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Lavrov: Elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons runs at full speed

December 18, 2013, 11:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“Now the second stage, which requires consolidation of many countries’ efforts, begins,” Russia's Foreign Minister specified
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

© EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

MOSCOW, December 18. /ITAR-TASS/. The process of eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons runs at full speed in compliance with the schedule, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a Federation Council meeting on Wednesday.

“Now the second stage, which requires consolidation of many countries’ efforts, begins,” he said, recalling that the main parameters of the second stage were approved at the meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on Tuesday.

 

Chemical weapons’ elimination to be carried out on US ship

Earlier on Wednesday, Vasily Titushkin, Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), told Itar-Tass that the elimination of the most dangerous components of Syrian chemical weapons will be carried out aboard an American vessel. He added that Italy would provide a port for reloading Syrian chemical weapons to an American ship.

Russia’s deputy representative at OPCW called plans to eliminate Syrian chemical weapons aboard an American vessel "pragmatic and quite feasible". "This technology, as American colleagues tell us, is a well tried and tested one and involves no particular complexities," he remarked. "We have grounds to be confident that the Americans have calculated all risks and are prepared to ensure safety at the highest level because they are aware of the measure of responsibility for the outcome of the operation to eliminate Syrian chemical weapons".

 

Why not in Russia?

Answering why Russia is not viewed as a country which can eliminate chemical weapons from Syria in its territory, Titushkin explained that "Russian legislation straightforwardly and without any exceptions prohibits the importation and exportation of combat chemical agents". "However, Russia intends to render material, technical and financial assistance in the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons, in their removal, in particular," the diplomat specified.

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