According to the International Chemical Weapons Ban Convention, Russia has to destroy 1% of its chemical weapons till April 1, 2003. The entire Russian arsenal of these weapons is 40,000 tonnes, said Sergei Kiriyenko, Plenipotentiary representative of the Russian president in the Volga federal district.
The first Russian factory destroying toxic agents was put into operation in Gorny (near Saratov) on Thursday. Putin's representative said the requirement of the international convention would be fulfilled - the factory would destroy 400 tonnes of Russian chemical weapons till the end of the term.
According to Kiriyenko, the beginning of this factory's work shows that Russia destroys its chemical weapons according to the schedule planned for a period till 2012.
The construction of the factory was launched in 1996, sponsored by the US, Germany, United Kingdom and Italy.
Austria does not intend to expel Russian diplomats because of the spy scandal