A senior Russian official on Wednesday said the nation's seventh and final chemical weapons disposal plant would begin operating in the latter half of 2012, Interfax reported (see GSN, Dec. 20, 2010).
The demilitarization facility in Kizner, Udmurtia, "will destroy [5,743.2 metric tons] of chemical warfare agents (sarin, soman, VX and lewisite)," the Urdmurtia government said. "More than 2 million munitions will be disposed of."
"The first line disposing of chemical weapons will be started up in the second half of 2012," Urdmurtia Construction, Architecture, and Housing Policy Deputy Minister Alexander Perunov said.
The plant was constructed in close proximity to a military chemical arms depot. The cost of construction was nearly $1.2 billion.
Moscow has acknowledged it would be unable meet the Chemical Weapon Convention's April 2012 deadline for the complete destruction of all Russian chemical warfare materials (see GSN, June 30, 2010). At its peak, the country's chemical arsenal constituted approximately 40,000 metric tons of materials (Interfax, March 24).