Russia, NATO Discuss Helping Destroy Syrian Chemical Weapons

MOSCOW, January 28 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s foreign minister and NATO’s secretary general on Tuesday discussed providing assistance to international efforts to rid Syria of chemical weapons, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Russia’s Sergei Lavrov met with Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Brussels to “exchange opinions on pressing issues of the international agenda, including the possibility to assist the UN/OPCW mission to eliminate Syrian chemical weapons in line with the UN Security Council resolution 2118.”

Syria’s most dangerous chemicals, which include 20 tons of mustard gas, are scheduled to be removed from the country by March 31 and destroyed by the end of June as part of a cooperative effort to defuse international tensions related to the country’s ongoing civil war.

The original deadline to remove the stockpiles, December 31, was pushed back because of security concerns in the Middle Eastern country, technical issues and poor weather conditions.

Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Finland have contributed military equipment and personnel to the effort to transport chemical weapons out of Syria.

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