Author Topic: Meeting in Moscow on transfer of chemical weapons from Syria  (Read 423 times)

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SPQR

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Meeting in Moscow on transfer of chemical weapons from Syria
« on: December 26, 2013, 12:53:57 AM »
By Voice of Russia



Representatives of Russia, the US, China and the UN are to discuss details of providing safe transportation of chemical weapons from Syria at a meeting in Moscow behind closed doors on Friday.

Director of the Department for Security Affairs and Disarmament of the Russian Foreign Ministry Mikhail Ulianov told Interfax that the participants will discuss practical issues. The weapons will be transported across the Syrian territorial waters and Russia and China proposed to provide safety.

Mikhail Ulianov said that high military commanders from Russia, China and the US, as well as representatives of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and Syria will be taking part in the meeting.

Mikhail Ulianov pointed out that Russia is prepared to provide safety at sea while chemical weapons are being loaded. He said that the 'maintenance of safety mission' has been discussed with Syria, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has been informed.

Russia, China to ensure safety of chemical weapons shipments from Syria - Foreign Ministry

Russia and China will insure the safe loading and transportation of chemical weapons in Syria’s territorial waters, Mikhail Ulyanov, deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Security and Disarmament, said on Wednesday.

“We have undertaken to provide the safe loading of chemicals onto Dutch and Norwegian container ships and ensure their safe passage through Syria’s territorial waters. We will do it in cooperation with our Chinese partners… It’s the first situation when Russian and Chinese military will be performing their professional tasks should to shoulder during a real crisis, not army drills,” Ulyanov said.

Militants’ raids on chemical weapons storage sites look like preplanned action - Russia

Attacks by Syrian militants on chemical weapons storage facilities look like a pre-planned, determined action, Mikhail Ulyanov, deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Security and Disarmament, said on Wednesday.

“There have been frequent attacks by militants on chemical weapons storage sites lately. One gets the impression that this is a determined effort aimed at disrupting the operation,” he said.

Those raids are a challenge to Damascus and the entire international community as well as to decisions made by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations Security Council, the official said.

The bulk of Syria’s chemical arsenals will be taken out of the country and loaded on ships presumably in January, according to Ulyanov. He did not rule out transportation delays due to security risks.

Militants may attempt to ambush and attack chemical arms convoys, he said, adding that countries that have influence over Syrian rebels should do their best to dissuade them from any such moves.

Russia to donate $2 mln in aid for Syria’s chemical disarmament

Russia will transfer $2 million to the United Nations in aid for Syria’s chemical disarmament within a week, Mikhail Ulyanov, deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Security and Disarmament, told reporters.

“Till the end of December, we will transfer $2 million to a voluntary UN fund. We have initially meant to transfer the money to a special fund set up by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW]. But then it turned out that the OPCW fund would be used to finance the destruction of the chemicals only after their removal from Syria, so a special UN fund was created to cover the costs of the initial stage of the operation, namely their transportation through the Syrian territory,” the official said.

Russian Navy ships to accompany vessels carrying Syrian chemical weapons

Ships of the Mediterranean unit of the Russian Navy will be accompanying vessels transporting Syrian chemical weapons to their destinations, a high-ranking Russian armed forces official has said on Tuesday.

At the moment, the unit comprises the missile cruiser Petr Velikiy (the North Fleet), the guided missile destroyer Smetlivy (the Black Sea Fleet), four large landing ships - Yamal (the Black Sea Fleet), Pobeditel (the North Fleet), Aleksandr Shabalin (the Baltic Fleet).

“The decision to deploy a ship for a particular goal will be made later basing on a situation in the Mediterranean Sea. The decision will be made by the General Staff’s head after the Navy’s Commander-In-Chief report,” a source said.

Int'l meeting on elimination of Syrian chemical arms to be held in Moscow

Russia will host an international meeting on Friday to discuss the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons, said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.
Experts from Russia, United States, United Nations, Syria and UN’s chemical arms watchdog are set to meet in Moscow on December 27 to discuss destruction of Syrian chemical arsenal. This is according to the Russian Foreign Minisry

Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_26/Meeting-in-Moscow-on-transfer-of-chemical-weapons-from-Syria-6159/


Offline mountaineer

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Re: Meeting in Moscow on transfer of chemical weapons from Syria
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2013, 08:48:41 AM »
Quote
Ships of the Mediterranean unit of the Russian Navy will be accompanying vessels transporting Syrian chemical weapons to their destinations, a high-ranking Russian armed forces official has said on Tuesday.
Which are ... ?
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Offline EC

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Re: Meeting in Moscow on transfer of chemical weapons from Syria
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2013, 11:43:08 AM »
Which are ... ?

A port in Italy - probably Taranto or Bari as they are the closest deep water ports that can take container vessels - for transhipping to the American vessel which will carry out the destruction in international waters.

My bet is Taranto as it is home to the Italian South Fleet.

Italy, France, Russia and the UK will be providing security and support to the US ship which is actually doing the destruction.
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Meeting in Moscow on transfer of chemical weapons from Syria
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2013, 11:48:39 AM »
Certainly chemical weapons that came from Syria will be transferred; however, I suspect that a lot more of them will simply be round-robinned back to Syria.

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Re: Meeting in Moscow on transfer of chemical weapons from Syria
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2013, 12:00:01 PM »
Certainly chemical weapons that came from Syria will be transferred; however, I suspect that a lot more of them will simply be round-robinned back to Syria.

I have my doubts about that. Assad wants them gone - the rebels are constantly attacking CW storage sites now, hoping to grab some before they are removed.

Will all of them be destroyed? Chances of that are minimal.
Might some attacks be false flags to implicate the rebels and reduce their support? Almost certainly. It's a logical tactic to use on the international stage.
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SPQR

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Re: Meeting in Moscow on transfer of chemical weapons from Syria
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2013, 10:01:28 PM »
I have my doubts about that. Assad wants them gone - the rebels are constantly attacking CW storage sites now, hoping to grab some before they are removed.

Will all of them be destroyed? Chances of that are minimal.
Might some attacks be false flags to implicate the rebels and reduce their support? Almost certainly. It's a logical tactic to use on the international stage.

I agree that Assad wants them gone.

SPQR

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Re: Meeting in Moscow on transfer of chemical weapons from Syria
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2013, 10:03:33 PM »
A port in Italy - probably Taranto or Bari as they are the closest deep water ports that can take container vessels - for transhipping to the American vessel which will carry out the destruction in international waters.

My bet is Taranto as it is home to the Italian South Fleet.

Italy, France, Russia and the UK will be providing security and support to the US ship which is actually doing the destruction.





U.N. Official Details Plans for Removing Syria’s Chemical Arms

by Rick Gladstone

The United Nations official in charge of coordinating the disposal of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal provided new details on Wednesday about the plan to eliminate them, saying the most dangerous materials would be sealed by trained Syrians and sent overland to the country’s Mediterranean port of Latakia, where ships would take them to a second, unspecified foreign port.

From there, the official said, the chemicals would be transferred to a specially equipped naval vessel offered by the United States, which is capable of safely neutralizing the chemicals at sea.

The official, Sigrid Kaag, acknowledged that the overland routes in Syria were dangerous because of the civil war, but that the Syrian authorities were taking steps to secure them and had designated Latakia as the departure point for the chemicals.

Under a timetable established by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is collaborating with the United Nations in a joint mission to oversee the destruction of Syria’s arsenal under a Security Council resolution passed Sept. 27, the most dangerous chemical agents are to be removed from the country by Dec. 31 — less than four weeks away.

Under the resolution, the entire stockpile of Syrian chemical weapons must be destroyed by mid-2014.

“If there are delays due to security conditions, we have to assess and revisit that of course,” Ms. Kaag, the coordinator of the joint mission, told reporters after privately briefing the Security Council on the mission’s progress. “But for now, we don’t assume any alternatives.”

The chemical weapons mission has been working in Syria for more than two months, and under its supervision, the country’s ability to manufacture chemical munitions has been rendered inoperable. The mission’s work has been a conspicuous success, so far, in a conflict that has grown increasingly violent and complicated since it began in March 2011.

But the most important phase of the mission’s work — overseeing the destruction of the weapons facilities and chemical agents that had been amassed by Syria’s government over many years — is also considered the most difficult and dangerous.

“Of course there are security constraints that are serious,” Ms. Kaag told reporters. As an example, she pointed to the closing of the highway between Damascus and Homs, a major city that has been a center of fighting between insurgents and the forces of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.

“It’s a main artery, as you know,” she said. “If we cannot travel there, it’s a real issue.”

In her own recent inspection of Latakia, Ms. Kaag said, she had to travel there via helicopter from Lebanon, partly because the overland passage inside Syria was not secure enough at the time. “There are issues, there are factors that are beyond our control,” she said.

Asked if other possible exit routes were under consideration, Ms. Kaag said no. “Latakia is the designated port for exit of the chemical agents,” she said. “It’s chosen by the government. The port has been assessed as functional, capable of handling this process.”

Ms. Kaag said the mission had trained the Syrians on how to package and seal the chemical agents to be sent to Latakia, where ships from other United Nations member states would load and export them. She did not identify their nationalities nor identify the foreign port where the chemicals will be sent and transferred to the American disposal vessel.

She expressed confidence that environmental safety and health dangers in the disposal plan had been addressed, but couched her words with caution.

“I am not aware that this operation has ever been carried out in this way,” she said. “That said, in life, one can never exclude anything from happening and going wrong. So I have to be very pragmatic about it.”


   http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/world/middleeast/un-official-details-plans-for-syrian-chemical-arsenal.html?_r=0&pagewanted=print
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 10:08:48 PM by SPQR »


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