Russia to increase spending on chemical and biological weapons defense

The Russian Defense Ministry recently announced that military spending on improving chemical and biological weapons defenses will reach $183 million in 2013.

The program, called the National System of Chemical and Biological Security for Russia from 2009-2015, already includes more than $57 million slated for research and testing and approximately $88 million for capital investment, according to RIA Novosti.

"The overall spending on measures to defend against chemical and biological threats in 2013 will be around 5.65 billion rubles," Maj. Gen. Yevgeny Starkov, the head of the Russia's Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Department, said, RIA Novosti reports. "Under the program we plan to fit out organizations involved in working with dangerous micro-organisms and highly toxic substances with modern equipment, modernize a range of potentially dangerous facilities, thus reducing the risk of an accident."

Starkov recently said that he does not believe the world powers will be able to completely eliminate their chemical weapons stockpiles.

"This type of weaponry cannot be completely excluded from combat arsenals because analysis of...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, Rossiya 24 TV reports.