Russia to Destroy Chemical Arsenal Prior to 2015, Official Says
Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010
A high-ranking Russian official on Tuesday said his country would finish disposing of its chemical weapons arsenal before 2015, Interfax reported (see GSN, Aug. 3).
Moscow acknowledged in June it would not be able to meet the Chemical Weapon Convention’s April 2012 deadline for the complete destruction of all chemical warfare materials.
“A decision has nearly been made to extend the program until 2015. All commitments will have been fulfilled by this time,” said Valery Kapashin, who leads the Federal Directorate for the Safe Storage and Destruction of Chemical Weapons..
The global recession and technical difficulties have negatively impacted Russia’s ability to meet the 2012 deadline, according to published reports.
Most member nations to the convention-monitoring Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons recognize the challenges facing the Russian disarmament effort, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Russia at one time possessed the world’s largest stockpile of chemical warfare materials — 40,000 metric tons. As of the beginning of September, nearly 50 percent of the arsenal had been eliminated (see GSN, Nov. 8; Interfax, Nov. 17).