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Russia destroys over 60 percent of chemical weapons

France,Defence/Security, Sun, 29 Apr 2012 IANS

Moscow, April 29 (IANS) About 25,000 metric tonnes - or 62 percent - of Russia's chemical weapons haf been destroyed till April 29, RIA Novosti reported Sunday.


In 15 years, Russia destroyed about two-thirds of its stockpile of 40,000 metric tonnes. The goal is to destroy 100 percent of chemical weapons by 2015.


The International Chemical Weapons Convention came into force on Sunday. The 188 parties (states) to the Convention initially planned to destroy all chemical weapons by 2012. Russia and the US, who have 40,000 and 27,000 metric tonnes of chemical weapons, said they were behind schedule and the deadline was postponed until Dec 31, 2015.


The US said it had already destroyed about 90 percent of its chemical weapons. The Department of Defense, however, twice postponed the deadline for destroying the remaining 2,000 metric tonnes first until 2021 and then until 2023.


As of Jan 31, 2012, more than 50,000 metric tonnes of chemical weapons - or 73 percent of the global stockpile - have been destroyed.


The convention was signed April 29, 1997, and 188 out of 195 UN member states 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 were Albania, Libya, Iraq, India, Russia, the US and South Korea.


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