1% of Russia's Chemical Weapons to Be Destroyed in 2003

In 2003, Russia will pay USD 160 million for the destruction of her chemical weapons. This is according to what Sergei Kiriyenko, President's Plenipotentiary in the Privolzhsky Federal District said at a press conference today.

According to Mr. Kiriyenko, USD 50 million of the amount will be foreign assistance, mostly coming from the US. He added that in 2004 this assistance might grow to USD 120 million. The total share of the worth of the programme, which is supposed to be completed by 2012, paid by foreign countries should amount to USD 880 million.

Mr. Kiriyenko said that 60 tonnes of mustard gas had been destroyed at the specialised plant in the town of Gorny, the Saratov Region, over the past month. 'This amount of gas is sufficient to destroy everything alive in a small country', he said, concluding that 400 tonnes of weapon-grade chemicals, that is 1 % of the total amount on hand would be destroyed over the year 2003.

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