The Voice of Russia, Nov 26, 2012
Russia and NATO have plans for a joint utilization of ammunition, Russian media reports say citing sources in the NATO headquarters in Brussels and in the Russian Defence Ministry. It is planned that the old ammunition will be scrapped with the use of NATO’s technologies and that Russia will finance the scrapping process, media reports say.
In Russia the greater part of ammunition is scrapped by the servicemen who explode the old reserves. NATO possesses both equipment and technologies, which could be helpful in reducing the number of accidents which often occur during the explosions. And for NATO an agreement with Russia is a possibility to strengthen bilateral relations after a number of disagreements over the key international issues. However, at first it is necessary to weigh all pros and cons, Executive Editor, “Independent Military Review”, Viktor Litovkin says.
"We should compare our technologies with theirs, and if we find that we can adopt nothing at all, we’ll use our own technologies."
At the end of last year Russia adopted a new federal programme of industrial utilization of ammunitions until 2020. The total volume of financing is approximately 1.2 billion dollars.
Today specialized enterprises scrap only 10 per cent of useless ammunitions, and all the rest is destroyed by the servicemen. It is absolutely clear that it is necessary to give a boost to this industry. However, agreement with NATO may have a retroactive effect, Editor-in-Chief of the “National Defence” magazine Igor Korotchenko says.
"NATO’s experience in scraping ammunitions mainly concerns the ones that are used by the NATO member-states. Our ammunitions have a different utilization technology. That is why, in the first place, it is necessary to study carefully NATO’s offer and decide whether NATO’s technologies are good for us and whether the interests of the national defence enterprises, which are involved in similar processes, will not be infringed upon."
And still, cooperation with NATO seems to be of great interest for Russia. Russia has to scrap 2 million tons of ammunition annually, media reports say. And only one-third of these 2 million is scrapped every year. The utilization of ammunition must be carried out mainly with the use of a blastless method, which excludes any ecological and other damage to the environment.
NATO’s current attempt to reach agreement with Russia in this field is not the first one. The work on a joint project was done in 2005 but it did not bear fruit.
The talks with the participation of Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin have been going on for several months now. The plan for a joint work in this field will be discussed at the ministerial level at the beginning of 2013 too, and the future of an agreement between Russia and NATO will become clear exactly at this meeting.