Russia is going to completely destroy its chemical weapons stocks by 2020, claims the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu has said his organization has no doubt that Russia will eliminate its chemical weapons in five years. According to him, all countries were supposed to destroy toxic agents by 2012. However, financial and technical issues did not allow authorities to do it, he said.
The OPCW has decided to extend the deadline until 2020 after having discussions with member states, Russian News Agency Tass reported. Russia, which finished work at four chemical weapons disposal plants in 2015, plans to dispose all by 2020.
According to Uzumcu, Russia has already destroyed more than 91 percent of its chemical weapons stocks. The Turkish career diplomat will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Thursday.
Russia wants to shut down the Leonidovka plant in the Penza region and the Pochep plant in the Bryansk region. The Shchuchye plant in the Kurgan region will be shut down on Nov. 20 while the Maradykovsky plant in the Kirov region will be shut down on Oct. 30.
Uzumcu will attend a ceremony marking the shutdown of the Maradykovsky facility. The only chemical weapons disposal plant, which is going to be functional in the country after 2015, is the one in the Kizner region.
Earlier in October, Russia destroyed the largest stockpiles of its chemical weapons. The destruction was done at a site in the western Bryansk region, according to local media reports. A spokesperson for Russia's Federal Agency for the Safe Storage and Destruction of Chemical Weapons said Russia was going to celebrate the completion of five years of work destroying chemical munitions.