RealNews

Russian Arms Safeguards Found Lacking

A decade-long U.S. effort to safeguard stockpiles of Russian nuclear, chemical and biological weapons is faltering because of bureaucratic obstacles, federal auditors warn in a draft report that faults leaders in both countries. The problems already have delayed the destruction of thousands of Soviet-made chemical weapons, while raising the risk that nuclear bomb components or deadly germs could fall into the hands of terrorists, the General Accounting Office concludes in a report due to be released to Congress this week. The United States has spent $6 billion since 1992 to help Russia destroy or secure Cold War-vintage weapons. But basic security improvements still have not been made at dozens of Russian military installations where more than 60 percent of the country’s weapons-grade uranium and plutonium are kept, the GAO found. The biggest obstacle is Russia’s continuing refusal to let U.S. officials visit the facilities where the upgrades are to take place, the report says. Full Story

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