Russia will spend over 5.6 billion rubles ($183 million) on improving defense against chemical and biological threats in 2013, a Defense Ministry official said on Tuesday.
"The overall spend on measures to defend against chemical and biological threats in 2013 will be around 5.65 billion rubles," the head of Russia's Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense (NBCD) department Maj. Gen. Yevgeny Starkov said.
The federal spending program for a "National System of Chemical and Biological Security for Russia from 2009-2015" includes 1.76 billion rubles for scientific research and testing. A further 2.7 billion rubles will be put into "capital investment."
"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," he said.
Starkov said in November 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 United States 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 said in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV.
The Chemical Weapons Convention, in force since April 29, 1997, has been signed by 188 of 195 UN member states.