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Nuclear News - 01/25/99
RANSAC Nuclear News, 25 January, 1999

  1. US Tampering with Start-1 May Stall Start-2 Ivashov, Itar-Tass(01/23/99)
  2. Reducing the Nuclear Risk, The Montreal Gazette (01/24/99)
  3. Moscow Going in for New Generation Nukes, The Hindu (01/25/99)
  4. Albright Opens Talks in Moscow, Associated Press (01/25/99)


US Tampering with Start-1 May Stall Start-2 Ivashov.
Itar-Tass
January 23, 1999
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW -- The United States is violating the Start-1,or strategic arms reduction treaty, Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, incharge ofinternational military cooperation at the Russian Defense Ministry, saidin aninterview published by the military daily Krasnaya Zvezda on Saturday.

He said the US' breaches of Start-1 could become a major snag toratification ofStart-2 by the Duma, or Russia's lower house of parliament.

Ivashov said Russia's major concern is over submarine-based ballisticmissilesTrident, intercontinental ballistic missiles MX and heavy bombers B-1B.

He said the US in violation of the treaty, which is to trim strategicweaponry ofRussia and the United States, is pursuing flight tests of Tridentmissiles for theircarrying more warheads than laid down by the treaty.

The US is also refusing to liquidate stages of MX missiles other thantheir firstones that are mobile under provisions of Start-1.

Ivashov said there has been no progress in the US' confirming itsabolishing thepotential to rapidly restore at air bases attachment pylons for nuclearcruisemissiles borne by long-haul B-1B bombers.

He said analysis of these and other loopholes suggests that they are notincidental omissions, but betray the fact that the US is pursuing aprogram ofupgrading its strategic arsenal despite the treaty-stipulatedrestrictions.

Ivashov said the US' stance over the recent years has been not to putthe recordright but to impart to these violations a legal quality.

The US tactic is simple enough - to cite technicalities, if read out ofthe treaty'scontext, to pledge that the US moves are right. The goal is to make thetreaty'sprovisions look allowing different legal interpretations and, as a wayout of this"deadlock", to come up with proposals of "practical solutions" thatwouldobviate the treaty and enact the US' violations, Ivashov said.

He said the "practical solutions" would leave only American strikeweapons atadvantage, leaving Russia complying with its end of the deal.

Russia wants the compliance to be meticulous and reciprocal, Ivashovsaid.

He said keeping these violations going provides the US with a anopportunity tobuild up unilateral military advantages that promise to undermine bothStart-1and Start-2 treaties.

Start-2 could be affected worse, given that it calls for lower summaryamountsof warheads, he said.

Ivashov explained that meeting the Start-2's ceiling of submarine-bornemissilewarheads requires the US to remove part of warheads that tip thesemissiles,leaving four warheads of the present-day eight.

With no provision to demand replacement of old warhead platforms by newones to accommodate less warheads spells the problem of a so-calledreturnpotential, or possibility of rapidly rearming the "unloaded" missileswith oldwarheads.

Given that these missiles can be supplied with more than eight warheads,theissue is still more thorny, Ivashov said.

He cited the treaty's clause which envisions a ban on intercontinentalmissileswith separable warheads.

On the US side, the clause applies to MX missiles. However, a US factorywhich manufactures first stages of MXs also turns out the first stageCastor-120which the US claims is intended for space booster rockets. A close lookatCastor reveals no real difference of it from the MX first stage, whichdoes notrule out its use for MX ballistic missiles.

As for the heavy B-1B bombers, initially designed for cruise missiles,the USplans their reorientation for non-nuclear missions, which should allowdeactivation of weapons that can be deployed on the bombers, althoughStart-2stipulates this only for bombers that were never tested with long-rangenuclearcruise missiles.

To eliminate them from record under Start-1, the US undertook to makeattachment units for these missiles so that they could be replaced onbombersonly in a factory setting.

However, the US replaced casings of these units at air bases in 1996,suggestingthe possibility that B1-B bombers can be rapidly reequipped for carryinglong-range cruise missiles, which would spell an estimated 2,000additionalwarheads, Ivashov said.

Asked about fates of the Helsinki accords between the Russian and USpresidents on parameters of future cutbacks in strategic weapons,Ivashov saidthe Russian side is even now ready to start discussion at an expertlevel of keyelements of a future Start-3 treaty.
Reducing the Nuclear Risk
The Montreal Gazette
January 24, 1999
(for personal use only)

When the Cold War ended, dramatically reducing the riskof a nuclear confrontation between the superpowers,professional worriers were quick to point to a new risk: thatnuclear materials and expertise developed in the SovietUnion might find their way into the wrong hands.

That risk remains all too real. In the conditions of chaos,corruption and economic insecurity that are pervasive inRussia, there is both the opportunity and the motive forsome dishonest or desperate people short-sightedly to makea ruble by selling their know-how or even material togovernments or renegade groups.

It is hard to know exactly how big that problem already is;such deals are not exactly publicized. But it was notsurprising to read recent reports that Iraqis posing asJordanians tried to buy rocket engines from a Russian firmin 1994. Presumably, that incident is just the tip of theiceberg.

It is also hard to see how such sales can be stopped, giventhe circumstances in Russia, circumstances in whicheminent scientists are among those who now findthemselves living in poverty.

To its credit, the U.S. government is at least attempting todo something to reduce the risk. In his State of the Unionspeech Tuesday, U.S. President Bill Clinton said he wouldput forward a budget that would significantly increasefunding for efforts to safeguard nuclear technology andknow-how in the former Soviet Union. That commitmentcame a week after the U.S. government had announcedanother measure, the adoption of trade sanctions againstthree Russian institutes that Washington has suggested weresomehow involved in helping Iran develop nuclear missiles.

Whether those sanctions will have any practical impact isquestionable. Only one of the institutes conducts anybusiness with the United States anyway. And exactly howvaluable the institutes are to Iran militarily is far fromobvious.

But, coming after similar steps taken against seven otherRussian bodies last year, the sanctions were at least a clearsignal that Washington is watching, and that it does notconsider Moscow's own recent announcements that it istightening controls over missile-technology exports to besufficient. They also, presumably, are a signal thatWashington remains rightly nervous about Russianinvolvement in a project to build a light-water nuclearreactor in Iran. Russian officials swear that the nuclear fuelthey plan to supply to Iran for the reactor, which issupposed to be merely a power plant, cannot be used tobuild nuclear weapons. Still, one wonders why a countrywith as much oil as Iran has needs to built nuclear powerplants.

All nuclear proliferation is undesirable, but there isparticularly good reason to try to keep such weapons out ofthe hands of Iran and Iraq. A nuclear-armed Iran woulddestabilize the region, posing a danger to countries such asIraq and Israel. A nuclear-armed Iraq ruled by the likes ofSaddam Hussein could be an even bigger disaster.

The U.S. administration took another welcome stepforward on the arms-control front Tuesday when Mr.Clinton reiterated his intention to get the U.S. Senate toratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which theUnited States and many other countries signed in 1996. Thelong-awaited treaty bans all nuclear tests (many types ofnuclear tests were already banned by previous agreements).The United States is among the countries that must ratify itbefore it can come into effect. Canada has already ratifiedthe treaty.

The need for progress on the arms-control front did not endwith the Cold War. If anything, the world has become amore complicated place.

Complacency would be dangerous.
Moscow Going in for New Generation Nukes
Sridhar Krishnaswami
The Hindu
January 25, 1999
(for personal use only)

The small underground nuclear tests conducted by Russia last year hasled to theconclusion among some intelligence analysts here that Moscow may begoing in fora new generation of tactical nuclear weapons, according to a report intheWashington Post.

Last fall the Russians conducted three small tests which had beengenerally seen asmeant for testing the safety and reliability of the stockpiled weapons.The tests aresmall enough to be allowed under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty andtheU.S. Department of Energy regularly conducts these so-calledsub-critical tests tomaintain the reliability of the American nuclear arsenal.

In 1997, the President, Mr. Boris Yeltsin, said Russia would considerusing nuclearweapons in the event of a major conventional attack and when pushed intosuch acorner it was left with no other options. ``Given the new doctrine, itshould be nosurprise they are developing new weapons. There is no treaty to stopthem and I'mnot aware of anything that prohibits them,'' Mr. Joseph Cirincione ofthe CarnegieEndowment has been quoted in the Post report.

But what is also being maintained is that the intelligence data is alsonot clear andone unnamed intelligence official has said that the Russian tests were``so small thatwe can only speculate what they were doing.'' Most of the analysts, thepaper says,are agreed that with the tests being so small Moscow could not bedevelopingstrategic or long range nuclear weapons.

According to Mr. Bruce Blair of the Brookings Institution, the Russianswork on a10-year recycling program for their nuclear warheads and the oldtactical onesare being replaced with newer ones but at much lower numbers, perhaps inthe lowhundreds. Mr. Blair has said that under a 1991 agreement between Mr.MikhailGorbachev and Mr. George Bush the Russians removed their nuclearartillery andtactical missile warheads from Eastern Europe; and that some 10,000 to15,000warheads are now awaiting disassembly.

Mr. Blair has also been quoted in the Post report as saying that Moscowhasrefused to permit their 50 tactical nuclear weapons storage facility tocome underan American program that will fund for upgrading security.
Albright Opens Talks in Moscow
Barry Schweid
AP Diplomatic Writer
January 25, 1999
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW -- The mayor of Moscow, a potential successor toBoris Yeltsin as Russia's president, took on Secretary of StateMadeleineAlbright today on several issues that have soured U.S.-Russianrelations.

Warning he intended to be blunt, Mayor Yuri Luzhkov challenged Albrighton U.S. policy on Iraq, Kosovo, missile defenses and technology sales byRussian firms to Iran.

Luzkhov's main complaint was that ``the United States had movedforward without taking Russia's concerns completely into account,'' asenior U.S. official told reporters after the meeting in Moscow'smunicipaloffices.

Albright stood her ground, telling the mayor U.S. bombing of Iraq andpressuring Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic over Kosovo werecorrect.

She also assured Luzhkov that while the Clinton administration wasembarked on a search for a missile defense it considers the 1972Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the former Soviet Union important toU.S. security.

``Very little ground was given on either side,'' said the U.S. official,whospoke on condition of anonymity.

``He said he wanted to be blunt with her,'' the official said.

Luzhkov is an all-but-declared candidate to succeed Yeltsin, who is inpoor health and remains in hospital for treatment of what doctors say isanulcer.

The U.S. official said it was not unusual for Albright to take up majorforeign policy issues with a mayor, and that one purpose of her visitwasto get a sampling of views from various political quarters.

As she left city hall, Albright called their exchange ``good anduseful.''

``Mayor Luzhkov raised issues of American policy which I hope I wasable to clarify in order to resolve some misunderstandings whichexist,''Albright said.

In a friendly gesture, Luzhkov presented Albright with an album of colorphotographs of her visit to city hall.

Albright met first with Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, who has pledged tooppose changes in the missile defense treaty. The Clinton administrationisaiming to modify the pact to provide for a limited national defenseagainstwhat Albright calls ``new threats'' from rogue states.

Albright told reporters during her flight Sunday from Washington thatherdiscussions would not be confrontational. She also said theadministrationhad not decided whether to proceed with a limited national defense,whichwas unlikely to be operable before 2005 in any event.

``I do not see this as some critical point in our relationship,'' shesaid,while acknowledging differences.

One of the two main reasons for her stop in Moscow evaporated beforeshe arrived. Albright had planned to begin negotiations on a new roundofnuclear weapons cuts. But the Russian parliament, defying expectations,refused again to ratify cuts agreed to six years ago in the START IItreaty.

The other goal is to try to narrow differences with Russia over thelevel oftanks and other military equipment that may be deployed in Europe undera 1990 treaty.

For Russia, the two key aims are to limit NATO arms on its flanks and inPoland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, three former allies thatofficialjoin the military alliance in April.

A less visible Albright goal is to assess Russia's political situation.Sheplanned to talk by telephone with Yeltsin.

But for several months she has been doing business with YevgenyPrimakov, who moved up from foreign minister to prime minister. She saidshe expects to get a lot of business done with one or the other.

Albright also will take time out to meet with political opponents of theYeltsin-Primakov government, including Alexander Lebed, the formergeneral who is governor of Krasnoyarsk and is viewed as a potentialsuccessor to Yeltsin.

``There is great value in having Russia continue to look to our kinds ofinstitutions,'' she said. ``There is no reason we should argue oneverything.''

Still, there is sure to be an argument with Ivanov and other Russianleaderson the Clinton administration's plan to modify the missile treaty inorder toerect a shield against what she calls potential ``new threats'' fromNorthKorea, Iran and Iraq.

The administration is committing $6.6 billion over five years tobuilding anational missile defense that was outlawed 27 years ago in the missiletreaty. The theory then was that a nation would not launch a nuclearattackif it did not have a defense against retaliation.

Russia sees the program as a big step to a nuclear arms race, and theDuma is unlikely to ratify the START II treaty, which would cut U.S. andRussian arsenals by two-thirds their size during the Cold War.



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