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IZHEVSK, February 17. /TASS/. The chemical weapons disposal at the Kizner facility in Russia’s Republic of Udmurtia is ahead of schedule, Chairman of the State Commission on Chemical Disarmament Mikhail Babich said on Friday.
"Until the end of 2018, we need to complete the disposal process at this facility and thus complete the entire process of chemical weapons disposal in Russia… Work is ahead of schedule here," said Babich, who is also Presidential Envoy to the Volga Federal District, while visiting the Kizner facility.
At the same time, in his words, it is yet too early to fix the final date when the process will be completed since the work depends on technological processes. "Nevertheless, I would like to stress that we have done everything to complete the disposal process on time and ensure the safety of the personal and the local population," Babich stressed.
He also said that apart from the chemical weapons disposal, there was a need to carry out clean-up activities at the disposal facilities. A relevant program is being considered by the Russian government, its implementation is expected to begin in 2018, Babich noted. "For now, we believe that clean-up activities will take five to six years but we may shorten the time by using new technologies," the presidential envoy added.
More than 76% of the chemical weapons stockpiles have already been destroyed in Udmurtia.
In 2015, the disposal of chemical weapons was completed at four facilities located in Russia’s Penza, Kirov, Bryansk and Kurgan regions.
On January 13, 1993, Russia signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, declaring around 40,000 tons of chemical warfare agents. The disposal of chemical weapons began in December 2002 in accordance with the federal target program adopted in March 1996,
Over 279 bln rubles (roughly $4.7 bln) have been spent for implementing this program.