Russia opens sixth chemical weapons destruction facility

On Friday, Russia opened its sixth plant for the destruction of chemical weapons supplies in the city of Pochep in order to neutralize bombs that contain the organophosphorous compounds soman, sarin and VX gases.

Russian officials believe that they may miss the 2012 deadline for destroying all of their chemical weapons and, as of yet, have destroyed half of the 40 tons of poisons located within the country, the Associated Press and the Voice of Russia reports.

Viktor Kholstov, an official in charge of chemical disarmament for the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that the April 2012 deadline will not be met due to a shortage of funds for the last two years. He told Voice of Russia reports that the nation will need two or three more years.

This report comes on the heels of a similar warning in August by the Russian Foreign Ministry that also brought up the global financial crisis as a slowing factor in the process. The United States has acknowledged that it, too, will miss the deadline, as it is on pace to destroy 90 percent of its arsenal by the April 2012 deadline.

The Russian city of Pochep has a stockpile of 7,500 tons of nerve agent, which makes up about 19 percent of the chemical weapons Russia plans to destroy, according to the Associated Press.