Source Pravda.Ru

Federation Council concerned with chemical weapons destruction

The Federation Council will send a parliamentary request to Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov about the implementation of the federal program "The destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles in the Russian Federation". The members of the Federation Council are concerned that Russia might fail to fulfill its international obligations. There is also the possibility of a threat to Russia's environmental security. Insufficient funding impedes the creation of an effective chemical weapons destruction system. Out of six planned facilities, only one has been put into operation in the Gorny settlement, the Saratov region. International financial aid is also insufficient, and it is slow in coming.

The federal program allocates RUR 31.8bn (about $1.09bn) for the construction of chemical weapons destruction facilities. As of now, about RUR 16bn has been transferred from the budget. Meanwhile, the real estimated construction costs exceed RUR 60bn (about $2.06bn), according to the Federation Council.

The members of the Federation Council urged the government to allocate additional funds through indexing the allocations for the program "The destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles in the Russian Federation". This would allow for the destruction of 8,000 tons of poisonous substances, or 20 percent of Russia's total chemical weapons stockpiles, by 2007.

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