A post by Pat
Oops, the Russians just realized they don’t have enough money to get rid of all their chemical weapons. They must be so embarrassed. Only a few months ago they reaffirmed their commitment to destroy chemical weapons by 2012. Someone must have been pilfering from the kopeck jar.
Russia to miss chemical weapons deadline – statement, Aug 2, 2010
A federal government decree pushing Russia’s target date back to 2015 is being drafted and Moscow has informed the United States and other Chemical Weapons Convention member states of the delay, the Kirov region government said in a statement.
The 1997 pact obliges nations to eliminate chemical weapons stocks by 2012. The United States and Russia, by far the biggest holders of the weapons, restated their commitment to the deadline last year despite concerns sparked by the global economic crisis.
The official, Viktor Kholstov, could not be reached for comment late on Monday. According to the Kirov region statement, Kholstov said both foreign and Russian funding for chemical disarmament was decreasing due to the financial crisis.
As of July 12, Russia had destroyed just over 19,150 tonnes of chemical weapons, or 47.9 percent of its stocks, the statement said.
Yes, that is correct, Russia received foreign aid from Western countries for the chemical weapons disposal program.
Gen. Nikolai Abroskin, head of the Federal Agency for Special Construction, said during a collegiate meeting at the agency that despite the recent financial crunch Russia would meet its obligations and destroy the remaining 22,000 metric tons of chemical weapons by 2012.
Abroskin said the completion of chemical weapon destruction facilities remained a priority in 2010.
“We should be able to launch the first stage of the facility in Pochep [Bryansk Region], and second stages of the facilities in Leonidovka [Penza Region] and Shchuchiye [Kurgan Region]…which will allow us to finish the construction of all chemical weapon destruction plants in 2011 and destroy all chemical weapons by 2012 in line with the federal program,” he said.
Since we also have financial problems maybe we should postpone throwing out our chemical weapons too? Nah, Obama is moving right along with the program.
The U.S. Army announced yesterday it had eliminated 75 percent of the nation’s stockpile of chemical warfare materials and remained on track to meet the demilitarization deadline set by an international nonproliferation treaty
Member nations were originally ordered to complete demilitarization operations by April 2007, but most states received extensions of up to five years. Albania, India and South Korea are now rid of their stockpiles, while work continues in Russia and the United States. The elimination process has yet to begin in Iraq and Libya.
“Right now it is valid to say we are highly confident of meeting 2012 for 90 percent of the U.S. stockpile,” CMA spokesman Greg Mahall said during an interview today.
We’ll just have to trust the Russians will be diligent in saving up their kopecks to finish the task one of these days. In the meantime, let’s hurry up and ratify the new START treaty.
Prospects for ratification are considered strong for the treaty, which has drawn wide bipartisan support among think tank experts and former top-ranking officials. But Senate approval might not happen until this fall.
Miller [the Pentagon’s leading authority on nuclear arms] told the committee that the size and structure of the U.S. arsenal of strategic nuclear weapons — the so-called triad of submarines, bomber aircraft and land-based launchers — provide assurance that any Russian cheating would have little military significance for the U.S.
“Because the United States will retain a diverse triad of strategic forces, any Russian cheating under the treaty would have little effect on the assured second-strike capabilities of U.S. strategic forces,” Miller said. He added that he does not believe Russian cheating is likely.
Yeah, how foolish to think the Russians would cheat. As far as the cover story for holding on to their chemical weapons a little longer, I’m not buying it.