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Nuclear News - 11/16/00
RANSAC Nuclear News, November 16, 2000
Compiled by Ethan Penfield and Christopher Ficek

A. Deep Cuts
    1. Russia's Disarmament Gambit¸ Fred Weir, ChristianScience Monitor (11/15/00)
    2. Russia Wants US Nonstrategic Weapons Out Of Europe, Itar-Tass(11/14/00)
    3. Russian Paper Sees Missile Chief at Odds With Putin Over NuclearInitiative, BBC Monitoring (11/14/00)
B.  Initiative for Proliferation Prevention (IPP)
    1. Energy Department’s Idaho Lab Teams with Russia to EstablishEcological Biotrade Center, Department of Energy (11/14/00)
C.  Russian Nuclear Forces
    1. Russia to Test New Nuclear Submarine, Agence France Presse(11/14/00)
D. Russian Military
    1. The Leaner Russian Military, New York Times (11/15/00)
E.  U.S. - Russian Relations
    1. Press Background Briefing By Senior Administration OfficialOn The President's Meeting With Russian President Putin, The WhiteHouse (11/14/00)
    2. Carnegie's Rousso on Russian Foreign, Nuclear Policy: Comment,Bloomberg (11/15/00)
F.  Nuclear Power Industry
    1. Russian Atomic Energy Minister on Plans for New GenerationNuclear Power, BBC Monitoring (11/16/00)
    2. News Update [Russian Nuclear Regulatory Activities],Uranium Institute (11/14/00)
G.  Nuclear Waste
    1. Ecogroups Closer to Forcing Plebescite, Galina Stolyarova,St. Petersburg Times (11/14/00)
H. AMB, Missile Defense
    1. Putin, Yakovlev Differ Over Approach to ABM? RFE/RL (11/15/00)

A. Deep Cuts

Russia's Disarmament Gambit
        Fred Weir
        Christian Science Monitor
        November 15, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Putin calls for bilateral reduction to 1,500 warheads by 2008 as partof military cost-cutting.

With his country's back to the wall financially, President VladimirPutin is moving to reduce and modernize Russia's costly Soviet-era militarymachine and proposing a radical bilateral reduction in strategic nucleararsenals.

Mr. Putin has launched a sweeping disarmament appeal that would reducenuclear weapons on both sides to barely a quarter of their present numbers.The plan would have to be negotiated with the United States.

"This is not a propaganda gimmick," the independent Interfax news agencyquotes an unnamed Russian Foreign Ministry official as saying. "It is anabsolutely clear and public signal given by Russia to the next US administration."

"We have proposed to the United States to aim toward cutting the nuclearwarheads of both countries to 1,500, which is perfectly feasible by 2008,"Putin said Monday. "But this is not the limit. We are ready in the futureto look at further reductions."

Analysts say Putin will mention the idea to President Clinton at thisweek's meeting of the 21 member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, butthat his real goal is to win headlines amid the confusion of the US presidentialelection. The Kremlin may be hoping the balloting imbroglio could weakenthe next US leader, whoever he is, and leave him more dependent on thegood will and initiative of established foreign leaders.

"Of course it's a propaganda ploy," says Pavel Felgenhauer, an independentmilitary expert. "But Putin obviously hopes he can capture the agenda,and make some gains that might not have been possible if the American successionwere clearer."

After a decade of vacillation, cashapped Russia is lurching towardradical military reform. Analysts say the internal political strugglesare over, and the Kremlin has won broad agreement on deep cuts in conventionaland nuclear forces.

"There is no real opposition anymore to the need for major militaryrestructuring," says Mr. Felgenhauer. "It's either that or imminent collapse."

Although awesome on paper, the Russian Army has for years failed tosuppress a separatist rebellion in the southern province of Chechnya, dueto lack of skilled manpower, inadequate equipment, and miserable morale.The country's Soviet-era nuclear deterrent is fast approaching the endof its operational life, and there is no money to build a new superpower-sizearsenal.

Last week, Putin ordered the military to cut its ranks by 20 percentwithin five years. Of the 600,000 personnel to be retired, nearly a quarter-millionwould be officers - including 380 generals - and another 130,000 wouldcome from the vast Defense Ministry bureaucracy.

Under the START II treaty, ratified by the Russian parliament earlierthis year, both sides are obliged to cut their strategic forces to around3,500 warheads. The two nuclear powers have also tentatively agreed todownsize further, to around 2,500 warheads each, under an as-yet unfinishedSTART III agreement.

Both sides currently deploy between 6,000 and 7,000 warheads each, onland-based missiles, bombers, and submarines. That's down from around 11,000each a decade ago.

The debate over how to reform Russia's armed forces has been ragingfor years. But the need for decisions became critical after the Kursk,an ultra-modern nuclear attack submarine designed in Soviet times to attackAmerican aircraft carriers, sank during Arctic war games three months ago.Though the cause of the explosions that destroyed the Kursk is still unknown,experts agree that the post-Soviet malaise of underfunding, inadequatetraining, and equipment shortages almost certainly played a role.

"It has become clear to our leaders that we can no longer pretend tofulfill the Soviet Union's global mission," says military journalist AlexanderGoltz. "Those superpower symbols are very hungry, and they swallow up allthe resources that could be used to create a modern military machine, onethat would be more appropriate to Russia's real security needs and limitedmeans."

Russia's annual defense budget is around $5 billion, compared with almost$300 billion for the US.

In addition to silencing military opposition to reform, Putin has apparentlywon the support of Russia's powerful Communists, who had blocked almostall reform of the military under his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin.

"We opposed Yeltsin-style military reforms because they played intothe hands of the United States, by agreeing to cut down our best and mostpowerful weapons," says Georgy Krasheninnikov, the Communist Party's parliamentarymilitary expert. "But Putin is taking a rational approach. He wants todestroy old weapons but also build smaller numbers of powerful new ones.Everyone knows Russia can't be like the Soviet Union any more. We willsupport Putin's efforts if they make Russia a strong, modern power that'scapable of deterring potential enemies."

The main sticking point is an on-again, off-again American plan to builda national missile-defense network that could shoot down attacking rocketsin flight. Moscow says the scheme would undermine three decades of armscontrol and force Russia to respond by building its own anti-missile systemor deploying sufficient numbers of new offensive weapons to overwhelm theAmerican defense shield.

In fact, Russia simply cannot afford either alternative. "If we cannotbring the Americans around to joint action, Russia will probably have todisarm unilaterally," says Alexander Pikayev, an expert with the CarnegieEndowment in Moscow. "The level of 1,500 warheads is about the maximumamount Russia could afford to sustain."

Clinton has left any decision on the nuclear missile defense shieldto his successor.

The Kremlin is already signaling the next president, whoever he turnsout to be, inviting him to join a politically popular common disarmamenteffort rather than risk his tenuous mandate in a long, acrimonious disputewith Moscow over who killed arms control.
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Russia Wants US Nonstrategic Weapons Out Of Europe
        November 14, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Moscow, 14th November: "The Russian initiative to reduce radically nucleararsenals also stipulates negotiations on a pullout of US nonstrategic nuclearweapons from Europe," the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's departmentfor security and disarmament, Yuriy Kapralov, told a news conference hereon Tuesday [14th November]. He said that Russia had unilaterally reducedits stockpiles of such weaponry. "Experience of the past decades showsthat such weapons can play a decisive role on the European continent,"he noted...

"Russia needs no confrontation. It comes out for the reduction of strategicnuclear forces to 1,500 warheads," Kapralov stressed. "Moreover, severalRussian initiatives are intended to demilitarize the outer space (a largeinternational conference on this problem will be held in Moscow next year),to establish global control over missile weapons and technologies. Notfully assessed so far was the statement by President Putin, offering tocreate a fuel cycle based on the use of weapons-grade nuclear materials.Implementation of this Russian initiative will contribute to global stabilityand to the reduction of the arsenals of strategic weapons."
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Russian Paper Sees Missile Chief at Odds With Putin Over NuclearInitiative
        BBC Monitoring
        November 14, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Text of report by Russian newspaper 'Segodnya'

Taking advantage of some confusion in the United States linked withthe presidential election, the Kremlin has submitted a pre-emptive peaceinitiative. Vladimir Putin is suggesting to the United States that thelevel of nuclear munitions in our countries be reduced to 1,500 units by2008 and then go even further, using the mechanisms of the START-2 andSTART-3 treaties. At the same time the Russian president has voiced thehope that the US Senate "will follow the example" of the Russian FederationFederal Assembly and complete ratification of the START-2 treaty and accordsin the sphere of antimissile defence.

Clearly, Putin's statement is addressed to the new US Administration.But the time has obviously been chosen poorly: the text will have to berepeated when it finally becomes clear who the White House incumbent is.And if it is George Bush Jr., who makes no secret of his intention to deploythe national missile defence system regardless of Russia's opinion, itwill be a completely different ball game.

Strategic Missile Troops [SMT] Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Yakovlevso obviously does not share his supreme commander-in-chief's optimism thathe deemed it necessary on the day that the president's statement appearedto voice the view that the United States has already invested considerablefinancial, scientific and technical and material resources in the antimissiledefence programme and hence "stopping the US military-industrial complexin its tracks seems unlikely". To put it more simply, Yakovlev is proposingto reconcile himself to the fact that modification of the 1972 ABM Treatycannot be avoided with the Republicans' arrival in the White House.

As a solution to the situation the SMT commander-in-chief is consideringthe possibility of introducing a so-called constant composite indicatorfor strategic arms, which could include defensive antimissile defence systemsas well as offensive nuclear weapons: "Then a country that wants to quantitativelyincrease one of the components would also be compelled to quantitativelydownsize the other."

'Segodnya' has learnt that in the course of the consultations on strategicoffensive arms and antimissile defence problems the US side has alreadyhinted that it has no intention of lowering its "nuclear ceiling" to 1,500warheads but it may at least agree to 2,200 warheads, and not a warheadless. The Republicans' stance on the problem of national missile defence,which Bill Clinton has "put on ice", will hardly be less tough. Commander-in-ChiefYakovlev has another possible response for that eventuality, namely, tomake our ground-launched ICBM's equivalent to the United States' sea-launchedICBM's, which would make it possible to rectify the Foreign Ministry'sold mistake of taking our ICBM's out of the START-2 framework and fittingthem with MIRVed warheads. But this will mean the complete abandonmentof all strategic accords.

In all probability, this is what will happen. Even if the Democratsremain in the White House, this will not impede the pro-Republican Congressfrom earmarking funds for the modernization of national missile defence.
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B. Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention (IPP)

Energy Department’s Idaho Lab Teams with Russia to Establish EcologicalBiotrade Center
        Department of Energy
        November 14, 2000
        (for personal use only)

The Department of Energy's (DOE) Idaho National Engineering and EnvironmentalLaboratory (INEEL) and four Russian biological institutes today announcedplans to work with Diversa Corporation to establish a Russian EcologicalBiotrade Center to explore that country's biodiversity potential for developingimportant new commercial products.

The effort is part of the Department of Energy’s Initiatives for ProliferationPrevention (IPP) program, which engages former Soviet research organizationsand scientists to ensure that weapons of mass destruction expertise doesnot leak to countries of proliferation concern. The center, the first ofits kind in Russia, will employ former Soviet weapons scientists who willpartner with U.S. Energy Department laboratories and U.S. private industryto work on new non-weapons-related research projects that seek to commercializebiomolecular products.

“Through the collaboration of scientific institutes in Russia, the EnergyDepartment’s national labs and the private sector, we are making greatstrides to redirect former Soviet weapons expertise towards peaceful activities,”said Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson. “We are promoting scientificand commercial use of Russia’s natural resources in a manner that is environmentallysound. The creation of the ecological center is an exceptional opportunityfor participants on all sides.”

The Russian institutes participating with the INEEL include the StateResearch Center for Applied Microbiology, the All Russian Institute ofPhytopathology, the Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms,and the Research Center of Toxicology and Hygienic Regulation of Biopreparations.The self-sustainable ecological center will allow scientists to discovernovel bioactive compounds from selected pristine and contaminated environmentsin Russia. New products and services, involving the use of these compoundswould be marketed domestically and internationally.

The Department of Energy (DOE) will provide $1 million towards thistwo year project with additional funding coming from Diversa Corporationwho signed a cooperative research and development agreement Monday.

The goal of the collaborative research is to use biomolecular techniquesto evaluate the range, extent and potential value of Russia's microbialdiversity, according to Rob Rogers, the INEEL's principal project investigator.Working in close cooperation, Russian, INEEL and industry partner scientistswill begin to conduct a molecular survey of the diversity of the microorganismsfound within selected Russian ecosystems.

“It is the goal of this project to identify commercial biomolecularproducts that will provide revenue to make the ecological center self-sustainingafter DOE funding ends,” says Bill Toth, Initiatives for ProliferationPrevention program manager for the INEEL.

The Energy Department's Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention BiologicalProgram has engaged 20 biological institutes and almost 600 scientists,approved more than 55 projects, and allocated over $12 million for collaborationwith former biological weapons facilities. The program funds peaceful researchby former Soviet weapon scientists, in cooperation with DOE national laboratoriesand U.S. industry partners. Projects are selected for their commercialpotential and are intended to lead to long-term employment for former Sovietweapons specialists, while also providing U.S. industry participants withnew sources of technological innovation.

For additional information on the biotrade center, visit INEEL’s website at
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C. Russian Nuclear Forces

Russia to Test New Nuclear Submarine
        Agence France Presse
        November 15, 2000
        (for personal use only)

MOSCOW, Nov 15, 2000 -- (Agence France Presse) Russia's latest nuclearsubmarine, an Akula-class Guepard according to NATO classification, isto have its first tests at the end of November, the Northern Fleet announcedTuesday, cited by ITAR-TASS.

Construction of the vessel at the Sevmach shipyard had started in 1991,but has suffered years of delays due to financial constraints imposed onRussia's cashapped navy.

The constructors said they hoped to deliver the submarine before theend of the year, but still lack the 130 million rubles (USD 4.7 million,EUR 5.5 million) to complete the work.

The vessel is slightly smaller than and not a replacement for the state-of-the-artKursk, which sank to the bottom of the Barents Sea on August 12, with theloss of all 118 crew on board.

It will be the first submarine to leave Sevrach in three years. In thepast 60 years, the shipyard has produced 170 submarines of which 135 werenuclear, ITAR-TASS reported.
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D. Russian Military

The Leaner Russian Military
        New York Times
        November 15, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Russia's decision to shrink its military forces by 600,000 people overthe next five years is encouragingly realistic. So is President VladimirPutin's renewed call for drastic cuts in the number of Russian and Americannuclear warheads. Russia can no longer afford to sustain the imperial-sizeforces it inherited from the Soviet Union. Conversion to a smaller, better-equippedforce will allow more effective defense against any foreign threats andwould decrease the risk to democracy from restive, underpaid military officers.

Russia has between four million and five million men and women in itsmilitary forces, including regular defense forces and Interior Ministrytroops. Almost one-fourth of the national budget goes to defense. Yet mostsoldiers are not paid enough to live on, some are not paid at all, housingand food are inadequate, training has been drastically cut back and equipmentis obsolete.

Russia has moved slowly to shrink its armies and nuclear arsenal tomore realistic levels. Influential generals have resisted the cuts andcivilian leaders hoped that maintaining the military trappings of a superpowermight preserve Moscow's diplomatic clout. But the strain of keeping upthese troop levels merely advertised weakness. Ill-equipped and poorlytrained units lost Russia's first war in Chechnya, and in the current conflictRussian forces have prevailed through the indiscriminate use of firepoweragainst Chechen fighters and civilians.

The personnel cuts, announced by Mr. Putin this week, come partly inresponse to these developments. The money saved, together with plannedbudget increases, will let Moscow triple its spending per soldier overthe next decade. That should produce a force strong enough to repel anyexternal threats that may develop along Russia's frontiers in the Caucasus,Central Asia or Siberia.

Mr. Putin has also appealed to the next American president to reduceboth sides' nuclear warheads to somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 each.Currently each has more than 5,000 warheads available for use on intercontinentalmissiles or bombers. Further reductions have been held up by argumentsover American missile defense plans. Even if that issue were resolved,the Pentagon has opposed cutting American warheads below 2,000 to 2,500.Russia cannot afford to maintain strategic nuclear forces that large. IfMoscow proceeds with deep cuts, the Pentagon should reassess how many warheadsAmerica really needs.

The era in which Moscow and Washington spent trillions of dollars vyingfor conventional and nuclear supremacy is mercifully over. Russia's movetoward a smaller, more modern military is healthy, and its eagerness tofurther reduce nuclear weapons levels deserves American encouragement.
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E. U.S. - Russian Relations

Press Background Briefing By Senior Administration Official On ThePresident's Meeting With Russian President Putin
        The White House
        November 15, 2000
        (for personal use only)

MR. CROWLEY: Good afternoon. Early this afternoon the President hada working lunch with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and to giveyou a readout of that meeting is a Senior Administration Official, wellknown to you all. We'll go into a little bit on this particular meeting,but put it in a broader context of the engagement that President Clintonand President Putin have had throughout the years, since this is theirfourth bilateral of the year 2000. So here is our Senior AdministrationOfficial.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Thank you PJ. I thought I would spenda few minutes framing the context of today's meeting, and then addressthe meeting, itself. Over the past eight years, the Clinton administrationhas been working closely -- over the past eight years the Clinton administrationhas been working very closely with Russia, first with President Yeltsin,now with President Putin and his team, to build a relationship of partnershipon the basis of mutual interest.

We've laid a very strong foundation for U.S.-Russia cooperation, andwe've quite a few achievements to show for it in a variety of areas, includingstrategic stability, implementing arms control agreements, denuclearizationof the territory of the former Soviet Union, securing fissile material,nuclear threat reduction. Also we've been working in the area of non-proliferationof sensitive technologies. And we've been working with Russia on its ongoingtransition to a market-based economy and democracy, integrated into globalinstitutions.

We've had our disagreements and our differences over this period, butwe've worked on frameworks and avenues by which to manage and reduce thesedisagreements. One example would be the crisis in the Balkans during thetragic events in Kosovo. A sign of this close work together is that PresidentClinton and President Putin have met four times this year, first in Moscow,then at Okinawa, in New York in September and now here at Brunei. Thishas been an intensive dialogue on a whole range of issues of mutual concern.

About this meeting, in the old days a meeting between the Presidentof the United States and the President of Russia would probably have beenthe biggest headline news in the world. Today, that's not the case. InBrunei, I suspect Florida is the biggest news. And Florida didn't comeup in this meeting at all, which probably means that the U.S.-Russia relationshiphas become more normal. We got down to business. The Presidents addresseda full range of security and non-security issues. The meeting lasted about75 minutes, it was a working lunch.

Again, they continued their discussion of strategic stability and armscontrol. They addressed a range of nonproliferation concerns, specificallyrelated to Iran. They addressed regional security issues, including theMiddle East and North Korea. They discussed Russia's ongoing transitionand integration with international institutions.

They also had occasion to reflect on the broader themes of the relationshipand emphasized the need to continue using these cooperative frameworksgoing forward. The Clinton administration is committed to using its remainingtime in office in that spirit and we're confident that future U.S. administrationswill do the same.

I'm happy to try to take your questions.

Q: If you could talk for a minute on the arms control issue. Mr. Putinsaid yesterday that he was looking for some very strong cuts, very deepcuts in strategic arms in both the Russian side and the U.S. side -- weassumed in response to his concerns about a missile defense system. Didhe discuss these deep cuts today and did the President have any responseon that issue?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, we're clearly interested in PresidentPutin's statement yesterday. Generally, it does not contain many new elements.There are a few new twists that require further study and further discussionat the expert level, and that's precisely what the President is committedto doing.

Q: Can you describe what you would consider a new twist?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I think the important point is thatthe proposal is within the existing framework laid out by the U.S. andRussia at Helsinki and Cologne to address both offensive issues and defensiveissues; and finding mutually acceptable ways to do that is what these ongoingdiscussions are all about. And that's what the experts are going to haveto address.

Q: On that, was there any discussion that the possibility of a Bushpresidency would auger an almost certain forward motion on national missiledefense?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: There was a commitment on both sidesto honor the framework that has been developed through many years of work.It's our expectation that because that framework reflects fundamental U.S.interests, it will remain the framework going forward for our dealingswith Russia, on both offensive and defensive discussions.

Q: Does that mean that Mr. Putin sought some assurance from the Presidenton that issue?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The President assured President Putinthat we remain committed to that framework.

Q: Did Mr. Bush's name come up?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Going back to my memory banks -- asI mentioned at the outset, the election was not discussed, and scenarioswere not discussed.

Q: Did Mr. Bush's name come up?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: It may have come up, but I can't rememberthe precise context, and that's why I don't want to say it absolutely didn't.

Q: When they met in Moscow, they came away in disagreement on a nationalmissile defense. Is there any bridging of that difference? Where does thatstand?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, as you know, the administrationtook a decision to defer a final decision on this question. And that has,to some degree, held the issue in abeyance. But it has not gone away, becausewe believe that there are new ballistic missile threats out there thatdo need to be addressed in a systematic manner. And we believe that thatissue will not go away, and will have to be addressed by the next administration.

Q: Can I ask one on Iran? Did the President seek any specific commitmentfrom Russia on Iran, and was any commitment given?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: All year the Clinton administrationhas worked with Putin -- President Putin and his team on the very importantproblem of containing the proliferation of sensitive technologies, nuclearmissile technologies to Iran from Russia. President Putin agrees with usthat these threats are real, and has committed to work hard to stem thoseflows. A lot more work needs to be done.

Q: Did the Edmund Pope case come up, and if so, did Mr. Putin offerany new thoughts or assessment of the situation?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The case did come up. As he has before,the President has expressed his concern about Mr. Pope's condition, inparticular his health. We're concerned about the course of the trial, andthe President again urged release of Mr. Pope on humanitarian grounds assoon as possible.

Q: Any response, or what was the response from Mr. Putin?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: It's clear to us from numerous discussionswith Mr. Putin and others in the Russian government that the Russians understandthat we won't rest until Edmund Pope is home, that we are deeply concernedabout his condition. We think President Putin understands these concerns,and hope he acts on them as soon as possible.

Q: Back on Iran for a moment, Vice President Gore, as you'll recall,signed this memorandum that was widely discussed just before the election,in which Russia committed to a certain date by which time it would stopthese exports, and of course it's gone beyond the date. Has President Putineither acknowledged that they are beyond the date, or suggested a datecertain when those exports would be complete?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: This is an ongoing discussion with theRussians. We believe that that memorandum of understanding has served avery useful purpose in achieving transparency about Russia's arms contracts-- conventional arms contracts with Iran, and in limiting that flow. Wewill be concerned to continue doing so in the future, and the Russiansappreciate this.

Q: So I take that as a "no," that there was no date certain about whenthis set of transactions covered in the memorandum of understanding wouldbe complete?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: In terms of what came up in this meeting,that's correct.

Q: Have there been discussions outside of the meeting that that leavesopen?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes, there have been technical discussionson this.

Q: On North Korea, did Putin encourage Clinton to go? Was there anydiscussion about his possible trip -- the deal that Putin allegedly workedout?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: They did discuss this issue briefly.As you know, it was Mr. Putin who first brought preliminary news of a possibleNorth Korean proposal. As you also know, the Secretary of State and othershave been working with the North Koreans to try to understand the natureof the proposal. We think this could be a very important opportunity, pendingfurther discussion and analysis of what exactly the North Koreans haveto offer.

Q: But that doesn't answer my question. Did Putin encourage him?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No, he did not. He encouraged continuedU.S.-North Korean dialogue on the subject. The President will take a decisionon any trip on his own.

MR. CROWLEY: Last question?

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Carnegie's Rousso on Russian Foreign, Nuclear Policy: Comment
        November 15, 2000
        (for personal use only)
Moscow, Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The following are comments by Alan Rousso,director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, on Russian President Vladimir Putin,his foreign and nuclear policy, and the outlook for the Asia-Pacific EconomicCooperation summit.

On Russian suggestions that the U.S. and Russia should discuss reductionof nuclear weapons:

``Putin is trying to make it look like he has seized the initiativeon arms control. For many experts in arms control, this is nothing new.People know that Russia wants lower numbers of nuclear weapons in returnfor a pledge not to violate the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty.

``The problem is that one of the candidates in the U.S. doesn't believein arms control. I think the Bush camp believes in non-proliferation, butthey seem willing to break away from arms control. That challenges theold patterns and could deprive Russia from one of the most prestigiousdiplomatic dialogues -- the arms reduction process. That, I think, is dangerous.''

On potential relations between Russia and the U.S. if Republican presidentialcandidate George W. Bush wins the presidential elections:

``I think the Bush team is unlikely to offend the Russians as it isnot in their interests. I think they will initially embrace this offeras it is in their interests. We may have to wait six months before theBush camp starts to get really tough on Russia.''

On connections between the presidential elections in the U.S.:

``I am sure the timing of the recent statements by Putin are not accidental.''

On what Russia wants in return:

``Russia wants a pledge by the U.S. not to violate the ABM treaty.

``It's well-known that Russia wants to reduce the number of weapons.Russia can't really afford to keep the START-II levels of weapons.''

On what Putin will do at the summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperationleaders:

``I think he may push his ideas on nuclear reductions at the APEC summitand try to put more flesh on the skeletons.

``Putin is going there will a few main items on his agenda: to advanceRussia's economic interests and to argue why Russia is a good place toinvest in.''

On Russia's membership of the World Trade Organization:

``Russia's doesn't seem to be very focused on WTO membership frankly.I think there is still a fair amount of protectionist sentiment in Russiaand in the world about Russia. Membership of the WTO is not on the fasttrack.''

On Putin's foreign policy:

``I think there is more to Putin on the foreign policy front than weexpected there to be. He has spent more time abroad than we expected himto.

``He has been acquitting himself very well. Admittedly, expectationswere very low so he had nowhere to go but up.

``Putin is pragmatic. He wants economic engagement with the world, heis working for greater security on Russia's southern frontiers, bolsteringrelations with the Commonwealth of Independent States, and he has not castRussian foreign policy in either a pro-European or a pro-Asian mould. Heis building relations with all of Russia's neighbors.

On the main influences on Putin's Foreign Policy:

``This is very difficult to say. I get the sense that Putin is his ownbest foreign policy adviser.

``People like (Security Council secretary) Sergei Ivanov are very importantfor advice on security and foreign policy.''

(Former Russian Prime Minister) Yevgeny Primakov is also very important.One sees a lot of Primakovian influences on Putin's policy. And Primakovturns up at a lot of important meetings.''
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F. Nuclear Power Industry

Russian Atomic Energy Minister on Plans for New Generation NuclearPower
        BBC Monitoring
        November 16, 2000
        (for personal use only)

MOSCOW, Nov 16, 2000 -- (BBC Monitoring) Text of report by Russian PublicTV on 15th November.

[Presenter] Russia's national grid - United Energy System of Russiamay soon lose its monopoly. A serious competitor to Anatoliy Chubays' companymight appear soon. Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeniy Adamov made a statementto this effect in Novgorod today.

[Correspondent] Reforms in the energy sector were to be discussed inMoscow today. However, the agenda has been changed and Atomic Energy MinisterYevgeniy Adamov was working in Nizhniy Novgorod.

Here, behind this fence guarded by the Interior Troops, is one of thelatest bastions of the Russian nuclear industry.

This is the secret OKBM - machine-building research and design bureau.After disintegration of the USSR, principal installations of this sectorwere left outside Russia's borders - in Moldova and Ukraine.

Russia thus lost control for some years over new technological developmentsin the nuclear industry.

Now it was decided to set up a new nuclear technology center here inNizhniy Novgorod.

It will provide a starting point for the development and constructionof a new-generation safe reactor, which will use non-enriched uranium.

[Adamov] This enterprise is currently working on BN-800, which is thefirst substantial and crucial step in implementing the president's initiative.

[Correspondent] The OKBM and other Nizhniy Novgorod's enterprise workingin the same sector, the measuring systems research institute, have so farmanaged to survive without state orders, taking part in commercial projects.

After today's out-of-town session of the Atomic Energy Ministry, thesituation should change. While awaiting state orders, Russian nuclear scientistsare offering the state their own vision of solving the energy crisis.

Adamov believes that a single national electricity grid should be created,in which 100 per cent shares must belong to the state.

That is, apart from the Unified Energy System of Russia, the countrymust have another large producer and supplier of energy. The electricitygrid which distributes energy produced by both companies must be put intothe state hands.

Healthy competition will only benefit consumers and strengthen the state'sposition. Foreign investors will no longer be dictating their conditions.

[Adamov] I should perhaps remind you that the increase in the country'senergy output last year was almost entirely due to us [atomic energy industry].

This year we supplied 30 per cent of energy so far.

Let's see what happens by the end of the year.

[Correspondent] Meanwhile, the management of the Unified Energy Systemof Russia, which administers the electricity grid throughout the country,believes that the Atomic Ministry idea means, in fact, nationalizationof the company's property.

[Adamov] No-one plans to nationalize anything today.

Fifty one per cent of shares, or perhaps even more, in the Unified EnergySystem belongs to the state. The grid can be given back to the state asits major shareholder. This will be in line with the market economy principles.

[Corespondent] But in the Unified Energy Systems' view market economyprinciples mean that if the state wants part of the company's propertyit must pay for it. So far, there is no money for this in the budget.

Source: Russian Public TV, Moscow, in Russian 1800 GMT 15 Nov 00
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News Update [Russian Nuclear Regulatory Activities]
        Uranium Institute
        November 14, 2000
        (for personal use only)

[NB00.46-13] Russia's nuclear safety authority, GAN, is reported tobe asking western regulators to help it fight a bid by Minatom to absorbnuclear regulatory activities. The proposal is part of Minatom ministerYevgeny Adamov's strategy to centralise nuclear activities, including plantoperator Rosenergoatom and fuel fabricator TVEL, within Minatom. Accordingto GAN chairman Yuri Vishnevsky, draft legislation to organise the country'snuclear infrastructure could be voted on by the State Duma next month.Draft legislation to bring licensing and safety analysis activities underMinatom control were rejected by the Council of Ministers in 1999. Nucleonics Week, 9 November, p6; see also News Briefing 00.30-12)
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G. Nuclear Waste

Ecogroups Closer to Forcing Plebescite
        Galina Stolyarova
        St. Petersburg Times
        November 14, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Russian environmentalists have moved a step closer to forcing a referendumon the import of nuclear waste from abroad, but some observers said thatthere was little hope the move would succeed.

At the end of last week, city authorities said they would pass on apetition on the issue, signatures for which were gathered by environmentalgroups across the country, to the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) inMoscow.

The environmentalists are opposing a move by the Nuclear Power Ministryto allow Russia to import spent nuclear fuel from other countries. Proponentsof the idea say that a commercial fuel dump would bring Russia billionsof dollars that would work for the cause of nuclear security.

The project can only go ahead if the State Duma amends the law banningthe import of nuclear waste. A bill that would do so is tentatively scheduledto be heard Dec. 19. The law as it stands allows Russia to accept spentfuel from other nations for reprocessing - which yields uranium, plutoniumand huge quantities of radioactive waste water - if the resulting wasteis sent back where it came from.

But environmentalists have repeatedly said that Russia is unable todeal with its own nuclear industry, let alone everyone else's.

The CEC has 15 days to check the validity of the 2.6 million signaturesthe environmentalists claim they gathered, before asking President VladimirPutin for a decision on whether or not to hold a nationwide vote on thematter.

According to Alexander Karpov, an ecologist who helped organize thepetition in St. Petersburg, the signatures collected here and in the LeningradOblast have been declared valid.

This was confirmed on Monday by Tatyana Pastushkova of the St. PetersburgElectoral Commission. Out of 95,676 signatures put forward for scrutiny,only 838 (or 0.88 percent) were rejected - either because the signatorywas under 18 years old or for purely technical reasons, such as missinginformation.

"We were extremely impressed with this result," Pastushkova said. "Normally,we reject a much higher number of signatures."

In the Leningrad Oblast, only 520 signatures were refused out of the17,912 presented for verification.

According to Dmitry Artamonov, head of the St. Petersburg Society ofGreenpeace Supporters, 52 of the 62 regions in which the environmentalistswere active have already passed on signatures to the CEC. The CEC is expectedto finish its own verification work by Nov. 30.

If the president allows a referendum to take place, a date could beset for March or April of next year, said Karpov.

But Putin may take the issue to the Constitutional Court to see whetherit can be decided by popular vote or not.

Environmentalist Alexander Nikitin welcomed the achievement of the petition'sorganizers, but said that they would have a tough time clearing all hurdles.

"I expect [the referendum] will encounter serious difficulties," Nikitinsaid in an interview Monday. "The Nuclear Energy Ministry will do its bestto invalidate as many signatures as necessary so that the referendum doesnot take place, and it will use all its influence to convince the presidentnot to allow it - as well as pushing the Duma to change the law [on nuclearwaste imports]."

Nikitin also said that the $20 billion Russia expects to earn from theimport of spent nuclear fuel would not be enough to solve the country'senvironmental problems.

And he said that new technology touted by Deputy Nuclear Energy MinisterValentin Ivanov at a conference earlier this month, which would make reprocessingspent fuel cleaner, existed only on paper.

Ivanov claimed that Russia was developing ways of reprocessing nuclearfuel without ending up by isolating plutonium and uranium.

"What they are presenting as a breakthrough is more old [research thathas] a number of weaknesses," Nikitin said.

"The real motive behind this kind of talk is the Nuclear Ministry'sdesire to make money. The ministry has slumped from being a scientificand technological center to a commercial enterprise."

But the environmentalists say they won't give up, and will go to thecourts themselves if the CEC rejects the petition, according to Artamonov."Legally, we are entitled," he said.

The signature gatherers also criticized the hoops that have to be jumpedthrough when trying to organize a nationwide vote - on this or any issue.

"Not only does one need a person's name and address, but also his passportinformation," said Artamonov, "so people who didn't have their passportswith them couldn't sign." Many environmentalists set up petition centersoutside metro stations or on the streets.

"And this also means that homeless people cannot participate at all,which is an obvious violation of their rights."
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H. ABM; Missile Defense

Putin, Yakovlev Differ Over Approach to ABM?
        November 15, 2000
        (for personal use only)

One day after Commander of the Strategic Rocket Forces General VladimirYakovlev proposed an "ABM index" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 14 November 2000),which he suggested would accommodate U.S. plans to deploy a limited nationalmissile defense system, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official deniedthat Moscow is backing down from its opposition to such a system. YuriiKapralov told reporters on 14 November that there is "no softening" onMoscow's position on ABM. Yakovlev is entitled to his own view, Kapralovadded, but only Putin can rule on policy matters. Speaking on 14 Novemberin Ulan Bator, which he visited before proceeding to the APEC summit inBrunei, Putin noted that his proposal to consider even more radical cutsthan those provided for under START-III was made "deliberately" to ensurethat arms control remains on the agenda during the period of uncertaintyover who will replace Clinton in the White House.
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