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Russia contributes to Syria’s chemical demilitarisation - Foreign Ministry

April 08, 2014, 20:24 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“We hope that Syria’s chemical weapons will be eliminated in the first half of the year in accordance with the OPCW Executive Committee decisions and UN Security Resolution 2118,” it says
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© EPA/PHILIPP SCHULZE

MOSCOW, April 08. /ITAR-TASS/. Syria succeeds in fulfilling its obligations under the chemical weapons convention, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

On April 4, over 64 tonnes of chemical weapons was delivered to Latakia Port. Totally, 59% of chemical weapons stockpiles have been withdrawn or eliminated, the ministry says.

“Syria has resumed transportation of chemical components and their precursors after a forced pause due to hit-and-run raids by radical armed opposition groups in Latakia’s areas adjacent to the Turkish border,” it says.

“We worked hard with the countries concerned to persuade them to exert influence on the opposition for normalising the situation in Latakia and fulfilling obligations under the chemical weapons convention,” the ministry says.

However, the ministry expressed regret that the West remained indifferent to invitations for closer interaction in efforts to neutralise threats to the chemical weapons evacuation process from illegal armed units.

“In particular, the Western partners rejected Russia’s proposal for a special statement by the UN Security Council chairman,” it says.

“Russia continues to make weighty contributions to Syria’s chemical demilitarisation,” the ministry says.

“We hope that Syria’s chemical weapons will be eliminated in the first half of the year in accordance with the OPCW Executive Committee decisions and UN Security Resolution 2118,” it says.

The removal of the most critical material for destruction began on January 7, 2014, a week after the deadline for its completion set by an agreement brokered by Russia and the United States under which Syria renounced its chemical weapons material and joined 1992 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons.

The plan for destroying the Syrian chemical weapons outside the country, which was submitted to the Executive Council in late December 2013, aimed to meet a deadline set by the Council to destroy Syria’s priority chemicals by March 31, 2014 and other mostly commodity chemicals by June 30, 2014.

The plan includes provisions for ensuring clear responsibility at each stage for all chemicals and takes into account all relevant consideration, including target dates, requirements for safety and security, and overall costs.

On November 15, 2013, the OPCW Executive Council (EC) approved a detailed plan of destruction to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. In the plan, Syrian chemical weapons will be transported for destruction outside its territory to ensure their destruction in the “safest and soonest manner”, and no later than June 30, 2014.

Syrian declared chemical weapons facilities were supposed to undergo sequenced destruction from December 15, 2013 to March 15, 2014 according to a risk-based criterion.

Under Security Council Resolution 2118 (2013) and decisions of the OPCW Executive Council, Syria’s entire chemical weapons programme is to be destroyed by June 30, 2014.

Syria renounced its chemical weapons material and joined 1992 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons under an agreement brokered last year by Russia and the United States.

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