For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 13, 2001
Fact Sheet on Cooperation Against Bioterrorism
Joint Statement on Cooperation Against Bioterrorism
The tragic events of September 11, the recent outbreak of anthrax in the United States, and terrorist threats to use weapons of mass destruction against innocent civilians underscore the urgent requirement to prevent the proliferation of biological weapons, materials or expertise to terrorists or the states that support them.
The United States and Russia have a well-established history of cooperation in this field. The Departments of State, Defense, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and Energy pursue important programs with Russia which collectively aim to:
- prevent the proliferation of biological material from Russia through increased security and enhanced export controls; - dismantle infrastructure once used for biological weapons work that is not needed or appropriate for peaceful biological efforts; and - pursue collaborative research to further biodefense and public health.
In issuing today their joint statement on cooperation against bioterrorism, President Bush and President Putin have directed their civilian and military officials and experts to expand that cooperation to prevent and defend against the threat of bioterrorism. They also confirmed their strong support for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention which prohibits all offensive biological and toxin weapons.
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