France began the cooperation with the Russian Federation in 2004. An intergovernmental agreement on this cooperation was signed on 14th February 2006. It came into effect on 25th April 2007 after ratification by both countries. Two projects were launched as part of this collaboration on the Shchuchye site. The environmental surveillance project around the Shchuchye site led to the signing of an application agreement between the Russian Federal Agency for Industry and CEA.. The agreement was signed in Moscow on 4th July 2007 by Viktor Kholstov, Deputy Director of MINPROMTORG (formerly ROSPROM), and the Director of the PMG8 program, representing CEA. The resulting contracts, signed in October 2007, were completed in March 2009, bringing to a close this aspect of the partnership activities.
A project combining industrial expertise and equipment
France is making its environmental surveillance skills and expertise available to the Russian Ministry of Industry department in charge of weapons destruction. This project concerns the environmental surveillance system for the Shchuchye site required for the safe operation of the installation used to destroy chemical weapons. The aim is to implement equipment and methods of analysis for very low concentrations in the three environmental compartments: air, water and soil. This will be achieved with the help of industry and other organizations in France (Environnement/SA for supplies, INERIS and ANTEA) and Russia (ROST Association and EKROS Engineering). This system takes account of the normal operation of the installation as well as incident management. It began operating in March 2009, before the start of destruction operations, after 15 months of work.
A project in collaboration with the United Kingdom
This project enables France, alongside the United Kingdom, Canada and other donor countries, to participate in the funding of equipment installed in building 1A of the Shchuchye site, which contains the second chemical weapons destruction line (the first being financed by the United States). The United Kingdom is directing the operation and managing all the finance given by the donors, of which Canada is the main donor. All the equipment purchased within this context was delivered between January 2008 and March 2009 and was used in testing and commissioning the first destruction line of the Shchuchye plant in March 2009. The official opening took place on 29th May 2009 in the presence of the Russian authorities and all their partners.