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Posted on Nov 09, 07:40AM | IANS
Chemical weapons cannot be completely thrown out of the stockpiles of the world's leading powers despite being banned, a top Russian official has said.
According the head of Russia's Radiation, Chemical, and Biological Defence Forces, this type of weaponry cannot be completely excluded from the arsenals of warfare.
It is "because analysis of the multi-billion spending, both in the United States and other western countries, on the development of new combat agents, which fall under the provisions of the Convention, shows that this work is ongoing", Commander Major General Yevgeny Starkov told Rossia 24 TV Thursday.
The Chemical Weapons Convention, which is in force since April 29, 1997, has been joined by 188 of 193 UN member states.
He said new means of protection against biological agents are being developed in the world, which are essentially dual use technology that can be used to produce new agents.
Some of these developments, especially in the area of genetic engineering, can hinder or neutralise the efforts to counter new agents, the Russian official warned.
As of May this year, Russia destroyed about 25,000 metric tonnes of its chemical weapons, or 62 percent of its stockpile.
Russia and the US have 40,000 and 27,000 metric tonnes of chemical weapons, respectively.
The US says it has destroyed about 90 percent of its chemical weapons. The Department of Defense, however, postponed the deadline for destroying the remaining 2,000 metric tonnes first until 2021 and then until 2023.