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Russia: Moscow Needs $ 5 Billion To Destroy Chemical Weapons

Moscow, 20 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - A senior Russian military official said today that Russia needs more than 31 trillion roubles (over 5,000 million dollars) to destroy its 40,000 tons of chemical weapons.

Col.Gen. Stanislav Petrov, head of Russia's atomic, chemical and biological defences, however said that so far just a fraction of the money had been allocated.

Petrov also said that foreign countries, with the exception of the United States and Germany, were not hurrying to provide Russia with financial help.

Russia has signed the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), but so far the State Duma has failed to ratify it. The CWC bans the development, production, stockpiling or use of chemical weapons. Russia's federal program on destroying chemical weapons calls for eliminating all stockpiles by 2005.