Russia launches new chemical weapons destruction facility
Updated: 2006-09-09 14:03

Russia launched its third chemical weapons destruction plant on Friday as part of the plans to scrap its stockpile of toxins by 2012.

The new facility in Maradykovo, a town some 800 km northeast of Moscow, is expected to eliminate 4,000 tons of toxic agents stored in aerial bombs and missile warheads by April 2007.

Speaking at the ceremony marking the startup of the plant, Federal Industry Agency chief Viktor Kholstov said Russia is on track to meet its target of destroying the 40,000 tons of toxic agents from Soviet times, the Itar-Tass news agency reported.

By international agreement, Russia is to destroy all its chemical weapons by 2012.

Kholstov said 1,143 tons of mustard gas and lewisite have been destroyed at Gorny, Russia's first chemical weapons destruction plant, and 1,500 tons of toxic agents were eliminated at the second complex in Kambarka, where another 2,000 tons are to be destroyed.