Russia destroys more than half of its chemical weapons

The Russian government recently announced that it has destroyed over half of the 40,000 tons of chemical weapons it possesses.

Valery Kapashin, the head of the Federal Department for Safe Storage and Destruction of Chemical Weapons, told the Russian news agency Interfax-AVN that Russia has created favorable conditions to fulfill its commitments to the Chemical Weapons Convention, according to KyivPost.com.

Kapashin said that the federal “Chemical Weapons Destruction in the Russian Federation” program has made successful use of the new capacities of five new destruction facilities.

"The fulfillment of the fourth and the last stage is a strategic task, and all efforts during the fulfillment of this task will focus on the operation of the available objects and the creation and operation of the last chemical weapons destruction facility in the village of Kizner, Udmurtia Republic," Kapashin said, according to KyivPost.com.

The Federal Department for Safe Storage and Destruction of Chemical Weapons announced that 1.14 tons of toxic substances were recently destroyed in the village of Gorny in the Saratov region, 6.34 tons were destroyed in the city of Kambarka in the Udmurtia Republic, 5.04 tons were destroyed in the village of Maradyk in the Kirov region, 5.5 tons were destroyed in the village of Leonidovka in the Penza region and 1.9 tons were destroyed in the village of Shchuchye in the Kurgan region.

In addition to the 20 tons of chemical weapons, Russia also eliminated 4,215 tons of emergency ammunition as part of the program.

"There is no doubt that the Federal Department can achieve this task and fulfill its international obligations in time under the guidance of Viktor Kholstov, director of the Industry and Trade Ministry's department for the implementation of convention obligations," Kapashin said, KyivPost.com reports.