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Global CW Assistance

Cristina Chuen

Senior Research Associate, Monterey Institute of International Studies

  • Control and Administration Building at the Shchuchye CW Elimination Facility Control and Administration Building at the Shchuchye CW Elimination Facility
  • Russia Map Russia Map


The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling, and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (Chemical Weapons Convention or CWC), combines a ban on the acquisition and possession of chemical weapons (CW) with a stringent verification regime. The treaty was adopted by the UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on September 3, 1992, opened for signature in Paris on January 13, 1993, and entered into force on April 29, 1997. As of April 2005, the CWC had 167 States Parties, including all of the states of the former Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia. Significant non-parties include Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and North Korea; Israel has signed but not ratified the Convention.[1]

The CWC commits States Parties to destroy all stockpiles of chemical weapons by 2007. So far, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, which is responsible for CWC implementation, has overseen the destruction of nearly 12% of the world's CW stockpile. The elimination of chemical weapons is an expensive and technically challenging task. The OPCW has encouraged States Parties to provide assistance to others, upon request, in the destruction of CW stockpiles and former production facilities. European nations, Canada and the United States are providing financial assistance to Russia to eliminate its chemical weapons, since Moscow does not have the funding to meet the CWC deadlines without such aid. The United States has also funded the destruction of CW production facilities in the former Yugoslavia, and is funding CW elimination in Albania and Libya. In November 2004, the United States and Romania launched the Implementation Assistance Program, which helps States Parties establish the national authorities and administrative measures needed to implement the CWC's declaration and export/import requirements. In addition, States Parties are required to destroy chemical weapons that they have abandoned on the territory of other states. Japan, for example, is undertaking the destruction of CW that it abandoned in China after World War II.

The destruction of chemical weapons is a technically difficult and costly endeavor. Under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling, and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (CWC), States Parties committed to eliminate all of their chemical weapons by 2007. Several nations have requested and received extensions of the intermediate destruction deadlines--including Russia (which possesses about 41,000 tons of CW), the United States (28,000 tons), and South Korea (600 tons). Both Russia and the United States have also informed the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that they will be unable to meet the April 2007 deadline for destroying their entire chemical weapons stockpiles. The CWC allows member states to request up to a five-year extension of the final destruction deadline from the OPCW. In addition to destroying any existing chemical weapons, States Parties are required to adopt relevant implementing legislation and to control the exports of chemicals that might be used to produce chemical weapons. In order to assist nations that face technical or financial difficulties in meeting all of these commitments, the OPCW has encouraged the provision of foreign assistance.

This issue brief describes CW elimination assistance projects in Serbia and Bosnia, where the projects have been completed, and in Russia and Albania, where they are ongoing. The brief then outlines the Implementation Assistance Program, which helps States Parties to establish the national authorities and administrative measures needed to implement the CWC's declaration and export/import requirements. Finally, the brief discusses the problem of abandoned chemical weapons (ACW), or weapons that one State Party has abandoned on the territory of another, and programs to eliminate ACW.

The Former Yugoslavia

Before Yugoslavia broke apart in 1991, it had an advanced chemical weapons program dating back to the 1960s. The Yugoslav CW stockpile included sarin, mustard, phosgene, and BZ, which were loaded into a variety of munitions including artillery shells, aerial bombs, rockets and chemical mines. Most of this offensive chemical weapons infrastructure, production capacity, and expertise was inherited in 1991 by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). Three of the four facilities involved in CW production in the former Yugoslavia were on Serbian territory. Much of the equipment from the fourth CW plant, at the Military Technical Institute in Potoci near Mostar, Bosnia, was reportedly dismantled by Yugoslav troops and moved to the Miloje Blagojevic facility in Lucani, near Casak, Serbia, in 1992.[2] This equipment was later moved again, to Krusevac, Serbia.[3] Another CW facility at Prva Iskra was reportedly destroyed by NATO bombs in April 1999.[4] The CWC entered into force for Yugoslavia in May 2000; soon thereafter, in October 2000, the government of Slobodan Milosevic was overthrown. Both Serbia and Montenegro and Bosnia-Hercegovina entered into discussions with the OPCW regarding the destruction of the CW production equipment on their territories. The U.S. State Department's Fund for Nonproliferation and Disarmament provided funding for the destruction of the CW production equipment in Krusevac, Serbia, on September 15-30, 2003.[5] The dismantlement of the former Yugoslav CW production facility in Potoci, Bosnia was completed on January 8, 2004, again with U.S. funding.[6]


In December 2003, Libya announced that it would eliminate all of its programs associated with weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons. On March 5, 2004, the Libyan government submitted its initial declaration to the OPCW, which stated that it had produced approximately 23 metric tons (50,700 pounds) of mustard agent in a facility at Rabta, 60 miles south of Tripoli, between 1980 and 1990, and stored the agent at two sites. The declaration stated that the CW production facility at Rabta was no longer in use. Although Libya did not have any filled munitions, it declared a stockpile of unfilled munitions totaling some 3,200 aerial bombs and a sizeable stockpile of nerve agent precursor chemicals. OPCW inspectors observed the destruction of Libya's entire declared stockpile of unfilled chemical munitions.[7]

Destroying the stockpile of mustard agent will require a special destruction facility. Libya has also received OPCW approval to convert the former CW production facility at Rabta into a facility for the production of low-cost medicines for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other diseases for distribution in Africa.[8] Although Libya has taken responsibility for destruction of its CW stockpile, it has received some assistance from outside parties. For instance, the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Arms Control, with funding from the Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund, helped Tripoli "to ensure rapid submission of an accurate declaration of its chemical weapons stockpile and civilian chemical industry" and to begin the destruction of its CW stockpiles.[9] Libya continues to receive U.S. assistance, and Poland has also offered Libya technical assistance with CW destruction.[10]


Albania notified the OPCW Secretariat in November 2002 that it had discovered a stockpile of chemical weapons that had apparently been procured by the communist regime of Enver Hoxha.[11] The agents, totaling some 16 tons, include mustard, lewisite, and small quantities of arsenical compounds, all stored in bulk (non-weaponized) form at a site some 50 kilometers from Tirana.[12]

The U.S. State Department provided initial assistance to Albania, installing physical security systems at the CW storage site. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has assumed responsibility for maintaining these systems and is helping develop plans to eliminate the CW agents (expending $18.2 million in FY2004 and 2005). The DTRA project calls for completing the elimination of Albania's CW in November 2006.[13]

On November 30, 2004, the OPCW granted Albania an extension of its intermediate (1%, 20%, and 45%) deadlines for the destruction of its Category 1 CW stocks; the final deadline remains 2007.[14] Switzerland has also provided aid to Albania, financing several OPCW inspections in the country and participating in the preparatory scientific work for the destruction of CW there. The determination of the chemical composition of the Albanian CW stockpile was performed in Switzerland's Spiez Laboratory, and Bern plans to supply Tirana with the equipment needed and train Albanian Defense Ministry laboratory staff, in coordination with the DTRA project.[15] Albania has also requested assistance from the EU for its CW destruction activities.[16]

Chemical Weapons Elimination in Russia

Russia ratified the CWC in 1997, obliging it to abolish the chemical weapons stockpile it had inherited from the Soviet Union by 2007, with a possible five-year extension until 2012. Moscow endorsed the agreement only after Europe and the United States assured it of financial support. Russia has declared a total of 40,000 tons of chemical weapons at seven stockpile sites, the largest CW stockpile in the world. Over 30,000 metric tons are in the form of nerve agent (sarin, soman and VX), contained in more than four million munitions.[17] Although the Russian CW elimination program was initially delayed by funding, organizational, and other problems,[18] Russia successfully met the CWC deadline for the elimination of 20% of its Category 1 (the most toxic) chemical weapons by April 29, 2002. It has had to ask for extensions of other CWC deadlines.

The first of Russia's chemical weapon destruction facilities (at Gornyy, in Saratov region), which received €40 million in funding from Germany, became operational in December 2002.[19] By April 2003 the Gornyy plant had destroyed more than 400 metric tons of mustard agent (or 1% of Russia's chemical weapons stocks), three years after the CWC deadline for destruction of this amount. Russia has now destroyed more than 700 tons of mustard agent. Moscow currently plans to meet the April 2007 deadline for destruction of 20% of its CW stocks by constructing CW elimination facilities at Kambarka (near Perm) and Maradykovskiy (near Kirov). Additional facilities are under construction at Shchuchye and are planned for Leonidovka and Pochep. A facility may also be built at Kizner, although other plans call for the elimination of CW stored at Kizner in the Shchuchye facility. Russia has sought approval from the OPCW to extend its final CWC deadline until 2012. Elimination of all Russian CW by that date, however, will require a high level of financial assistance from Moscow's partners. Moscow itself has recently recognized that it must also do more. The Russian budget for 2005 allocated 11.116 billion rubles (about $40.1 million) for the presidential program of CW destruction, approximately double the amount allocated in 2004.[20]

The Global Partnership, formed at the G8 summit in Kananaskis, Canada in 2002, resulted in a major boost to Russia's CW elimination effort. Prior to Kananaskis, Germany had sponsored the most successful chemical munitions elimination project in Russia. German assistance was based on an agreement signed in December 1992 and focused on the construction of a blister agent elimination facility in Gornyy.[21] Since 2002, Germany has expanded its assistance to the Kambarka site. Prior to Kananaskis, the United States had a more mixed record with CW assistance to Russia. Although Washington has committed to fund the construction of the nerve agent elimination facility at Shchuchye, which is currently estimated to cost more than $1 billion, work at the site was delayed for several years because of planning, funding, contracting, and organizational problems. However, since the launch of the Global Partnership, the United States has put greater emphasis on completing the Shchuchye project. U.S. funding increased from $50 million in 2002 to $132.9 million in 2003. Funding for the project peaked at $200.3 million in 2004, and $121.8 million has been requested for 2005.[22]

The Global Partnership has also led to the increased participation of other countries in the effort to eliminate CW in Russia. Germany's aid to the Gornyy facility was bolstered by €8 million in funds from additional countries in 2003.[23] Large new pledges of aid for CW elimination were made by existing donors such as Canada (CAN$300 million), Italy (€375 million), and the United Kingdom (€100 million), and new countries became involved in the assistance projects as well, including the Czech Republic and New Zealand. Other countries, such as France, also plan to support CW destruction in Russia.[24] Most recently, on February 7, 2005, a Washington DC-based nongovernmental organization, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, pledged substantial new funds: $1 million toward construction of a railway from the chemical weapons depot in Planovyy to the destruction facility in Shchuchye. The funding will be expended through Canada's agreement with Russia.[25]

The renewed global emphasis on CW destruction projects has also led to enhanced efforts on the part of those already active in this sphere, including both the United States and Russia itself. Funds from the Russian budget were used to complete the destruction facility at Gornyy and provide infrastructure near the site. In 2004, Moscow paid for the construction of a lewisite detoxification facility, reaction-mixtures recovery building, and various infrastructure projects (from communications and heating to warning systems) at Kambarka, which is scheduled to commence CW elimination in 2006.[26] Russia has increased its own funding and made some significant changes in its CW elimination plans. After a review of the expenses associated with transporting CW munitions from Kizner to Shchuchye, Moscow decided it would be faster and more cost-effective to construct an additional CW elimination facility at Kizner. The facility is now scheduled to be completed in 2009, so that all CW destruction can be completed by 2012.[27] Sufficient funding for the Kizner facility, however, remains in doubt. Despite the increased amounts of foreign assistance in recent years, it is not clear that these funds, along with Russia's own, will be expended quickly enough to allow Russia to meet its CWC commitments.

In addition to the assistance for CW elimination outlined above, many foreign nations and organizations are funding peaceful research by former Soviet chemical weapons scientists in an effort to prevent "brain drain," or the possibility that these individuals might sell their weapons expertise to other nations. Brain-drain programs include efforts by the multinational International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC) in Moscow, established in 1992; the United States Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), created by the U.S. Congress in 1995; the European Union's Technical Assistance for the Commonwealth of Independent States (TACIS) program, launched in 1991; the INCO-Copernicus program, founded in 1994; the Program for Nonproliferation and Disarmament in the Russian Federation, also known as the Joint Action Program, created in December 1999; the International Association for the Promotion of Cooperation with Scientists from the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (INTAS), founded in 1993 by EU members and other nations; the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NOW); the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD); and the UK Royal Society.

Abandoned Chemical Weapons

The CWC defines abandoned chemical weapons (ACW) as "chemical weapons, including old chemical weapons, abandoned by a State after 1 January 1925 on the territory of another State without the consent of the latter." ACW declarations have been made by Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Panama, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.[30] Four of these nations (China, Italy, Panama and South Korea) have declared that ACW were abandoned on their territory; the other nations have admitted having abandoned such weapons.[31] Only China and Panama have officially asked for the assistance of another state in ACW disposal.[32] In the future, however, other states may well do so. For instance, Ethiopian leaders have publicly alleged that Italy abandoned CW in their country in the 1930s, but Ethiopia has not formally made a declaration to that effect to the OPCW.[33] Italy has responded that according to its records, it did not abandon any CW abroad. Italy has also offered to train Ethiopians "to be able to detect and examine any further suspicious materials."[34]

The CWC does not require States Parties to recover old chemical weapons (OCW), which are defined as chemical weapons produced before 1925 or CW produced in the period between 1925 and 1946 that have deteriorated to such an extent that they can no longer be used as chemical weapons. Also exempted from the recovery obligation are weapons buried before 1977 or those dumped at sea before 1985. Nevertheless, if such weapons are recovered, they must be destroyed in accordance with CWC requirements. ACW, on the other hand, must be eliminated by the abandoning state at the request of the state on which they are located.

In 1990, China made a formal request to Japan that it dispose of ACW left on Chinese territory during the occupation of Manchuria (1931-45) and Sino-Japanese War (1937-45). Japan has estimated that it abandoned 700,000 chemical munitions in China, including weapons containing mustard, mustard-lewisite, diphenyl cyanoarsine (Clark II), hydrogen cyanide, phosgene, and chloroacetophenone. Chinese estimates put the number of ACW closer to two million. The two nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding on July 30, 1999, in which Japan promised to provide all necessary financial, technical, and other resources needed for the destruction of these ACW and any chemical weapons confirmed in the future to be of Japanese origin.[35] According to information published by the Japanese Cabinet's ACW office, there are 20 sites in China at which Japanese troops abandoned chemical weapons before returning to Japan in 1945. The bulk of the ACW is buried at a single site, Haerbaling, located 43 km southeast of central Dunhua, a city in Jilin province. As of October 2002, the nine relevant areas in Dunhua had been excavated, as had another 159 areas elsewhere in China; however, 45 areas at nine sites had yet to be excavated.[36]

China itself has undertaken measures to handle ACW and protect public safety on several occasions. Between 1951 and 1963, the local government in Dunhua, responding to frequent poisoning cases, moved ACW from some seven satellite locations to Haerbaling.[37] The Chinese government has indicated that it has already recovered as many as 300,000 chemical munitions and 120 tons of bulk chemical agents, which have either been destroyed or given preliminary treatment.[38]

Japanese ACW elimination plans, which were developed in consultation with China, call for completing ACW destruction by 2007, but the program will be unable to finish the work by this date. With China's approval, Japan can ask the OPCW for a five-year extension of the deadline. In April 2004, the two nations agreed on the location for a CW destruction facility in Haerbaling, which will cost an estimated 300 billion yen (U.S.$2.8 billion). Tokyo dedicated 17.1 billion yen in the FY2004 budget to finance the project. Japan aims to complete the construction of the facility by the end of March 2007 and of the CW incinerators by March 2008.[39]

Implementation Assistance

Many CWC member states are involved in assisting other States Parties in implementing the Convention, funding public outreach programs to increase awareness of the consequences and implications of CW destruction activities, and organizing civil protection exercises. Denmark, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, for example, finance Green Cross offices in Russia that undertake such outreach activities. The OPCW also organizes many of its own outreach activities with member-state support. In November 2004, the United States and Romania launched a new Implementation Assistance Program to help CWC States Parties establish the national authorities and administrative measures needed to implement the Convention's declaration and export/import requirements.[40] Washington has also been very active in bilateral missions to help countries develop national measures to meet their CWC obligations. In March 2005 alone, one U.S. team worked with CWC member states in the Caribbean region and another visited East African nations to assist with drafting national implementing legislation, reviewing CWC declaration requirements, and developing national action plans required to meet the Convention's Article VII obligations.[41]

Future CW Assistance Projects

In addition to the assistance efforts outlined above, there are likely to be additional programs in the future. Already, the government of Panama has requested that the United States remove CW munitions and contamination remaining from a U.S. chemical weapons testing program on San Jose Island in 1944-1947.[42] Seven intact munitions, including 500- and 1,000-pound phosgene bombs, were discovered on the tropical island in 2001, and the Panamanian government expects that many more will be found. In January 2002, Panama requested an OPCW inspection of the island.[43] The United States reportedly proposed to provide $2 million plus equipment and training to remove chemical weapons from the island, but Panama rejected the offer.[44]

Abandoned chemical weapons are likely to be found in additional countries of North Africa and the Asia-Pacific, and these states may well ask for elimination assistance. (To date, aside from Albania, ACW unearthed in Europe have been disposed of by the authorities of those states in which they are discovered, without foreign assistance.) In addition, 27 states have yet to join the CWC, four of which (Egypt, Syria, Israel, and North Korea) are believed to have significant CW programs. It is to be hoped that these states will join the Convention and, if necessary, receive assistance to destroy their CW stockpiles and production facilities.


Articles and Reports

  • General Accounting Office Report, GAO-04-361, "Delays in Implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention Raise Concerns About Proliferation," www.gao.gov.
  • The G8 Global Partnership, German-Russian Cooperation, www.sgpproject.org.
  • The G8 Global Partnership: Progress during 2004 on the UK's programmes, www.fco.gov.uk.
  • Outline of the Project for the Destruction of Abandoned Chemical Weapons (ACW) in China (ACW Destruction Project), Abandoned Chemical Weapons (ACW) Office, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, www8.cao.go.jp.
  • Pamela Mills, "Preventing Chemical Warfare and Terrorism: The CWC and the Middle East," Disarmament Diplomacy No. 65 (July-August 2002), www.acronym.org.uk.
  • David Pugliese, "Bombs on the Beach," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 58, no. 4 (July/August 2002), www.thebulletin.org, pp. 55-60.
  • Valentin Yurchenko, "O rasprostranenii khimicheskogo i biologicheskogo oruzhiya v stranakh Blizhnego Vostoka i Severnoy Afriki" (On the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons in the Near East and North Africa), Yadernyy kontrol No. 1 (75), vol. 11 (Spring 2005), pp. 149-157, www.pircenter.org.


  • "Abandoned Chemical Weapons (ACW) in China," China Profiles, NTI, www.nti.org.
  • Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program, http://cns.miis.edu.
  • "Chemical Overview," North Korea Profile, NTI, www.nti.org.
  • Foreign Affairs Canada, "Chemical Weapons Destruction," www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca.
  • "Global Partnership Resource Page," Center for Nonproliferation Studies, http://cns.miis.edu.
  • "Chemical Warfare Agents in the former Yugoslavia," www.globalsecurity.org.
  • Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), www.opcw.org.
  • Switzerland and Global Chemical Weapons Disarmament, December 2004, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, www.eda.admin.ch.
  • U.S. Chemical Weapons Convention, www.cwc.gov.


[1] Egypt employed mustard gas in the 1960s during the Yemeni civil war; the country is currently believed to have the technical capacity to rapidly produce nerve and blister agents. Although Cairo had been active in the CWC negotiations, when the Convention was opened for signature in 1993, Egypt announced a policy of linking its adherence to the CWC to Israel becoming a party to the NPT, and pushed for other Arab states to do the same. Under the regime of Saddam Hussein, Iraq employed chemical weapons against Iran and the Kurds of northern Iraq; the country possessed mustard gas as well as the nerve agents tabun, sarin, and VX. Syria has hinted that it possesses CW, and will not eliminate them without an agreement to eliminate them throughout the Middle East (including, in particular, Israel). In the 1990s, Damascus pursued a program to produce mustard gas and nerve agents. Syria's current arsenal is thought to be one of the largest in the Middle East. Israel is also capable of producing chemical arms; in 1990 the Israeli Minister of Defense indicated that the country possessed chemical weapons that it would use if attacked with chemical weapons. Israel signed the CWC in 1993, but has hesitated to ratify it due to "regional concerns" (see "Statement by the Ambassador of Israel at the First Session of the Conference of the States Parties," May 1997). Israel is expected to ratify the CWC if Arab states in the region accede to it. North Korea has one of the largest chemical weapons programs in the world, with large stockpiles of phosgene (choking), hydrogen cyanide (blood), mustard (blister) and sarin (nerve agent). Valentin Yurchenko, "O rasprostranenii khimicheskogo i biologicheskogo oruzhiya v stranakh Blizhnego Vostoka i Severnoy Afriki" (On the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons in the Near East and North Africa), Yadernyy kontrol No. 1 (75), vol. 11 (Spring 2005), pp. 149-157, www.pircenter.org; Pamela Mills, "Preventing Chemical Warfare and Terrorism: The CWC and the Middle East," Disarmament Diplomacy No. 65 (July-August 2002), www.acronym.org.uk; "Chemical Overview," North Korea Profile, NTI, www.nti.org.
[2] William C. Potter and Jonathan B. Tucker, "Well-Armed and Very Dangerous," Los Angeles Times, April 4, 1999, http://cns.miis.edu.
[3] "Chemical Warfare Agents in the former Yugoslavia," www.globalsecurity.org.
[4] "Overview of ecological consequences of NATO bombing of Yugoslavia since March 24, 1999," Green Cross International, June 1999, www.gci.ch.
[5] News archive of the Serbian and Montenegrin Armed Forces, 26 September 2003, www.vj.yu; "Serbia-Montenegro completes destruction of dual-use chemical industry equipment," BBC Monitoring Service, 17 October 2003, www.lexis-nexis.com.
[6] CBW Conventions Bulletin, No. 63 March 2004, p. 39.
[7] "Libya Submits Initial Chemical Weapons Declaration," OPCW Press Release, March 5, 2004, www.opcw.org.
[8] "OPCW Director-General Addresses the United Nations," OPCW Press Release, October 21, 2004, www.opcw.org.
[9] "U.S. AID Performance Summary, FY 2006," U.S. Department of State, www.state.gov.
[10] "Polish Premier Ends Trip to Libya by Pledging to Help Transform Purposes," Associated Press, January 5, 2005; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, www.lexis-nexis.com.
[11] "Introduction and Overview," Annual Report 2002, OPCW, www.opcw.org.
[12] "Cooperative Threat Reduction: Annual Report to Congress Fiscal Year 2006," www.ransac.org; Mike Nartner, "U.S. to Aid Destruction of Albanian Chemical Weapons," Global Security Newswire, October 22, 2004, www.nti.org.
[13] "Cooperative Threat Reduction: Annual Report to Congress Fiscal Year 2006," www.ransac.org.
[14] OPCW Decision, November 30, 2004, OPCW, www.opcw.org.
[15] Switzerland and Global Chemical Weapons Disarmament, December 2004, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, www.eda.admin.ch.
[16] "Statement by the Kingdom of the Netherlands on behalf of the European Union at the 9th Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (The Hague, 29 November - 3 December 2004)", OPCW, www.opcw.org.
[17] Two of Russia's CW storage sites, in Kambarka (Udmurtiya) and Gornyy (Saratov region), hold lewisite, mustard, and lewisite-mustard mixtures. (Unlike mustard, lewisite is an arsenic-based chemical agent.). The other five sites--Shchuchye (Kurgan region), Kizner (Udmurtiya), Maradykovskiy (Kirov region), Pochep (Bryansk region), and Leonidovka (Penza region)--hold newer and more lethal Russian nerve agents (sarin, soman, and an agent structurally related to VX), in addition to smaller amounts of lewisite, lewisite-mustard, and phosgene, filled into various types of weapons. Robert J. Einhorn and Michèle A. Flournoy, "Protecting Against the Spread of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons: An Action Agenda for the Global Partnership" (Washington: Center for Strategic and International Studies, January 2003), p. 54.
[18] The U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction program has funded CW destruction since 1992. The Department of Defense installed security upgrades at the Shchuchye and Kizner facilities, which house portable munitions such as artillery shells containing nerve agents. By 2000, the United States had also spent more than $140 million on the development and design of a pilot nerve-agent destruction plant in Shchuchye, which is supposed to destroy all of the nerve agents stored in Shchuchye and Kizner. However, in October 1999 the U.S. Congress canceled the $130 million that had been budgeted for construction of the plant in 2000, due to uncertainty over costs, doubts about the Russian commitment to meet its CWC obligations, the limited amount of funding received from other nations, and the lack of a coordinated federal CW destruction plan in Russia. A Clinton administration request for $35 million in 2001 was similarly rejected. Work on the Shchuchye plant continued at a slower pace with previously budgeted funds, until funding was reinstated in 2002 ($50 million). The United States plans to finance the construction of all buildings within the Shchuchye facility (a total of 99), except for one destruction building, which the Russians will fund. Other nations are providing financial support for facility infrastructure, such as electricity substations and railways, that are located outside the perimeter of the elimination facility itself.
[19] The European Union also committed €6 million to the Gornyy project, transferring responsibility for project implementation to the German Foreign Ministry. The G8 Global Partnership: German-Russian Cooperation (Bonn: Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour, May 15, 2004), p. 45.
[20] "O federalnom byudzhete 2005 god" [On the 2005 federal budget], Rossiyskaya gazeta, www.rg.ru, December 29, 2004, p. 20.
[21] Germany has experience in eliminating blister agents from similar activities after World War II. German aid to Russia for CW elimination (in millions of U.S. dollars) is as follows:

Year - Funding

1993 - 3.0
1994 - 2.6
1995 - 4.2
1996 - 6.3
1997 - 5.0

1998 - 5.3
1999 - 5.7
2000 - 3.8
2001 - 4.6
2002 - 2.5

2003 - 1.1
2004 - 0.8

(Funding numbers from Natalia Kalinina, "The Effectiveness of the Chemical Weapons Convention Depends Upon Russia's Actions," Yaderny Kontrol 9, www.sgpproject.org) With the launch of the Gornyy facility in 2002, German contributions dropped. However, in July 2003 Germany signed an agreement with Russia regarding construction of another blister agent elimination facility, at Kambarka. As of February 2004, €150 million were already under contract for work at this site, where Germany will fund a thermal destruction facility for solid and liquid residual CW agent materials, a system for draining the lewisite cisterns containing the chemical agents, and filter systems for contaminated buildings. Strengthening the Global Partnership, "Donor Factsheet: Germany," www.sgpproject.org.
[22] According to the testimony of Lisa Bronson, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Technology Security Policy and Counterproliferation, the decrease in CTR spending at Shchuchye in 2005 reflects the "completion of the capital-intense construction phase [of the project], not a decrease in commitment." U.S. Senate, Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, March 10, 2004, in Federal Document Clearinghouse Media, Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, www.lexis-nexis.com; budget numbers from Defense Threat Reduction Agency, "Fiscal Year (FY) 2004/FY 2005 Biennial Budget Estimates: Former Soviet Union Threat Reduction Appropriation," February 2003, www.dod.mil.
[23] German Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour, The G8 Global Partnership: German-Russian Cooperation (Bonn: Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour, May 15, 2004), p. 49.
[24] Paris has submitted a draft agreement on cooperation on CW elimination to Moscow. France has also discussed funding projects under the Swiss agreement with Russia. In November 2004, French officials involved in the Global Partnership met with their Russian counterparts to discuss CW elimination and announced that they would construct an environmental monitoring system near Shchuchye, to be completed by early 2006. See Agentstvo Voyennykh Novostey (Moscow), November 25, 2004. Media reports suggested that a Franco-Russian agreement might be reached during meetings of the Russian-French Cooperation Council (known in French as the Conseil de coopération franco-russe sur les questions de sécurité [CCQS]) on January 21, 2005. See, for instance, Aleksey Sobolev, "Rossiya prosit u Frantsii zashchity ot Evropy" (Russia asks France for protection from Europe), Kommersant (Moscow), January 21, 2005, www.kommersant.ru. However, no agreement has since been reported.
[25] Foreign Affairs Canada, "Canada and NTI Conclude Agreement to Help Destroy Chemical Weapons in Russia," February 7, 2005, www.canadianembassy.org.
[26] The G8 Global Partnership: German-Russian Cooperation, p. 47.
[27] Sergey Ptichkin, "S khimiyey ne khimichat - bezopasnost" (With chemicals you can't stint on safety), Rossiyskaya gazeta (Moscow), May 26, 2004, www.rg.ru.
[28] Table sources: "Cooperative Threat Reduction: Annual Report to Congress Fiscal Year 2006," www.ransac.org; Foreign Affairs Canada , "Chemical Weapons Destruction," www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca; "Czech Rep Gives Two Million to Scrap Russian Chemical Weapons," Czech News Agency, October 22, 2004, in Lexis Nexis Academic Universe, www.lexis-nexis.com; Foreign Affairs Canada, "Canada and NTI Conclude Agreement"; Strengthening the Global Partnership, "Donor Factsheets," www.sgpproject.org; General Accounting Office Report, GAO-04-361, "Delays in Implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention Raise Concerns About Proliferation," www.gao.gov, p. 22; The G8 Global Partnership: German-Russian Cooperation (Bonn: Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour, May 15, 2004), p. 47; The G8 Global Partnership: Progress during 2004 on the UK's programmes, p. 18; Kalinina, "The Effectiveness of the Chemical Weapons Convention;" "NZ Joins Efforts to Destroy Russia's Chemical Weapons," New Zealand Herald, July 8, 2004, in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, www.lexis-nexis.com; "Russia to Increase Spending on Dismantling Chemical Weapons," Associated Press, October 6, 2004; Capitol Hill Press Release, November 19, 2003, "Statement by Senator Richard Lugar, Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute"; "Switzerland to Allocate $12 Bln for Russian Chemical Weapons Elimination," RIA Novosti, January 28, 2004.
[29] Additional funding is expected after 2006 from the European Union's Strategy Against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction program.
[30] Information provided in Annex 5 of the OPCW Annual Report for 2000.
[31] Bryan Bender, "International Response: Abandoned Chemical Weapons Pose Continuing Challenge for OPCW," Global Security Newswire, December 10, 2002, www.nti.org.
[32] Ibid.
[33] Ibid.; Chris Schneidmiller, "Ethiopia Still Seeking Help With Chemical Weapons," Global Security Newswire, May 3, 2004, www.nti.org.
[34] Bryan Bender, "Italy: Records Show No Abandoned Chemical Weapons In Ethiopia," Global Security Newswire, December 30, 2002, www.nti.org.
[35] "Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Japan and China on the Destruction of Abandoned Chemical Weapons in China," July 30, 1999, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, www.mofa.go.jp.
[36] Outline of the Project for the Destruction of Abandoned Chemical Weapons (ACW) in China (ACW Destruction Project), Abandoned Chemical Weapons (ACW) Office, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, www8.cao.go.jp.
[37] Ibid.
[38] Masayasu Morita (Columbia University) and Masaaki Sugishima (Asahi University), "Briefing," www.tcp-ip.or.jp.
[39] "Japan to Fund Chemical Arms Disposal Site in China," Global Security Newswire, August 23, 2004, www.nti.org.
[40] See the Chemical Weapons Conventions Implementation Assistance Programme, http://iap.cwc.gov.
[41] "U.S. Lauds Libyan, Albanian Efforts to Destroy Chemical Weapons," 17 March 2005, Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State, www.usinfo.state.gov, Global Security, www.globalsecurity.org.
[42] David Pugliese, "Bombs on the Beach," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 58, no. 4 (July/August 2002), www.thebulletin.org, pp. 55-60.
[43] Mike Nartker, "United States: U.S. Is Responsible for Left-Behind Weapons, Panama Says," Global Security Newswire, March 1, 2002, www.nti.org.
[44] "Panama Rejects U.S. Plan to Clean Up Abandoned Weapons," Global Security Newswire, September 19, 2003, www.nti.org.

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents.


In this 2005 article, Cristina Chuen discusses chemical weapons elimination projects in Serbia, Bosnia, Russia and Albania funded by CWC members under the Implementation Assistance Program.

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