CTR Program Extracts Plague Samples From Kazakhstan

Monday, June 8, 2009. Global Security Newswire

The U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction program successfully transferred bubonic and pneumonic plague samples out of Kazakhstan this year, U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) announced Friday (see GSN, May 14).

As Lugar visited Kazakhstan in January, U.S. scientists began packaging the samples to transfer out of the country in compliance with international safety requirements. The samples ended up at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site at Fort Collins, Colo., successfully concluding a five-year diplomatic effort aimed at securing and shipping the agents and developing a research plan for the material.

The CTR program is set to continue efforts to eliminate WMD materials in Kazakhstan for seven more years, Lugar said. In addition, the Nunn-Lugar program is expected to begin biological threat reduction efforts aimed at helping Armenia to meet health standards established by the World Health Organization.