Russia reaches 60 percent destruction of chemical weapons

According to Russia's industry and trade ministry, the country has destroyed more than 24,000 metric tons, equivalent to 60 percent, of its stockpile of chemical weapons.

Russia has destroyed nearly all of the chemical weapons that it planned to dismantle in 2011. There are currently six chemical weapons disposal plants that operate in the country, IANS and RIA Novosti report.

"We have set a goal to destroy 100 percent of chemical weapons in Russia by 2015," Georgy Kalamanov, the deputy industry and trade minister, said, IANS and RIA Novosti report. "At the moment, two facilities have already completed their chemical weapons disposal tasks."

Mikhail Babich, the chairman of the State Commission on Chemical Demilitarization, said that Russia was using a great amount of effort to finish the process as quickly as possible.

"All states outside the legal frame of the (Chemical Weapons) convention should join it immediately, and all states parties should comply in full with all provisions of this treaty," Babich said, according to IANS and RIA Novosti.

Originally, the 188 states parties to the CWC planned to destroy all chemical weapons worldwide by 2012. The United States and Russia, which have 27,000 and 40,000 metric tons of chemical weapons respectively, said that they would not be able to reach the deadline. The date was then postponed to December 31, 2015.