Germany will allocate EUR 29.7 million to the Russian chemical weapons destruction programme in 2003.
As a Rosbalt correspondent was informed by the press office of Sergei Kirienko, chairman of the state commission for the destruction of chemical weapons, this agreement was reached between Mr Kirienko and Deputy German Foreign Minister Peter Schmidt at a conference of the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, which took place in the Hague yesterday.
EUR 6.2 million of the money allocated by Germany will be spent on opening a second destruction unit at the Gorny plant (Saratov Region) while EUR 23.5 million will go towards construction of a second chemical weapons destruction plant in Kambarka (Udmurt Republic). The press office said Germany is providing this sum of money because Russia fulfilled its earlier obligations (by April 26, a month ahead of schedule, 1% of Russian chemical weapons had been destroyed at the Gorny plant). Mr Schmidt went on to say that cooperation on the construction of the Gorny plant had been a successful project which may lead to new forms of cooperation between the two countries. 'It has been a successful project and that was essential for securing support in the Bundestag for providing further financial assistance to the Russian project,' said the German deputy foreign minister.
A 20,000-strong group of PMC Wagner fighters stationed in Belarus disappeared from the field of view of the collective West