Ministers discuss funds for chemical weapons destruction

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MOSCOW, June 23 (RIA Novosti) - In 2007, Russia is expected to destroy

8,000 metric tons of chemical weapons, Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said at a cabinet session today.

"Large facilities and resources are clearly required for that," he said.

"We took a serious approach to calculating the financing required for the program (to dispose chemical weapons(, but over 4 billion rubles (around $140 million) more are required to honor our commitments," Khristenko said.

Khristenko said the issue had to be reconsidered "calmly" and additional sources of financing had to be identified.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin promised to find the needed money.

Khristenko said the Federal Target Program to destroy chemical weapons contained clear deadlines under Russia's international commitments.

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