"Russia adheres to the provisions of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and expects other parties to hold a similar stance." Russian permanent representative at the Geneva UN Department Leonid Skotnikov referred to the June 17, 2000 statement by Vladimir Putin, while speaking to the fifth conference of states party to the Convention at the Geneva Palace of Nations. In his speech, the head of the Russian delegation acquainted the participants in the conference with the measures Russia undertook to enhance the Convention's regime. According to him, development of civil scientists' cooperation helps reinforce the Biological Weapons Convention. He accentuated the role of Russian scientists developing and carrying out biological programmes seeking solution to the problems of healthcare, veterinary, and agriculture, in cooperation with various countries' firms, centres, and institutions. The fifth conference of states party to the Biological Weapons Convention is devoted to issues of compliance with, and reinforcement of this document's regime. Delegations from 72 countries (out of 144 that ratified the Convention) are participating in the conference, which will last till December 7.