Friday, November 27, 2009

Russia Destroys 45% of Chemical Weapon Stockpiles

Via RIA Novosti -

Russia has destroyed 45% of its chemical weapon stockpiles one month ahead of a deadline under an international pact, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

The ministry said in a statement: "As of November 26, the Russian Federation has completed the destruction of 17,998.205 [metric] tons, or 45.03% of its chemical weapon stockpiles," in line with its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The ministry said Russia is committed to destroying its entire declared arsenal (39,966 tons) "within a timeframe established by the Convention."

Russia signed the Chemical Weapons Convention banning the development, production, stockpiling, transfer, and use of chemical arms in 1993, and ratified it in 1997. The country is set to destroy its entire arsenal by 2012.

Russia destroyed 1% of its chemical weapon stockpiles in 2003 and 20% by 2007.

The country has allocated $7.18 billion from the federal budget for the implementation of the program, and has so far built five chemical weapon destruction plants - in Gorny (Saratov Region), Kambarka (Republic of Udmurtia), Nizhny Novgorod, the Maradykovo complex (Kirov Region), and Siberia's Kurgan Region. Another two are under construction.

Western nations pledged at the 2002 Kananaskis G8 summit to help Russia financially and technologically to destroy or convert its chemical weapons and production facilities as part of the Global Partnership against the Proliferation of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction.

The United States has contributed over $1 billion for the construction of the Shchuchye facility in the south Urals.

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