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Russian Site Completes Mustard Gas Disposal

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Russian authorities announced Nov. 14 that the Gorny chemical destruction facility completed disposal of the mustard gas stocks held there, Interfax reported Nov. 17. More than 600 tons of the chemical were destroyed at Gorny, which began operating in December 2002. (See ACT, January/February 2003).

Sergei Kiriyenko, head of the state commission on chemical disarmament, told Itar-Tass Nov. 11 that the Gorny facility is slated to begin disposal of lewisite, another type of blister agent, on Nov. 25. Gorny houses almost three percent of Russia’s 40,000-ton chemical weapons stockpile and is expected to complete disposal of all of the chemical agents stored there by 2005. Also in 2005, Russian destruction facilities at Kambarka and Shchuch’ye are expected to begin operations. Together, they will destroy almost 30 percent of Russia’s chemical weapons stockpile.

Russia also announced that former chemical weapons-producing facilities at Novocheboksarsk and Volgograd had been completely demilitarized, Interfax reported Nov. 17.