Partnership for Global Security: Leading the World to a Safer Future
Home Projects Publications Issues Official Documents About RANSAC Nuclear News 4/15/13
Location: Home / Projects & Publications / News
Sitemap Contact
Google www PGS
Nuclear News - 07/28/99
RANSAC Nuclear News, 28 July, 1999

1. US, Russia To Hold Arms Control Talks In August, Reuters (07/27/99)

B. ABM, Missile Defense
1. Russia to Upgrade Nuclear Forces, if US Deploys National ABM,Itar-Tass (07/27/99)

C. Nuclear Power Industry
1. Ukraine Falls Short of Debt Payments for Russian Fuel, Itar-Tass(07/26/99)
2. Ukraine Offers Russia Bombers to Pay Debt, Washington Post(07/28/99)

D. Nuclear Waste
1. Ministry: Give Us Nuclear Garbage, St. Petersburg Times (07/27/99)

E. Russia - Iran
1. Russia And Iran Vow To Stop Spread Of Nuclear Arms, Reuters(07/28/99)
2. Russia And Iran Negotiate $8 Billion Trade Deal, Agence FrancePresse (07/28/99)

F. U.S. - Russia General
1. Russia's Ivanov Warns U.S. Of New Arms Race, Reuters (07/27/99)
US, Russia To Hold Arms Control Talks In August
Arshad Mohammed
July 27, 1999
(for personal use only)

WASHINGTON, July 27 (Reuters) - The United States and Russia will opentalks on a new round of nuclear arms cuts in Moscow next month, U.S. andRussian officials said on Tuesday.

Vice President Al Gore and Russian Prime Minister Sergei Stepashinannounced the decision to begin negotiations on a START 3 treaty, whichwould reduce U.S. and Russian nuclear warheads to below 3,500 each,after a Washington meeting.

They said the August meetings would also discuss making changes to the1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) that the United States wants toenable the possible development of a "Star Wars"-style U.S. missiledefense system.

"The United States and Russia have long understood that reducing nucleararsenals is in our mutual interest," Gore said in a statement. "That iswhy we will continue to press for ratification of START 2 and will begindiscussions next month toward START 3."

U.S. and Russian arms control talks have been hampered for years by theRussian Duma's failure to ratify the 1993 START 2 treaty, which wasapproved by the U.S. Senate in 1996.

The goal of START 2 is to bring warheads down to a maximum of 3,500 oneach side by the year 2003. Under START 3 they could go down to 2,000 oneach side.

"We will try to bring START 2 to the forum again in the fall of thisyear," Stepashin told a join news conference after his talks with Gore.

The United States and Russia have explored the outlines of what START 3might look like in recent years, but Washington has insisted it wouldnot actually sign such a treaty until START 2 enters into force.

"You can engage more seriously on START 3, but START 2 has to beratified before you can actually move on START 3," said a Clintonadministration official who asked not to be named.

The other topic on the agenda at the August talks will be amendmentstheUnited States wants to make to the 1972 ABM Treaty, which sets limitson the type of systems Russia and the United States can deploy tointercept incoming missiles.

The changes are needed because legislation adopted by the Republican-ledCongress in March commits Washington to put in place a defensive shieldagainst limited missile attack.

Russia is concerned that a U.S. defensive system capable of shootingdown incoming missiles would breach the ABM treaty and undermine theCold War doctrine of mutually assured destruction.

The idea at the time of the ABM Treaty was that neither side would belikely to launch a nuclear strike if they knew they had no defenses toprevent the resulting catastrophe.

But many military experts, diplomats and national security figures inWashington feel the ABM Treaty is a Cold War relic that has no place ina new, more dangerous world where so-called rogue states like NorthKorea and Iraq might attempt a missile strike against the United States.

The White House has pledged $6.6 billion in its fiscal 2000 budget forthe development of a missile defense but will delay a presidentialdecision on building one until June 2000.
B. ABM, Missile Defense
Russia to Upgrade Nuclear Forces, if US Deploys National ABM
July 27, 1999
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW, July 27 (Itar-Tass) -- The signing by U.S. President BillClinton of a bill on the development of a national anti- ballisticmissile system is a sign of double standards in the American diplomacy,according to a high-ranking expert of the Russian defence ministry.

The expert who spoke to Itar-Tass on condition of anonymity noted thatthe U.S. president has repeatedly confirmed in unilateral statements andthe statements made jointly with the president of Russia since 1995 hiscommitment to the AMB treaty between the two countries and stressed thedesire to raise its effectiveness and viability in the future. On theother hand, the United States has been "working and taking practicalsteps which do not simply contradict the spirit and aims of the ABMtreaty but openly lead to its destruction."

The defence ministry expert drew attention to the fact that the nationalABM system which is being developed in the United States is a systemdesigned to protect the territory of the country against missilestrikes. The deployment of such systems is forbidden by the fundamentalprovision laid down in Clause 2, Article 1 of the AMB Treaty, accordingto which the signatories commit themselves not to deploy AMB systemsprotecting the territory of the country and not to create the groundsfor such defences. The AMB treaty banned any such system, limited orunlimited.

According to expert estimates, the system designed for deployment in theUnited States is intended to provide surveillance and data support fromspace, including with regard to the targeting of the combat equipment,which is also in direct contravention to the ABM Treaty.

The so-called modification of the AMB treaty, on which the United Statesinsists in an effort to make its practical activity in the field of theanti-ballistic missile defences legal in character, means in actual fact

the emasculation of what the treaty was signed for and what it has dulyserved to secure for more than 25 years, the Russian expert said.

"In fact, the destruction of the AMB treaty will result in the situationin which it will be difficult to speak in the first century of the thirdmillennium about the maintenance of strategic stability in the world. Ablow will be dealt to the entire systems of accords on arms control andthe entire system of international relations, the disarmament processwill begin to be curbed and an arms race whose scale is unpredictablewill begin, including in space," the Russian expert said.

The experts said a new impulse will be given to the process ofproliferation of the weapons of mass destruction and vehicles for theirdelivery. This will become an objective process independent of thewishesof any individual politician or state. "And all this will take placeagainst the background of re- thinking of the events related to theairstrikes against Iraq and Yugoslavia unsanctioned by the UnitedNations, as well as NATO's new military-political ambitions. This isexactly the set of the negative factors about the neutralisation ofwhich the U.S. is now speaking in an effort to substantiate the"stabilising role" of its ABM system," the expert said.

The Russian defence ministry representative expressed the hope that theUnited States was also fully aware of the negative consequences of thedismantling of the AMB treaty.

"If, in defiance of the common sense, the United States continues itsline of deployment of a national AMB system, which we do not want,Russia will be forced to engage in the perfecting of its strategicnuclear forces and the taking of other asymmetric measures designed toraise its national security in new militaryategic conditions," theexpert declared.

"Russia was and remains a country of high technologies. No one shouldhave any doubts on this count," the Russian expert said.
C. Nuclear Power IndustryItar-Tass
July 26, 1999
(for personal use only)

KIEV, July 26 (Itar-Tass) - Ukraine paid 26 million U.S. dollars forfuel supplied by Russia for its nuclear power plants in the first halfof 1999, a high-ranking official said.

However, under an intergovernmental agreement Ukraine was supposed topay 56 million U.S. dollars, Deputy Energy Minister Vladimir Darchuktold Itar-Tass on Monday.

He said Ukraine should pay Russia 310 million U.S. dollars for nuclearfuel supplies this year, including 35 percent in cash and the rest inthe form of goods supplies.

However, a number of Ukraine's major ore-mining and metallurgical millshave failed to fulfill their obligations and refused to pay even for 10percent of the energy they have consumed.

The Ministry of Energy plans to sharply reduce power supplies to 31major metallurgical mills in the Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye and Donetskregions, whose debts have totalled one billion grivnas (one U.S. dollarbuys four grivnas).

The ministry said the total debt for energy supplies have reached 7.5billion grivnas, but power plants have no money to buy fuel.
Ukraine Offers Russia Bombers to Pay Debt
Washington Post
July 28, 1999
(for personal use only)

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine has offered to pay part of its energy debts toRussia with 10 strategic heavy bombers, Interfax-Ukraine news agencysaid.

It quoted Defense Minister Oleksander Kuzmuk as saying 10 of the 44Tupolev-160 and Tupolev-95 bombers owned by Ukraine could be transferredto Russia. Kuzmuk said each plane would count for more than $25 millionof debt, but did not give an exact figure.

Russian Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin failed to fully resolve theissue of Ukraine's estimate
D. Nuclear Waste
Ministry: Give Us Nuclear Garbage
Melissa Akin
St. Petersburg Times
July 27, 1999
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW - A former CIA chief and a pair of U.S. admirals are among thosetrying to grant Nuclear Power Minister Yevgeny Adamov his fondest wish:to make money dumping the world's spent nuclear fuel in Russia.

The Non-Proliferation Trust, Inc., whose members include former directorof U.S. Central Intelligence William Webster and Admirals Dan Murphy andBruce DeMars, say a commercial spent fuel dump in Russia could bring inbillions of dollars that would work for the cause of nuclear security.

Some environmentalists are troubled by NPT's plan. They say it posesthreats ranging from nuclear mishaps while the fuel is in transit, tonew proliferation problems, to a new tide of anger at America for usingRussia as a nuclear dump.

"This is like a bad dream," said Lydia Popova, a former nuclear industryworker who now runs the Center for Nuclear Ecology and Energy Policy, aMoscow-based research center.

But NPT and its environmentalist opponents agree on one thing: Russiadesperately needs money to keep nuclear materials safe and to clean upthe radioactive pollution left by more than 50 years of nuclear powergeneration and nuclear weapons production. There are U.S.-Russian jointgovernment projects addressing that problem, but they have beencriticized as moving at a glacial pace.

Enter the NPT: They would build and operate a temporary storage facilityfor the world's spent fuel and donate the profits to Russia over thenext 40 years. In the meantime, specialists would look for a suitablyremote location on Russian territory to bury thousands of metric tons ofwaste permanently.

The Minatom Development Trust, a spin-off of NPT, would administer partof the projected $11 billion in profits. A tenth of the total incomewould pay to buy security-improvement measures for excess weaponsplutonium and uranium, removed from nuclear warheads under the START Idisarmament treaty.

The project faces a big hitch, however: A Russian law banning the importof nuclear waste, one that Adamov's Nuclear Power Ministry, or Minatom,has been lobbying heavily to gut.

At a gathering of nuclear industry workers in Obninsk last month, Adamovsaid his ministry could net $50 billion in foreign contracts toreprocess spent reactor fuel if it weren't for the Law on EnvironmentalProtection.

"To get money for the reprocessing and dumping of spent fuel is betterthan borrowing money from the IMF," Adamov said, according to Itar-Tass.He added that Minatom alone could match the $4.5 billion theInternational Monetary Fund is offering Russia in new loans if it couldreprocess foreign fuel.

Companies in Britain and France reprocess waste from other nations, butthey send the waste back to the country of origin. Adamov believesRussia could get a competitive edge in this business by offering cheaperreprocessing and then letting the customer pay to leave the waste inRussia.

Among other things, however, reprocessing yields plutonium which somescientists believe might be suitable for use in crude nuclear bombs.

Efforts to expand Russia's reprocessing industry have not gotten far.There is now one reprocessing plant in Chelyabinsk, but a second oneplanned to be built in Krasnoyarsk has been held up by environmentalopposition and funding problems.

And the idea of Russia jump-starting its reprocessing industry andgenerating massive new amounts of plutonium troubles some - includingthe NPT itself, which wants Russia to confine itself to accepting wastefrom other nations processed elsewhere.

"It is very important to us that our project NOT be cast in terms ofMinatom's long-term plans, but that it be viewed for what it is - aspecific, limited proposal that does not involve reprocessing now orever," said John Kyte, an NPT spokesman with the Burson-Mar stellerpublic relations company.

Minatom, however, sees it differently. "Of course there is a desire" toreprocess the fuel NPT would import, said Minatom spokesman YuryBespalko. "It would make the whole project more profitable."

Adamov is scheduled to meet with NPT representatives in Washington thisweek on the sidelines of Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin's visit.

But despite NPT statements that a memorandum on mutual consultations hasbeen signed, Bespalko said Friday no agreements would be signed until itbecomes legal to import spent fuel into Russia.

To sweeten the deal for the parliament and the Russian public, NPToffered $2 billion for "distressed Russian citizens" such as orphans andpensioners. Some of the profits would go to other public-interestcauses, namely, cleanup of rivers, lakes and soil used as nuclear wastedumps around the plutonium and uranium production facilities.

The project's proponents say the radiation risks are minor compared tothe economic benefits. They also say that the volumes of fuel are minorcompared to the amount Russia is dealing with now.

"Russia is already a shithole," said a source close to the project whoasked to remain unidentified in an interview last Tuesday. "If you addthis 10 to 15 thousand tons of fuel it's like a speck of dust at theBolshoi in volume."

The project is "very pro-Russian economy," said Kyte ofBurson-Marsteller.

Minatom is also anxious to get its hands on German dry storagetechnology that NPT is offering. Dry storage of spent fuel in metalcasks is superior to the wet storage technologies in use at crowdedwaste facilities across Russia now housing 14,000 tons of spent fuel,Bespalko said.

But neither charity sweeteners nor the promise of new green technologieshave eroded opposition to the idea.

"Not even for U.S. dollars," said Vladimir Mikheyev of the Green Worldmovement in Krasnoyarsk, an activist group battling the Krasnoyarsk-26nuclear weapons production facility nearby. That site, like its sistersites, Chelyabinsk-65 and Tomsk-7, has been tipped to host an NPTstorage facility.

Nuclear experts interviewed said they thought the U.S. departments ofstate and energy generally approved of the NPT scheme. The departmentsare limited, however, by the lack of a cooperation treaty with Russia,which experts said would be necessary for something as weighty asshipping nuclear materials there.

Matthew Bunn, a nuclear expert with Harvard University's Kennedy Schoolof Government, said NPT's plan was not the first time someone hadproposed an international dump site. Bunn cited proposals to storeforeign spent reactor fuel in Australia and on Wake Island in the southPacific - the latter plan the brainchild of businessman Alex Copson, whoalso helped draw up the NPT deal.
E. Russia - Iran
Russia And Iran Vow To Stop Spread Of Nuclear Arms
July 28, 1999
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW, Jul 28, 1999 -- (Reuters) Russia and Iran have pledged to worktogether to stop the spread of nuclear missiles in the Middle East,Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

"Our firm resolve was emphasized to promote the aims of thenon-proliferation of nuclear weapons," itsaid in a statement after foreign ministry officials from both statesmet for talks.

"Both sides again expressed support for an initiative to create a zonein the Middle East which is free ofnuclear weapons," it said after the July 26 talks, held in Moscow.

The United States has imposed sanctions on a string of Russianscientific institutes and companies whichit says are helping Tehran acquire weapons of mass destruction.

Moscow denies the charges, saying all its nuclear cooperation with Iranis of a strictly civilian nature.

Russia is building a nuclear reactor for Iran in the Gulf port ofBushehr in a $800 million deal and has given approval for talks withTehran on building three nuclear power plants.

Washington and Israel have often urged Russia to suspend nuclearcooperation with Iran, fearing Tehran may use the technology to developweapons.
Russia And Iran Negotiate $8 Billion Trade Deal
Agence France Presse
July 28, 1999
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW, Jul 28, 1999 -- (Agence France Presse) Russia and Iran arenegotiating a series of tradeagreements worth an estimated eight billion dollars, First Deputy PrimeMinister Nikolai Aksyonenko saidWednesday.

His comments as quoted by Interfax came after a meeting here withIranian Minister of Mines andMetals Eshaq Jahangiri.

Aksyonenko said trade volume between Russia and Iran amounted to 546million dollars last year.

"This figure does not meet our potential," Aksyonenko said.

Aksyonenko added that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov would visitIran in the near future, althoughhe failed to name a specific date, ITAR-TASS reported.

Russia's cooperation with Iran has aroused the suspicions of the UnitedStates and Israel, which both accuse Moscow of leaking nuclear weaponsknow-how to Tehran.

In April, Moscow announced it had decided to cut back nuclearcooperation with Iran and expected the United States to lift sanctionsagainst Russian institutes accused of supplying Tehran with sensitivetechnical know-how.

The United States has opposed Moscow's decision to develop a nuclearreactor at Bushehr on the Gulf.
F. U.S. - Russia General
Russia's Ivanov Warns U.S. Of New Arms Race
July 27, 1999
(for personal use only)

BONN, July 27 (Reuters) - The United States and NATO risk provoking anew nuclear arms race with Moscow if they seek to impose their will onthe rest of the world, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov was quotedon Tuesday as saying.

``I hope it won't come to that,'' he told the German weekly newsmagazine Stern, repeating Russia's opposition to the surviving Cold Warsuperpower adopting the role of ``world policeman.''

``It would only lead to new tensions, to a new arms race, to nucleardeterrence. It would mean being permanently on the brink of war,'' hesaid, adding that Russia was ready to take ``military measures'' inresponse to any expansion of NATO.

The interview appeared as Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin began anofficial visit to Washington to try to repair relations after Moscow'sangry opposition to NATO's attack on Yugoslavia.

Ivanov's tone in the Stern interview sounded harsher than the one headopted after talks in Singapore on Monday with U.S. Secretary of StateMadeleine Albright on the fringes of an Association of South East AsianNations meeting.

Asked by Stern how Russia would respond to the further expansion ofNorth Atlantic Treaty Organisation membership to other former Sovietbloc states following this year's admission of Poland, Hungary and theCzech Republic, Ivanov said Russia had no right to prevent its formersatellites from joining.

But he went on: ``Should Russia's interest be seriously threatened, wewill adopt all necessary measures -- including military ones -- toensure her national security.''

Asked what military moves he was thinking of, Ivanov said Moscow couldchange its military doctrine and redeploy troops. Russia, like the NATOallies, is bound in its deployment of troops by the Cold War-eraConventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty, although both sides areseeking to amend it.

Asked whether a change in doctrine could mean increasing reliance onnuclear weapons as Russia trimmed back its large conscript army, Ivanovtold Stern: ``Our army remains capable of action. We are against thenuclear arms race but naturally nuclear weapons play a key role in ourcountry's defence.''

Russia insists that the United Nations Security Council, on which Moscowholds one of five permanent seats with the power of veto, retain amonopoly on the legitimate use of force against states and stronglycriticised NATO for circumventing that principle in its bombing campaignagainst Yugoslavia.

``Can it be allowed that a couple of countries which have set up anelite club should order all the rest about?'' Ivanov said.

Section Menu:

© 2007 Partnership for Global Security. All rights reserved. Privacy Statement.