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    Stage one of chemical weapons destruction facility to be launched in March

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    MOSCOW, August 18 (RIA Novosti) - The first stage of a chemical weapons destruction facility in the Kirov region in European Russia's northeast will be launched in March 2006, Regional Governor Nikolai Shaklein told a press conference Thursday.

    He said all chemical weapons in the Kirov region, which is one of Russia's six regions with chemical weapons arsenals and holds second place in the country in terms of its stock (17.4% of national chemical weapons stock), should be destroyed by 2012.

    Shaklein said some of the ammunition have expired storage terms. He said such weapons are destroyed in line with special secure technology.

    The Maradykovsky arsenal holds 40,791 aviation weapons and warheads, which means 6,936 metric tons of nerve agents.

    All of the ammunition was produced between 1953 and 1987.

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