Conversions of former biological weapons facilities in Kazakhstan : a visit to Stepnogorsk, July 2000
Publish date: 2001-01-01
Report number: FOI-R--0082--SE
Written in: English
Report from the conference "Biotechnological development in Kazakhstan : non-proliferation, conversion and investment", held in Stapnogorsk, Kazakhstan, July 24-26 2000. The conference was sponsored by US DoD and organised by the Biotechnology Centre at Stepnogorsk in co-operation with the NIS Representative Office in Astana, Kazakhstan of the Centre for Non-proliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies. The conference concentrated on the dismantlement and conversion of former BW producers. The intent was to present to a larger public the results of the US DoD CTR (Coopertive Threat Reduction) program at the Biotechnology Centre of Stepnogorsk and attract some potential partners to encourage conversion projects. The conference gave a good overview of the conversion projects in progress in Kazakhstan and scientific results were presented of research being funded by the US. An overview was given of how far the conversion process had come so far and the problems that remain. A visit to the former BW production facility was included. The report also gives a background on which facilities and the test area on Vozrozhdeniye Island that were involved in the former Soviet Union biological weapons programme in Kazakhstan and the ongoing activities to convert of dismantle these facilities. The problems connected with this conversion as well as some critical comments from Kazakhs are discussed. Financial support was requested past the dismantlement stage for the personnel involved.