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MOSCOW, April 14./ ITAR-TASS /. Syria has already taken away two-thirds of all stockpiles of chemical weapons. It is important that the process completed as soon as possible, the director general for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Ahmet Üzümcü said during his lecture in the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
"Russia and USA have provided sufficient materials and equipment for implementing this process," Üzümcü said. He recalled that the delays were caused by the militants' attacks.
Ahmet Üzümcü noted that Russia has achieved substantial success in eliminating stockpiles of chemical weapons.
"Russia and USA are doing their best to achieve the implementation of plans regarding the elimination of chemical weapons," OPCW secretary general stressed. "Russia has eliminated up to 78% of the stockpiles available in the country," he noted. "This is a substantial success given the complexity of this operation." The OPCW secretary general added that he looked forward to visiting a Russian facility for eliminating chemical weapons on Thursday.
Earlier in April, over 64 tonnes of chemical weapons were delivered to Latakia Port. All in all, 59% of chemical weapons stockpiles have been withdrawn or eliminated, the ministry said.
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.