Chemical Weapons: State-Of-The-Art, Control of the Implementation of International Agreements

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-01-76-84

I. Smirnov (,
Shemyakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, 16/10, Miklukho-Maklaya Str., 117997, Moscow, Russian Federation;
S. Zavriev (,
Shemyakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, 16/10, Miklukho-Maklaya Str., 117997, Moscow, Russian Federation; 
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation 


Chemical weapons are the easiest in obtaining weapons of mass destruction. One of the main classes of chemical weapons are organophosphorus compounds. “The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction” (CWC) of January 13, 1993 is the key international instrument for non-proliferation and destruction of chemical weapons. Despite numerous efforts of the Russian Federation and international community to destroy chemical weapons, there is a risk of their use in military conflicts and terrorist acts. It is impossible to exclude the probability of domestic poisoning with organophosphorus pesticides. The article is devoted to the current state and discussion of problems and promising methods of protection, a therapy after poisoning with organophosphorus compounds related to household pesticides and chemical weapons, the use of which is possible for terrorist purposes, as well as of monitoring compliance with international conventions for their nonuse and destruction. Nowadays, the solution of problems associated with chemical weapons must be realized in a variety of ways. In particular, first of all, it is necessary to single out: (i) development of new methods for the destruction of chemical weapons in compliance with the norms of both environmental safety and the safety of the personnel involved in the implementation of this task; (ii) development of highly sensitive detection methods for accurate and timely detection of combat and domestic toxic agents; (iii) creation of effective therapeutic drugs for the prevention of poisoning by substances related to chemical weapons, and (iv) monitoring of the current situation in the implementation of international agreements on the destruction of stockpiles and possible threats of the use of these weapons. Thus, it can be argued that not only active work to destroy them, but also an effective implementation of a complex of scientific and technical developments in the treatment of the relevant poisoning consequences, as well as a set of measures to monitor threats to the production and use of chemical weapons will help ensure the security of the Russian Federation and the entire world community in this field. 


chemical safety, chemical weapons, monitoring of information on threats, terrorism, organophosphorus compounds, mass destruction weapons, antidotes 


1. Evans A. A. Arrow Poisons in the Palaeolithic? Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, November 27, 2012, vol. 109, no. 48. Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

2. Arsen’ev K.K., Shevyakov V.T., eds. Gaagskaya mirnaya konferentsiya 1899 goda [The Hague Peace Conference of 1899]. Entsiklopedicheskii slovar’ Brokgauza i Efrona [Encyclopedic Dictionary Brockhaus and Efron]. Saint-Petersburg, Ad. vol. Ia, 1905, pp. 481-483.

3. Punzhin S. M. Khimicheskoe oruzhie i mezhdunarodnoe pravo [Chemical Weapons and International Law]. Moscow, Volters Kluver, 2009. 432 p.

4. Coleman K. A History of Chemical Warfare. London, Palgrave MacMillan, 2005. 198 p.

5. Gupta R. C. Handbook of Toxicology of Chemical Warfare Agents. Cambridge, Academic Press, 2009. 1168 p.

6. Greenfield R.A., Brown B.R., Hutchins J.B., Iandolo J.J., Jackson R., Slater L.N., Bronze M. S. Microbiological, Biological, and Chemical Weapons of Warfare and Terrorism. Am. J. Med. Sci., 2002, vol. 323, pp. 326-340. Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

7. Kwong T. C. Organophosphate Pesticides: Biochemistry and Clinical Toxicology. Ther Drug Monit, 2002, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 144-149.

8. Eddleston M., Buckley N.A., Eyer P., Dawson A. H. Management of Acute Organophosphorus Pesticide Poisoning. Lancet, 2008, vol. 371, no. 9612, pp. 597-607.

9. Statistics of the Use of Pesticides (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

10. The Unwashed Grapes Worked Like Chemical Weapons: Mother and Child in the Hospital (In Russ.) Available at:,7340,L-4981647,00.html (accessed 21.07.2017).

11. Grachev P. S. Vi-Iks [VX]. Voennaya entsiklopediya [Military Encyclopedia]. Moscow, Voennoe izdatel’stvo, 1994, Vol. 2.

12. Vinogradova V. MID: Dal’nemu Vostoku ugrozhaet staroe yaponskoe khimicheskoe oruzhie [Foreign Ministry: The Far East is Threatened by the Old Japanese Chemical Weapons.] Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

13. Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

14. Resolution 1540 (2004) of the United Nations Security Council (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

15. Twenty-First Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, 28 November-2 December 2016, The Hague, Netherlands. Statement by the ICRC (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

16. “On Ratification of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Accumulation and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction”. Federal Law of November 5, 1997, № 138-FZ (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

17. Russia Destroyed 98 Percent of Chemical Weapons (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

18. Mokrushin D. Unichtozhenie khimicheskogo oruzhiya [Destruction of Chemical Weapons.] Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

19. On the Approval of the Federal Target Program “Destruction of Chemical Weapons Stockpiles in the Russian Federation” (as amended on April 9, 2016) (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

20. Chemical Disarmament in the Russian Federation. Otkrytyi elektronnyi zhurnal (In Russ.) Available at: http://www.xn-80akaceee1anhtd3bu.xn – p1ai/federalnoe-upravlenie/ (accessed 21.07.2017).

21. Russia Spent More than 330 Billion Rubles on the Destruction of Chemical Weapons (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

22. Makmakhon B. Kak v SShA unichtozhayut khimicheskoe oruzhie [How the US Destroys Chemical Weapons.] Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

23. Macilwain C. Study Proves Iraq Used Nerve Gas. Nature, 1993, vol. 363, no. 6424, p. 31. Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

24. TU A. T. Basic Information on Nerve Gas and the Use of Sarin by Aum Shinrikyo. Journal of the Mass Spectrometry Society of Japan. J-STAGE, 1996, vol. 44, no. 3. pp. 293-320.

25. Papilova Yu., Pakin V. “Aum sinrike” obvinyaet Olega Lobova v torgovle zarinom [“Aum Sinrique” Accuses Oleg Lobov of Sarin Trading.] Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

26. Gatinskii A. FT rasskazala o planakh Tetcher prigrozit’ Saddamu Khuseinu khimoruzhiem [FT Told about Thatcher Plans to Threaten Saddam Hussein with Chemical Weapons.] Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

27. Uzyumdzhyu A. Organizatsiya po zapreshcheniyu khimoruzhiya: v Idlibe primenen zarin [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons: in Idlib Sarin is Used.] Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

28. Russia and China Re-Proposed a Resolution on Strengthening Control Over Chemical Weapons in Iraq and Syria (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

29. Dunn M.A., Sidell F. R. Progress in Medical Defense against Nerve Agents. JAMA, 1989, vol. 262, no. 5, pp. 649-652.

30. Jokanović M. Medical Treatment of Acute Poisoning with Organophosphorus and Carbamate Pesticides. Toxicol Lett., 2009, vol. 190, no. 2, pp. 107-115.

31. Shih T.-M., Rowland T.C., McDonough J. H. Anticonvulsants for Nerve Agent-Induced Seizures: The Influence of the Therapeutic Dose of Atropine. J Pharmacol Exp Ther., 2007, vol. 320, no. 1, pp. 154-161.

32. Kaires P. Identification of Gulf War Syndrome: Methodological Issues and Medical Illnesses. JAMA, 1997, vol. 278, no. 5, pp. 385-387.

33. Amato A.A., Jackson C., McVey A. Identification of Gulf War Syndrome: Methodological Issues and Medical Illnesses. JAMA, 1997, vol. 278, no. 5, p. 384-385.

34. Schlesinger N., Baker D.G., Schumacher H. R. Persian Gulf War Myalgia Syndrome. J. Rheumatol, 1997, vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 1018-1019.

35. Masson P., Carletti E., Nachon F. Structure, Activities and Biomedical Applications of Human Butyrylcholinesterase. Protein Pept. Lett., 2009, vol. 16, no 10, pp. 1215-1224.

36. Cannard K. The Acute Treatment of Nerve Agent Exposure. J. Neurol. Sci., 2006, vol. 249, no. 1, pp. 86-94.

37. Kassa J., Kuca K., Cabal J. A Comparison of the Potency of Trimedoxime and other Currently Available Oximes to Reactivate Tabun-Inhibited Acetylcholinesterase and Eliminate Acute Toxic Effects of Tabun. Biomed Pap Med Fac Univ Palacky Olomouc Czech Repub., 2005, vol. 149, no. 2, pp. 419-423.

38. Le Provost R., Wille T., Louise L., Masurier N., Muller S., Reiter G., Renard P.Y., Lafont O., Worek F., Estour F. Optimized Strategies to Synthesize β-Cyclodextrin-Oxime Conjugates as a New Generation of Organophosphate Scavengers. Org. Biomol. Chem., 2011, vol. 9, no. 8, pp. 3026-3032.

39. Wadia R. S. Treatment of Oganophosphate Poisoning. Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine, 2003, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 85-87.

40. Eyer P., Eddleston M., Thiermann H., Worek F., Buckley N. A. Are We Using the Right Dose? – a Tale of Mole and Gram. Br J Clin Pharmacol., 2008, vol. 66, no. 4. pp. 451-452.

41. Smirnov I., Carletti E., Kurkova I., Nachon F., Nicolet Y., Mitkevich V.A., Debat H., Avalle B., Belogurov A. A. Jr., Kuznetsov N., Reshetnyak A., Masson P., Tonevitsky A.G., Ponomarenko N., Makarov A.A., Friboulet A., Tramontano A., Gabibov A. Reactibodies Generated by Kinetic Selection Couple Chemical Reactivity with Favorable Protein Dynamics. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2011, vol. 108, no. 38, pp. 15954-15959.

42. Product Development Under the Animal Rule: Guidance for Industry; 2015. US Food and Drug Administration. Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

43. Preclinical Studies of the Drug – a Biological Antidote of Prolonged Action on the Basis of Chemically Modified Polysialic Acid Recombinant Enzyme Butyrylcholinesterase Human. State Contract No. 13411.1008799.13.128, Code 2.1 Antidote 2013 (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017).

44. Chemists from Moscow State University Created the Basis for an Antidote Against Chemical Weapons and Pesticides (In Russ.) Available at: science/main_themes/khimiki-iz-mgu-sozdali-osnovu-dlya-antidota-protiv-khimoruzhiya-i-pestitsidov.html (accessed 21.07.2017).

45. Foundation of the First Biothreat Informational and Monitoring Center in Russia (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 21.07.2017). 

Registered in system SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Smirnov I., Zavriev S. Chemical Weapons: State-Of-The-Art, Control of the Implementation of International Agreements. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2018, vol. 62, No 1, pp. 76-84.

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment

Current Issue
2020, vol. 64, No. 11

Topical Themes of the Issue:

  • • Comparative Analyses of Terrorist Threats under Conditions of COVID 19
  • • Competitive Education in the Third Millenium: Quo Vadis?
  • • Models of Regional Leadership in Eurasia: to the New Research Agenda
  • • Russia: “Late-Take off Society” in the Whirlwind of World Politics
  • • Development of a National School of Political Science in China
View This Issue (2020, vol. 64, No. 11)
Submit an Article

Dear readers!
Please note that free access to full-text issues of the Journal is being opened at our WEB-site after 6 months of the date of publications.The work on deepening the open archive of full-text issues will be continued.

Dear colleagues, authors and readers!
We kindly request you to turn to editor-in-chief and executive secretary directly concerning reviewing scientific publications in our journal. Only editor-in-chief takes decision on order and publication the reviews!

Dear readers!
This is to inform the researchers of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations that electronic versions of the I, II, III issues of 2020 of French magazine Politique étrangère are now available. Those who are interested, please personally address to the editorial staff of MEMO Journal (room 18-17) with an electronic media.

In response to the challenges of our time the Editorial board continues to open new thematic rubrics:

“World Energy Sector after Pandemic”. We plan to publish articles presenting in-depth analysis of influence of Pandemic on the global energy sector and forecasts of further developments in its various branches.

“Civilization processes of modern development” is a new rubric opened by MEMO Journal in 2020. It will be devoted to the analysis of the influence of civilizational factors and inter-civilizational interactions on the political and socio-economic development of the world at whole, regions and countries.

“Africa today and tomorrow”The rubric devoted to contemporary issues of Africa which is attracting growing interest of the world's leading actors. We plan to publish the articles analyzing the status of statehood, socio-economic and political development of the countries of Black continent, as well as the integration processes between them.


"World Eсonomy and International Relations" announces a contest for the best joint academic publications of domestic and foreign researchers and experts in topical issues of the world economy and international relations. The winners will be selected according to the results of peer reviewing and discussion at the Editorial Board. The articles will be published in priority order.


The print version of “World Economy and International Relations” journal is distributed by advance subscription only, and is not offered for retail sale. To subscribe please address to any post office in Russia by referring to the Federal Postal Service Union Catalogue, section “ARSMI”, the journal index is 70542. The subscription may be made for the whole subscription period or starting from any nearest available month for desired number of issues.

To purchase the full-text electronic version of the journal’s issue/article please address to the WEB portal of Scientific electronic library or URL:

In journal
2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 |

The author’s opinions may not coincide with the position of editorial