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Nuclear News - 02/16/01
RANSAC Nuclear News, February 16, 2000
Compiled by Terry C. Stevens and Benjamin D. Wampold

A. Russian Nuclear Forces
    1. Satellites pinpoint Russian nuclear arms in Baltics, Bill Gertz, The Washington Times (02/15/2001)
    2. Russian forces conduct massive war-games exercise, Bill Gertz, The Washington Times (02/15/2001)
    3. EU Gets Russian Assurances on Nukes in Kaliningrad [Excerpt], Daniel McLaughlin, Reuters (02/16/2001)
    4. Russia Test-Launches Ballistic Missiles from Land and Sea, AP (02/16/2001)
B. Russian - Iranian Relations
    1. Russia denies it is exporting missile technologies, Deborah Seward, AP (02/16/2001)
    2. Khatami to Discuss Resumption of Military Cooperation in Moscow, Agence France-Presse (02/15/2001)
C. Nonproliferation Policy and Implementation
    1. Nonproliferation Report Card, U.S. Senate/Government Printing Office (02/06/2001)
D. Publications
    1. What is to be Undone? A Russia Policy Agenda for the New Administration, The Nixon Center (02/2001)

A. Russian Nuclear Forces

Satellites pinpoint Russian nuclear arms in Baltics
Bill Gertz
The Washington Times
February 15, 2001
(for personal use only)

U.S. spy satellites have located the exact position of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, contradicting Moscow's contention that it had not transferred the battlefield arms. Satellite photographs first revealed the transfers June 3 when the weapons were spotted aboard a Russian military train at a seaport near St. Petersburg, according to U.S. intelligence officials. A second intelligence breakthrough took place June 6 when spy satellites detected the arrival of the nuclear arms in Kaliningrad, said officials familiar with intelligence reports who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The weapons were moved by ship from the Russian port to a special nuclear storage bunker near a military airfield in Kaliningrad, a small Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea.

The satellite photographs have refuted Russian government denials about the transfer or deployment of nuclear arms in Kaliningrad. The transfers were first reported by The Washington Times on Jan. 3. "The Russians are denying it, but we know better," said one defense official.

Debate within the U.S. government has ceased on the nuclear transfers. The disclosure of the tactical nuclear arms transfers prompted statements of concern by the governments of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Moscow has refused inspections of all military facilities in Kaliningrad by those governments.

Polish Defense Minister Bronislaw Komorowski called for inspections of Kaliningrad to determine whether the nuclear arms were deployed there. The State Department did not support the call for inspections, even though Poland is now a member of the NATO alliance.

Under an informal agreement reached between the United States and Russia in 1992, Moscow was to remove all tactical nuclear weapons from forward-deployed areas and said they had done so. Russian President Vladimir Putin last month dismissed reports of the nuclear arms in Kaliningrad as "rubbish."

U.S. intelligence is still trying to determine the exact type of the nuclear arms. They were described in reports as either nuclear naval, ground forces or air-delivered weapons.

The weapons in Kaliningrad are based in what the Pentagon calls a nuclear storage site, a special facility used to house nuclear arms. The intelligence photographs, gathered by the Pentagon's array of reconnaissance satellites, confirmed suspicions dating back to 1998 about the eployment of tactical nuclear arms in Kaliningrad, the officials said.

Russia has between 4,000 and 15,000 tactical nuclear weapons, none of which is covered by formal U.S.-Russian arms control agreements. They include short-range missile warheads, nuclear-armed torpedoes and air-dropped nuclear bombs.

A Pentagon spokesman told The Washington Times last month that the deployment of tactical nuclear arms to Kaliningrad violates Moscow's pledge to keep the Baltic region a "nuclear-free" zone.

The nuclear transfers were not reported in formal Pentagon intelligence reports until December, fueling speculation among some officials that the information was withheld from U.S. government policy-makers for diplomatic reasons. Intelligence officials denied the information was withheld.

After the disclosures last month, the State Department sent a formal diplomatic note to the Russians asking for an explanation of the deployment.The Russian government replied by repeating Moscow's public denials insisting that there were no nuclear arms in Kaliningrad, U.S. officials said.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser during the Carter administration, said the nuclear arms in Kaliningrad are a political problem more than a serious strategic worry."It tells us something about the dogged attitudes of the Russian military and political leaders," Mr. Brzezinski said in an interview.

"It's conduct you would not expect from a responsible government that generally wants to be part of the partnership of the European community, as Putin has indicated," Mr. Brzezinski said.

"No one likes to be sitting next to nuclear weapons, stored or unstored," he said.

But efforts by Polish and Baltic-nation governments to seek nuclear inspections will be difficult because there are no formal agreements allowing such reviews, Mr. Brzezinski said. As for Russian government denials, Mr. Brzezinski said:

"The fact that the Russian government denies it . . . is probably an affirmation that it is true." Richard Perle, a senior defense official in the Reagan administration, said the movement of the weapons would be a concern if it is part of a Russian strategy against NATO.

Moscow said in 1998 that it would deploy nuclear weapons into forward areas of Europe in response to the expansion of the NATO alliance. The 1999 expansion brought in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have expressed an interest in joining the alliance.

As for the weapons themselves, Mr. Perle said, they are "not a deep concern."

"The movement of nuclear weapons from one location to another might have troubled me in the Cold War, but not now," said Mr. Perle, an adviser to George W. Bush during the presidential campaign.
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Russian forces conduct massive war-games exercise
Bill Gertz
The Washington Times
February 15, 2001
(for personal use only)

Russian military forces are engaged in a large-scale exercise involving strategic and conventional military forces that will include three long-range missile flight tests in the next several days, according to defense and intelligence officials. The exercises, involving the "triad" of strategic land, sea and air forces, began Monday and involved Russian strategic bomber intrusions into Japanese airspace and flights near Norwegian airspace. The flights prompted a protest from Tokyo.

Such exercises in the recent past have involved simulated conflicts with the United States and other NATO members, and the officials said they expect that scenario for the weeklong war games.

"They are running a big strategic forces exercise," said one official. "It's larger than we've seen for a long time."

The official said, however, that the Russians have taken steps to structure the exercise in ways to avoid rankling some Western governments. He did not elaborate. An intelligence official said the Russians notified the U.S. government of the missile flight tests - involving a road-mobile ICBM and two submarine-launched ballistic missiles -through a new U.S.-Russian missile warning center.

The warning center was set up to avoid the dangerous incident several years ago when Russian nuclear forces went on alert in response to a Norwegian scientific rocket that was mistaken by the Red Army for a U.S. submarine-launched missile.

The highlight of the exercise will be the flight test of the SS-25, Moscow's first road-mobile intercontinental missile. The SS-25 has a range of up to 8,500 miles. From Russian missile submarines, an SSN-18 missile and an SSN-23 missile will be test-launched during the exercises, said the officials. The triple-warhead SSN-18 and quadruple-warhead SSN-23 missiles have ranges of up to 5,000 miles.

Russian strategic bombers involved in the maneuvers include Bear H and Tu-22 Backfire and Tu-160 Blackjack - long-range nuclear-capable bombers operating in both the eastern and western parts of Russia.

The bombers have been flying out of bases in Anadyr, in the Russian Far East; Tiksi on the Laptev Sea near the Arctic Circle; and Engels Air Base west of Moscow, the officials said.

Russian Il-78 tanker aircraft also have been sent to the edges of the vast Russian Federation and have been spotted in aerial refueling of Russian warplanes. In addition to strategic forces, Russian conventional forces are involved, according to intelligence officials. Troops of the Russian Border Guards and Federal Security Service have been mobilized.

Russia's military press reported Monday that motorized rifle and airborne divisions are participating, along with air force and air defense troops.

"The war games . . . aim at checking notification systems, combat and mobilization readiness of several military districts, as well as readiness of armed services," Russia's military news agency stated.

A parachute drop of an airborne division is expected today near the town of Ivanovo, and aerial bombing raids also will be carried out, the news agency said. Analysts view the exercises as aimed to exert political influence on the new Bush administration and its plans for a national missile defense, which Moscow opposes.

"These [exercises] appear to be Russia deciding to deal with the West after the fashion of the Soviet Union in the early 1980s, namely to bluster in order to try to prevent an American strategic overture, in this case missile defense," R. James Woolsey, a former CIA director and arms control negotiator, said in an interview.

"I very much hope and believe that these sorts of Russian tactics will backfire both with Europe and with the United States."

Russia recently revised its military doctrine to call for greater reliance on nuclear weapons, since conventional forces are deteriorating under the severe economic problems facing the country. Russian military forces were unable to defeat rebels in Chechnya during several years of fighting.

The exercises are being directed by Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev and the chief of the general staff, Gen. Anatoly Kvashnin. Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to take part in the exercises tomorrow.U.S. intelligence officials said all three officials utilized the Russian nuclear command and control briefcase, known as a cheget, as part of the exercises. Japan's Foreign Ministry protested what it said were violations of Japanese airspace by several Russian aircraft, including bombers that were met with Japanese interceptor aircraft.

Russia denied airspace incursions. "We again analyzed all the actions of our pilots, and there were no violations of Japan's airspace," Mr. Sergeyev was quoted as saying by the military news agency.

Russian bombers also flew near Norway's coast but did not intrude on the Scandinavian nation's airspace, according to Col. John Espen Lien of the Norwegian Supreme Defense Command.

The current Russian exercises followed incidents in October and November when Russian fighter-bombers buzzed the U.S. aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk in the Sea of Japan in a sign of hostility.

The maneuvers also come on the eve of the first talks next week between Secretary of State Colin Powell and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov in Cairo, and a visit to Moscow by NATO Secretary-General George Robertson. The exercises are expected to conclude tomorrow. So far, there have been no Russian bomber flights near U.S. or Canadian territory, although military officials said they are closely monitoring the exercises and are prepared to scramble U.S. Air Force interceptor jets in response.

A Pentagon spokesman said that "we are aware of the exercise" and that it was similar to U.S. maneuvers carried out "to maintain readiness."
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EU Gets Russian Assurances on Nukes in Kaliningrad [Excerpt]
Daniel McLaughlin
February 16, 2001
(for personal use only)

KALININGRAD - Top European Union officials working out a development plan for Russia's Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad said on Thursday they had received top-level assurances that no nuclear arms were deployed here.

Russia angrily denied a report in The Washington Times that U.S. intelligence had pinpointed missiles in the impoverished region wedged between EU aspirants Poland and Lithuania.

"I raised the issue with [Foreign Minister] Igor Ivanov and he denied it," Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh told reporters in Kaliningrad, where the EU delegation spent half a day after meeting Russian officials in Moscow.

The report, the second in two months to suggest missile deployment in Kaliningrad, was dismissed by Russian Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev as "absolute and complete nonsense".

Kaliningrad Gov. Vladimir Yegorov said it was an attempt to scuttle cooperation between the EU and Russia and keep Kaliningrad in limbo as the EU moves towards eastward expansion.

"When active talks between the EU and Russia started [the Americans] invented this devil with horns," he said at Kaliningrad airport, where he met Lindh and EU External Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten.

The talks focused on how Kaliningrad's one million residents will cope with changes once Poland and Lithuania join the EU.

The area's problems include widespread poverty, high crime and drug use rates and Soviet-era industry dumping pollution into the Baltic. Residents fear losing their visa-free travel rights to neighbouring states.

The Washington Times cited anonymous U.S. intelligence sources as saying satellite photographs refuted Russian denials about the transfer of nuclear arms to the enclave.

The paper originally reported in January that the missiles had been deployed and Kaliningrad's profile was raised further by reports that Germany planned to take economic control of the region in return for some of Russia's Soviet-era debt to Berlin.
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Russia Test-Launches Ballistic Missiles from Land and Sea
The Associated Press
February 16, 2001
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian armed forces test-launched two ballistic missiles Friday, one from a land-based silo in northwestern Russia and the other from a nuclear-powered submarine in the Barents Sea.

The launches came amid an outpouring of anger among top military officials over U.S. allegations that Russia was spreading missile technology to dangerous regimes, and over the U.S. plan to pursue a limited national missile defense system. Russia says that plan could derail the strategic balance of power.

Ilshat Bamchurin, the head of the press service of the Strategic Missile Forces, said that a Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile had been launched successfully from the Plesetsk cosmodrome to a target on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East. He said that the launch was part of a training exercise.

The Northern Fleet launched another ballistic missile from a submarine in the Barents Sea to the Kura test range on Kamchatka, said Fleet spokesman Igor Dygalo.

Dygalo called the successful test from underwater "yet another confirmation of the effectiveness of the system of the military administration, and also the reliability of the naval strategic nuclear forces."

The Topol is expected to be the main component of Russia's long-range missile forces. Most of Russia's other long-range missiles are either past their service lifetime or will have to be dismantled under the START-II arms reduction treaty, which both Russia and the United States have ratified but which has not yet gone into effect.

Unlike Russia's older missiles, the single-warhead Topol is a relatively small missile designed to be fired from trucks or other vehicles, making it difficult for potential enemies to locate and track.

Deployment of the U.S. missile defense system would go against the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which Russia calls a cornerstone of the current arms control regime.

But Washington says such the missile defense system is intended to protect the United States from possible missile attacks by rogue nations and wouldn't be capable of deflecting a massive nuclear attack of the kind Russia can launch.

Russia has warned that attempts to amend the treaty could trigger a new arms race, and the Russian military has said that fitting multiple warheads to the Topol-M missiles would be a part of Moscow's response if the United States walks out of the treaty.

In what was seen as a further attempt to show Russia's military might, Russian jets held air exercises near Norway and Japan on Wednesday -- prompting those two countries to scramble fighter jets. Japan protested that Russian planes entered its airspace, which the Russian military denied.
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B. Russian-Iranian Relations

Russia denies it is exporting missile technologies
Deborah Seward
The Associated Press
February 16, 2001
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW -- Top Russian defense officials Thursday fiercely rejected U.S. charges that Russia is spreading missile technologies to Iran and North Korea and warned that the allegation could deeply mar relations.

At least four senior Russian officials slammed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld -- who made the charges -- and accused him of using Cold War rhetoric. They alleged that he is beholden to U.S. defense contractors who would stand to benefit from the development of a new national defense system.

The comments followed an interview with Rumsfeld on Wednesday on PBS' "NewsHour With Jim Lehrer" in which he called Moscow "part of the problem."

"They are selling and assisting countries like Iran, North Korea, and India and other countries with these technologies, which are threatening other people, including the United States, Western Europe, and countries in the Middle East," Rumsfeld said.

Despite Thursday's tough talk, Russian officials expressed hope that Moscow and the new administration of President Bush would be able to calmly discuss the divisive issues of nuclear non-proliferation, the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, and NATO expansion.

Gen. Leonid Ivashov, head of the Defense Ministry's international relations department, led the verbal crusade against Rumsfeld, telling the Interfax news agency that "Russia is irreproachably fulfilling its international obligations, including under the regime of non-proliferation of missile technologies."

Tough talk coming from senior officials of the Bush administration has deeply irritated the Kremlin, particularly Senate testimony last week by CIA Director George Tenet, who lumped Russia together with Osama bin Laden and China as global threats.

Rumsfeld said it made no sense for Russia to export missile technologies but then protest U.S. attempts to defend itself against missiles. He stressed that the proposed missile defense shield would protect the nation only against small-scale attacks, not the massive sort that Russia could launch.

Russia and many of the United States' NATO allies believe that the missile defense would render useless the ABM treaty, considered a keystone of nuclear non-proliferation.

Maj. Gen. Vladimir Belous, head of Russia's Center for International and Strategic Studies, said Rumsfeld's remarks were reminiscent of Cold War times.

"Judging by experience, ill-considered statements may only do damage to the relations between the great powers in the delicate sphere of nuclear non-proliferation," Belous told ITAR-Tass.

However, the sharp talk by Russian defense officials may well just be the Kremlin's own rhetorical answer to what some senior officials in Moscow consider a U.S. propaganda campaign aimed at winning concessions from Russia before real talks start on key nuclear issues.
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Khatami to Discuss Resumption of Military Cooperation in Moscow
Agence France-Presse
February 15, 2001
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW, Feb 15, 2001 -- (Agence France Presse) Iranian President Mohammad Khatami will discuss the resumption of military cooperation when he pays an official visit to Moscow in March, Interfax reported Thursday quoting sources in the Russian capital.

The talks between Khatami and Russian President Vladimir Putin will address "the whole range of issues of bilateral relations and international problems concerning the two sides," the unnamed sources said.

Khatami will visit Russia on March 19. The high-profile visit by Tehran's reformist leader will be his first to Russia since he was elected in 1997.

A top Russian weapons export official said Sunday that Russia and Iran will sign a raft of defense deals by the end of the year, in defiance of U.S. protests at Moscow's resumption of arms sales to Tehran.

Viktor Komardin, deputy director of the Russian weapons sales company, Rosoboronexport, told journalists at an airshow in the Indian city of Bangalore that the first contracts could be signed by the middle of the year.

Quoted by Interfax news agency, he added that Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev had discussed concrete arms sales during his controversial trip to Iran in December.

Russia told the United States in November it was scrapping a secret five-year-old agreement to cease conventional arms sales to Iran, prompting the White House to threaten Moscow with sanctions.

Russian officials blasted the U.S. threat as "unacceptable" but insisted Moscow would only sell Tehran defensive weapons and would respect all international agreements.

Interfax has reported that Iran is interested in buying from Russia S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, Mi-17 combat helicopters and Su-25 fighter planes.

An official in Sergeyev's delegation, quoted by Iran's state IRNA news agency in December, said future arms sales could be worth long-term as much as two billion dollars and that "everything depends on the Iranian side."
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C. Nonproliferation Policy and Implementation

Nonproliferation Report Card
U.S. Senate
Government Printing Office
February 6, 2001
(for personal use only)

Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, I rise today to discuss a recent report released by The Russia Task Force entitled "A Report Card on the Department of Energy's Nonproliferation Programs with Russia." This bipartisan Task Force was co-chaired by Lloyd Cutler and Howard Baker.

The report concludes that proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or weapons-usable material is "the most urgent unmet national security threat for the United States today."

This conclusion restates similar conclusions of other reports and analyses done over the past several years. The book Avoiding Nuclear Anarchy published in 1996 drew a similar conclusion.. A January 2000 Center for Strategic and International Study report, "Managing the Global Nuclear Materials Threat" provided a concise analysis and numerous policy recommendations of this "most devastating security threat."

The U.S. response has not been and still is not commensurate to the threat.

The Cooperative Threat Reduction programs have achieved much and contributed greatly to U.S. security. Still there is always room for innovative approaches to remaining issues and faster progress.

The Department of Energy programs--from Materials Protection, Control and Accounting to the Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention--have also enhanced U.S. security. But their work is not even close to complete, and a "clear and present danger" looms.

I have repeatedly suggested that we have a very simple choice: we can either spend money to reduce the threat or spend more money in the future to defend ourselves. I am a strong believer that threat reduction is now underfunded and is the first-best approach in this case.

The report estimated the cost at $30 billion to be provided not only from the U.S. budget, but also by Russia and other countries. The national security benefits to U.S. citizens from securing 80,000 nuclear weapons and potential nuclear weapons would constitute the highest return on investment of any current national security program.

How do we get there? One recommendation of the report is the dire need for a White House-level nonproliferation czar. Not just the Department of Energy and the Defense Department are involved in Russia. We have a number of federal agencies chipping away at specific, isolated aspects of the problem.

But we do not have a coherent, integrated agenda. Overlaps and shortfalls exist. But no one person--with budgetary responsibility and requisite authority--can view the spectrum and identify the gaps, remedy inter-agency turf battles and bring the necessary coordination to get the job done efficiently and quickly.

A nonproliferation czar should be given access to the President and the necessary budgetary powers. This person should be charged with formulating a cohesive strategy. This would allow us to coordinate and streamline our efforts. This person would identify which programs are ripe for more resources and which ones are already adequate to address the immediate need.

The Nunn-Lugar-Domenici legislation enacted in 1996 required that such a nonproliferation czar be put in place. Also, Section 3174 of the FY2001 Defense Authorization bill expressed again Congressional will to have one person accountable for our nonproliferation efforts. The Clinton Administration refused to adhere to the statute and repeatedly ignored other Congressional attempts to address the coordination problem. Other Commissions have also recommended this remedy in the past to no avail. I am hopeful that the national security team within the new Administration will see the merits of this recommendation and act on it soon.

The threat today arises from Russia's weakened ability to secure its nuclear arsenal. Contributing factors include delays in paying those who guard nuclear facilities, breakdown in command structures and inadequate budgets for stockpile protection.

I would go even further than that. I believe that it's the economics that drives many of the threats and areas of potential conflict that the U.S. faces with Russia today. They sell nuclear technologies to Iran not because they like the Iranians and want to snub the Americans. The Russians are also aware that Iran could present a threat should it acquire the requisite nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities. However, the Russian decision is driven by economics--not by ideology, not by historical ties, but by necessity. If we don't attempt to address the underlying economics of the situation, cooperation with Iran may continue and many other programs may eventually fail.

The President should develop a strategic plan, consulting Congress and cooperating with the Russian Federation, to secure all weapons-usable material located in Russia, and to prevent the outflow of weapons of mass destruction-related scientific expertise.

We can only move so fast as the Russians allow. We can only achieve sufficient transparency and get access so long as Russia agrees. However, I believe several existing programs, such as the Plutonium Disposition Agreement, have demonstrated that a serious U.S. commitment, especially in financial terms, is exactly the appropriate incentive to get action.

Repeatedly, however, our nonproliferation programs with Russia are in a Catch-22 situation. Congress will not adequately fund them until they demonstrate success. A trickle at the tap is insufficient to persuade Russians of the seriousness of our intent. So, the U.S. programs stumble along unable to achieve the gains necessary because the Russians are reticent to play ball. And, in turn, Congress becomes even more leery of providing any funding at all in light of the meager gains. It's in our immediate national security interest to remedy this situation.

The plan should review existing programs, identifying specific goals and measurable objectives for each program, as well as providing criteria for success and an exit strategy.

It would be reasonable to propose that one plan be geared toward addressing the fundamental linkages between economic and social instability in Russia and specific proliferation threats. Without addressing the relationship of Russians' economic situation to a decaying nuclear command and control infrastructure, threats of diversion from within, rather than from outside, the weapons complex, and many other tight relationships, we will fail to prevent proliferation.

The report envisions an 8-10 year time frame. At that point, Russia will hopefully be in a position to take over any remaining work.

In the next decade we could eliminate the greatest security challenge we currently face. Inaction will only drive up costs to defend ourselves against unknowables that we could have squelched had we had greater foresight.

I believe President Bush and his team have foresight. President Bush repeatedly mentioned the importance of these programs as an integral part of his national security strategy.

To quote our new National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice: American security is threatened less by Russia's strength than by its weakness and incoherence. This suggests immediate attention to the safety and security of Moscow's nuclear forces and stockpile.

I believe this recent report reiterates this clear fact and sets forth several very important policy recommendations for tackling this challenge. I look forward to working with the new Administration to ensure that a decade from now we have protected U.S. citizens from this proliferation threat and secured a more peaceful future.
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D. Publications

What is to be Undone? A Russia Policy Agenda for the New Administration
The Nixon Center
February, 2001
(for personal use only)

[The following is an excerpt. The full text of the report, which requires Adobe Acrobat to view, may be freely downloaded from the Nixon Center's website at]

Executive Summary

Russia's disturbing domestic evolution, and changes in the international system, have rendered America's recent agenda toward Russia increasingly obsolete. Defining a new agenda for U.S.-Russian relations requires a clearer definition of U.S. interests and priorities. The Clinton Administration's inability to do this led to failure and disillusionment. We identify four American priorities:

  • to deter Russia from emerging as a spoiler in the international system;
  • to limit Russia's role in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and other sensitive technologies;
  • to discourage Russia from promoting instability in regions where vital U.S. interests are at stake; and,
  • to develop an interest-based overall relationship with Russia that would give Russia a stake in cooperation, better serve both American and mutual interests, and encourage Russia to see itself as a part of the West.
In addition to a clearer sense of U.S. priorities, we need a fundamentally different policy approach, which would:

  • avoid attempts to micromanage Russian domestic politics;
  • seek to understand legitimate Russian interests and to respect them when they do not clash with vital American interests or principles;
  • treat Russia like a "normal" country, whose role in the international system depends on its own progress and conduct rather than its status as a former superpower; and,
  • strive to restore a bipartisan domestic consensus on policy toward Russia.
On this basis, this report makes eight recommendations for a new American agenda in relations with Russia. They are outlined in detail under the following headings:

1. Preventing Russia's emergence as a spoiler: Russian-Chinese relations: Avoiding, when possible, actions that push Russia closer to China or otherwise contribute to Russian participation in a group of states seeking to limit U.S. power must be among the Bush Administration's top priorities.

2. Proliferation: what are the real dangers? The U.S. should be very firm, but also discriminating, in responding to Russian proliferation. It should be harsh in dealing with concrete threats to the U.S. or regional stability but less concerned about other proliferation such as sales of older conventional weapons.

3. Arms control, national missile defense, and the ABM Treaty: To the extent the U.S. has the technology, the money, and the domestic political will, it should be prepared to deploy national missile defense regardless of Russian views. Ultimately, a deal with Russia on the ABM Treaty is desirable but not strictly necessary; the same is true of further arms reduction agreements, which could be replaced by parallel unilateral reductions after an appropriate review of U.S. requirements.

4. NATO enlargement: While taking into account Russian preferences and the aspirations of potential members, the U.S. should make decisions on enlargement on the basis of what is best for NATO. Both Russia and potential members should be informed that provocative behavior will undermine their respective objectives.

5. The Caspian Basin: The U.S. should let commercial enterprises take the lead in establishing oil and gas pipeline routes in the region. More broadly, America should adopt a two-tiered policy--acknowledging Russia's legitimate interests while deterring its expansionist behavior, and maintaining friendly relations with other post-Soviet states without promising support we are unlikely to deliver.

6. The Russian economy: Since IMF endorsement of Russia's economic plans is required for Paris Club talks on rescheduling $48 billion in Soviet-era debt to proceed, the U.S. should not oppose a stand-by credit. Russia must understand, however, that it will not attract significant foreign investment without living up to its financial obligations and conducting meaningful reform.

7. Bilateral assistance programs: The U.S. should reassess all assistance programs, including soliciting Russian perspectives, with a view to deciding which programs to eliminate quickly and which to cut more slowly. While most Nunn-Lugar programs should be continued, the strengthening of the Russian state suggests that Moscow should be expected to assume gradually increasing responsibility for the security of its nuclear materials.

8. Broader dialogue: Where the Clinton Administration focused on relations with the Russian government (and select figures within it), U.S. policy should seek a substantially broader dialogue with Russian society, opposition political groups, and others. At the same time, there should be no illusion-especially given the apparent nature of the Putin regime-that this approach will enable us to bypass the government or exert significant leverage over it.
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