At EC-100, Ambassador Gudrun Lingner delivered a joint statement on Russia’s CW-related activities during the war against Ukraine on behalf of 52 co-sponsors. The full statement follows here:
“Mr. Chairperson, Director General, distinguished colleagues,
I have the honour of speaking on behalf of 52 States Parties; namely Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Türkiye, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America.
On February 24th, the Russian Federation started an unjustified, unprovoked and illegal war of aggression against its neighbour Ukraine. We strongly condemn Russia’s serious breach of international law and of the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. We express our deep sympathy and solidarity to the people of Ukraine in their suffering.
We are outraged that Russia, as part of an elaborate disinformation campaign, has made repeated unsubstantiated claims that Ukraine is using or is preparing to use chemical agents in Ukraine. Further baseless allegations have been made about other states supporting chemical weapons ‘provocations’ in Ukraine. We categorically denounce this malicious and completely unfounded disinformation campaign. We consider it unacceptable to levy such false accusations against Ukraine, a state in full compliance with its international obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention.
We express our deep concern that these accusations may precede the use of chemical weapons by those who are making the claims. We recall that any toxic chemical used to cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm to humans or animals would constitute the use of a chemical weapon. The use of chemical weapons anywhere by anyone under any circumstances is reprehensible and wholly contrary to the international Standards and norms established by the international community against such use.
Furthermore, we deplore Russia’s reckless military attacks in the direct vicinity of civil chemical facilities in Ukraine. We condemn any acts compromising the safety of these facilities devoted to peaceful purposes. We reiterate the paramount importance of safeguarding such facilities and preventing the risk of dangerous substances and materials being released or falling into the wrong Hands.
We welcome that the OPCW Technical Secretariat is monitoring the situation, particularly around declared chemical industrial sites in Ukraine. We applaud the assistance given by States Parties and via the Technical Secretariat in response to the request made by Ukraine for assistance and protection against the possible use of chemical weapons.
We re-affirm our commitment to upholding the Convention, to supporting the work of the OPCW, and to bringing to account those who use chemical weapons.”