Russia Ahead of Schedule in Chemical Weapon Destruction

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Russia may complete the destruction of all its chemical weapon stockpiles this year, according to the Russian chairman of the State Commission on Chemical Disarmament, Mikhail Babich,

Sputnik news reported that Babich said at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia’s international obligations prescribed to complete the work by December 31, 2018.

“I want to report to you that if we move at the same pace, and there are no technological shifts, then we will be able to finish this work financially, technologically, and in terms of personnel, this year — we will additionally report this to you,” he said.

He pointed out in November 2016 the work on chemical weapons destruction had been completed at six out of seven sites, and the work was conducted at the moment at the Kizner facility in the Russian northern republic of Udmurtia. Babich added that in general, Russia spent over $5.5 billion for chemical weapons destruction.

Prior to the meeting, Babich said that Russia had already destroyed over 96 percent of its chemical weapons stockpiles. He pointed out that toxic agents at six out of seven sites had already been destroyed, while the work on the liquidation of the consequences of chemical weapons destruction started.

Russia is among 165 states, that signed the international Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), outlawing development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer, and use of chemical weapons.

In 2015, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), responsible for the CWC implementation, extended the deadline for toxic agents’ destruction to 2020.