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Published: Friday March 14, 2014 MYT 1:31:40 PM
Updated: Friday March 14, 2014 MYT 1:31:40 PM

Chemical weapons to be destroyed outside Syria could be gone by April 13 - Russia's RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Syria's chemical weapons that should be destroyed outside the country could be removed by April 13, a Russian Foreign Ministry official said on Friday, adding there was no need to adjust the timeframe.

"If there are no difficulties then in a month, on April 13, the removal will be practically finished," Mikhail Ulyanov, head of the Foreign Ministry's security and disarmament department, was quoted as saying by RIA news agency.

Ulyanov added that Syria would present the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons with a new plan to destroy its chemical weapons production facilities at the end of March.

Syria declared 12 production facilities to the OPCW and had until March 15 to destroy them under a deal agreed with the United States and Russia. Damascus has already missed several deadlines laid out in the agreement.

Damascus agreed last year to destroy all chemical weapons facilities and surrender 1,300 metric tonnes of toxic agents to a joint OPCW/United Nations mission. It has until June 30 to eliminate its chemical weapons programme completely.

(Reporting by Katya Golubkova, editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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