Russia completes chemical weapons destruction

Russia has completed the work to destroy chemical weapons at the last remaining storage facility in Russia, Kizner in Udmurtia, Kremlin announced on Sept. 27, Wednesday.

Footage of the landmark process showed an artillery shell with a note in Russian saying “Farewell to chemical arms” being emptied and decontaminated at an automated production line.

Earlier plans were to complete work by December 31, 2018.

This completion of the destruction was reported to the President Vladimir Putin via video conference by Mikhail Babich, Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Volga Federal District and Chairman of the State Commission for Chemical Disarmament.

Also in attendance at the video conference were Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Trade, Valery Kapashin, Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Federal Directorate for Safe Storage and Disposal of Chemical Weapons, and Hamid Ali Rao, Deputy Director-General of the Technical Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Out of more than 70,000 tonnes of chemical weapons that existed across the world, 40,000 tonnes were located in the Russian Federation and 28,000 tonnes in the United States.

Russia signed the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993 and launched the program to dispose of its chemical weapons in 1996. At the time the agreement was signed, Russia had 40,000 tonnes of chemical weapons agents.

Both Russia and the US had agreed to destroy their weapons by 2012 but neither country met the deadline.

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