MOSCOW, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Russia will spend $183 million next year on improving defenses against chemical and biological threats.
The Russian military's Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense head, Maj. Gen. Yevgeny Starkov stated that the federal spending program for a "National System of Chemical and Biological Security for Russia from 2009-2015" includes $183 million for scientific research and testing.
"Under the program, we plan to fit out organizations involved in working with dangerous micro-organisms and highly toxic substances with modern equipment, modernize a range of potentially dangerous facilities, thus reducing the risk of an accident," Starkov was quoted as saying in a Indo-Asian News Service report.
"This type of weaponry cannot be completely excluded from combat arsenals because an analysis of ... spending, both in the U.S. 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 earlier stated his belief that it would be impossible to completely eradicate chemical weapons stockpiles from global arsenals, an issue that has raised recent concerns about Syria's potential use of its chemical weapons in its fight with rebels.