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Russia rejects US accusation of violating chemical weapons ban in Ukraine

A Ukrainian soldier during a chemical weapon hazard drill in the Kharkiv Region in February 2024. (File photo by Getty Images)

Russia has rejected the United States claim that its forces in Ukraine had breached an international prohibition on chemical weapons by employing banned substances such as a prohibited choking agent.

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesperson for the Kremlin, informed journalists on Thursday that Moscow is still committed to its obligations outlined in the treaty prohibiting the use of chemical weapons.

"As always, such announcements are absolutely unfounded and are not supported by anything. Russia has been and remains committed to its obligations under international law in this area," Peskov said.

On Wednesday, the US lodged an accusation against Russia for breaching international norms by deploying the asphyxiating substance chloropicrin against Ukrainian troops and employing riot control agents as a means of warfare in Ukraine.

Despite Russia's claim of no longer having a military chemical arsenal, there is a growing demand for increased transparency regarding their alleged use of toxic chemicals.

Chloropicrin, which is an almost transparent oily substance that induces intense eye irritation, is used as an agricultural pesticide, while its use in war is banned under the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

According to the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety in the US, it was heavily utilized in significant amounts during World War I.

Both Russia and Ukraine have lodged accusations against each other for violating the treaty during their participation in meetings held by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The organization raised alarm in 2022 regarding allegations of Russia deploying chemical weapons during the attack on Mariupol, Ukraine. However, it clarified that no official request has been made for an investigation into the use of banned substances in the country.

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