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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 27, June 1998

Russian Official Says CWC Deadline '5 Years' Too Soon

On 23 June, Col. Gen. Stanislav Petrov, Head of the Defence Ministry's Radiation, Chemical and Biological Safety Division, told the Interfax news agency that Russia was not currently in a position to meet its obligation under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to destroy its estimated 44,000 ton chemical weapon stockpile within 10 years. Russia ratified the CWC in November 1997.

While acknowledging that Russia had received assistance in its stockpile-destruction programme from a number of countries, notably Germany and the United States, Petrov's assessment of the situation was bleak: "We will need at least an additional five years to meet our obligations under the Convention... Because of the absence of funds, Russia has not so far started widespread destruction of its chemical arsenal... [W]e should harbor no illusions: foreign assistance may total no more than 5% of the required amount..."

Petrov added that the total cost of stockpile-destruction was expected to reach $5.36 billion.

Report: Russia can't meet weapons deadline, Associated Press, 23 June.

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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