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    RUSSIAN JOINT STAFF INQUIRES USA ON ITS WMD INITIATIVE

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    MOSCOW, February 10, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Russian Joint Staff have several questions to the USA concerning the practical implementation of its initiative on the control on weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

    In particular it goes for the interception of the third countries' air and sea vessels, which are suspected of carrying WMD, First Deputy Director of the Joint Staff Yury Baluevsky disclosed at the press-conference on Tuesday.

    According to him, the Russian law on the state border protection does not permit in peacetime to destroy aircraft, especially with the use of anti-aircraft defense weapons. "It's still not clear what to do if a violating airplane does not respond on its authentication code and refuses to land upon the request of fighters, raised in the sky on alarm," Baluevsky noted.

    The Russian General Staff believes that the decision on the affiliation of Russia to the American initiative on the control of weapons of mass destruction should be taken at the political level, he added.

    "Russia can accept recent specifications made by US official representative in regard to strengthen the control on the weapons of mass destruction," Baluevsky stated.

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