UNITED NATIONS, February 22. /TASS/. Russia has provided half a million dollars for the implementation of the UN project for upsetting weapons supplies to terrorists in Central Asia, Russia’s permanent representative at the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, said at a special ceremony on the occasion of the launch of this project under the auspices of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism on Friday.
Nebenzya said "it was the first-ever comprehensive program for technical assistance under the UN aegis that has a triple function of anti-terror struggle, disarmament and struggle against organized crime."
"Russia has provided half a million US dollars for implementing the first phase of this project. We are going to provide expert support in the process of the program’s implementation, if need be," he promised.
Nebenzya said that on February 19 a memorandum of understanding had been signed with the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism and the regional anti-terrorist structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
"I am certain that the training sessions and seminars the project provides for will be equally useful for the countries of the region and for the experts of the UN and SCO bodies concerned," he said.
UN Deputy Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov told the media there was a fundamental question behind the idea of the project launched on Friday: "Where do the terrorists get weapons from?"
"Russia was the first to raise this issue at a meeting of the UN Security Council. It is a very legitimate question," Voronkov said.
"This initiative is aimed precisely at finding out where the terrorists obtain their weapons from. Central Asia was selected as the venue for starting the project, because it borders on a region where terrorist activity is very high. Also, the countries of the region have established good cooperation in the field of preventing illegal arms trafficking," Voronkov explained.
Taking part in the event were diplomats from the countries involved in the project - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and also the Director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure Jumakhon Giyosov. They thanked Russia for financing the project.
"Central Asia is the first region that will implement in practice the provisions of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. I do hope that the project will lay the basis for wider cooperation in the field of arms control," said Kazakhstan’s permanent representative at the UN Kairat Umarov.