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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

12 May 2004

Bio-Chem Program a Link to Former Soviet Scientists

Collaborative program is a targeted U.S.-funded nonproliferation program

Following is a Department of State fact sheet, released May 12, on the U.S. Bio-Chem Redirect Program. The program is a targeted nonproliferation initiative designed to engage former Soviet biological and chemical weapons scientists in open and sustainable civilian research projects with U.S. collaborators:

(begin fact sheet)

U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Nonproliferation
Washington, DC
May 12, 2004

Fact Sheet
The U.S. Bio-Chem Redirect Program

The Bio-Chem Redirect Program (BCR) is a targeted nonproliferation initiative funded by the Department of State's Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining and Related Initiatives (NADR) account. BCR engages former Soviet biological and chemical weapons scientists in transparent and sustainable civilian research projects with U.S. collaborators. While the BCR program is most active in Russia, it also funds projects in Kazakhstan, Georgia, Armenia, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. New projects are being considered for funding in the region. The program has received from Congress a total of $85 million from its inception through Fiscal Year 2004.

BCR is overseen and coordinated by the State Department Nonproliferation Bureau's Office of Proliferation Threat Reduction (NP/PTR), which provides funds to three U.S. agencies to implement the program: the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These agencies work through the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) in Moscow and the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU), located in Kiev, to implement the program. In addition to its primary nonproliferation objective, the program meets important U.S. research objectives in the following areas: global public health, livestock and plant health, environmental monitoring and remediation, and measures to combat biological and chemical terrorism. The BCR program supports the following expenses: project salaries for Eurasian scientists possessing dual-use expertise; limited purchases of project-relevant laboratory equipment and reagents; and travel expenses for Eurasian scientists related to legitimate project needs, including scientific conferences, training, and meetings with their U.S. collaborators.

The program's ultimate objective is to redirect these former weapons of mass destruction (WMD) scientists in Eurasia to long-term sustainable activities in the civilian sphere. To redirect former chemical weapons scientists in Eurasia to potential commercial collaborations, BCR is funding a Chemical Science and Commercialization Conference in Moscow on September 27-29, 2004. Information about the conference is available at http://biistate.net/chemconference/.

(end fact sheet)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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