ON THE SOCIAL, LEGAL AND ECOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS DESTRUCTION.
L.SKURATOVSKAYA, L.CORNELIUS, N. ANTONOV
In October 1997 the Russian Federation (RF) ratified the Convention on banning chemical weapons (CW) and thus committed itself to banning development and production of all kinds of CW, destroying the stock of poison substances (PS) and chemical ammunition, and using the limited quantities of PS to produce means of anti-chemical protection while complying with higher safety standards for people and environment.
In May 1998 the President of RF signed the adopted by Federal Assembly Law on the destruction of Chemical weapon stored at the territory of Russia. This law created a legal base for the implementation of series of quite complex measures aiming at destruction of different kinds of CW stocks. It also aimed at diminishing to the maximum extend the effects of CW or the products of dissociation on people and environment (including accidental cases).
The specialized research institutions are currently developing technologies for building special industrial units to be dealing with CW destruction. According to the Chemical Convent on, CW disarmament goes far beyond destruction of chemical weapon sites and stocks. It speaks for complex measures necessary to liquidate after-effects of CW production and storage. It is absolutely necessary that safety standards for authorized chemical laboratories situated in big cities are set at the level not lower that for CW destruction objects, even though the latter are planned to be situated far off. In this regard, it is quite natural the Federal Law should cover not only t e personnel of CW production lines and storehouses, but also those who work at different chemical and toxicological laboratories and who take part in testing highly toxic means of anti-chemical protection. At the same time, social benefit for those who work with hazardous substances and for population at large outlined in the Law are not exhaustive. First of all, the Law on CW destruction refers to the Legislation of the RF (articles 17, 18, 19,20) as regards people's rights and measures But in fact, such legislation does not really exist.
It is considered to be necessary to get voluntary agreement, correctly worded from legal standpoint, from the personnel of chemical weapons production lines, storehouses, and destruction sites as well as from the military who may be used for chemical weapon transplantation, liquidation of after- effects of accidents that might happen at the above mentioned objects, guarding and other work (snow plowing, grass mowing ext.)
The degrees of effect of PS on man's health (independently of the cause) should be determined with juridical precision, as well as the amounts of compensation for damage. At last, very important all decisions taken as regards chemical weapon destruction in RF, including technology of poison substances destruction, environment and people's health protection, social benefits to workers ext. should be open for discussion among experts and in public.