Russian defense minister warns of bioweapons

Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov recently said that he believes terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including biological weapons, to be the biggest threats Russia faces today.

An interviewer from the German magazine Der Spiegel questioned Russia’s rising defense budget, particularly in the area of the amount spent on new weapons systems, an amount that recently doubled to $662 billion.

“Who does Russia see as a threat today?” the Der Spiegel interviewer then asked.

“Terrorism is the biggest threat," Sudyakov said. "We are also concerned about the transfer of technology for nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. And, of course, the fact that NATO is getting closer to Russia's borders with its eastward expansion constitutes a military threat to our country.”

Sudyakov added that the recent increase in Russia’s defense budget was routine and that the country’s weapons were old and needed to be replaced.

In all, Sudyakov appeared most concerned with demonstrating that Russia was actually acting with NATO in the capacity of an equal, a subject discussed throughout the interview.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will visit the NATO summit in Lisbon at the end of December and appears ready to continue the process of finding areas in which to cooperate, Der Speigel reports.