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Chemical Weapons

Volume 124: debated on Wednesday 16 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the current imbalance is in chemical weapons between NATO and the Warsaw pact.

The Soviet Union commands the world's largest and most sophisticated chemical warfare capability. It has produced and stockpiled a wide variety of chemical agents and munitions and has a massive tonnage of nerve agents alone. No chemical weapons are declared to NATO, but by comparison the United States possesses a limited and aging retaliatory capability, which it plans to modernise. Given the overwhelming Soviet superiority, the Government place the highest priority on the negotiation of a comprehensive and verifiable worldwide ban on chemical weapons.