Thursday

29th Feb 2024

Russia loses seat on board of chemical weapons watchdog

  • The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons won the Nobel Prize in 2013 (Photo: OPCW)
Listen to article

Russia on Wednesday (29 November) lost its seat on the board of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), for the first time in the organisation's history.

Four countries — Russia, Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania — were competing for three seats on the OPCW executive council for the upcoming period 2024-2026. Russia received the fewest votes.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The result of the vote, which left Russia out of the executive council of the chemical weapons watchdog, was welcomed by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

"OPCW is a very reputable international body and terrorists have no place in it," said Zelensky on X, formerly Twitter.

Zelensky described the outcome of the vote as a "logical result" of the ongoing aggression of Russia against Ukraine. "I am grateful to all of the countries that supported our candidacies and voted Russia out."

Russia's role in the international arena "keeps diminishing" while "its isolation keeps growing," he added referring to similar situations where Russia lost elections to international bodies.

In October, for example, Russia also failed to regain its seat at the UN Human Rights Council, based in Geneva.

"Russia was clearly not considered as fit to hold such a position of responsibility, as it continues its aggression against Ukraine," said the Czech ministry of foreign affairs.

Lithuanian foreign affairs minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis, deemed Wednesday's election result as "good news". "It's time for all international organisations to clean themselves up in order to maintain their relevance and credibility."

The OPCW executive council is made up of 41 states, elected for a period of two years.

From the EU, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Poland, and Lithuania will sit in the OPCW executive council.

Meanwhile, EU special envoy for no proliferation and disarmament Marjolijn van Deelen confirmed on Wednesday a contribution of €5.3m in support of the OPCW activities.

The OPCW won the Nobel Prize in 2013 for its efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.

Opinion

What's Slovakia's Fico up to over Ukraine?

It is high time for Slovak PM Robert Fico to realise that any display of compliance or even understanding towards Moscow constitutes a threat to what Fico calls the "national-state interest of Slovakia", writes the former prime minister of Slovakia.

Opinion

After two years of war, time to hit Putin's LNG exports

Two years of tragedies, with well over 100,000 Russian war crimes now registered, underscore the urgent need to stop international LNG investments in Russia that continue to fund Vladimir Putin's war chest.

Opinion

Creating the conditions for just peace in Ukraine

What would 'just peace' look like for Ukraine? How could we get there? And what does 'just peace' actually mean? Brussels Dispatches on how to get to long-term peace in Ukraine.

Latest News

  1. Podcast: Hyperlocal meets supranational
  2. Von der Leyen appeals for 'new EU defence mindset'
  3. EU supply chain law fails, with 14 states failing to back it
  4. Joined-up EU defence procurement on the horizon?
  5. Macron on Western boots in Ukraine: What he really meant
  6. Amazon lobbyists banned from EU Parliament
  7. MEPs adopt new transparency rules for political ads
  8. EU nature restoration law approved after massive backlash

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us