26 Sep 2018 13:33

All former chemical weapons destruction facilities in Russia expected to be handed over to investors by 2026 - official

IZHEVSK. Sept 26 (Interfax-AVN) - Specialists dealing with the aftermath of the destruction of toxic substances in Russia will be able to hand over all facilities to investors by 2026, Col. Gen. Valery Kapashin, the head of the Federal Department for the Safe Storage and Disposal of Chemical Weapons, said.

"I think we will hand over the last facility to a new owner in 2024-2025," Kapashin told reporters on Wednesday.

Investors are highly interested in these facilities, and the future owners of some of them have already been determined, he said. "We are handing over the first facility [Pochep in the Bryansk region] to the Moscow Endocrine Plant in the first half of 2019. Active substances for pharmaceutical production will be made there. Such substances are now being purchased abroad," Kapashin said.

Work is now being done on these facilities to guarantee that they are safe, he said. Work is also being done by specialists from the federal department.

"It's not as great a task as destroying chemical weapons, but it is not less hazardous. Even microscopic remainders of toxic substances in pipelines, taps, maturing reactors, or other parts of manufacturing lines pose lethal danger. The work must be done by trained specialists, we can't hire people off the street," Kapashin said.

According to earlier reports, the last chemical weapons stockpiles in Russia were destroyed at the facility Kizner in Udmurtia on September 27, 2017.