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Russia Destroys Chemical Weapons Stockpile

3/22/2012 4:32 AM ET

Russia has destroyed more than 24,000 tons of chemical warfare agents or 60.4 percent of its chemical weapons stockpile, the Industry & Trade Ministry said on Thursday.

"We have set a goal to destroy 100 percent of chemical weapons in Russia by 2015. At the moment, two facilities have already completed their chemical weapons disposal tasks," Deputy Industry & Trade Minister Georgy Kalamanov said.

Chairman of the State Commission on Chemical Demilitarization Mikhail Babich said Russia "makes huge effort to complete this process as soon as possible." So far, Russia has destroyed almost all chemical weapons scheduled for disposal in 2011. Six chemical weapons disposal plants are operating in the country, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Meanwhile, Russia's Defense Ministry has signed a contract with aircraft-maker Irkut for the supply 30 Su-30SM multirole fighter jets.

"According to the contract, the company will deliver 30 of the aircraft to the Russian Defense Ministry by 2015," a Ministry spokesman said. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

The Su-30SM is a two-seat derivative of the earlier Su-27UB and the MKI variant supplied to India, and is capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground missions with a wide variety of precision-guided munitions. The aircraft features thrust-vectoring engines to enhance maneuverability.

Irkut said in August last that it would deliver 40 Su-30SM aircraft to the Defense Ministry including 28 for the Air Force and 12 for the Russian Navy, replacing Su-24s in the strike-attack role.

by RTT Staff Writer

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