- WASHINGTON -- With U.S. help, Russia will start dismantling the world's
largest nuclar submarines next year, Sen. Richard Lugar said Tuesday.
- Lugar, R-Ind., said Russian researchers
also were cooperating with the United States to develop a vaccine for anthrax
and prevent the spread of other biological warfare weapons.
- Just back from a visit nine-day visit
to Russia and Ukraine, Lugar said each of Russia's six existing Typhoon
submarines carried 20 ballistic missiles capable of launching 200 nuclear
warheads at the United States.
- "This is a major step forward,"
Lugar told a news conference. "When these submarines are dismantled,
1,200 nuclear weapons will be removed from operational systems that could
be used against the United States."
- He described the Typhoons as the workhorses
of the Soviet and Russian strategic missile submarine force. Lugar said
dismantling of the first Typhoon in 1999 and he hoped all six would be
destroyed in the early 2000s.
- Lugar, a member of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee, and former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., who accompanied him
on the trip, spearheaded a $400 million a year program that provides technical
assistance to the former Soviet Union to eliminate weapons of mass destruction
and account for weapons of material. The program began in 1992.
- Lugar said his group met with directors
of 13 biological institutes from across Russia and visited the world's
leading anthrax research institute, the Obolensk State Research Center
of Applid Microbiology.
- Scientists at Obolensk are cooperating
in vaccine research with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute, Lugar
said, and have identified six strains of anthrax, a disease that normally
afflicts animals such as cattle and sheep but can cause severe illness
death in humans who inhale large doses.
- Lugar said there were hundreds if not
thousands of biological pathogens deadly to human beings on file at Obolensk.
Its director told him without financial support from Moscow or help from
the West he is convinced security at the institute will fall to dangerous