HC Deb 13 November 2001 vol 374 c663W
Dr. Julian Lewis

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the risk of former Soviet bloc(a) nuclear and (b) chemical/biological warfare scientists selling their skills to foreign regimes. [13681]

Mr. Bradshaw

It is estimated that there may be many thousands of Russian nuclear and chemical and biological warfare scientists who have lost their jobs or who face the prospect of losing their jobs in the next few years. The possibility that these scientists may sell their skills to foreign regimes is one that the UK takes seriously. To address this, UK funds are directed, through the European Union, to the International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC). The ISTC was set up in 1994, following an agreement signed by the EU, US, Japan and the Russian Federation, to stem the possibility of recruitment of former Soviet scientists by potential proliferators, through the funding of non-weapons related research at former defence institutes.