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  Thursday, August 11, 2022
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Russia has eliminated over 15 percent of its total chemical weapons stockpiles
Deputy head of the Russian Federal Agency for Industry Viktor Kholstov told Itar-Tass in an exclusive interview that at present Russia has eliminated over 15 percent of its total chemical weapons stockpiles. He is taking part in the 11th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons underway in The Hague. According to him, at present Russia has eliminated 3,123 tonnes of blistering chemical warfare agents and neutralised 2,925 tonnes of neuroparalytic agents. “The immediate task of Russia to destroy 8,000 tonnes of chemical warfare agents by April 29, 2007 will be fulfilled,” Kholstov promised. Initially this date had been set at the deadline of chemical weapons elimination for all countries, but this session is expected to extend the term to 2012, according to Kholstov. In this connection the official recalled that Russia had in 2001 turned to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons with a request to extend by five years the deadline for chemical weapons elimination. Speaking about steps taken by Russia as a party to the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Kholstov named three facilities for the destruction of hazardous agents. “By the end of 2005, all existing chemical weapons stockpiles at a facility in the Gorny settlement in the Saratov region were totally destroyed – 1,143 tonnes of blistering agents,” he added. “In December 2005, the second major facility for the elimination of blistering chemical warfare agents was put into operation in the Kambarka city in the Udmurtia republic and in August 2006 – the third facility in the Maradykovsky settlement of the Kirov region,” the industry agency deputy head indicated. According to Kholstov, the third facility for chemical agents elimination is principally different from the first two because chemical weapons are eliminated there in aviation bombs and not in storage tanks where they were kept. Moreover, another type of chemicals - paralytic agents are being destroyed in the Maradykovskoye settlement. Kholstov said that Russia has simultaneously started a full-scale construction of new chemical weapons elimination facilities. According to him, “This year, a total of 718 million US dollars or 18.3 billion roubles have been allocated from the Russian federal budget for fulfilling tasks under the programme of chemical weapons destruction. The budget spending envisages about 980 million dollars – over 26 billion roubles next year for this purpose.”
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