MOSCOW, May 15 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia is on the whole satisfied with the way Syria’s chemical weapons have been destroyed, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday, May 15.
“As of May 15, the main chemical weapons production equipment and all unfiled munitions have been destroyed in Syria and the removal of yperite, the only combat toxic gas ready for use, has been completed. A total of 92.5% of all precursors and chemical weapons components have been removed from the country amid continuing fighting,” he said.
“For the operation to be completed, one more step, but quite complex, will have to be taken - a small amount of toxic chemicals has to be removed from the storage site which has been besieged by the armed Syrian opposition. Government troops have effective control of the site and are taking active steps to prepare for the transportation of the chemicals and for the onsite destruction of sarin’s non-toxic component isopropanol,” the spokesperson said.
He noted that “the process of removal will be completed as soon as the security situation permits”. This could be helped by a temporary ceasefire in the area. “We are urging the states that can have at least some influence on the armed opposition to convince the militants not to create obstacles to the removal of chemicals from these regions,” Lukashevich said.
He also noted “close and fruitful cooperation between official Damascus and the Joint Mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations in the process of eliminating Syria’s combat chemical potential”.