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Nuclear News - 12/11/00
RANSAC Nuclear News, December 11, 2000
Compiled by Christopher Ficek



A.  Russian Nuclear Forces
    1. Russian "Bears" not Threatening U.S., Says Air Chief,Reuters (12/09/00)
    2. Sergeyev Sees Nuclear Parity With US, The Russia Journal(12/09/00)
    3. New Submarine Leaves For Fleet Testing, The Russia Journal(12/09/00)
B. Military-to-Military Contacts
    1. Gen. Shelton To Visit The Russian Federation, U.S. Departmentof Defense (12/08/00)
C.  Export Controls
    1. Commerce Department Welcomes International Initiative On EnforcementOf Export Controls, Office of International Information Programs, U.S.Department of State (12/11/00)
D. Arms Control - General
    1. Bush II Arms Control, Jim Hoagland, Washington Post (12/11/00)
E. U.S. - Russian Relations
    1. US Grows More Wary Of A Putin-Led Russia, Justin Brown,Christian Science Monitor (12/08/00)



A. Russian Nuclear Forces

1.
Russian "Bears" not Threatening U.S., Says Air Chief
        Reuters
        December 9, 2000
        (for personal use only)

MOSCOW, Dec 9, 2000 -- (Reuters) Russia's air force chief denied onSaturday his nuclear-capable "Bear" bombers were probing U.S. defenseswhile on training -- but he and his strategic aviation commander were carefulnot to rule out such flights.

The Pentagon said last week it expected the Tu-95 bombers to test airdefenses soon by flying up through the Bering Straits and close to Alaska,Cold War-style, from temporary bases in Russia's far northwest and northeast.

General Anatoly Kornukov told Russian news agencies the bomber crewswere simply training in Arctic night conditions and "posed no securitythreat to our neighbors".

"The aircraft fly in Russian airspace, not in the direction of the UnitedStates," he told the military news agency AVN. "We managed to replenishour stocks of fuel at northern airfields so we have the opportunity totrain crews at night."

Last week, the Russian Defense Ministry said there could be flightstoward the United States but that would be decided by the air force.

The propeller-driven Tu-95 bombers were first used in the 1950s buthave been modified down the years and are still a vital part of Russia'snuclear "triad" that deploys atomic weapons on land, in submarines andaboard aircraft.

WASHINGTON SHOULD RELAX, BOMBER CHIEF SAYS

In his comments to AVN and Interfax news agency, Kornukov did not specificallyrule out probing flights in the future.

His strategic aviation commander, Lieutenant-General Mikhail Oparin,told Friday's edition of the Defense Ministry newspaper Krasnaya Zvezdathe United States should rest easy for now.

"Extremely long-distance flights in the north are not being mastered.Nor are special tasks being carried out," he said in a front-page articleillustrated with pictures of the enormous aircraft. "At least not in thenear future."

The Tu-95 aircraft being used can fly 11,600 km (7,200 miles) withoutrefueling and can carry nuclear cruise missiles. But Oparin said the planeswere not flying more than 200 km (125 miles) from their bases at Tiksi,Anadyr and Vorkuta.

"The U.S. reaction once again shows what a powerful instrument the commanderin chief has in his hands," Oparin said, referring to President VladimirPutin. "We have great potential. We are ready to fly anywhere in the world."

Kornukov said aircrews were being trained in particular in navigatingin difficult circumstances.

Moscow has said strategic aircraft armed with cruise missiles wouldbe an inexpensive and available response to a U.S. anti-ballistic missileshield, if it is deployed by the next president.

Krasnaya Zvezda, which means Red Star in Russian, said Russia plannedto deploy a new generation of nuclear cruise missiles on the Tu-95 overthe next five years.
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2.
Sergeyev Sees Nuclear Parity With US
        The Russia Journal
        December 9, 2000
        (for personal use only)

MOSCOW -- Defense Minister Igor Sergeev believes that Russia's nuclearparity with the United States will be preserved when the planned reductionof the Armed Forces, including its nuclear element, is implemented between2001 and 2005.

Sergeev said, "I think the world is ready for a gradual nuclear armsreduction. We will preserve parity at the minimal level."

General of the Army Vladimir Yakovlev, Commander-in-Chief of the StrategicMissile Forces, says at the same time that up to six new Topol-M complexeswill be put on combat duty before the end of the year. Yakovlev says thattwo regiments for manning the complexes are already on combat duty in theTatischevo division.

According to Yakovlev, the number of Topol-Ms to be put on combat dutyin 2001 will depend on "implementation of the budget and the defense order."

According to Konstantin Zaminsky of the Moscow Tax Police, as of July10 the number of commercial banks operating in Moscow totaled 645, althoughas of January 1 over 1,000 were registered. Working with insolvent bankswhich delay transfer of client payments to the budgets has become a priorityin tax police work.
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3.
New Submarine Leaves For Fleet Testing
        The Russia Journal
        December 9, 2000
        (for personal use only)

ARCHANGELSK -- The new Russian multipurpose nuclear submarine Gepardhas left Severodvinsk, the main base of the Northern Fleet, for a performancetrial.

The official performance trial of the Gepard submarine (of the Akulaclass according to NATO classification) started on 5th December, Interfaxwas told at the naval base on Friday.

"The decision on a performance trial of Gepard was made and it willlast for about two weeks," Russian navy Commander-in-Chief Adm VladimirKuroyedov, who visited Severodvinsk before the submarine departure, hasannounced.

He stressed "the importance and necessity of government support forcompanies of such a level as the Russian nuclear ship-building center Sevmashpredpriyatiye"in Severodvinsk. "This is not only a concern of the Defence Ministry andthe Finance Ministry, it is the only company of its kind in the country,and we have only one navy," he said.

Representatives of Sevmashpredpriyatiye, where Gepard was built, saidthe vessel was named after one of the first Russian submarines, which perishedin 1917 during a patrol mission in the Baltic.

Gepard is designed for striking naval groups and targets on the coast.It has a full underwater displacement of 12,770 tonnes and a diving depthof 600 metres.

Gepard has a velocity of up to 35 knots under water and remains oneof the most silent subs in the Russian navy. The sub is armed with 28 Granatcruise missiles with range of 3,000 kilometres and 200 kilotonne nuclearwarheads. The submarine is also armed with torpedoes and anti-sub guidedmissiles. The Gepard has a crew of 63.

It will join the ranks of the Northern Fleet after all factory testsand performance trials are over.

Sevmashpredpriyatiye reports that it has launched six submarines ofthe same class: Bars in 1998, Pantera in 1990, Volk in 1991, Leopard in1992, Tigr in 1993 and Vepr in 1994. One more is under construction. /TheRussia Journa
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B. Military-to-Military Contacts

1.
Gen. Shelton To Visit The Russian Federation
        U.S. Department of Defense
        December 8, 2000
        (for personal use only)

Gen. Henry H. Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will departAndrews Air Force Base, Md., on Monday, Dec. 11, 2000, for a visit to theRussian Federation.

While in Russia, he will be the guest of his counterpart, General ofthe Army Anatoliy Vasilyevich Kvashnin, chief of the General Staff andfirst deputy minister of defense of the Russian Federation. They will meetfor discussions on issues of mutual interest and the shape of the U.S.and Russian military-to-military program for 2001.

Shelton will return to Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 13.
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C. Export Controls

1.
Commerce Department Welcomes International Initiative On EnforcementOf Export Controls
        Office of InternationalInformation Programs, U.S. Department of State
        December 11, 2000
        (for personal use only)

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Commerce announced today that theWassenaar Arrangement, a 33-country group which promotes internationalcooperation on issues concerning conventional arms and dual-use technologytransfer, has adopted a statement of "best practices" for export enforcementto halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The participating states affirmed the importance of members having effective,transparent and national law-based enforcement systems and agreed to alist of 18 non-binding enforcement "best practices." The "best practices"are the most successful enforcement policies and techniques used in thevarious Wassenaar countries.

"I applaud today's action. The Wassenaar countries are sending a messagethat export enforcement is a key component of international efforts tokeep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists and countriesof concern," said Commerce Under Secretary for Export Administration WilliamA. Reinsch.

The "best practices" initiative was developed by Department of Commerceexport enforcement officials in concert with other like-minded countriesand unanimously approved by all 33 member countries.

"1'm pleased we were able to work with the other countries to developthis initiative," said Commerce Assistant Secretary for Export EnforcementF. Amanda DeBusk.

"The adoption of the 'best practices' demonstrates that other countriesshare the U.S. view that an effective export control system requires first-rateexport enforcement capabilities," she said.

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms andDual-use Goods and Technologies was established in July 1996 and is basedin Vienna, Austria.
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D. Arms Control - General

1.
Bush II Arms Control
        Jim Hoagland
        Washington Post
        December 11, 2000
        (for personal use only)

National security and foreign policy have dominated George W. Bush'stentative preparations to move into the White House. The global view ofBush II is taking shape in Austin even as legal challenges echo acrossFlorida.

This is partly a matter of necessity. By showcasing Colin Powell andCondoleezza Rice as his almost-certain choices for secretary of state andnational security adviser, Bush informs the rest of the world that therewill be no delay, no early vacuum of power, in his administration.

This course is only prudent, as another Bush might say. But it is alsopersonal. Bush intends to make his mark in foreign affairs as well as education,even though he talked much more about the latter during the presidentialcampaign.

If he does prevail in Florida and is sworn in on Jan. 20, Bush willbring with him to the White House the beginnings of a strategic dialoguewith Russia that will center on missile defense and deep cuts in each nation'snuclear arsenals.

The dialogue started tentatively in April, when Rice arranged for Bushto meet Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov in Washington. The two mensaid little about their talk to avoid entangling it in the campaign. Butits key points have become known as Moscow shapes its approach to BushII. The conversation began convivially with Bush speaking a few sentencesin Spanish to the Russian diplomat, who was long posted in Madrid.

Bush quickly moved on to deliver a blunt assessment to Ivanov: The UnitedStates soon would build a national missile defense to protect its territoryfrom rogue states or accidental launches. This was a political fact oflife that Russia and other nations had to absorb.

The system might be built faster and more robustly if he became president,Bush hinted. But in any event, Congress would mandate it. The sense leftby Bush's careful words was that this could mean U.S. withdrawal from the1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which Moscow, Beijing and other capitalsdescribe as the foundation of international arms control.

This assessment deepened Russian concern about Bush's campaign declarationssuggesting that the era of formal arms control agreements to reduce nucleararsenals may be over.

The Republican nominee emphasized instead the possibility of unilateralreductions. This would leave the United States free to develop a defensiveshield and adapt offensive forces to it. It might also lessen internationalpressure on the United States to match nuclear reductions Russia must makefor budgetary reasons.

Neither outcome is desirable for Russia. On Nov. 13, President VladimirPutin issued a public declaration emphasizing the importance of the ABMtreaty and Russia's willingness to proceed quickly with the next administrationon new arms control talks to limit each nation to fewer than 1,500 warheads.

Ivanov then dispatched his top U.S. expert, Georgy Mamedov, to Washingtonfor a final round of talks with Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbotton strategic stability.

But Mamedov's main message was intended for the next administration,be it Gore or Bush. The message, according to a senior Russian official,was an appeal "to keep talking. Don't create an artificial pause. Don'tabandon channels that have worked. Explore seriously the proposals we aremaking, as seriously as we explored the proposals for national missiledefense" that the Clintonites put forward.

Moscow and Washington could not agree on modifications to the ABM treatythat would have permitted deployment of a limited missile defense, andClinton left that decision for his successor. Russia clearly fears thatBush will move quickly toward a unilateralist nuclear strategy.

"We are prepared to work together or in parallel," the official said.The formulation was intended to open the door for talks with the Bush teamon nuclear reductions that could be coordinated (rather than formally negotiated)and jointly verified. "The important first step is to engage."

Arms control remains an important component of Russian-U.S. relations,he added:

"It is still a central issue. If you believe the other side is up todestroying or blackmailing you, you cannot work together. Arms controlis about good governance, and about saving money."

As Americans emerge from their absorption with Florida circuit courtsand county canvassing boards, they will find the world waiting to get backto business. Russia's hope is that it will be business as usual on armscontrol. But even Moscow recognizes that a new day is dawning on old theoriesof the nuclear balance of terror.
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E. U.S. - Russian Relations

1.
US Grows More Wary Of A Putin-Led Russia
        Justin Brown
        Christian Science Monitor
        December 8, 2000
        (for personal use only)

As Russia's fledgling president tests US, the latest flash point isarms sales to Iran.

WASHINGTON -- While the United States has been mired in presidentialuncertainty, Russian President Vladimir Putin has launched a diplomaticoffensive that could further erode Moscow's fragile relationship with Washington.

Mr. Putin, who took control of Russia a year ago following the resignationof Boris Yeltsin, has moved swiftly in the areas of weapons sales, armscontrol, and strategic alliances - upsetting a delicate balance that wasstruck during the Clinton administration.

He's also given the US a flashback to the cold war with his pursuitof criminal charges against Edmond Pope, the US businessman whom a Moscowjudge sentenced to 20 years of hard labor yesterday, for allegedly tryingto steal Russian torpedo secrets.

Taken together, Putin's initiatives will provide an early challengefor the next US president, whether Texas Gov. George W. Bush or Vice PresidentAl Gore.

"There's definitely been a sense that things have taken a turn for theworse in the past three to four months," says a US official.  "Peoplehere see Putin as a much tougher customer" than Mr. Yeltsin.

Arms sales to Iran

The most defiant move by Putin so far has been to try to sell arms toIran, in violation of a secret 1995 agreement between Washington and Moscowthat was brokered by Mr. Gore. The US State Department sent a delegationto Russia Wednesday to try to freeze the sale, which includes tanks andother conventional weapons.  A long-term concern is that these kindsof transactions could escalate into the realm of ballistic missiles ornuclear technology.

"We've been very successful in the past on constraining arms sales toIran that otherwise would have undermined regional stability," says StateDepartment spokesman Richard Boucher, "and we're going to continue ourdialogue with Russia on these critical issues."

Analysts say Russian arms sales to Iran are part of a larger strategyto boost Russia's deteriorating military-industrial complex, while at thesame time improving regional security.  Moscow is also trying to increasesales to China and India, with the hope that it can raise arms-sales revenuefrom its current level of between $3 billion and $4 billion, up to as muchas $6 billion.  "The Russians face an environment in which they aresurrounded by regional powers," says Andrew Kuchins of the Carnegie Endowmentfor International Peace in Washington.  "They can help manage theserelations with strategic arms sales, which can give them leverage."

Putin may also be seeking greater military leverage through his suggestionthat he wants to rapidly reduce Russia's strategic nuclear-weapons arsenal,possibly to 1,500 warheads or fewer. While Putin needs to do so first andforemost because of economic concerns, he is likely to use the overtureto pressure the US into making similar concessions, officials say.

"The Russians have to go down in numbers anyway," says Mr. Kuchins. "Their preference is for the US to go down also to maintain some of theirdeterrence from the cold war."

Pressure on the US

First, Putin wants the US to give up plans to build a national missiledefense (NMD), which would be designed to protect the US from incomingmissiles. Although NMD tested poorly this year and the Clinton administrationput a decision about its future on hold, it has strong support among Republicans,including Mr. Bush.

Second, Russia wants the US to reduce its nuclear arsenal to the samelow levels Russia hopes to achieve.  Bush has said that he would doso - provided he can compensate with defensive weapons like NMD - but themilitary establishment has yet to endorse a plan that would cut strategicnuclear weapons to fewer than 2,500.

Under Putin, Russia has also sought a greater role in internationalleadership.  Putin has tried to mediate the Middle East crisis betweenIsrael and the Palestinians, a move that has made the US uncomfortablebecause he is thought to favor some sort of United Nations peacekeepingforce, which Washington opposes for now.

Also, Russia has shown surprising support for the creation of a jointEuropean Union rapid-reaction defense force - and they have even indicatedthat they may be willing to contribute to it.  Analysts say that supportlikely stems from Moscow's desire to back any global power that can counterbalancethe US.

"The Russians are consumed with the foreign impression of their power,"says a US official.  "They still suffer illusions of being a superpower."

But according to Fiona Hill, a Russia expert at the Brookings Institutionin Washington, Putin's international gambits may be hard to read becausehe is still trying to consolidate power at home.

While he is extremely popular - his approval rating is 70 percent, accordingto a recent poll - he still struggles to rein in the remnants of powerleft by the Yeltsin regime.

What's more, Ms. Hill says, Putin remains an enigmatic figure, and histrue intentions with regards to the US are unclear.

"He's been very pragmatic with the US," she says.  "He's not seekingconfrontation, but he's not being pushed around by the US.  Russianforeign policy is very opportunistic - and that's the case here."
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