One of the federal agencies' basic tasks is to ensure safe storage of chemical weapons until they are totally destroyed, Sergei Kiriyenko, in charge of a federal chemical weapons commission, said Tuesday. He took part in a Security Council meeting which discussed Russia's compliance with the international chemical weapons convention. There has been reached agreement to extend the convention-stipulated deadline by which Russia is to destroy its chemical stockpiles, according to Kiriyenko. European countries are expected to boost financial aid to Russia in an attempt to help it meet the convention, he added. Russia itself has resolved to double budgetary allocations on the programme of chemical disarmament next year, emphasized Kiriyenko. Yet, the US, which has agreed to provide considerable funds for the purpose, keeps postponing talks on signing a related agreement.
Forest fires in Siberia have been raging for three months already. They have become a disaster not only of Russian, but of global scale. The fires have already scorched 12 million hectares of land