Why does Russia destroy its chemical weapons?

俄罗斯缘何彻底销毁化学武器?

Source
China Military Online
Editor
Li Jiayao
Time
2017-11-08

李莞梅

By Li Wanmei

近日,美空军在一份生物样本采购招标中,将目标锁定俄罗斯人,引发包括俄罗斯总统普京在内的俄罗斯人的猜疑。人们担心,美国正在研发针对俄罗斯人的生物武器。而在“生物武器”这一名词再次出现在公众视野的同时,同属大规模杀伤性武器的化学武器,却在实现完全销毁的道路上,迈出了一大步。

The U.S. Air Force targeted the Russians in a recent procurement bidding of biological samples, which caused Russian people's concern and doubts, including Russian President Putin. They are worried that the U.S. is developing bio-weapons targeting the Russians. As the word bio-weapon appeared in the public domain again, new progress is being made on the thorough destruction of chemical weapons, which are also weapons of mass destruction.

日前,俄罗斯在乌德穆尔特共和国的基兹涅尔设施内销毁了本国最后一批化学武器。俄罗斯总统普京表示,这是具有历史意义的重大事件,使现代世界朝着更加和谐与安全的方向迈出了重要一步。

Russia recently completed the destruction of the last batch of chemical weapons at the Kizner facility in the Udmurt Republic. Russian President Putin said this is indeed a historical event and a huge step towards making the modern world more balanced and more secure.

事实上,这一迟来的化武销毁,本应该发生在5年前。中国军控与裁军协会高级顾问徐光裕介绍,1997年《禁止化学武器公约》生效之时,俄罗斯和美国就曾承诺,在2012年4月之前全部销毁本国的化学武器。但是由于技术和预算等原因,俄罗斯和美国分别将化学武器销毁的目标日期延长至2020年和2023年。

The chemical weapon destruction should have happened five years ago. Retired Maj. Gen. Xu Guangyu, senior advisor of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, said that when the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) took effect in 1997, Russia and the U.S. vowed to destroy all their chemical weapons before April 2012, but they postponed the deadline to 2020 and 2023 respectively due to technical and budget reasons.

与现代常规武器不同,化学武器难以精确选择目标,一旦释放便会通过空气和水源扩散,属“面积杀伤”武器,极易伤害平民。而且,化学武器生产成本较低,有“穷国的原子弹”之称,如果落入极端组织或恐怖分子之手,后果不堪设想。军事科学院战争研究院外国军事研究所副所长李抒音表示,一直以来,化学武器因为违背国际法和人道主义原则而饱受指责,“使用化学武器等同于反人类罪行”,是当今国际社会对于化学武器的一个共识。美国甚至曾以伊拉克拥有大规模杀伤性武器(实指化学武器)这一“莫须有”的罪名发动了伊拉克战争。

Unlike regular modern weapons, chemical weapons cannot choose the target precisely. Once the chemical substance is released, it spreads via air and water and easily harms the civilians. They are weapons of "mass destruction". Besides, chemical weapons are of a low production cost and are known as the "atomic bomb of poor countries". If they fall into the hands of extremist organizations or terrorists, the consequences would be unimaginable. Sen. Col. Li Shuyin, female deputy director of the Foreign Military Affairs Institute in the PLA Academy of Military Sciences, said that chemical weapons have been severely criticized because they contravene the international laws and the humanitarian principle. It is a common understanding of the international community that "the use of chemical weapons is an anti-human crime". The U.S. even launched the war against Iraq for the "possible" allegation that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (meaning chemical weapons).

可见,对化学武器的销毁,具有广泛的国际舆论基础,俄罗斯主动销毁化学武器的行为可以彰显自身负责任大国的形象。在徐光裕看来,俄罗斯选择提前3年完成销毁化武的目标,正是出于这样的考虑。事实上,冷战时期,化学武器曾经历了一段疯狂的发展时期,俄罗斯从苏联继承了世界上最大的化学武器库。冷战结束后,俄罗斯也一直面临着销毁化学武器的国际舆论压力。如今,俄罗斯以其坚决反对化学武器、支持军控的形象占据了道义上的主动。

There is a solid foundation of international public opinion for the destruction of chemical weapons, and Russia's proactive destruction of them can highlight its image as a responsible power. In Xu Guangyu's opinion, that's what Russia had in mind when deciding to destroy the weapons three years ahead of schedule. As a matter of fact, chemical weapons experienced a period of fast development during the Cold War, and Russia inherited the largest chemical weapon arsenal from the Soviet Union. After the Cold War ended, it was under a lot of international pressure of destroying the weapons. Today Russia has taken a high moral ground through the firm opposition against chemical weapons and support for arms control.

李抒音指出,俄罗斯提前完成销毁化武,不仅可以树立正面形象,为自己赢得舆论上的主动,还会带来实实在在的利益。一方面,积极履行国际义务,能够改善俄罗斯的国际形象,增强其国家软实力和国际影响力;另一方面,“负责任国家”的形象,也有利于减轻以美国为首的西方社会对俄罗斯的经济制裁,便于其更好地展开外交斡旋和对外经济合作。

Li Shuyin pointed out that by destroying the chemical weapons ahead of time, Russia not only can establish its positive image and gain the initiative in public opinion, but will also have tangible benefits. On the one hand, its active fulfillment of international obligations can improve its international image and enhance its national soft power and international influence, Li said.On the other hand, the image of a "responsible power" can help mitigate the economic sanction on Russia waged by the western society represented by the U.S. and facilitate its diplomatic mediation and foreign economic cooperation, Li noted.

俄罗斯销毁最后一批化学武器次日,美国国防部发言人米歇尔•巴尔丹扎就此事回应称,美国目前已经销毁了超过90%的化学武器,并将于2023年如期完成此项工作。

One day after Russia destroyed the last batch of its chemical weapons, Michelle Baldanza, spokesperson of the U.S. Department of Defense, said America has destroyed over 90% of its chemical weapons and will complete the destruction before 2023.

其实,积极支持销毁化学武器,对于俄罗斯和美国这样的大国而言,既是履行国际公约和相关协议的义务,也是遵循军备发展规律的要求。“人类追求和谐与安全的道路,注定艰难而漫长,但向前迈出的每一步,都使我们更加接近终点。”徐光裕说。

For large countries like Russia and America, actively supporting the destruction of chemical weapons is performing the obligation stipulated by international conventions and relevant agreements and also following the laws of military development. "The road to harmony and safety is bound to be long and hard, but every time we take a step forward, we are closer to the destination," said Xu Guangyu.

 

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