December 24, 2013 17:24
Russia to transfer up to $2 mln to UN for Syrian chemical weapons destruction - diplomat
MOSCOW. Dec 24 (Interfax) - Russia will transfer the funding it has allocated for the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons to the UN in the near future, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.
"We have allocated the funding in an amount of up to $2 million. It will be transferred to the UN within the next few days," Ryabkov said in an interview on the Voice of Russia radio station, the transcript of which its press service posted on Tuesday.
"We are virtually on the verge of starting the removal of warfare agents for their subsequent destruction now," Ryabkov said, adding that "Russia's contribution to this process is impressive."
Russian military transport aircraft have delivered 75 trucks to Syria," Ryabkov said. "We provide everyday expert and political support and diplomatically facilitate contacts with the Syrians, with the Americans as our key partner, and with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in light of everything that needs to be done," he said.
Since the conclusion of the Russian-U.S. agreement on Syria, the elements of the program that provided for manufacturing ammunition and arming it with warfare agents in Syria have been destroyed, he said.
At the present time, the removal and destruction of chemicals is beginning, Ryabkov said. "We are sure that it is possible to complete this process within the timeframe stipulated by the agreements, namely, within the first half of next year," he said.
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