Mélange disposal project to start in Uzbekistan
On 28 November 2008, the NATO Public Diplomacy Division, the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA) and the Republic of Uzbekistan officially signed an agreement to carry out a Science for Peace and Security project aimed at the destruction of mélange in Uzbekistan.
More than 1000 tonnes of mélange, a highly toxic substance used in the Soviet era as rocket fuel oxidiser, are left in deteriorating storage conditions in the province of Samarkand. The project, which will start in spring 2009 and be completed early 2010, includes the transportation of NATO’s mobile treatment plant from Azerbaijan, where it already successfully converted this toxic chemical into a benign and environmentally friendly substance, to Uzbekistan.
During the signing ceremony, Mr. Simmons, the Secretary General's Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, underlined the importance of the project for the NATO-Uzbekistan relations and highlighted the fact that through this project a major threat to the population and the environment would be removed.