Eleven Questions about the U.S.-Russia Framework to Rid Syria of Chemical Weapons

On September 14th, 2013, the U.S. and Russian foreign ministers announced an agreement to rid Syria of its chemical weapons. Later that day, Syria submitted its articles of accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.  The Convention prohibits Member States from producing, stockpiling, stockpiling or using chemical weapons and sets out a 10-year time line for stockpile destruction.  The U.S.-Russian framework seeks to disarm Syria's chemical weapons stockpile by early or mid 2014.

The U.S. has begun to talk about the timeline in the framework as goals rather than hard-and-fast deadlines.  The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons must approve this framework agreement and the UN Security Council needs to pass a resolution requiring that Syria comply with the plan and establish an enforcement mechanism.

The U.S. and Russia have set forth an ambitious timeline to declare, verify, inspect, secure, manage and destroy Syria’s estimated 1,000 metric ton chemical weapons arsenal during an ongoing civil war.

This framework raises several questions, which he address in a detailed analysis over at the Center website here.