Azerbaijan actively cooperates with U.S. on New Demilitarization and Biological Threat Reduction program
The United States, Washington, Sept. 9 / Trend , N.Bogdanova/
During the recent years Azerbaijan has been actively cooperating with the US Military on New demilitarization and Biological Threat Reduction programs, the Congressional Research Service to the members and committees of US Congress told Trend .
In a specially prepared "Nonproliferation and Threat Reduction Assistance: U.S. Programs in the former Soviet Union" report it's mentioned that Azerbaijan is playing an important role among other former Soviet Union countries in cooperating within US programs.
According to the report, these programs are dedicated to transporting, storing, and dismantling chemical and biological weapons. U.S has helped Azerbaijan and other former soviet nations to construct a destruction facility for chemical weapons, and secure biological weapons materials.
The Biological Threat Reduction program supports activities in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan (also, negotiating with Armenia). Through this program Washington helped these countries to eliminate the infrastructure and equipment at those Biological Research and Production Centers that have the capability to produce biological weapons. United States is also helping to enhance safety and security at these centers to ensure the safe and secure storage and handling of biological pathogens.
Coming to Demilitarization programs, they are encouraging to participate in the conversion of military efforts to peaceful purposes. (The Bush Administration added this program in FY2003).
Through this program United States has cooperated with the military establishments, internal security forces, border guards, and custom forces in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan to improve their border controls.
The program is also assisting Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan in developing a comprehensive capability for interdiction along their Caspian Sea borders. US also helped these nations determine, detect, and interrupt the unauthorized movement of weapons or related materials across their borders.
In the US budget passed for FY2009, Congress authorized around $1.2 billion for U.S. programs that provide non-proliferation and threat reduction assistance to Russia and the other states of the former Soviet Union, including Azerbaijan.
Further, Obama Administration has requested around $1.1 billion for these programs in its FY2010 budget.