Russian Firm Bids to Destroy Syrian Chemical Arsenal

BRUSSELS, January 20 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian company is among 14 international private firms that have submitted bids in a tender to destroy part of the stockpile of Syrian chemical weapons, the UN chemical weapons watchdog said Monday.

The tender to destroy 500 metric tons of Syria’s weapons-grade industrial chemicals and millions of liters of resulting toxic waste was opened Monday at the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, tasked with overseeing the destruction process.

The deadline for submitting bids was January 19.

The list of 14 bidding firms from 11 countries includes Russian company Vector-N LLC, as well as France’s Airbus Defense Space, China’s CNCC and Paragon Waste Solutions from the United States.

“The OPCW will now conduct technical and commercial evaluation of the bids and announce the winner(s) in early February,” the organization said.

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 its 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 for destruction by hydrolysis in international waters.

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