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Saturday, July 01, 2006

WMD Threat Poses Largest Security Concern for Russia, White Paper Says; 20 Nations Could Acquire WMD

Weapons of mass destruction within reach of Russia’s neighbors comprise the largest security threat to Russian security, according to an official white paper released this week, Interfax reported today.

“Expanding the ‘club’ of countries which have WMD is dangerous from the viewpoint of undermining the international nonproliferation regime, which has been formed over decades, and of initiating a ‘chain reaction’ with the emergence of new countries wielding the most deadly kinds of weapons,” the paper says.

“For this foreseeable future the main threat in the area of nonproliferation is likely to come from terrorist using some elements of WMD,” the paper continues. “While the doctrine of deterrent will still apply to countries that have WMD capabilities, it obviously will not have any effect on terrorists” (Interfax, June 30).

In addition to the terrorist threat, Russia must face threats posed by other nations said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov. In addition to the eight nations widely believed to have nuclear stockpiles, 20 additional countries have unofficial access to weapons of mass destruction, Ivanov said. “For some of them, it is a matter of political will” (Sergei Babkin, ITAR-Tass, June 30).
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