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Russia has some 6% of chemical weapons stocks left to destroy — official

Russia has 6.5% of its chemical weapons left to destroy, an official says, last year we completed eliminating chemical weapons at four facilities

POCHEP (Bryansk region), May 25. /TASS/. Russia has 6.5% of its chemical weapons left to destroy, the head of the federal agency for the safe keeping and elimination of chemical weapons, Colonel-General Valery Kapashin, said on Wednesday.

In April, Kapashin said Russia had destroyed more than 37,000 tons of chemical warfare agents, about 93% of the stock.

"Russia has only 6.5% of chemical weapons stores left to get rid of. Last year we completed eliminating chemical weapons at four facilities," the general said.

"As of the present moment, one facility remains functioning - in the settlement of Kiznersky in Udmurtia," he said.

He said the pace of destruction has slowed down as artillery munitions are liquidated at the moment. "It’s not air-delivered munition that we were destroying in tons. Here we have grams. That is why this process is difficult, slowly-moving. That is why the pace of destruction is modest," he said.

"However, we will destroy everything by December 2018," the specialist said.

The Pochep Chemical Weapons Disposal Plant disposed of the biggest chemical weapons arsenal in Russia by the autumn of 2015.

The plant disposed of more than 67,000 air-launched chemical munitions containing almost 7,500 tons of sarin, soman and VX chemical weapons from 2010.

When the plant terminated its work, Russia disposed of 92% of its chemical weapons stocks in accordance with international obligations.

All in all, three billion rubles have been allocated this year to finance work at enterprises that have completed work to liquidate chemical weapons. The total cost of the program to put these facilities out of operation is 53 billion roubles.

Russia joined the chemical weapons ban convention that outlawed the production, development, possession, sharing or use of chemical weapons in January 1993 to declare about 40,000 tonnes of chemical warfare agents. Their elimination began in December 2002.