Russia blasts "new US conditions" on weapons destruction aid
Moscow, 5 June: Russia is concerned with the fact that the USA has set "additional unjustified conditions" for expanding assistance to Russian weapons destruction projects, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Yakovenko said today.
The list of US conditions "is getting longer rather than shorter", he stressed. For instance, "in 2004 the USA intends to `suspend' 100m dollars in aid to a chemical weapons disposal facility in Shchuchye [Kurgan Region] until Russia or a third country provides 50m dollars for the project".
Decisions of this kind "create additional difficulties for the Russian side", Yakovenko noted. "At issue are not only plans to build the Shchuchye facility but also our cooperation with other G8 countries to which we have offered separate projects."
The USA "is in effect pushing partners towards working on the Shchuchye facility only, leaving other important facilities in this field without proper funding", the Russian diplomat believes.
"We have more than once expressed concern with the uneven development of Russian-US cooperation in chemical weapons disposal, pointing to the fact that linking [this issue] with politics is counterproductive," Yakovenko said.
In this connection, he hopes that in Washington "there will prevail a pragmatic approach towards these old problems which date back to the times of the Cold War and obstruct full cooperation in nonproliferation and destruction of weapons subject to reduction".