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Nuclear News - 03/26/99
RANSAC Nuclear News, 26 March, 1999

A. START Treaty Update
1. Lawmakers Differ on Ratification of Start-2 Treaty by Duma,Itar-Tass (03/25/99)
2. Russia To Put Off Arms Treaty Due To Yugoslavia, Reuters(03/26/99)
3. Anti-U.S. Sentiment Growing Among Officials, RFE/RL Newsline(03/26/99)

B. HEU Deal
1. ...As Uranium Agreement Signed, RFE/RL Newsline (03/25/99)

C. Russian Nukes and Kosovo
1. Kremlin Nuclear Threat Over NATO Action, London Evening Standard(03/26/99)

A. START Treaty Update
Lawmakers Differ on Ratification of Start-2 Treaty by Duma
March 25, 1999
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW - Leader of the Russian Communist PartyGennadi Zyuganov claimed here on Thursday that "there is no sense nowfor theState Duma (Eds: lower house) to debate the START-2 Treaty". "All theearliersigned treaties have turned into a scrap of paper, they are simplygroundless,"the leader of the Communist parliamentary group told reporters.

In Zyuganov's opinion, the air raids of the United States and its allies"puteverything in qualitatively new conditions, necessitating aqualitatively newdoctrine of Russia's security".

On the contrary, chairman of the Duma Geopolitics Committee AlexeiMitrofanov, a prominent functionary of the Liberal Democratic Party ofRussia,noted that "we should ratify the START-2 Treaty if we take into accountitsstrategic aspects.

"However, it is impossible to avoid the emotional context of itsratification,connected with the air raids on Yugoslavia," he noted. In general,Mitrofanovdevelops "an impression that the United States is not interested inratification ofthe START-2 Treaty by the Russian parliament".

He also noted that under the present situation in the State Duma, "abill onfunding Russian forces of nuclear containment can be railroaded throughthelegislature". "It is necessary to display in practice care for strategicmissile troopsand promising programs, including the Topol-M missile," he stressed.

Russia To Put Off Arms Treaty Due To Yugoslavia
March 26, 1999
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW -- Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakovasked parliament leaders on Friday to put off avote on the START 2 nuclear disarmamenttreaty with the United States, a seniorparliamentarian said.

The move, which has been widely expected,would be another sign of Russia's outrage atNATO air strikes on Yugoslavia.

After nearly six years of delays, the Duma hadbeen scheduled next week to ratify the treaty,which dramatically cuts Russian and Americannuclear arsenals.

But the parliamentarian, who asked not to benamed, said Primakov had asked a meeting ofparliament leaders on Friday to put the vote offin response to the strikes.

Primakov had said on Thursday in a televisioninterview that it was "unrealistic" to expectparliament to consider the treaty while NATOwas bombing Serbia.

The parliament leaders included a clause callingfor START 2 to be put on hold in a draftresolution condemning the NATO strikes, to bevoted on at a special session on Saturday.

Russia politicians from across the politicalspectrum have responded angrily to the airstrikes. On Friday Foreign Minister Igor Ivanovsaid Moscow had expelled NATO's representatives in the Russiancapital, after withdrawing its own representatives from NATOheadquarters moments after the bombing began on Wednesday.

Anti-U.S. Sentiment Growing Among Officials
RFE/RL Newsline
March 26, 1999
(for personal use only)

Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov accused the U.S. on 25 March of seeking"to impose a unipolar order on the world, in which peoples'fates should be decided in Washington," and providing directassistance to the Kosovo Liberation Army. He asked, "Does theU.S. not understand that by backing Muslim extremists at theexpense of American taxpayers it's breeding new bin Ladens?"in allusion to the accused terrorist Osama bin Laden. FormerAmbassador to the U.S. and State Duma Foreign RelationsCommittee Chairman Vladimir Lukin said that the "U.S. hasclearly shown that it does not care one whit about relationswith Russia or about the START-II treaty." The same day,Ivanov also noted that "we are not in favor of a breach ofdiplomatic relations with the U.S" and "clearly realize howimportant for the world as a whole are relations betweenRussia and the U.S."

B. HEU Deal
...As Uranium Agreement Signed
RFE/RL Newsline
March 25, 1999
(for personal use only)

Meanwhile, Atomic EnergyMinister Yevgenii Adamov signed a lucrative agreement withU.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson on shipments of Russianhighly enriched uranium to the U.S. for use in nuclear powerstations there, ITAR-TASS reported the same day. In addition,a memorandum of cooperation between the Russian Academy ofSciences and the U.S. Department of Energy was signed inWashington on 24 March.

C. Russian Nukes and Kosovo
Kremlin Nuclear Threat Over NATO Action
James Hansam in Moscow
London Evening Standard
March 26, 1999
(for personal use only)

The Kremlin could send its nuclear weapons back toUkraine and Belarus if NATO persists in its militaryonslaught on Yugoslavia.

As Russians today signed up as volunteers to fightalongside the Serbs, this shock option was floated in theMoscow media.

"Russia sees this as its last diplomatic trump card in tryingto check NATO's growing might," said one paper today.

Officials had pushed the idea of offering the ex-Sovietrepublics a return to nuclear status, which they lost inrecent years after sending back their atomic missiles toRussia. Such an option, reversing the post-Cold Warnuclear cuts, would be technically viable and couldrepresent the "extreme measures" Yeltsin warned he wasready to implement in the event of a prolonged war, saidthe Moscow Times.

Ukraine's hardline parliament voted this week to abolishthe country's nuclear-free status - and Belarus dictatorAlexander Lukashenko has ordered a study into oncemore stationing Russian nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, hardline parties stepped up their recruitmentof volunteers to go to Serbia to fight with their Slavic"blood brothers".

Some 2,700 men had answered an appeal, said aspokesman for ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky wholaunched an appeal. Several dozen have actually signedup.

Communists groups and other extremist parties areseparately recruiting volunteers.

Boris Yeltsin was today holding more meetings withofficials - but Moscow is also conscious of the need tosecure vital Western funds for its crippled economy.

An International Monetary Fund delegation will be inRussia tomorrow for detailed talks.

The Kremlin overnight tabled a UN security councilresolution calling the bombings "a threat to internationalpeace and security" and calling for an immediate end.

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