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Nuclear News - 01/20/99
RANSAC Nuclear News, 20 January, 1999

  1. Ex-KGB Blames West for Iran Technology, Reuters (01/18/99)
  2. Clinton Seeks More Funds for Russia, Reuters (01/19/99)
  3. Alternative To Joint Command For Nuclear Forces Proposed,RFE/RL Newsline (01/20/99)
  4. Russia Warns Us Over Possible Violation Of ABM Treaty,RFE/RL Newsline (01/20/99)
  5. Clinton Proposes Assistance to CIS in Nuclear Safeguarding,Itar-Tass (01/20/99)
  6. US Aid for Destruction of Nuclear Missiles Welcome,Itar-Tass (01/20/99)
  7. New Aid Sought To Battle Threat Of Russian Nuclear Material,Inquirer Washington Bureau (01/20/99)
  8. Russia, Iran Had Talks On Nuke Research Reactor, Reuters(01/20/99)


Ex-KGB Blames West for Iran Technology
Reuters
January 18, 1999
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW -- Russia's FSB national security servicesaid in a newspaper interview published on Monday that Iran possessedWestern equipment which could be used to build missiles. The United States placed sanctions on three Russian scientificinstitutes last week and threatened further action, accusing Russia ofproviding aid to Iran's missile and nuclear weapons programs. But FSB spokesman Aleksander Zdanovich told the Segodnya daily newspaperthat Washington had provided no evidence to back up its accusations. He said Iranian scientists had been trained in the United States,Canada, Germany and France, and that Iran possessed equipment made inGermany, Japan and Switzerland which could be used to make missiles. He did not say how or when Tehran had acquired the equipment. Russian officials and commentators have mostly expressed outrage at theU.S. decision to invoke sanctions against the Russian institutes withoutoffering any evidence.

But Yevgeny Kiselyov, host of the influential weekly television newsprogram Itogi, said late on Sunday that it was unreasonable of Russia toexpect the United States to disclose its intelligence sources.
Clinton Seeks More Funds for Russia
Reuters
January 19, 1999
(for personal use only)

WASHINGTON-- Reflecting increased concern over Russia'sgrowing economic distress, President Bill Clinton called on Tuesday foradramatic boost in U.S. aid to reduce the threat of Moscow's nuclearcapability.

The president, in the annual State of the Union speech to Congress,proposedthe United States increase the amount of money spent to safeguardnuclearweapons in the former Soviet Union by about two-thirds.

U.S. officials said that meant $4.2 billion over the next five years, anincreasefrom over $2.5 billion now budgeted.

"We must expand our work with Russia, Ukraine and the other formerSovietnations to safeguard nuclear materials and technology so they never fallinto thewrong hands," Clinton said.

National Security Council spokesman David Leavy said Clinton stronglybelieved "the national interest is served by working with Russia andother formerSoviet countries to prevent materials related to weapons of massdestruction,expertise, technologies to proliferate to rogue nations and terrorists."

An expansion of earlier efforts to engage the Russians in the reductionof nuclearstockpiles and the dismantling of nuclear weapons, the new funds are tobe usedin the following ways: -- Employ 8,000 weapons scientists in civilianresearchprojects. -- Dismantle stored nuclear warheads. -- Secure fissilematerials. --Dispose of 50 tons of plutonium as announced at the U.S.-Russia summitinMoscow last September. -- Tighten export controls. -- Advance work ondestroying chemical weapons facilities and biological weaponsinfrastructure. --Accelerate Russian troop withdrawals from neighboring states, likeMoldova.

In 1991 after the fall of the Soviet Union, Congress approved funds todevelopmore peace-oriented employment for Moscow's vast cadre of nuclearweaponsscientists and to accelerate the dismantling of weapons of massdestruction.

The new and more intensive Clinton push comes amid rising fears thatRussia,whose economy went into a tailspin last August, is increasinglyvulnerable toso-called "rogue states" like Iran who are keen to acquire thecomponents andtechnical assistance needed to develop nuclear, chemical and biologicalweapons.

"I think clearly since the August economic meltdown in Russia, thesituation hasdeteriorated," said William Hoehn of the Russian-American NuclearSecurityAdvisory Council, which promotes cooperative nuclear securityinitiatives.

"This winter is one of the most dangerous points along the time line inthe Russiannuclear security challenge," Hoehn said in an interview.

Clinton, who recently imposed sanctions on several Russian institutesforcooperating on Iran's nuclear and missile program, will make clear thatnoneof the new assistance will go to Russian entities that aid Tehran, U.S.officialssaid.

Still, sources say it may be hard to win congressional approval of thenew fundsgiven the outrage among some lawmakers over Russia's ties with Iran.

According to Russian-American Nuclear Security Advisory Council figures,inrecent years some 4,400 Russian weapons experts have been employed underaU.S. program which facilitates U.S.-Russian commercial joint ventures.

Another 17,000 Russian and Ukrainian scientists have been employed innonmilitary research projects through the International Science andTechnologyCenter, the council said.

But this involves only a fraction of 127,000 people employed in keynuclearenterprises in 10 "closed cities" which encompass the majorinstallations of theRussian nuclear weapons complex, the council said.

Lev Ryabev of Russia's Ministry of Atomic Energy told a conference inWashington, D.C. last week some 18,000 scientists from those cities arenowunemployed and "there is a risk to lose high-tech experts in this area"toquestionable projects.

The United States and Russia last year established the "nuclear citiesinitiative" todevelop alternative peaceful employment opportunities for these experts.

U.S. officials said some of the new funding would go to this program todispose of the 50 tons of plutonium, but how much is unclear. Overall,thenuclear cities initiative is aimed at creating up to 50,000 jobs overseven years.
Alternative To Joint Command For Nuclear Forces Proposed.
RFE/RL Newsline
January 20, 1999
(for personal use only)

Relations between Defense Minister IgorSergeev and Chief of the General Staff Anatolii Kvashnin"remain tense" over Kvashnin's continuing opposition tothe formation of a Joint Command for Strategic NuclearForces (JCSNF), "Nezavisimaya gazeta" reported on 15January. The newspaper suggested that army GeneralMakhmut Gareev's proposal to introduce the post ofdeputy to the Chief of the General Staff withresponsibility for nuclear security, as an alternativeto the formation of JCSNF, would be cheaper and wouldavoid "the necessity of upsetting the higher echelons ofmilitary power." The newspaper maintained that the planfor joint command is flawed because "responsibility forusing Russia's nuclear shield would be split." Both thejoint command and the forces with nuclear componentswould have analogous control organs, because "accordingto the plan, nuclear components will be transferred toJCSNF only for the period of fulfillment of strategictasks."
Russia Warns Us Over Possible Violation Of ABM Treaty.
RFE/RL Newsline
January 20, 1999
(for personal use only)

In response to U.S. Secretary of State MadeleineAlbright's statement to the "Los Angeles Times" that theU.S. should consider developing a defense system againstballistic missiles, Leonid Ivashov, head of the DefenseMinistry's Department for International Cooperation,told Interfax on 18 January that any attempts tocircumvent the ABM Treaty would upset the status quo.Ivashov dismissed Pentagon claims that such aterritorial defense system would be designed as aresponse to the nuclear programs of North Korea, Iran,and Iraq. Ivashov said "any military expert understandsthat these countries do not have and will hardly acquireguaranteed means of delivery for reaching U.S.territory."
Clinton Proposes Assistance to CIS in Nuclear Safeguarding.
Itar-Tass
January 20, 1999
(for personal use only)

WASHINGTON -- US President Bill Clinton hasproposed much more assistance to Russia and other former Sovietrepublics intheir safeguarding nuclear material and technology.

Clinton said in his state-of-the-Union address to the Congress onTuesday thatthe United States' budget could earmark almost two-thirds more inassistanceallocations for the CIS safeguarding programs.

Experts said the aid would require an estimated 4.2 billion dollars togo into thedismantling and scrapping of nuclear warheads and disposal of nuclearmaterials.

Clinton said laying out US foreign policy priorities that efforts shouldcontinue forRussia's cutting back its nuclear arsenals and the United States'.

The Start-2, or strategic arms reduction treaty, and ceilings alreadyagreed uponfor Start-3 can result in a 80 per cent reduction in nuclear arsenalsrelative totheir peak sizes of the Cold War, Clinton said.

He said the US Senate should ratify the international comprehensivenuclear testban.
US Aid for Destruction of Nuclear Missiles Welcome
Itar-Tass
January 20, 1999
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW -- In view of a difficult financial situation inRussia, the broadening of US financial aid for the destruction ofnuclear missilesand ensuring safety of nuclear materials and technologies is mostwelcome,Russian First Deputy Premier Yuri Maslyukov said.

Maslyukov thus commented on the provision in the US President BillClinton'sannual State of the Union message delivered at a meeting of both housesof theUS Congress, said Maslyukov's press secretary Anton Surikov. He saidMaslyukov is convinced that these funds are necessary for theutilization ofarmaments that completed their life.

The first deputy premier also noted that the ratification of the START-2Treaty isin the plan of the spring session of the State Duma lower house ofRussianparliament. The government will be persuading deputies to ratify theagreementin order earlier to embark on the talks on START-3.
New Aid Sought To Battle Threat Of Russian Nuclear Material
Steve Goldstein
Inquirer Washington Bureau
January 20, 1999
(for personal use only)

The $4.2 billion is a nearly 70 percent increase. Clinton aides citedweapons efforts by terrorists.

WASHINGTON -- President Clinton last night called for a sharp increasein U.S. assistance programs aimed at reducing the threat posed byunsecured nuclear materials in Russia and the flow of scientificexpertise to rogue nations seeking to develop weapons of massdestruction.

In his State of the Union message, the President proposed spending $4.2billion over the next five years, an increase of nearly 70 percent overthe $2.5 billion already budgeted.

Implicit in his proposal, White House advisers said, is recognition of acontinuing -- perhaps growing -- threat that terrorists might obtainnuclear material to build weapons. His concern, they said, has increasedsince Russia's economic crisis began to accelerate in late summer.

Last week, in a four-part series, The Inquirer documented the history ofdiversions of nuclear material from the former Soviet Union, as well asfresh incidents involving smuggled materials. The evidence suggestedthat, after an apparent hiatus in incidents, the problem has resurfacedwith a ready market of terrorists and rogue states seeking weapons ofmass destruction.

The new economic crisis, moreover, has made even more desperate theplight of tens of thousands of Russian scientists who have access tonuclear materials and who possess the expertise needed to build nuclearweapons. Many of these scientists have not been paid in months -- andpresent attractive targets for agents from Iran, Iraq, Libya and NorthKorea who are recruiting talent for nuclear programs.

Visits to nuclear facilities in and around the Moscow area by U.S.officials revealed that security was porous, despite U.S.-suppliedequipment and expertise. Some nonproliferation experts charged that theUnited States was providing only token funding to combat a major threatto world security.

Clinton's proposal calls for a major expansion of threat-reductionprograms, including the Nunn-Lugar program that provides funding for thedismantling of nuclear weapons and the creation of safe storage systemsfor hundreds of tons of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium.

As outlined in the President's proposal, the $4.2 billion would financeprograms designed to:

Dismantle Russian nuclear warheads.

Fund civilian programs for 8,000 Russian scientists and their nuclearresearch institutes.

Help Russia develop more effective export controls.

Tighten security at sites where nuclear materials are stored, includingmaking certain that guards are well-trained and receive regularsalaries.

Assist in the housing and relocation of Russian troops now stationedoutside the country.

Tighten protection mechanisms for chemical and biological weapons andhelp Russia reduce its stockpiles in accordance with internationalagreements.

National security adviser Samuel R. Berger said the President's proposedbudget would also include an additional $1.46 billion to counter thethreat of cyberterrorism, or attacks on the nation's computer systems.

"We need to be in front of this curve," he said of the initiatives onnuclear weapons control. "We know that terrorists are trying to obtainthese weapons."

William C. Potter, perhaps the nation's leading independent expert onnonproliferation issues, has argued that the United States has been wellbehind the curve in helping Russia protect its nuclear arsenal.

But Potter, head of a private center at the Monterey Institute ofInternational Studies in California, said he was pleased by theproposals in the President's address.

"Clearly, I'm happy that some of the areas that I regard as a priorityare being recognized by the administration, including dealing with theguard force," Potter said by telephone from Geneva, Switzerland, wherehe was attending a UN meeting.

"The real test is our ability to sustain these programs over the longhaul, as well as dealing with emergency situations," Potter said.
Russia, Iran Had Talks On Nuke Research Reactor
Adam Tanner
Reuters
January 20, 1999
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW -- A Russian atomic energy official said on Wednesday a leadingMoscow science institute held talks on selling Iran a nuclear researchreactor, but that no contractresulted from the negotiations.

The acknowledgement by Deputy Atomic Energy Minister Bulat Nigmatulincame a week after theUnited States imposed sanctions against three Russian institutes forallegedly helping Iran developmissile and nuclear capabilities.

``There were talks with Iran on building a nuclear research center inIran, and there weredifferent talks on heavy-water and light-water reactors,'' Nigmatulintold a news conference. ``Thesetalks did not lead to anything and were halted when talks reached moreconcrete matters.''

The United States and Israel are concerned that Iran will use suchtechnology to build nuclearweapons.

The deputy minister named Russia's NIKIET (The Scientific Research andDesign Institute of PowerTechnology), a nuclear reactor design center, as one of the institutionsthat had held the discussionswith Iran.

The United States last week accused NIKIET of making ``materialcontributions to Iran's nuclearweapons program.''

Russia has denied rendering any sensitive missile or nuclear technologyto Iran, although it is buildinga civilian atomic energy reactor in Bushehr on Iran's Gulf coast.

The State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, denounced the U.S.sanctions.

The Duma ``expresses its indignation in connection with the groundlessintroduction of sanctionsagainst a series of Russian organizations by the United States,'' readthe document, which was passedby a vote of 320 to zero, with one abstention.

The United States has also threatened to limit launches of U.S.satellites on Russian rockets unlessMoscow halts its alleged cooperation with Iran's banned weaponsprograms.

Russian officials have defended cooperation with Iran at the Bushehrplant, saying the program hasno military purpose, and have said the United States is seeking to blockits commercial ties abroad.

``The U.S. inability to normalize relations with Iran and a series ofArab governments should not leadto the end of Russia's friendly relations with these governments,'' theDuma resolution said. A similarresolution was passed in a preliminary version last week.

Washington has not made public details of its evidence against the threeRussian institutes, but U.S.officials say they are sure of their facts.

``We have good evidence that these organizations have been involved inactivities which result intransfers that are of great concern to us,'' a senior American officialtold Reuters on Tuesday.

Nigmatulin said even if Russian institutes held talks with Iran, nothingelse happened.

``If a wife dances with another man the whole night and nothing happensin the end, I don'tunderstand why the husband would be upset and jealous,'' Nigmatulinsaid. ``And they didn't evendance all night.''

``When does a violation take place? When they sign a contract, whenmoney is received and work isbegun.''



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