Russia’s naval joint force in the Mediterranean will be escorting ships with chemical weapons once they leave Syria, a top official at the Russian Chief of Staff told RIA Novosti. Russia will also provide $2 mn to help with the chemicals’ destruction.
According to the latest reports, Russia’s task force in the Mediterranean consists of five warships: the nuclear-powered missile cruiser, ‘Pyotr Veliky’, the missile destroyer ‘Smetlivy’ and three large landing craft carriers, ‘Yamal,’ ‘Filchenkov,’ and ‘Pobeditel.’
"The decision to provide a ship for the precise task will be taken later, on the basis of the tactical situation in the Mediterranean sea. This decision will be made by the head of the General Staff after a report from the chief commander of Russia's Navy," the military official told RIA
It has been reported that roughly 1,290 metric tons of hazardous materials are going to be destroyed in international waters on board an American ship, the MV Cape Ray, which right now is docked in Portsmouth being fitted with two special chemical weapons neutralization systems.
As early as January 3, the vessel is expected to head for the Mediterranean to start the neutralization process.
The Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons approved a plan for complete disarmament of the Syrian arsenal last month. The most dangerous components are to be removed from the country by the end of the year. Facilities, which were part of production and storage of chemical weapons are to be destroyed by mid-March 2014.
Syria agreed to relinquish its stockpile of chemical weapons in September amid an international crisis caused by accusations that Damascus had used sarin gas against rebel forces. The Russia-brokered deal put on hold Washington’s intention to use military force against Syria in retaliation for the alleged attack. http://rt.com/news/battleships-syria-chemical-weapons-724/