Monday, September 14, 2009

OSCE Secretary General to visit Kyiv to sign contract to destroy toxic rocket fuel

OSCE Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut will be in Kyiv on Wednesday to sign a contract with Ukraine's Defence Ministry to eliminate 3,168 tonnes of Mélange, a highly toxic liquid rocket fuel component.

The contract will be signed at an official ceremony by de Brichambaut, Acting Defence Minister Valeriy Ivashenko and representatives of the Russian contractor that won an international tender to destroy the Mélange.

A memorandum of understanding on the melange elimination project between the OSCE and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine stipulates that the OSCE will assist Ukraine with eliminating a first batch of 3,168 tonnes out of Ukraine's stockpiles of Mélange, which amount to more than 16,000 tonnes.

Mélange is a highly toxic and volatile rocket fuel component that was widely used by the Soviet forces. The Mélange still stored in Ukraine represents a serious threat to human safety and to the environment, and disposing of the stockpiles is a costly and technically complex operation.

OSCE,Press Statement, VIENNA, 14 September 2009

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