Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Russia: Assad to Surrender More Warfare Chemicals in Weeks
Russia said Syria's regime plans by March 1 to turn over a major quantity of warfare chemicals to foreign disarmament crews, Reuters reports.
Syrian President Bashar Assad's government on Monday said "the removal of a large shipment of chemical substances is planned in February. They are ready to complete this process by March 1," RIA Novosti quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov as saying.
Gatilov issued the comments as Western nations questioned whether Russia's ally in Damascus is committed to the international goal of removing all of its chemical-warfare assets from Syria's war-ravaged territory and destroying them by the end of June. Assad confirmed holding chemical weapons and agreed to their elimination last year, amid a heated international controversy stemming from an August release of sarin nerve agent in a suburb of the Syrian capital.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said "there are no grounds" for disarmament concerns aired by Western governments and international authorities.
"It was clear from the very beginning that overly tight schedules established last year for the removal of chemicals from Syria would shift," Ryabkov told Reuters. Still, he said it remains possible to fully destroy Assad's chemical arsenal by June 30.
The Russian diplomat said that "reasonable, serious considerations" have justified the Assad regime's requests for additional gear to protect chemical deliveries to the port city of Latakia, where the warfare substances are slated to be placed on foreign transport vessels.
The U.S. State Department, though, on Monday reaffirmed suggestions that Damascus officials are deliberately "dragging their feet" in the disarmament process.
Assad's forces now have "every tool they need in order to deliver on their promise of moving the chemical weapons to the port at Latakia," spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.
"We're not at a point where we would predict a next step with the U.N.," Psaki added. "We will of course continue talking about this day to day."
Note to our Readers
GSN ceased publication on July 31, 2014. Its articles and daily issues will remain archived and available on NTI’s website.
May 23, 2014
The UNSCR 1540 Resource Collection examines implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, which requires all states to implement measures aimed at preventing non-state actors from acquiring NBC weapons, related materials, and their means of delivery. It details implementation efforts in all of the regions and countries of the world to-date.
Oct. 31, 2013
This CNS issue brief examines the lessons learned from dismantling Libya and Iraq's chemical weapons programs and what these two cases presage for disarmament in Syria. In particular, this article explores the challenges relating to ensuring material and physical security for both inspectors and the chemical weapons stockpile itself; verifying the accuracy and completeness of disclosed inventories; and developing effective monitoring and verification regimes for the long-term. The conclusion examines recommendations stemming from this analysis.
This article provides an overview of Syria's historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.