U.S. Aid Could Fund Russian Germ-Warfare Research

May 3, 2000

While there is no evidence that Russia is using money from the U.S. to conduct illegal research into biological weapons, the General Accounting Office says that is a possibility. In a report to be released later this week, the GAO says there is no way to prevent Russian scientists from engaging in offensive weapons research.

  • The U.S. provides assistance to 15,000 impoverished Russian biological-weapons scientists at about 50 institutions scattered throughout the former Soviet Union.
  • The theory of the Clinton administration is that if the U.S. doesn't support them they will offer their services to rogue states such as Iran.
  • Apprehensions have been intensified by Russia's refusal to open four vital military laboratories to inspections or visits from foreign scientists.
  • Between fiscal years 1994 and 1999, the U.S. spent about $20 million to support collaborative research projects in Russia and the Clinton administration wants to spend another $220 million into fiscal year 2004 to expand efforts to engage former germ-weapons scientists in peaceful research activities.

Russian officials have denied that their scientists are engaged in making germ weapons or conducting other illegal research.

Source: Judith Miller, "Russian Labs Could Divert U.S. Funds, Report Says," New York Times, May 3, 2000.

 

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