Russia Destroys 62% of its Chemical Weapons
MOSCOW – About 25,000 metric tons of chemical weapons, or 62 percent of Russia’s stockpile, have been destroyed by April 29, the day when the International Chemical Weapons Convention came into force.
In 15 years Russia destroyed about two thirds of its world-largest stockpile of 40,000 metric tons. The goal is to destroy 100 percent of chemical weapons in Russia by 2015.
The 188 states parties to the Convention initially planned to destroy all chemical weapons in the world by 2012. Russia and the United States, who have 40,000 and 27,000 metric tons of chemical weapons, respectively, said they were behind schedule and the deadline was postponed until December 31, 2015.
The U.S. said it had already destroyed about 90 percent of its chemical weapons. The Department of Defense, however, postponed the deadline for destroying the remaining 2,000 metric tons first until 2021 and then until 2023.
As of January 31, 2012, more than 50,000 metric tons of chemical weapons, or 73 percent of the global stockpile, have been destroyed.
The convention came into force on April 29, 1997, and 188 out of 195 UN member states have joined it. Myanmar and Israel are signatories to the treaty, but are yet to ratify it. Only Angola, North Korea, Egypt, Somalia and Syria are still outside the convention.
The countries that officially admitted having chemical weapons are Albania, Libya, Iraq, India, Russia, the United States and South Korea.
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