The Department of Defnese announced on April 23 that it had concluded four amendments to the current agreements with Russia under the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR), or "Nunn-Lugar," security assistance program. The amendments, which were signed in Moscow in early April, add a total of $214.3 millino in funding for existing CTR activities in Russia-$209.3 million in fiscal year (FY) 1997 CTR funds and $5 million in previously unobligated FY 1996 CTR funds.
The first amendment provides an additional $15 million in CTR funding to the Weapons Protection, Control and Accounting (WPC&A) Program. This raises the total amount of assistance to the WPC&A program, which seeks to enhance the security of Russian nuclear weapons while they are being transported and stored, to $116 million.
The second amendment increases funding for the construction of a fissile material storage facility at Mayak in Chelyabinsk from $84 million to $150 million. The Mayak facility will be capable of storing 50,000 containers of fissile material from approximately 12,500 dismantled nuclear weapons.
The third amendment increases CTR funding for chemical weapons (CW) destruction from $68 million to $136.5 million. Under this program, the United States is helping Russia develop a CW destruction process and assisting with the eventual construction of a CW destruction facility.
The final amendment increases CTR funding for the elimination of strategic offensive arms from $231 million to $295.8 million. This assistance facilitates the elimination of Russian strategic nuclear delivery systems in accordance with START I.