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Nuclear News - 11/14/00
RANSAC Nuclear News, November 14, 2000
Compiled by Ethan Penfield and Christopher Ficek



A. Deep Cuts
    1. U.S. Offers Cautious Welcome to Putin Nuclear Proposals,Agence France Presse (11/14/00)
    2. Putin Suggests Deeper Bilateral Weapons Cuts, Sharon LaFraniere,Washington Post (11/14/00)
    3. President Vladimir Putin's Nuclear Arms Reduction Proposal[translated transcript], Vladimir Putin, Itar Tass (11/13/00)
B. Russian Military
    1. Military To Be Slashed By One-Fifth But No Final DecisionWhere Cuts Will Take Place, RFE/RL (11/10/00)
C.  Nuclear Power Industry
    1. Nuke Plant Reduces Output, Associated Press (11/14/00)
    2. Leningrad NPP Reduce Output - Prolong Lifetime, ThomasNilsen, Bellona (11/11/00)
    3. IAEA Backs Controversial Neutron Reactor Plan, Ana Uzelac,Moscow Times (11/11/00)
D.  Nuclear Waste
    1. Merchant Marine to Help Russian Northern Fleet Handle NuclearWaste, BBC Monitoring (11/14/00)
E. U.S. Elections
    1. Russia Prepares for a Bush Presidency, Ekaterina Larina,Russia Journal (11/11/00)
    2. Bush Win "Could Mean Trouble for Russia" BBC Monitoring(11/09/00)
 

A. Deep Cuts

1.
U.S. Offers Cautious Welcome to Putin Nuclear Proposals
        Agence France Presse
        November 14, 2000
        (for personal use only)

WASHINGTON, Nov 14, 2000 -- (Agence France Presse) The United Stateson Monday offered a low-key and cautious welcome to Russian President VladimirPutin's proposal for the two countries to slash their nuclear arsenalsand an indication that Moscow would be willing to discuss changes to akey anti-missile defense treaty.

State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said Washington had read "withinterest" Putin's statement in which he called for a reduction in the numberof nuclear warheads by each country to less than 1,500 and pledged to tryto end the standoff over the planned US national missile defense (NMD)system.

"Certainly we share Russia's interest in lower levels of strategic nucleararms and we want to proceed in a manner that allows us to address new threats,something we've discussed for some time," Reeker said.

He noted that Putin's statement, published earlier on the Russian government'swebsite, followed several bilateral initiatives on arms control agreedto this year on strategic stability cooperation.

"All of those things go into our review of these issues and we certainlywelcome the continued engagement of the Russians on this and it's a subjectwe'll continue to work on with them," Reeker said.

However, Reeker declined to give a more specific response to Putin'sstatement or comment on whether the United States would be willing to engageRussia on the specific ideas proposed.

U.S. officials have in the past opposed Russian suggestions that a newarms control treaty lower the number of warheads on each side to 1,500or less, citing earlier agreements in principle that the figure shouldbe in the 2,000-2,500 range.

On NMD, which Moscow vehemently opposes, Putin said Russia was "preparedto pursue the dialogue begun more than a year ago concerning the ABM issueswe disagree about."

"The obligation to examine all aspects of the ABM treaty is writteninto the agreement itself," he said.

Washington wants to amend the 1972 treaty, the cornerstone of Cold Warnuclear deterrence to clear the way for NMD, which it argues is necessaryto defend itself against a limited attack by states like Iran, Iraq andNorth Korea.

Moscow believes the move could spark a new arms race and has threatenedto tear up existing weapons accords and halt disarmament talks if the UnitedStates takes unilateral action.

In September, U.S. President Bill Clinton postponed a decision on whetherto deploy the 60-billion dollar NMD system, saying his successor wouldmake that call.
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2.
Putin Suggests Deeper Bilateral Weapons Cuts
        Sharon LaFraniere
        Washington Post
        November 14, 2000
        (for personal use only)

MOSCOW, Nov. 13 –– Russian President Vladimir Putin, not knowing whowill be his next negotiating partner in the White House, said today thatboth Russia and the United States should drastically cut their arsenalsof long-range nuclear missiles as part of an intensified disarmament effort.

He said Russia is ready to consider an even lower limit than the 1,500nuclear warheads on each side that Moscow now proposes could be reachedby 2008. At the same time, he reiterated Russia's opposition to a U.S.proposal to build a national missile defense system--a decision that PresidentClinton has left to his successor.

Putin's statement, issued by the presidential press service, broke nonew ground. But Gen. Vladimir Yakovlev, commander of the Strategic RocketForces, struck a different note, suggesting today in separate commentsthat Russia is resigned to the notion that the United States will builda missile shield.

Yakovlev proposed that offensive and defensive missiles might be consideredtogether, with cuts of one offset by a buildup of another. "A country thatwishes to increase one of the components will have to cut the other," hesaid.

U.S. and Russian analysts suggested that Yakovlev was not indicatinga shift in policy but floating an idea. "Because of the strategic pausecreated by the presidential elections, all sides are thinking aloud," saidSergei Rogov, head of Moscow's Institute for the Study of the United Statesand Canada.

In Washington, State Department officials said they were still studyingYakovlev's comments, while spokesman Philip Reeker said Putin's remarks"largely restated the Russian position on strategic nuclear arms reductions."Reeker added, "We certainly share the Russian interest in lower levelsof strategic nuclear arms."

Unable to replace its aging nuclear weapons, Russia has long favoreddeeper cuts than Washington in long-range missiles. The United States hastentatively agreed to a limit of 2,000 to 2,500 warheads. But Russia sofar has not been willing to suggest an exchange of deeper cuts for thedefensive missile shield that the United States wants to protect itselffrom from "rogue nations" such as North Korea.

"They tell us that the situation has considerably changed during thelast three decades," Putin said. "The system has changed, but not to adegree allowing us to break the existing system of strategic stabilityby emasculating the ABM," or Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The conceptof mutual vulnerability that underlies the 1972 treaty effectively rulesout either side building a nuclear defense.

Vice President Gore has said he supports a limited missile shield designedto defend the United States; Republican nominee George W. Bush argues fora system that will protect U.S. allies as well.

Spurgeon Keeny, president of the U.S. Arms Control Association, calledYakovlev's remarks "a thought experiment." Pavel Felgenhauer, a Russianmilitary analyst, said Yakovlev only made the proposal because "we knowit will not be accepted."

Still, Sergei Kortunov, a foreign policy analyst with close ties tothe Russian government, said the Russian position "may become more flexible."Russian officials recognize, he said, that "it is not enough for peopleto just repeat the same position."
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3.
President Vladimir Putin's Nuclear Arms Reduction Proposal [translatedtranscript]
        Vladimir Putin
        Itar Tass
        November 13, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Moscow, 13th November, ITAR-TASS: The following is the full text ofa statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin, as conveyed to ITAR-TASSby his press service.

At the intersection of two millennia, the world stands at an importantmoment for nuclear disarmament, nonproliferation of weapons of mass destructionand preservation of strategic stability. Without doubt, there have beenrecent achievements: exceptionally important decisions have been takenat the review conference on implementation of the Treaty on Nonproliferationof Nuclear Weapons, a substantial dialogue on disarmament took place atthe Millennium Summit in New York and a number of significant resolutionshave been approved at the First Committee of the UN General Assembly. Russiahas contributed to this process by ratifying the Treaty on Further StrategicArms Reductions (START-2), a package of accords on antimissile defencereached in New York in 1997 and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.The consensus in the international community is that there should no pausein nuclear disarmament and that the disarmament process should be intensified.Radical progress in required in this field. Russia is ready for it.

We see nothing in the way of further deep reductions to strategic offensiveweapons. It is known that we have suggested to the USA, including at thevery highest level, that our countries aim for radically reduced levelsof nuclear weapons of 1,500 each, which is entirely achievable by 2008.But that is not the limit - we are willing to subsequently consider furthercutbacks. We agree with an opinion also being voiced in the USA, that suchan agreement will not require protracted talks or a fresh beginning - wehave a substantial amount of experience and we have the treaty and legalmechanisms from START-1 and START-2. We hope that the US Senate will followthe example set by the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and completeratification of START-2 and antimissile accords. But most importantly now,Russia and the USA should start to smoothly move forward jointly or inparallel towards radically lower ceilings for nuclear warheads.

This goal should be achieved along with the retention and strengtheningof the ABM Treaty of 1972. We are told that in the past three decades thesituation in the world has changed significantly - there are now new missilethreats and therefore the ABM Treaty needs adjustment. The situation hasindeed changed, but not so much as to wreck the existing system for strategicstability by emasculating ABM. Action can be taken against proliferationof missiles and missile technology, especially through political and diplomaticmeans, without stepping beyond the bounds of the ABM Treaty. The intensivedialogue on missiles between the USA and DPRK is a clear example of this.Ways of enhancing political and legal mechanisms for nonproliferation arebeing actively discussed in a multilateral format and work is in hand ona new code of conduct in this sphere and the creation of a Global Missileand Missile Technology Control System [GCS].

For those countries that raise the issue of a military and technological"safety net", we again propose wide-ranging cooperation in antimissiledefences for theatres of military operation. The technical procedures forthis already exist. The Moscow centre for data exchange on missile launches,now being established by Russia and the USA, could become a component ofsuch cooperation and should in future be open to all interested countries.We have already invited Europeans and others to join in this work. I hopethat the new administration in the USA will not object to the centre'suse for strengthening regional and global stability.

That aside, Russia is willing to continue without interruption the ABMtalks that were begun with the USA more than a year ago and in which thereare disagreements between us. The obligation to examine all issues affectingthe ABM Treaty was written into the treaty itself in 1972. Accordingly,we are willing to continue discussions at the Standing Consultative Commissionnegotiating forum, which has been functioning successfully since 1973,and to agree if necessary to raise the level at which the sides are represented.

Implementation of Russia's pragmatic and timely programme for real nucleardisarmament will make it possible in practice to strengthen strategic stabilityand international security on the threshold of the new, third, millennium.
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B. Russian Military

1.
Military To Be Slashed By One-Fifth But No Final Decision WhereCuts Will Take Place
        RFE/RL
        November 10, 2000
        (for personal use only)

The Russian Security Council on 9 November announced that the armedforces will be cut by some 600,000 troops over the next five years. Thattotal includes the reduction of 365,000 servicemen announced earlier aswell as 130,000 civilian staff and 105,000 troops from units not underthe Defense Ministry's jurisdiction, including Interior Ministry troops.Reuters quoted an unidentified Security Council official as saying thatthe overall tally amounts to nearly one-fifth of the defense forces. Thedecision brings to an end the years-long debate on the reform of the military.President Vladimir Putin, addressing the Security Council, made clear thathe believed it was high time to take such a decision, stressing that thecountry's "very security" depended on it. Security Council Secretary SergeiIvanov was quoted as saying that the combat strength of the armed forceswill not be affected by the cuts, which, he said, will take place in the"support and administrative services."

"Izvestiya" noted on 10 November that the Security Council has not yetmade a final decision on where the planned cuts will take place, and itpredicts that the security ministries will be lobbying hard over the nextfew months to protect their interests. Security Council Deputy SecretaryVladimir Potapov suggested on 9 November that some branches of the armedforces will be cut back more than others, saying the reductions "will notbe proportionate to the departments themselves," according to Interfax.It was reported, however, that the cuts will affect 240,000 officers, including380 generals.
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C. Nuclear Power Industry

1.
Nuke Plant Reduces Output
        Associated Press
        November 14, 2000
        (for personal use only)

A nuclear power plant near St. Petersburg is reducing output to protestconsumer debts, officials said Friday, prompting grave warnings of blackoutsand rationed electricity as winter arrives.

The four-reactor power plant at Sosnovy Bor, the main electricity providerto northwest Russia, reduced output from three of its four nuclear reactorsby 30 percent this week, said Konstantin Ramburger, spokesman for state-runRosenergoatom, which operates nuclear plants.

The fourth reactor was already off-line, undergoing repairs.

Rosenergoatom said running the plant at reduced levels will not poseany danger. Environmental groups have said the reactors are less stablewhen run at lower power.

The Sosnovy Bor plant uses Soviet-designed RBMK-1000 reactors of thesame type that malfunctioned in the Chernobyl disaster of 1986.

Ramburger said the Sosnovy Bor plant is owed 2 billion rubles ($72 million)by Unified Energy Systems. The country's eight other nuclear power plantsare also owed huge debts, and Ramburger said they will also reduce outputif UES does not pay up soon.
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2.
Leningrad NPP Reduce Output - Prolong Lifetime
        Thomas Nilsen
        Bellona
        November 11, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Leningrad nuclear power plant is reducing its output to the grid inprotest to consumer debts.

The power plant is the main electricity provider in the St Petersburgregion and their move is prompting grave warnings of blackouts as winterarrives in Northwest Russia. Interviewed by AP, Konstantin Ramburger, spokesmanfor the state-run Rosenergoatom, which operates Leningrad nuclear powerplant, said the output from the three operating reactors would be reducedby 30 % this week. The fourth reactor is currently off-line, undergoingrepairs. Some critics have been raised concerning the safety of the reactors.Environmentalists say the RBMK reactors are less stable when run at lowerpower.

Unified Energy Systems (UES) owe Leningrad nuclear power plant 2 billionrubles ($72 million). Rosenergoatom spokesman Ramburger says LeningradNPP is just the first one to reduce its output in protests to the debts.Russia's eight other nuclear power plant have not been paid for energythey generate as well, and they will also reduce output if UES does notpay soon, Ramburger said.

Simultaneously, Leningrad NPP officials stated at a St. Petersburg conferencelast week that the service life time of the first and second reactor canbe extended for another decade on the average without any damage to thenuclear and radiation safety. Quoted by ITAR-TASS, general director ofthe plant, Mikhail Orlov said the safety of the reactors have been upgraded.More than $700 million will be invested in modernisation before 2005. Reactorunits one and two are the oldest civilian RBMK reactors in the former SovietUnion, started up in 1973 and 1975.
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3.
IAEA Backs Controversial Neutron Reactor Plan
        Ana Uzelac
        Moscow Times
        November 11, 2000
        (for personal use only)

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said after meetingFriday with President Vladimir Putin that he supports Russia's controversialplan to develop a new generation of fast neutron reactors that could runon spent nuclear fuel, including plutonium.

The plan is opposed by Russian ecologists, who say they doubt such areactor is feasible and if developed, could possibly have devastating consequencesfor the environment. They also question the government's motives in pushingfor the development of such a reactor.

The Nuclear Power Ministry is among those who believe these reactorscould simultaneously solve the worldwide problem of disposing of spentnuclear fuel and prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Plutoniumis a by-product of all known nuclear reactors and is only used now in buildingnuclear weapons.

At the UN Millennium Summit in September, Putin spoke in support ofprograms for developing these fast neutron reactors, calling the reactors"technically quite feasible."

IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei described his talks with Putinas "constructive" and said the international agency is also interestedin the development of such reactors. The IAEA plans to invest about $2million in theoretical research during the next three to five years, El-Baradei said at a news conference, announcing that the first session ofthe international expert group in charge of this will be held later thismonth in Vienna, Austria.

Environmentalists criticized the plans to develop the reactors.

"So far nobody has managed to construct even a prototype of a reactorthat would use plutonium as fuel," Greenpeace nuclear projects expert IvanFarafonov said Friday in an interview. "These things exist only on paper."

The only operating BN-600 fast neutron reactor in Russia is in the Beloyarskayanuclear power plant in the Sverdlovsk region, but it does not use plutoniumas fuel, Farafonov said.

Valery Melnikov, a plutonium specialist with Zelyony Mir ecologicalorganization in the Leningrad region, said using plutonium fuel would notbe safe.

"If it ever becomes technically possible, we would be able to use onlya small part of it, and at the same time we would get enormous quantitiesof plutonium in the air, water and earth," Melnikov said.

Sergei Kharitonov, also of Zelyony Mir, said the government is usingthe talk of developing a new fast neutron reactor to lobby for a new lawthat would allow Russia to make money by importing spent nuclear fuel.Russia now brings in spent fuel for processing, but must send the highlyradioactive waste product back to the country of origin for storage.

If State Duma deputies are convinced that the still nonexisting nuclearreactors could work on spent fuel, they might be more likely to changethe law, Kharitonov said.

Environmental activists last month submitted 2.5 million signaturesto the Central Elections Commission calling for a referendum on allowingimports of nuclear waste. The signatures are still being verified; 2 millionare required for a national referendum to be called.
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D. Nuclear Waste

1.
Merchant Marine to Help Russian Northern Fleet Handle Nuclear Waste
        BBC Monitoring
        November 14, 2000
        (for personal use only)

MOSCOW, Nov 14, 2000 -- (BBC Monitoring) Text of report by Russian newsagency ITAR-TASS.

The Murmansk Maritime Shipping Line, which has a great deal of experiencein handling nuclear materials, will be providing assistance to colleaguesfrom the Northern Fleet.

A contract signed by heads of the naval and merchant fleets on the Kolapeninsula provides for experts from the shipping line unloading spent nuclearfuel from Northern Fleet nuclear warships, as well as collecting and transportingliquid nuclear waste to a reprocessing site.

Sailors from the shipping line will be using their own floating technicalbase and the specialized tanker Serebryanka to assist the military.

Spent nuclear fuel was unloaded from two nuclear submarines onto thefloating technical base Imandra recently under the cooperation plan. Itwas sent in special containers to the Mayak plant in the Urals for reprocessing.

Shipping line managers believe that this cooperation will reduce thedanger of nuclear contamination in Murmansk Region and will considerablyimprove the ecological situation in the area.

Source: ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in Russian 0816 GMT 14 Nov 00
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E. U.S. Elections

1.
Russia Prepares for a Bush Presidency
        Ekaterina Larina
        Russia Journal
        November 11-17, 2000
        (for personal use only)

The neck-and-neck and still-undecided U.S. presidential election mayhave Americans on edge and the rest of the world totally baffled, but politicaldiscussions in Russia during the week focused on the implications of aGeorge W. Bush presidency.

"A Bush victory would be positive for Russia," said Vyacheslav Nikonov,the president of Fond Politika. "For us, despite the Republicans’ morethreatening rhetoric, things were always better with the Republicans thanwith the Democrats."

Many others agreed, saying that Russia might have warmer personal feelingsfor Democratic contender and current Vice President Al Gore, but they thinkthat nonetheless, Bush could actually prove a better partner in gettingthings done around the world.

"Detente began when [Richard] Nixon was in power; the Cold War endedwhile [Ronald] Reagan was president; and START-2 was signed while GeorgeBush Sr. was president," Nikonov said, referring to three other Republicanpresidents.

"But it was under [Harry] Truman that the Cold War began; the Cubanmissile crisis took place during [John F.] Kennedy’s time; and the [Bill]Clinton presidency saw an eight-year long worsening in Russian-Americanrelations," he added, naming off three Democratic leaders.

Russian observers are unanimous in saying that a Republican administrationwould be less inclined than a Democratic one to meddle in Russia’s domesticaffairs. The experts welcome even the fact that the Republicans would makemore demanding and pragmatic partners, saying that this would do more tohelp the Russians bring order to their affairs than the Democrats’ abstractrhetoric.

"The harsher the demands on us, the quicker we’ll understand that thereis no easy road and that we have to work hard to hold on to our place underthe sun," said Fyodor Shelov-Kovedyayev, who was a first deputy foreignminister in the early 1990s. "There’s an old German proverb that goes:‘Sometimes, to take a step forward, all you need is a kick in the backside.’"

Shelov-Kovedyayev has worked with both the Bush Sr. and Clinton administrations.He said that the Republicans make a point of standing up for issues theyconsider part of U.S. national interests, but at the same time, they knowhow to respect the clearly motivated interests of their partners.

"If we have a clearly thought out and formulated national interest,which we can explain and justify, the Republicans will show respect forour point of view," said Shelov-Kovedyayev. "With the Democrats, we wouldsee a more abstract approach, more humanitarian rhetoric and so on."

Nikonov thought the Republicans could have more freedom than the Democratsin their relations with Russia. Firstly, because they wouldn’t have tofear being accused of betraying national interests, and secondly, becausethere are a number of moments that cast a shadow over Russia’s cooperationwith the Democrats.

"The Republicans have a clear pro-American policy and are not afraidto be accused of betraying national interests," he said. "At the same time,paradoxical as it may seem, it is the Democratic establishment that countsamong its ranks the greatest number of people from Eastern Europe, whohave a whole range of prejudices. Most Republicans, meanwhile, are Anglo-Saxonsand don’t feel any genetic complex toward Russia."

Even Russia’s Communists, who by definition are on the left of the politicalspectrum, feel more sympathy for Bush Jr. and would rather see a Republicanadministration in the United States, according to observers.

"The Republicans always followed a more balanced, conservative policywith regard to Russia, and unlike the Democrats, didn’t try to meddle inour domestic affairs," said Andrei Andreyev, a spokesman for the StateDuma’s Communists. "As for the fact that the Republicans won’t be lenientwhen it comes to debts and loans, it’s high time we learned to live accordingto our means."

In his statements on the U.S. elections, President Vladimir Putin wascareful not to show outward sympathy for either one or other of the candidates.Speaking to journalists in Rostov-on-Don, he said only that the UnitedStates "is one of our most important partners, and we have therefore examinedcarefully the programs of both candidates. [Both programs] speak clearlyof developing relations with Russia, and this approach suits us."

Other officials have also kept to a carefully neutral position.

"I can’t add anything to what the president said," said Security Councilspokesman Vladimir Nikanorov. "We respect the choice of the American peopleand will work with the president they elect."

Kremlin spokespeople repeated the official line that Russia can’t andshouldn’t comment on the choice of the American people. They also tookpleasure in repeating the joke that, facing the problem of having to recountvotes in Florida, the Americans turned to Russian electoral officials forhelp. The result was that in a matter of hours, Vladimir Putin took thelead.

While many in Russia took the whole affair of the vote recount witha pinch of irony, not many seriously agreed with head of the Central ElectoralCommittee Alexander Veshnyakov’s statement that this demonstrated the superiorityof the Russian direct election system over the U.S. two-tier system.

"Obviously, since the American electoral system was created 200 yearsago, it’s a bit archaic, but I think things won’t go beyond a burst ofdiscussion on improving it," Nikonov said.

"The American system is like a Formula One race where two cars are noseto nose and you need a photo finish to determine the winner; and the Russiansystem is like free races on Minsk Shosse, where anyone who wants can participate,but you’ve got a motorcade roaring through with lights flashing, and trafficcops always stopping everyone else."

The Communist Party’s Andreyev said that if Russia had any experienceit could share with America, it was his party’s experience in fightingelection fraud.

"This chaos when it comes to vote counting is a scandal over there,but it happens here every time we have elections," Andreyev said. "A lotof people are surprised to see that there too, you can have boxes turnup with votes that haven’t been counted. We could share our experiencein fighting election fraud. We’ve got more experience than anyone else."
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2.
Bush Win "Could Mean Trouble for Russia"
        BBC Monitoring
        November 9, 2000
        (for personal use only)

[Original Source:  'Nezavisimaya Gazeta']

America has finished the elections, but has not yet been able to electa president. This is the paradoxical situation that emerged yesterday [8thNovember] after the end of voting in the United States....

It essentially makes no difference to Americans - and the tiny gap betweenthe figures of Albert Gore and George Bush merely confirms this - whichof the two candidates gets into the Oval Office at the White House. Overthe last decade (mainly over Clinton's final term in office, when the Republicanshad the time and potential to ponder the reasons for the crushing defeatin the 1996 presidential elections) the process of convergence betweenthe dominant political currents in the United States has reached its highestpoint in the entire history of the US two-party system: The Gore-Liebermanpairing are the most Republican of Democrats, and the Bush-Cheney pairingthe most Democrat of Republicans.

As for foreign policy and the influence of the election results on Russian-USrelations, we should not expect anything good if Bush wins. The only questionis just how bad things will be. Yesterday morning, when the results werestill not definitely clear, an extremely high-ranking US diplomat in Moscowsaid that there would be no fundamental review of US foreign policy underPresident George Bush. There will be merely a point-by-point revision ofits main directions, he added. The addendum means the precise oppositeof the diplomat's first thought, namely - a fundamental review of US foreignpolicy is exactly what there will be. And we can assume that the Russiandirection will be carefully checked.

The advent of George Bush, with his - to put it mildly - Texan approachtowards solving extremely complex world problems, could mean plenty oftrouble for Russia. The first bit of trouble could be the real threat ofthe rapid destruction of the 1972 ABM Treaty. Bush has stated that if Russiadoes not accept the amendments proposed by the United States, Washingtonwill withdraw from the treaty. All this is fraught with a slide into anew arms race, which will bring nothing good for the Russian economy. Inaddition, there will be serious difficulties for the development of ourrelations with countries like Iran, India, and China since Washington willimpede them.

Under Bush US foreign policy will lose the last traces of subtlety,which have already almost disappeared thanks to the endeavours of the currentsecretary of state. The simplest solutions will be deemed to be the best.A Bush administration will scarcely go into details. Yet internationalrelations are a sphere where a great deal is determined by nuances andby the subtlest details. Bush is accustomed to broad brushstrokes.

It is worth noting that if Bush wins one party will control the executiveand legislature for the first time in 40 years...

Given the unfailingly negative attitude towards Russia among an influentialnumber of Republicans in the Senate and House of Representatives, we canexpect anti-Russian tendencies to increase during decisionmaking by thenew US leadership.

However, this may benefit Russia. A shock, an unexpected blow, and suddenimmersion in a state of discomfort always stimulate inner resources. Fewpeople are interested in a tranquil Russia, but a wounded Russia couldbecome a much stronger rival, including for the United States itself.

Moscow was certainly backing Gore. But it has no instruments for influencingthe outcome of the vote (unlike, say, the Jews, Irish, and so forth whohave "their own" lobbies)...

However, George Bush is no specialist in foreign policy and will evidentlyentrust this sphere to his extremely strong team, which is made up partlyof old "hawks" and partly of pragmatists. We can reach agreement with thelatter, although on tougher terms than would have been the case with theDemocrats, including on anti-missile defences, even if this would meanrevising the whole complex of disarmament agreements. In addition, theRepublicans have harshly criticized the IMF, which signifies agreementwith Moscow - the result of this coincidence between positions could berestructuring of the Russian debt.
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