Russia on October 25 of this year sent to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons a request to extend for the Russian side the period required to implement the convention on chemical weapons, said Russia's Security Council Secretary Vladimir Rushailo on Tuesday. "No doubt the organisation's executive committee will support Russia's request," he emphasised, speaking at the opening in the Kremlin of a meeting of Security Council members devoted to progress in the preparation of the Russian Federation for destruction of stockpiles of chemical weapons. Rushailo expressed confidence that "in organisational terms at present there are all conditions for Russia to carry out the commitments it assumed on the convention". He said that today's meeting will examine the real state of affairs as regards Russia's preparedness for the destruction of stockpiles of chemical arms and elaboration of concrete decisions to deal with discovered problems. According to the timetable initially registered in the convention on chemical disarmament, the signatory countries, including Russia, were to have destroyed by April 29, 2000 not less than 1 per cent of their stockpiles of chemical arms, by 2002 20 per cent and by 2004 45 per cent and complete the destruction of all stockpiles by 2007. Under Russia's new plan sent to the organisation, Moscow is asking for a correction of this timetable as follows: 1 per cent in 2003, 20 per cent in 2007, 45 per cent in 2008 and completion of "chemical disarmament" by 2012.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea
President Vladimir Putin has not released an official statement yet about his position on the issue of the pension reform in Russia