Russia to eliminate all its chemical weapons by 2015
Deputy Head of the Russian Federal Department for Safe Storage and Destruction of Chemical Weapons Vladimir Mandych on Tuesday pledged that Russia will destroy all its chemical weapons by the end of 2015. As of today, it has already destroyed more than 26,000 tonnes of chemical warfare agents or over 65 percent of all chemical weapons that Russia inherited from the USSR.
“Russia currently does not need chemical weapons, and it is necessary to get rid of them,” Director of the Centre for Analysis of World Arms Trade Igor Korotchenko told Novye Izvestiya, adding that the Russian army’s arsenal has no such class of weapons and has never been included in it. According to Korotchenko, the elimination of chemical weapons poses no threat and is carried out by rather safe methods.
However, the co-chairman of the Ecodefence environmental movement Vladimir Slivnyak has less optimistic forecasts. “Destruction of chemical weapons – it’s wonderful. It is definitely necessary to get rid of them, but there are no safe technologies as of today,” he said.
The process is complicated by the rapidly increasing number of leaker munitions. More than 7,000 leaker munitions have been currently identified and destroyed Rossiiskaya Gazeta writes. It also points to an alarming trend. If before 2009, a total of 522 leaker munitions were found and destroyed during the whole previous period, then currently their number has increased to 3,010. All of them have been timely identified and rendered harmless.