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Nuclear News - 08/07/00
RANSAC Nuclear News, 07 August 2000


A.  START

    1. Putin Urges Deeper Cuts In Nuclear Arms Stockpiles, BergenRecord (8/4/00)
B. Russian Military
    1. Putin Sets His Sights On The Military, Andrew Jack, FinancialTimes (8/5/00)
    2. Why Kokoshin May Be The Next Defense Minister, Dr. TheodoreKarasik (8/4/00)
C. U.S. – Russia General
    1. Most Russians Oppose Use of Nuclear Weapons States Poll,Agence France Presse (8/4/00)
D. Nuclear Waste
    1. Bill Clinton praises work of Aleksandr Nikitin, Igor Kudrik,Bellona (8/7/00)

A. START

1.
Putin Urges Deeper Cuts In Nuclear Arms Stockpiles
        Bergen Record
        August 4, 2000
        (for personal use only)
 
President Vladimir Putin on Thursday reiterated promises to fulfillthe START II arms reduction treaty and pushed for a START III treaty thatwouldfurther cut Russian and U.S. nuclear weapons stockpiles.

In a letter of greeting to Britain's Pugwash Conference on Science andWorld Affairs, Putin said, "Having ratified START II, Russia intends towork on ensuring its implementation and full observation, as well as thespeediest conclusion of START III treaty."

START II, which would slash both countries' nuclear arsenals to between3,000 and 3,500 warheads each, was ratified by the Russian Parliament thisspring after years of stalling by the Communist opposition. Moscow andWashington are now considering START III, which would set ceilings of 2,000to 2,500 warheads each.
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B. Russian Military

1.
Putin Sets His Sights On The Military
        Andrew Jack
        Financial Times
        August 5, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, appeared to open a third front inhis battle against powerful interest groups this week when six generalslost their jobs in a reshuffle signalling a far broader shake-up in thearmed forces.

After tackling the powerful grip of Russia's 89 regional governors,and the excessive political influence of a handful of mighty business "oligarchs",the military seems to be the latest focus of his attention.

Mr Putin has taken many commentators by surprise with the speed andambition of his decisions since his inauguration in May.

He has pushed through proposals giving him the power to replace governorsaccused of violating laws and their influence over the Federation Council,the upper parliamentary chamber, has been diluted.

Separately, a series of high-profile investigations has been launchedover the last few weeks against companies linked with the country's leadingoligarchs, most powerfully highlighted by the brief detention in jail inJune of Vladimir Gusinsky, the media magnate.

If Mr Putin is now beginning seriously to target the military, it couldprove one of his most explosive actions to date. The 1mong former RedArmy is demoralised and has lost much of its Soviet-era influence, butit remains a powerful political and economic force, weakened by internaldissent.

Speculation has been rife that Igor Sergeyev, the defence minister,may be sacked, given that some of the six dismissed military bosses wereclose to him. There are even suggestions that he could be replaced by acivilian close to Mr Putin.

"It wouldn't surprise me if he is gone within the next two months,"says Pavel Felgenhauer, a defence analyst, but he cautions that some ofthe six generals were in any case approaching retirement, few were verysenior and not all were particular allies of Marshal Sergeyev.

What is clear is that there is a strong internal division in the armedforces between those close to Marshal Sergeyev, who advocate the continuedpriority given to Russia's expensive but world-class strategic missilesystem, and Anatoly Kvashnin, head of the general staff, who has calledfor greater emphasis on conventional land forces.

Mr Felgenhauer predicts further sackings as a result of the conflictin Chechnya, which has taken more lives, lasted longer and proved lessconclusive than predicted.

Meanwhile, a new line of attack against the army emerged yesterday withthe news that four other generals are under investigation in relation tothe disappearance of Pounds 300m in military funds. The case, begun atthe start of this year, coincides with Mr Putin's decision to reinstalsecurity officers into the armed forces accountable to him.

Against this backdrop of fresh activity, some are beginning to questionhow far Mr Putin has neutralised the challenge posed by the first two interestgroups - of governors and oligarchs - before attempting to deal with athird.

The administration's "war on oligarchs" gathered pace in June and July,with inquiries by the tax inspectorate and general prosecutor's officeagainst a number of big companies led by politically influential businessmen.Yet there has been less action than noise.

All charges were later dropped against Mr Gusinsky, and a key figurein a separate investigation into his group was released from custody thisweek. Some investigations against the Lukoil oil group and Avtovaz carmakerhave also been abandoned recently.

"No-one expected that he could destroy Yeltsin's system of power soquickly and effectively," says Andrei Ryabov, an analyst with the CarnegieMoscow centre. "Creating a new political and economic system is more complicated.He will face conflicts from within his own coalition."
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2.
Why Kokoshin May Be The Next Defense Minister
        Dr. Theodore Karasik
        August 4, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Andrei Kokoshin has a very good chance of becoming Russia's first civiliandefense minister. Kokoshin seems to be right in tune w/ TMD issue plusneed for SMT reform. Kokoshin states in Izvestiia 27 July 2000 "Russiacan and must play an active, and sometimes leading, role in preventingsuch wars and armed conflicts. Like the USA, Russia is a nuclear superpower,although its nuclear might will soon begin to plummet for logical reasons."Perhaps Putin will make Kokoshin defense minister in order to guide thepending SMT reorganization.  Putin and Kokoshin also seem to sharesimilar points of view on N. Korea and TMD in East Asia. Finally, Kokoshinseems to endorse portions of Kvashnin's views on emerging local conflicts;except that Kokoshin emphasizes the RMA in precision weapons and informationwarfare, meaning that Kvashnin may be out of a job too (perhaps this iswhere Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Col. Gen. Aleksei Moskovskiicomes in?). Kokoshin's rhetoric is reaching new levels that cater to thetenets of Putin's national security concept.

Putin knows Kokoshin from their service in Yeltsin’s presidential apparatus.In May 1997, Putin, as chief of the Presidential Staff Main Control Administration,announced a plan where he would be forming special teams (FSB, MVD, andFinMin) that would inspect specified territories, districts and perhapsindividual military units. Putin said that "The Defense Ministry is notgoing to reform itself." This conclusion, according to Putin, was confirmed "in a classified inspection" that "would never be made public." This plansounds like a proto-type for the 7 federal okrugs and should have involvedKokoshin in some capacity. For Putin, though, the experience exposed thefuture Russian president to the ongoing problems in the military, particularlycorruption, bribe-taking, etc. Such an investigation by Putin may havebeen used to identify future reliable military cadres, including Kokoshin,who became head of the presidential military inspectorate and head of thedefense council three months later in August 1997. (Important to note thatMoskovskii worked here with Kokoshin, particularily after Kokoshin's March1998 appointment to the Security Council that absorbed the Military Inspectorate).Later, in the summer of 1998, Putin, just prior to his appointment as FSBchief, briefed Kokoshin and the Russian Security Council on the situationin the Caucasus. Clearly, both are not strangers to each other.

Dr. Theodore Karasik Resident Consultant, RAND Editor, Russia and EurasiaArmed Forces Annual
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C. U.S. – Russia General

1.
Most Russians Oppose Use of Nuclear Weapons States Poll
        Agence France Presse
        August 4, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Almost 70 percent of Russians oppose the use of nuclear weapons shouldthe country come under threat, a poll showed Friday.

Sixty-nine percent of those quizzed by the ROMIR organization said theyopposed nuclear escalation, while 21.2 percent said they backed use ofthe bomb "should Russia be threatened."

ROMIR contacted 2,000 people across Russia during July for the poll.

In April, President Vladimir Putin signed a new military doctrine whichreserved Russia's right to deliver a first nuclear strike.

The doctrine states that Moscow would resort to nuclear weapons "whereall other means to settle (a) crisis have been exhausted or have provenineffective."

"Barely 20 percent of people are prepared to use nuclear weapons, whichis not a lot for a country as militarized as Russia was during the Sovietera," ROMIR spokeswoman Natalya Laidinen told AFP.

"We have noticed a falling off in the level of interest in the nucleararms issue over the past 10 years," she added.

"It is significant that a large number of people would not use nuclearweapons if (Russia) was threatened," she said.

Almost half of those polled, some 45.7 percent, said nuclear weaponsshould be banned, while slightly more, 47.5 percent, favored their retentionas a deterrent.
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D. Nuclear Waste

1.
Bill Clinton praises work of Aleksandr Nikitin
        Igor Kudrik
        Bellona
        August 7, 2000
        (for personal use only)

The President of the United States gives credit for bringing to lightradwaste issues in the Russia's Northern Fleet to NGOs, specifically toAleksandr Nikitin.

The President of the United States released a statement August 3 praisinga new law passed recently. The law is designed to strengthen regional co-operationamong the Baltic States, Russia and all countries bordering the BalticSea. The law also highlights the need for continued international effortsto address the environmental dangers posed by nuclear waste in northwest
Russia.

The President gives all the credit to environmental non-governmentalorganisations in Russia and elsewhere for brining to light issues relatedto nuclear waste. Aleksandr Nikitin is mentioned specifically for his contributionto the international understanding and study of environmental problemsin the region.

"Both environmentalists and non-governmental organisations face increasedchallenges today," follows the statement meaning the harassment envirogroupsare experiencing from the Russian government.

Sam Gejdenson bill
The law signed by the President is called the "Cross-Boarder Cooperationand Environmental Safety in Northern Europe Act of 2000." The bill wasauthored by Sam Gejdenson (D-CT), Senior Democrat on the House InternationalRelations Committee. The legislation passed the House in May and the Senatein July, seeks to strengthen co-operation in Baltic area and to combatthe environmental and security threats posed by laid up nuclear submarinesin Murmansk and Arkhangelsk counties.

The main task of the bill will be to secure Russian general-purposenuclear submarines. Decommissioning of these submarines are is not coveredby such initiatives as Co-operative Threat Reduction that focuses onlyon strategic nuclear submarines being decommissioned under START-1 armsreduction treaty.

In a separate statement released on July 20, Sam Gejdenson describedthe new developments in the Nikitin case as "startling." Gejdenson ledkey Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senators in a stronglyworded letter to Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, warning him to"rein in" the Office of the Prosecutor General and to terminate the appealagainst the acquittal of Aleksandr Nikitin.

Aleksand Nikitin was charged with high treason and divulging of statesecrets for co-authoring Bellona's report on radwaste issues at the RussianNorthern Fleet. He was fully acquitted by St. Petersburg City Court inDecember 1999. The acquittal verdict was upheld by the Russian SupremeCourt in April 2000. But in May, 2000, the Office of the Prosecutor Generalappealed the acquittal to the Full Presidium of the Supreme Court demandingthe case be sent to a new investigation. The court hearing was scheduledfor August 3 but was postponed until September 13.

At the reception in the U.S. Congress on July 20 arranged in honourof Bellona, Mr. Gejdenson said "my legislation is designed to ensure thatthe heroic work of Aleksandr Nikitin and the Bellona Foundation leads toa resolution of this dangerous situation [with retired nuclear submarines]."The Russian government should be put on notice that "environmental whistleblowerscannot be intimidated or silenced" added Mr. Gejdenson.
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