Russia: Syria to complete toxic chemical removal by March

Chemical weapons

Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russia’s deputy foreign minister says Syria has planned to
remove a large shipment of toxic chemical agents this month.
“Literally yesterday the Syrians announced that the removal of a large shipment of
chemical substances is planned in February,” Gennady Gatilov said on Tuesday.

“They are ready to complete this process by March 1,” the Russian official added.
On September 14, 2013, Russia and the United States agreed on a deal according to
which Syria would see its chemical weapons eliminated and the US would in return not
follow through planned military action against the country.

Under the deal, supervised by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical
Weapons (OPCW), Nordic vessels are set to collect the chemicals from the port city
of Latakia and take them to a port in Italy, where they will be loaded onto a US ship
for annihilation.

In late October, Damascus destroyed its critical chemical weapons production
equipment, meeting a November 1 deadline set by the OPCW Executive Council. The
UN-mandated disarmament operation is due to be completed by the middle of 2014.

The US administration, however, has accused the Syrian government of dragging its
feet in the effort to eliminate the chemical weapons stockpile.

Russia has rejected the charges by Washington, saying a June 30 deadline to destroy
Syria’s arsenal of toxic agents remains viable despite delays.The Russian Foreign
Ministry has said that the delays are due to security problems on the road to Latakia
and insufficient technical support.

Source: Islam Times