DISINFO: Russia does not have chemical weapons as it destroyed them in 2017
  • Outlet: Sputnik on Twitter (archived)*
  • Date of publication: October 24, 2022
  • Article language(s): French
  • Reported in: Issue 314
  • Countries / regions discussed: Russia, US
Chemical weapons/attack

DISINFO: Russia does not have chemical weapons as it destroyed them in 2017


The Russian Federation completed the destruction of poisoning substances on 27 September 2017, as representatives of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons certified at the site. We ask everyone not to forget that the only country that currently has chemical weapons is the US.


The claim is false. Although it is true that Russia destroyed a large stock of chemical weapons on September 2017, as the OPCW certified at the time, this was only its remaining declared stock, which Russia was obliged to destroy since 2007 under the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, although the country benefited from several extensions to maintain chemical weapons.

Russia not only possesses other undeclared stocks, but it has repeatedly used chemical weapons against its perceived enemies both in Russia and abroad, as the cases of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, Russian former spy Sergei Skripal and Bulgarian arms dealer Emilian Gebrev show. Significantly, the attacks on Skripal and Navalny took place after 2017, when Russia was supposed to be already free of chemical weapons, and led to the imposition of sanctions against Russian officials and institutions.

On the other side, the US White House has emphasised that the US “is in full compliance with its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention and does not develop or possess such weapons anywhere”. This comes in accordance with previous reports that the US has destroyed about 90% of the chemical weapons stockpile in a process that started in June 2019, and it is scheduled to be eliminated by Dec. 31, 2023, after the construction of the necessary destruction facilities.

See other examples of similar disinformation narratives, such as the claims that unlike the US, Russia eliminated all its stocks of chemical weapons, that the poisoning of drug addict Navalny was a hoax, that the Skripal case is crumbling due to the lack of evidence, or that the OPCW is turning into an instrument for serving the geopolitical interests of the West.


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Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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