Moscow, Dec 11 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia will spend 5.6 billion rubles (around $183 million) on improving defence against chemical and biological threats in 2013, an official said Tuesday.
Maj. Gen. Yevgeny Starkov, head of the Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense (NBCD) department, said the federal spending programme for a "National System of Chemical and Biological Security for Russia from 2009-2015" includes 1.76 billion rubles for scientific research and testing.
"Under the programme, we plan to fit out organisations involved in working with dangerous micro-organisms and highly toxic substances with modern equipment, modernise a range of potentially dangerous facilities, thus reducing the risk of an accident," he said.
Starkov had earlier said that it would be impossible to completely eradicate chemical weapons stockpiles from the arsenals of the world's leading powers.
"This type of weaponry cannot be completely excluded from combat arsenals because analysis of... spending, both in the US and other Western countries, on the development of new combat agents, which fall under the provisions of the Convention, shows that this work is ongoing," Starkov told Rossiya 24 TV.
The Chemical Weapons Convention, in force since April 29, 1997, has been signed by 188 of 195 UN member states.