Russia meets obligations for chemical weapons decommissioning
18:10 17/12/2009 MOSCOW, December 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia remains on schedule in fulfilling its commitments under the chemical weapons convention, and has met the end-of-year deadline for reducing its stockpiles by 45% from the 1990s level, a government official said.
"In line with Russia's federal program for destroying chemical weapons, in spite of all the difficulties in implementing this program, Russia will have fulfilled its obligations under the third stage of the Chemical Weapons Convention as of December 31, 2009," Deputy Russian economics minister Oleg Savelyev said.
In November the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that Russia had reached this year's target of 45% ahead of schedule.
The ministry said Russia is committed to destroying its entire declared arsenal "within the 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 aims to destroy its entire arsenal by 2012.
Russia destroyed 1% of its chemical weapon stockpiles in 2003 and had destroyed 20% as of 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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