Russia’s Foreign Ministry on March 31 denied once again allegations that Russia is continuing to develop biological weapons. The latest charges were made by Ken Alibek in an opinion piece that appeared in The New York Times on March 27. Alibek charged, among other things, that Moscow is flouting the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention by clandestinely maintaining its biological weapons programs. Alibek is a native of Kazakhstan who had been the second-in-command of Russia’s biological weapons program before he defected to the United States in 1992, the year that President Boris Yeltsin promised to shut down Russia’s biological weapons program. Since his departure from Russia, Alibek has, on several occasions, accused Moscow of continuing to develop biological agents. The previous charge was made in February of this year. (New York Times, February 25; see Monitor, March 3)
The question of whether Russia is continuing to produce biological weapons has assumed added significance because of recent evidence suggesting a Russian link to efforts by Iraq in 1995 to develop its own biological weapons. Moscow has denied that allegation as well. (See Monitor, February 13)
Canadian-Russian Airline Dispute Resolved.