Russian general warns that great powers will always have WMD

The head of Russia's chemical, biological and radiological weapons programs recently said that chemical weapons, though banned, will never be completely eliminated from the arsenals of the leading powers.

Radiation, Chemical, and Biological Defense Forces Commander Major General Yevgeny Starkov did not say whether his beliefs would affect Russia's obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, according to

"This type of weaponry cannot be completely excluded from the arsenals of warfare because analysis of the multi-billion 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, reports.

Starkov also indicated that he felt the same applied to biological weapons. He said the development of countermeasures against biological agents is akin to developing dual use technology because new means of protection can often be used to create new agents.

The general warned that new developments in genetic engineering could also serve to neutralize the effects of countermeasures and provoke a need for new weapons.

As of May, Russia had, under the terms of the CWC, destroyed approximately 62 percent of its chemical weapons arsenal. It plans to complete the elimination process by 2015.