Practice Relating to Rule 74. Chemical Weapons
The Russian Federation’s Military Manual (1990) prohibits the use of “projectiles used with the only purpose to spread asphyxiating or poisonous gases … asphyxiating, poisonous or other similar gases and bacteriological means”.
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states: “The following shall be prohibited to use in the course of combat operations: … chemical weapons including chemicals as well as projectiles for their use.”
Under the Russian Federation’s Criminal Code (1996), the “use of weapons of mass destruction, prohibited by an international treaty to which the Russian Federation is a party” is a crime against the peace and security of mankind.
Use of chemical weapons by the Russian Federation was alleged during the two conflicts in Chechnya in 1994–1996
and in 1999.
These allegations were, however, categorically denied by Russian officials.
At the First Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997, the Russian Federation stated that, although it had not yet ratified the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, it “intends to refrain from any action that would deprive the Convention of its object and purpose”. It further stated:
After we signed the Convention we have been honouring and will continue to honour the commitments regarding the non-development and non-production of chemical weapons; their non-transfer, directly or indirectly, to anyone; the non-use of chemical weapons; the renunciation of engaging in any military preparations to use them, of providing assistance, encouraging or inducing in any way, anyone to engage in any activity prohibited by the convention.