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Russia vows to scrap chemical weapons soon

world Updated: Oct 04, 2011 07:28 IST
IANS
chemical weapons

Russia will do everything possible to destroy as soon as possible its remaining stockpiles of chemical weapons, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

"The Russian Federation puts the highest priority on disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction...We will continue to put maximum effort into the fulfillment of this labour-intensive and technically complex task in as short time as possible," the ministry said in a statement.

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 has so far destroyed about half of its chemical weapons arsenal, which totals 40,000 tonnes.

"At the same time, there is still a large amount of work on destruction of remaining chemical weapons arsenals ahead of us, and for that purpose we are continuing to increase the capacity of existing destruction facilities...and search for additional resources," the statement said.

Moscow has allocated $7.18 billion from the federal budget for the implementation of the programme, and has built six chemical weapon destruction plants across the country.

According to previous reports, Russia aims to finish all the remaining work under the project, including decontamination and equipment dismantlement, by 2016-2017.