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Russia may complete the destruction of all its chemical weapons stockpiles by the end of September, a top official announced.
“The chemical weapons destruction programme, authorized by the head of state, will be completed ahead of schedule, although our international obligations expire on December 31, 2018… I think that we will finalize it by the end of this month,” Mikhail Babich, the chairman of the State Commission on Chemical Disarmament, said on Thursday.
Babich noted that the exact date for the completion of the programme would be announced by President Vladimir Putin in the next few days, reports Sputnik news.
“We will demonstrate to the world that Russia not only fulfils its international obligations, but also understands that disarmament serves as an example for many of our foreign colleagues.”
Babich had said in March that nearly 70,500 tonnes of chemical weapons were stockpiled around the world, of which 40,000 tonnes were in Russia and 27,000 tonnes in the US, with the rest divided among other countries.
In June, Russia’s Federal Administration for the Safe Storage and Destruction of Chemical Weapons announced that Russia had already destroyed 98.9 per cent of its chemical weapons stockpiles, while the rest would be eliminated at the Kizner facility located in the Udmurtian Republic by the end of 2017.