There will be no opening of the chemical weapons disposal plant in the village of Gorny, the Saratov Region in the year 2002, Sergei Kiriyenko, the Plenipotentiary of the President of Russia in the Privolzhsky Federal District, said.
According to the press service of the President's Plenipotentiary, the Ministries of Natural Resources and Healthcare of Russia requested additionally between two weeks and one month to complete the necessary inspection of the plant. Mr. Kiriyenko said, 'Because Russia must destroy 1% of all her chemical weapons by April 29, 2003, besides a lewisite, we also need a mustard gas disposal line. The first line will be completed and accepted within the pre-set time but actual work will begin only when the other line also becomes operational. This is planned for the beginning of December 2002.
Mr. Kirienko also said that safety remained the greatest concern. He added that important was not just technological but also psychological safety. People must understand that what is done there is absolutely safe.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969