Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 118

According to Nikolai Ryabov, head of Russia’s election commission, the Federal Security Service (FSB) is investigating charges that Anatoly Kuntsevich, a leading chemical-weapons expert, smuggled 1,760 pounds of "poisonous military substances" to the Middle East. Ryabov told journalists on Saturday that he learned of the investigation from Mikhail Barsukov, FSB director. (6)

Kuntsevich, 61, a member of the Academy of Sciences with the military rank of Lieutenant General, was an important figure in developing the Soviet Union’s chemical weapons program. There were no further details of the charges nor mention of the specific Middle East countries involved. Development, production and possession of toxic and biological agents for offensive military purposes is barred by an international treaty negotiated in 1972 and ratified by Washington and Moscow.

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