Cindy Vestergaard Analysis: Progress Made as Russia Appears Poised to Eliminate Chemical Weapons Stockpile

October 28, 2016

In light of reports that a top Russian military official declared that Russia's remaining chemical weapons will be eliminated by December 2017, Cindy Vestergaard, Senior Associate with the Nuclear Safeguards program at the nonpartisan Stimson Center released the following statement:
 

Cindy Vestergaard, Senior Associate, Stimson Center: "Progress toward eliminating Russia's stockpile of chemical weapons — the world's largest — shows what can be achieved when countries come together, not only to negotiate the disarmament of chemical weapons but also ensure its effective implementation. This achievement didn't happen overnight. Negotiations on the treaty began almost 50 years ago in the time of Vietnam and Agent Orange. As a major producer, Moscow saw a benefit in pursuing the treaty: a shift from viewing CW as a necessary deterrent, a tool of the time, to an impediment to its global influence and engagement with the West. Over the decades, support of the treaty's goals have been strengthened as capitals race towards zero. Eliminating Russia's stockpile will demonstrate how the world's only verifiable disarmament treaty can achieve results."