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Nerve Gas

Volume 84: debated on Tuesday 22 October 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the latest estimate that has been made of the quantities of nerve gas held and personnel trained in the use of it in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Warsaw pact; and if he will make a statement.

The Warsaw pact has a major chemical warfare capability. Its chemical weapon stockpile is assessed to include some 300,000 tonnes of nerve agent alone. It has specialist troops responsible for aspects of nuclear, biological and chemical warfare. Soviet forces are also comprehensively equipped and trained to operate in a chemically contaminated environment. There are no chemical weapons declared to NATO, although the United States possesses a limited and aging retaliatory capability.