5 THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION (continued)
336. The Report also looked at Russia's biological
weapons [BW] capabilities, writing that the "extensive offensive
BW programme maintained by the Former Soviet Union was the largest
and most sophisticated the world has yet seen
included anthrax, smallpox, Marburg, tularaemia and plague".
We heard in Moscow that attempts to cut the Russian Federation's
BW capacity were hard to pursue since the Russians offered no
figures on their capabilities and maintained a cloak of secrecy
around their facilities, which are widely distributed across the
immensity of Russia. One unavoidable concern is that if the Russian
authorities destroy the weaponised pathogens and scale back their
capabilities, the expertise remains with Russian scientists.
337. The G8 Global Partnership Annual Report
described the status of its work on the Russian BW capability
to date. It said that "because of the priority given to the
chemical weapons destruction programme, implementation of biological
non-proliferation was delayed
The first UK biological non-proliferation
project, involving a plant health institute in Georgia, was approved
in July 2003 and is currently awaiting the approval of the ISTC
So work has hardly started.
338. We conclude that progress on the destruction
of the Russian Federation's chemical weapons stocks is most welcome
but unfortunately is well behind the planned timetable. We recommend
that in its response to this Report the Government set out how
it will encourage the Russian authorities to speed the destruction
process and outline its plans for work at the destruction facility
339. We conclude that the destruction of biological
weapons material in the Russian Federation should be a priority,
and recommend that the Government set out how it will engage its
Russian counterparts more directly on its biological weapons stocks
and the employment of Russian scientists. We further conclude
that the security of stocks of pathogens and the proliferation
of expertise of Russian scientists present serious challenges
for the international community.
340. The Russian Federation has made some reductions
of nuclear weapons under international arms reduction agreements.
For instance, Russia is cutting its nuclear capacity from 18,000
to between 1,700 and 2,200 nuclear warheads by 2012 under the
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II) and the 2002 Strategic
Offensives Reduction Treaty (SORT).
However, the USA and Russia tackle the dismantlement of nuclear
weapons on bilateral basis. Other states playing a role in non-proliferation
efforts, including the United Kingdom, work on different areas,
such as the destruction of chemical weapons or decommissioning
of submarine and the employment of weapons technicians.
442 Ibid p 17 Back
Ibid p 17 Back
Dmitri Trenin, "Russian and Global Security Norms",
Washington Quarterly Vol 27 (2004), pp 63-77 Back