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EU lauds destruction of Russia’s last batch of chemical weapons

September 28, 2017, 21:19 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

On Wednesday, Russia destroyed the last batch of its chemical weapons

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BRUSSELS, September 28. /TASS/. The European Union praises Russia’s completing work to destroy all the chemical weapons possessed by the country as a major move towards achieving the goals of the Chemical Weapons Convention, says a statement of the EU External Action Service circulated in Brussels on Thursday.

"This accomplishment by the competent Russian authorities, the OPCW [the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] and contributing States Parties is an important step towards the achievement of the goals of the Chemical Weapons Convention," said the statement.

"The remaining stockpiles of chemical weapons elsewhere in the world should be eliminated at the earliest possible date, thus bringing the goal of a world free of chemical weapons closer," the statement added.

Russia signed the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, commonly known as the Chemical Weapons Convention, or CWC on January 13, 1993 and ratified it on November 5, 1997. In line with the Convention, the country declared almost 40,000 tonnes of chemical weapons stockpiles and committed itself to destroy them fully.

In accordance with the presidential targeted program approved in March of 1996, Russia began destroying chemical weapons stockpiles in December 2002.

Russia’s chemical weapons were kept at seven arsenals: the towns of Kambarka (Udmurtia), Shchuchye (the Kurgan Region) and Pochep (the Bryansk Region); the villages of Gorny (the Saratov Region), Leonidovka (the Penza Region), Mirny (the Kirov Region) and Kizner (Udmurtia). The process of destroying Russian chemical weapons stocks was divided into four stages. Under the plan, it was due to be completed no later than 2020. Then December 31, 2018 was named as the final date, however Russia has managed to comply with all its commitments ahead of time.

On Wednesday, Russia destroyed the last batch of its chemical weapons stockpile at the last storage facility in Kizner, the republic of Udmurtia, in the Volga Federal District.

"Without fanfare, we can say that this is indeed a historic event given the huge amount of chemical stockpiles since the Soviet time. Specialists said it could be used to destroy everything that moves on the Earth several times," Putin said during an online video conference with Kizner.

"This (elimination of chemical weapons) is a huge step towards making the modern world more balanced and safer," Putin said.

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