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Disarmament cooperation with Russia – Laying of the foundation stone for a new chemical weapons destruction plant

10.06.2008 - Press release

Together with Russian project partners, members of the Federal Government and the German Bundestag will today lay the foundation stone for a new Russian chemical weapons destruction plant in Pochep in the Bryansk region of the Russian Federation.

The Federal Government has been working actively since 2002 as part of the G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. As part of this, the Federal Foreign Office is providing financing of up to 140 million euro for the construction of a building with technical equipment to incinerate reaction masses as well as residuals from the destruction of chemical weapons. In this part of the plant, the empty munitions shells are also put beyond use.

The Federal Foreign Office has to date provided support to the tune of 200 million euro for the destruction of chemical weapons in the Russian Federation. Following on from the chemical weapons destruction plants in Gorny and Kambarka commissioned in 2002 and 2006 respectively which were also built with German support, Pochep is the third joint large-scale project.

Pochep is home to the largest of the seven stockpiles for chemical agents in terms of amount in the Russian Federation. There are some 7,500 tons of the nerve gases Vx, Sarin and Soman, most of which is contained in more than 67,000 shells.

The agreement under international law for the cooperation in Pochep was concluded in March 2007 on the basis of an intergovernmental agreement dating back to 1992. The plant is to be built on behalf of the Federal Foreign Office by a German contractor and be operational by late 2009.

Germany's commitment is to be seen in the context of the Chemical Weapons Convention which aims to achieve the global destruction of all chemical weapons by 2012 at the latest.

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