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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Dismantling of Skrunda Base Planned

Riga LETA 28 Oct 94

Riga, October 28 (LETA) -- According to the Government Press Agency, Latvia's Prime Minister Maris Gailis together with the foreign minister, the minister for the interior, the minister of environmental and regional development and other interested parties had gathered in the Latvian Saeima [parliament] building on Thursday, October 28. The meeting was held to review the dismantling of the military radar base at Skrunda.

There are two installations in Skrunda. One of these is still in operation in accordance with the Russian-Latvian agreement. The other installation has been handed over to Latvia and will be dismantled. The dismantling will be done by the U.S. company Control Demolition Inc. The company was selected from the bids submitted and it is expected that the demolition will begin in the near future. It was agreed that the ministry of environmental and regional development will form a working group to interact with the U.S. defence department and Control Demolition Inc. The membership of this working group must be decided by October 31 and the group will be responsible for all administrative tasks of the dismantling process at all levels, including the local governments.

To oversee the work of the operating radar installation at Skrunda, the suggestion was made to set up a commission on which Russia, Latvia and the CSCE are represented. The question of securing the base was also raised. Security, at this time, is inadequate due to lack of funds. It was agreed that ensuring the security of the operating installation cannot be postponed.

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