Russia may destroy its chemical weapons in 2017

Moscow: Russia may completely destroy its chemical weapons this year, the world's largest stockpile of such weapons, an official said.

"If we move at current pace and there are no technological glitches, we will manage to complete the destruction this year," said Chairman of Russia's State Commission on Chemical Disarmament Mikhail Babich on Monday.

At a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Babich said the country is in the final stage of implementing the arms-controlling Chemical Weapons Convention, which was signed by 192 countries and became effective in 1997, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to him, Russia has spent 330 billion rubles (about $5.6 billion) so far on the chemical weapons destruction.

Babich said nearly 70,500 tonnes of chemical weapons were stockpiled around the world, of which 40,000 tonnes were in Russia and 27,000 tonnes in the US, with the rest divided among other countries.