetings are planned with representatives from the European Union and the US.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was founded on April 29, 1997, according to the Article 8 of the Convention on the Ban of Developing, Producing, Accumulating, and Use and on the Destruction of Chemical Weapons. The member countries of the organisation number 143. Russia's membership dates back to December 5, 1997. The headquarters of the organisation is located in the Hague.