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Russia Denies Biological Weapons

April 1, 1998

MOSCOW (AP) _ Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday again denied claims that the country is continuing to develop offensive biological weapons.

``Russia does not have facilities for producing biological weapons,″ Foreign Ministry spokesman Gennady Tarasov told a news conference on Tuesday. ``There is no reason to doubt that Russia strictly complies with all of its commitments under the Chemical Weapons Convention.″

Ken Alibek, a former Soviet biological weapons expert who fled to the United States in 1992, said recently he believes Moscow has kept part of its Cold War biological weapons program active.

In 1992, Russian President Boris Yeltsin acknowledged the existence of a Soviet biological weapons program, and since then has issued several decrees declaring that biological weapons activities are illegal.

Both Russia and the United States continue conduct research on programs to defend themselves against biological attacks.

Russia insists it has strictly complied with the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention, which bans the development, production and stockpiling of biological and toxin weapons.

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