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Nuclear News - 02/21/01
RANSAC Nuclear News, February 21, 2001
Compiled by Terry C. Stevens

A. U.S. - Russian Relations
    1. DOD Welcomes Russian Proposal for European Missile Plan, The Washington File (02/21/2001)
    2. Russia Offers Missile Defense Plans, Vladimir Isachenkov, AP (02/20/2001)
    3. Spy Case Shows U.S.-Russia Tensions, Jim Heintz, AP (02/20/2001)
    4. Will Power and Ownership Be Separated? (Interview with former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov) [Excerpt], Marina Kalashnikova, Nezavisimaya Gazeta (02/13/2001)
B. Russia - NATO Relations
    1. NATO Chief Robertson Wants New Ties with Russia, Ron Popeski, Reuters (02/20/2001)
C. Nuclear Waste
    1. The Nuclear Wasteland, Masha Gessen, US News and World Report (02/26/2001)
    2. US backs plan for Russia to import nuclear waste, Paul Brown, The Guardian (02/19/2001)
    3. Environmentalists Picket Duma, RFE/RL (02/20/2001)
    4. "The Urals says NO! to nuclear waste", Edward Meilakh, Bellona Foundation (02/20/2001)
    5. Duma Rejects Bill's Amendments, Russia Today Online (02/20/2001)
D. Russian - Indian Nuclear Cooperation
    1. U.S. Deeply Regrets Russian Shipment of Uranium Fuel to India, The Washington File (02/20/2001)
    2. India Defends Importing Nuclear Fuel from Russia, Reuters (02/20/2001)
    1. Norwegian, Russian Lawmakers Discuss Arms Reduction Plans [Excerpt], Military News Agency (02/21/2001)
F. Russian Nuclear Forces
    1. U.S. Tells OSCE of Missile Launch Notification Agreement, The Washington File (02/20/2001)
    2. Arms tests heat US-Russia debate, David Filipov, Boston Globe (02/17/2001)

A. U.S. - Russian Relations

DOD Welcomes Russian Proposal for European Missile Plan
The Washington File
February 21, 2001
(for personal use only)

Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev February 20 handed to NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson the Russian proposal for a European missile defense system, Quigley said, adding that the Defense Department wants more detail and "will take a look at the proposal in the days and weeks ahead."

"We're very heartened by the fact that by this action [the Russians] acknowledge that there is a very real missile and WMD [weapons of mass destruction] threat to Europe," he said. The manner in which the proposal was portrayed by Minister Sergeyev as it was given to Lord Robertson "does not include any protection for the continental United States under the proposal as we know it," Quigley added.

It was portrayed, he said, as a European missile defense as an alternative proposal to the U.S. missile defense system. "That's good, as far as it goes, but it doesn't do anything to provide missile defense for the United States," Quigley said. "We haven't seen it yet; we're eager to do so. Let's see where we can cooperate. If the Russians have a proposal there that would make sense and do some good in protecting Europe from missile attack and weapons of mass destruction, let's have a look and see where we might cooperate."
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Russia Offers Missile Defense Plans
Vladimir Isachenkov
The Associated Press
February 20, 2001
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW (AP) - Russia's president pressed NATO's secretary-general on Tuesday to seriously consider a joint European missile defense proposal, and said Moscow continued to view NATO's eastward expansion as a clear danger.

"We have noticed your statement that the alliance does not view Russia as an adversary. We welcome this statement and appreciate it," Vladimir Putin told George Robertson in a Kremlin meeting. "But the expansion of the defensive union to the borders of Russia cannot be explained by anything other than a threat to Russia."

The Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia very much want to join the Western alliance, but NATO as a whole has no firm commitment. Their membership would allow NATO jets to reach vital sites in western Russia within minutes.

Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev presented Robertson with Russia's official proposals on a possible joint European missile defense, first put forward last year by Putin. The system is Moscow's answer to the U.S. plan to build its own limited missile defense shield to protect against possible attacks by such countries as North Korea.

If an expert commission decides that Europe is vulnerable to strikes by nonategic missiles and the threat cannot be combatted militarily, then the proposal calls for creation of mobile anti-missile units, Defense Ministry officials said.

"These elements will be mobile and will be deployed in the directions of the greatest risk of missiles to cover the most important objects," the Interfax news agency quoted a top Defense Ministry official, Col. Gen. Leonid Ivashov, as saying.

Putin said once NATO specialists had studied Moscow's proposals, Russian experts could travel to NATO headquarters in Brussels to press their case with the alliance and with the European public. He also proposed expanding a Russian-U.S. center for exchange of information on missile launches to include European partners.

Putin expressed appreciation for Robertson's role in getting NATO-Russian relations back on track after the alliance's bombing campaign in Yugoslavia, which Moscow answered by breaking off most of the confidence-building ties that had been established between Moscow and Brussels.

But he warned that the tendency of some unnamed NATO members - presumably the United States, under the leadership of President Bush - to paint Russia in a harsh light could lead to new crises.

"We ... are aware of the statement made by certain representatives of the West - we can read - who are trying to recreate the image of Russia as the evil empire even though it doesn't scare anyone anymore," Putin said. "Any threats and arms races emerge where and when there is a lack of confidence."

Robinson responded that the priority for NATO and Russia "must be to build a crisis-resistant relationship based on trust and openness."
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Spy Case Shows U.S.-Russia Tensions
Jim Heintz
The Associated Press
February 20, 2001
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW (AP) - The Cold War may be over and Russia may have overhauled the Soviet-era KGB, but Moscow has shown no inclination to rein in its foreign intelligence activities.

The fall of European Communism and the collapse of the Soviet Union may have initially led to hopes for an end to the cloak-and-dagger era, but Russia remains suspicious about an array of security issues centered on the United States.

"Espionage didn't fall with the (Berlin) Wall," said security expert Frank Cilluffo of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

From U.S. proposals for a new missile defense system, to Russia's great technological gap, to NATO's proposed thrust to the East, spies have plenty of work assessing the West's next moves.

The United States, likewise, maintains its interest in keeping tabs on the military, political and economic activities of other nations.

"Russia still has the capacity to destroy the United States in 30 minutes, so that focuses the attention, even though the prospects of that are minimal in the near term," said Loch Johnson, a professor of political science at the University of Georgia who worked on intelligence issues for the Clinton White House and congressional intelligence committees.

Foreign intelligence activities never seem to have flagged under former President Boris Yeltsin, and some analysts have predicted they would increase under his successor Vladimir Putin, a 15-year KGB veteran. Yeltsin split the KGB into several smaller agencies, but the security apparatus appears to have remained mighty.

Russia's intense interest in learning the secrets of the wealthy and technically sophisticated West were underlined Tuesday by the announcement in Washington that a veteran FBI agent had been arrested on charges of spying for Russia.

The arrest of Robert Philip Hanssen was the latest in an unusually heavy flurry of espionage cases over the past year and a half. The announcement came just hours after Sweden reported the arrest of a spying suspect, whom a newspaper reported was working for Russia.

It also came at a time when Russia was under particular pressure from the West on issues that prompt worry and anger in the Kremlin.

Since President Bush took office last month, Washington has mounted a full-court press against Russia's objections to a proposed national missile defense system. Moscow says the system would wreck the delicate strategic balance created by the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

Meanwhile, Russia is increasingly nervous and prickly about the prospect of NATO taking in the small former Soviet Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson was in Moscow on Tuesday for talks with top officials.

Russia, once proud of how it sped from the serf age to the space age in less than a century, now appears to feel vulnerable because it is behind the technological wave. Hanssen reportedly was passing along unspecified information about U.S. electronic surveillance techniques.

Cilluffo speculated that could be information about bugging techniques or about long-range signals intelligence.

Western technological sophistication has made many other countries besides Russia nervous, particularly over the Echelon surveillance network, allegedly run by the U.S. National Security Agency, which reportedly intercepts telephone calls, fax transmissions and private e-mails.

Moscow, meanwhile, says foreign intelligence agents have stepped up their work in Russia. Following the conviction last year of American Edmond Pope on charges of trying to buy plans for a sophisticated torpedo system, Federal Security Service head Nikolai Patrushev wrote that one of the main goals of the expanded activity "is to determine the true plans of the new state authorities in Russia." Pope, who denied he was a spy, was pardoned by Putin and released.

"Espionage has always been a tool in every nation's tool kit," said Cilluffo, the security expert.
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Will Power and Ownership Be Separated? (Interview with former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov) [Excerpt]
Marina Kalashnikova
Nezavisimaya Gazeta
February 13, 2001
(for personal use only)

...Russia is being urged to continue playing an active role. You should not forget that we are the second-largest nuclear power.

Question: Are we still in control of the button?

Answer: Thank God, we are still in control.

Question: President Bush promised that the entire system of U.S. assistance to Russia would be altered. Do you think they will propose something instead of the Nunn-Lugar Bill or curtail some forms of assistance?

Answer: As an expert in U.S. affairs you are probably aware that they gave us crumbs and they had to be spent on weapons elimination. But what is the scale of "brain drain" from our country over the period? The United States certainly influenced the IMF and the EBRD. We took loans via these international organizations but that was before I chaired the government. Not a single cent has been granted since my government took office. U.S. politicians like to assert that they helped us a lot in all spheres. What spheres do they mean?
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B. Russia - NATO Relations

NATO Chief Robertson Wants New Ties with Russia
Ron Popeski
February 20, 2001
(for personal use only)

MOSCOW (Reuters) - NATO Secretary General George Robertson began talks with top Russian officials Tuesday aimed at building a "crisis-resistant relationship" between the alliance and Moscow.

The talks, which started with a meeting with Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev, are likely to focus on rival concepts of anti-missile shields advocated by the new U.S. administration and Russia and NATO's plans to expand eastwards.

Russia believes the U.S. National Missile Defense (NMD) scheme, set to protect the United States from potential missile attacks from "rogue states," could trigger a new arms race and is planning to present its own concept of "nonategic" defense.

Moscow also opposes NATO's plans to grant membership to its Cold War allies in Eastern Europe and possibly to the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, which once were part of the Soviet Union.

However most political and military analysts in Russia say that Russia, which has lost much of its former military might and faces serious economic problems, will have to compromise on both issues.

"I think we can do a lot together," Leonid Ivashov, head of the Defense Ministry's foreign relations department, told Robertson before the meeting with Sergeyev.

Robertson is also due to meet President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and leaders of parliament, where anti-NATO sentiment is especially strong.

The visit culminates with the reopening of a NATO information center, shut down when relations between Moscow and the alliance ruptured over the air campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999.

Robertson said on his arrival in Moscow late Monday he was willing to hear Putin's proposals on anti-missile defenses.

"NATO and Russia together are building a crisis-resistant relationship that will allow us to deal with the tricky issues as well as the common issues at stake in the world today," he said.

Robertson said he had brought "a package of confidence and security building measures on nuclear issues and I look forward to receiving the Russian proposals on missile defense."

Robertson praised the center to be reopened as "a symbol of growing understanding and engagement between NATO and Russia."

His visit follows a week of diplomacy and military action which have sharpened the debate on NMD. A Russian general said last week that Moscow's theater defense plan for Europe with a mobile anti-missile force may be presented to Robertson.

U.S. Delegation Also Discusses Arms Control

A U.S. Congressional delegation, led by Curt Weldon, a Republican from Pennsylvania, was also in Moscow to discuss arms issues. Itar-Tass news agency quoted Weldon as saying he had brought a proposal from U.S. President George W. Bush for joint development of a missile defense system.

Moscow acknowledges U.S. concerns of a missile threat from Iran, Iraq or North Korea, but says NMD is aimed at itself.

Russian officials have discounted German suggestions that Moscow was mellowing its opposition to the U.S. system and Washington's European allies remain skeptical. Russia at the same time sent warplanes on exercises near its borders with Japan and Norway and test-fired three strategic missiles.

With Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov meeting Secretary of State Colin Powell in Egypt this week, Russian patience has worn thin at U.S. accusations that Moscow is spreading missile technology.

Before his arrival, Robertson said he would assure Russia that it had nothing to fear from new NATO expansion. Moscow is particularly concerned ex-Soviet republics, like the Baltic states and Georgia, may be invited to join in future.
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C. Nuclear Waste

The Nuclear Wasteland
Masha Gessen
US News and World Report
February 26, 2001
(for personal use only)

MUSLYUMOVO, RUSSIA. A man dressed in gray cotton-padded pants and jacket and a tatty rabbit hat lies on his stomach very still, pressing his face into a hole in the ice. A warm spring here means the Techa River never freezes, forcing fish to come up for air right in this spot, where he can grab them with his bare hands. Hearing two visitors come down from the road, the man gets up to look. "That's a Geiger counter," he says, noting the device they're carrying. "You looking for radiation? I heard it's all gone away."

It has not. The Geiger counter gives a reading of 154 microrads per hour, roughly seven times the maximum safe dose of background radiation. When the snow melts away, background radiation in some places along the shore will measure over 1,000.

The village of Muslyumovo is less than 50 miles from Mayak ("Beacon"), the world's oldest nuclear fuel reprocessing plant, which has been dumping liquid radioactive waste into the river since the late 1940s. Accidents regularly shake Mayak'at least five occurred in the 1990s-but the best-known one is the 1957 waste-container explosion, one of the worst nuclear disasters of all time. About 10,000 people were evacuated from the contaminated area that year, and tens of thousands more probably should have been. But a lethal combination of ignorance, poverty, and official indifference keeps people living on the land and feeding off it--with nightmarish consequences.

Despite the alarming record of operational mishaps and regulatory laxness, the Ministry of Atomic Energy, or Minatom, wants authority to import thousands of tons of spent nuclear fuel from power plants in Europe and Asia. The ministry envisions earning billions of dollars--money that could expand its already considerable political clout and finance construction of new nuclear power plants. The far-fetched plan, which calls for the construction of 40 new reactors in the next 20 years--an impossible undertaking even for a wealthy country--has proved popular with Russian officials, and the parliament is set to give its OK this month.

Most of that spent nuclear fuel would end up at Mayak. Up until now, Russia has by and large banned such imports of spent nuclear fuel; the relatively little that it does import, along with domestic fuel, uses virtually all capacity at Mayak and the two other radioactive-waste storage facilities in Siberia. If the Minatom plan is approved, Mayak would reprocess some of the spent nuclear fuel, yielding plutonium. Next, the atomic energy ministry would construct a new nuclear power station next to the plant, employing a so-called breeder reactor, which both uses and extracts plutonium-based fuel.

Ignoring public opinion

There's opposition from the Russian nuclear regulatory agency, the State Committee for Atomic Oversight (GAN). Minatom's response? It is pushing for legislation to curtail the powers of the safety agency, which environmental activists say is already exceedingly permissive.

Minatom--and its allies in the parliament and the Kremlin--are prevailing in the face of opinion polls showing that 70 percent to 90 percent of Russians oppose importing radioactive waste. Last fall, environmentalists gathered 3 million signatures in support of holding a referendum--an unprecedented grass-roots success in a country where such organizing efforts are rare. But the Central Election Commission threw out just enough votes to quash the initiative. Complains former presidential adviser Alexei Yablokov, one of the organizers, "If we had collected 5 million signatures, they would just have thrown out that many more."

In the villages around the Mayak plant, opposition often gives way to tired indifference. "We are worried about feeding our kids, and we really can't give much thought to all this radiation stuff," says Maria Akhmadeyeva, who teaches elementary school in Muslyumovo. "We are soaked with this nuclear stuff anyway," adds her colleague, Russian language teacher Guzal Yalalova.

"I guess the region needs this new nuclear power plant," acknowledges Muslyumovo Mayor Gaynulla Kamalov. "But no one's promising us any of the benefits." Indeed, in the past, funds earmarked for residents of the contaminated region were consistently siphoned off. An early 1990s deal, in which the United States bought Russian plutonium, was supposed to provide $5.9 million for environmental relief in the region contaminated by Mayak; in fact, according to a General Accounting Office report, only $158,000 was used for the specified purpose: improvements in the local health center. And the medical diagnostic equipment that was purchased has proved a mixed blessing for residents, who still have little money to pay for treatment. Mayor Kamalov, 56, knows all about this: He has had to scrimp, save, and beg to pay for five operations for his now 3-year-old grandson, who was born with several tumors around his chest.

Invisible peril

In this remote Ural Mountains region 1,000 miles east of Moscow, residents live with the bitter consequences of pollution they can neither see, nor taste, nor smell. Gilmenur Karimova recalls the day four years ago that her granddaughter Alina was born with severely deformed legs and five fingers missing. "We cried so much," she says. The family managed to pay for two operations that enabled Alina to walk, but they are terrified at the $600 per finger they have been quoted for the hands. Alina, who makes beautiful ballpoint-pen drawings of mermaids and her mother despite her handicap, believes her fingers will eventually grow out.

The contamination is spreading. An underground reservoir of radioactive waste from Mayak is inching ever closer to a river that will carry it through the region to the Arctic Ocean. An aging dam that blocks the Techa River poses another danger, which GAN warns will grow if more spent fuel is brought to Mayak for reprocessing.

But these are just the most immediate risks from the possible deregulation of the Russian nuclear industry. Other potential nuclear disasters: a dozen very old reactors, including six Chernobyl-type reactors and one reactor in the center of Moscow that happens to be the world's oldest. GAN has tried to shut down these monsters in the past, but Minatom has already said it plans to keep them going--and even to re-launch one Chernobyl-type reactor this spring.

Minatom also hopes to build several fast-neutron breeder reactors, a technology opposed by the United States because it extracts plutonium that could be stolen to make black-market nuclear weapons. The Russians should have their own reasons to reconsider: The one existing Russian breeder reactor, at the Beloyarsk power plant, has had 26 accidents. But in Moscow, the issue seems more about political power and its benefits than about nuclear power.
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US backs plan for Russia to import nuclear waste
Paul Brown
The Guardian
February 19, 2001
(for personal use only)

Environmentalists are due to protest in Moscow today against a change in Russian law to allow the importation of nuclear waste. The protest comes as a leaked document outlines US-backed plans for shipping spent nuclear fuel from eight Taiwanese reactors to Russia for disposal. The lower house of parliament, the Duma, is due to debate the second reading of a bill to end Russia's long-standing ban on the importation of nuclear waste.

Minatom, the state nuclear company sponsoring the bill, believes it can earn 15bn pounds by importing waste from overseas.

The advanced stage of the plans became apparent at the weekend when a US energy department document was leaked to the anti-nuclear organization Ecodefence in Moscow.

The report, "Foreign Spent Fuel Storage and Geologic Disposal in Russia," produced by the department and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, outlines the plan for shipping Taiwanese nuclear waste to Russia.

The US involvement in the scheme stems from the control Washington exercises over nuclear proliferation. Spent fuel can be reprocessed and used for nuclear weapons, so, from the building of the first reactors in Taiwan, the US has insisted on controlling the disposal route for the nuclear waste if any of the material originated in America, as much of it does.

This has proved an embarrassment to Washington, since until now no country has been willing to take another's spent nuclear fuel, least of all America. But the Russians have long seen a business opportunity in the vast empty spaces of its eastern provinces.

In December 1998 the Russian nuclear minister, Yevgeny Adamov, wrote to the then US energy secretary, Bill Richardson, asking if the US would be interested in sending some of its high-level waste to Russia for storage or reprocessing.

At the time Mr. Richardson replied that the US was not interested.

Information was leaked to the press that Minatom was holding talks with Germany and Switzerland regarding shipments of radioactive waste to Russia, but nothing appeared to come of this. To drum up support in Russia, Minatom said that provinces prepared to accept waste would get a share of the money.

The energy department report concerns the transportation of 7,500 tonnes of spent fuel from eight Taiwanese reactors. The fuel will be shipped by sea to the Russian far eastern ports of Vanino and Vladivostok and then by rail to Krasnoyarsk in Siberia.

It says the spent fuel must leave Taiwan for Russia in 2007, and will be stored until 2020, when a repository built near the Mayak nuclear reprocessing plant will start to operate.

Outlining the US's role as the main negotiator, the report says: "As a minimum, the US would have to enter into agreements with Taiwan and Russia that provide for successful implementation of the programme.

"This will involve many complex issues and interested government agencies as well as non-governmental organizations. Due to the unique aspects of the relationship between Taiwan and the US, the coordination of technical activities in this programme requires careful management."

This provoked a strong reaction from Vladimir Slivyak, co-chairman of Ecodefence, which released the document.

"The US energy department and the American nuclear industry are looking to set up an international radioactive toilet in Russia," he said.

"In polls 93.5% of Russians are strongly opposed to the nuclear waste import proposed by the Russian nuclear industry.

"It's not just a fight against nuclear waste import, but a fight for establishing democracy and strong civil society in Russia."

Environmental activists and the liberal party Yabloko are organizing today's protest outside parliament.

The Duma gave a first reading to the bill on December 21. The second reading is due on Thursday.

The Russian nuclear industry could earn an estimated $20bn (13bn pounds) over the next 10 years if the ban is lifted and it is allowed to import 20,000 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel from abroad, officials said.

But environmentalists claim that adding more to the 14,000 tonnes of Russian nuclear waste already stored near its nuclear reactors could bring an ecological disaster.
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Environmentalists Picket Duma
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
February 20, 2001
(for personal use only)

Environmental activists from throughout the Russian Federation picketed the Duma building in Moscow on 19 February as legislators debated the second reading of a bill (it was passed on first reading in December) that would allow Russia to earn billions of dollars by serving as a burial site for spent nuclear fuel, AP reported. Duma deputy (Yabloko) Igor Artemev told the demonstrators that the government-backed bill "can only be described as a national humiliation."
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"The Urals says NO! to nuclear waste"
Edward Meilakh
Bellona Foundation
February 20, 2001
(for personal use only)

The Russian environmental groups continue the campaign named Antinuclear Resistance across the country. NGOs from different regions raise their voices against new legislation which can allow import of foreign spent nuclear fuel to Russia for storage and recycling.

As a part of this campaign, an action was organised in Chelyabinsk, the biggest city on the South Ural. The environmental activists unrolled a banner "The Urals says NO! to nuclear waste" on the main city square. Everybody was welcome to leave his signature right on the banner in support of the action.

While Chelyabinsk inhabitants put their signatures and green activists explained why they protested against new legislation, the Death together with mutants appeared on the scene. The King of terror offered to take a bit of "radioactive waste" to the people and gave away "nuclear dollars" with the Russian nuclear minister Evgeny Adamov, instead of Washington. People refused to take small radioactive packages although they contained just a soil mix for plants.

The banner was completely covered with signatures in an hour. It is planned to bring it to the Russian State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, to the second hearing on the issue of the amendments to the federal laws which can allow import of nuclear waste to Russia on February 22nd.

Mayak Chemical Combine in Ozersk, Chelyabinsk region, was the main production facility for weapons grade plutonium in the Soviet Union. Today there is a reprocessing plant (RT-1) in operation at Mayak and huge amounts of radioactive waste. This place is considered the most radioactively contaminated on the earth.
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Duma Rejects Bill's Amendments
Russia Today Online
February 20, 2001
(for personal use only)

The Russian State Duma's ecological committee has rejected amendments to the bill on imports on spent nuclear fuel to Russia. These amendments stipulated that a federal law should approve each import contract after ecological examination. Currently there are about 14,000 tonnes of non-processed spent nuclear fuel in the territory of Russia. If the bill on imports of nuclear wastes is passed, this number may increase by another 20,500 tonnes.
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D. Russian-Indian Nuclear Cooperation

U.S. Deeply Regrets Russian Shipment of Uranium Fuel to India
The Washington File
February 20, 2001
(for personal use only)

The United States deeply regrets "that the Russian Federation has shipped nuclear fuel to the Tarapur power reactors in India in violation of Russia's nonproliferation commitments," State Department Deputy Spokesman Philip T. Reeker said February 16.

The shipment to India, Reeker said, "together with its sensitive nuclear assistance to Iran, raises serious questions about Russia's support for the goal of preventing nuclear proliferation."

"Russia's provision of sensitive technologies to other countries will be an important item on the U.S.-Russian agenda of the Bush Administration," he said.

Following is the text of the statement:

(begin text)

Office of the Spokesman
February 16, 2001

Statement by Philip T. Reeker, deputy spokesman


We deeply regret that the Russian Federation has shipped nuclear fuel to the Tarapur power reactors in India in violation of Russia's nonproliferation commitments.

As a member of the 39 nation Nuclear Suppliers Group, Russia is committed not to engage in nuclear cooperation with any country that does not have comprehensive International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards on all its nuclear facilities. Although India's Tarapur reactors are under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, India does not have such safeguards on all of its facilities and is indeed pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

At a December 2000 meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the overwhelming majority of the members expressed their strong concerns about Russia's planned shipment of nuclear fuel to India, which they regarded as inconsistent with Russia's commitments.

We join other nuclear suppliers in calling on Russia to cancel this supply arrangement and live up to its nonproliferation obligations.

Russia's disregard of its Nuclear Supplier Group commitments, together with its sensitive nuclear assistance to Iran, raises serious questions about Russia's support for the goal of preventing nuclear proliferation.

Russia's provision of sensitive technologies to other countries will be an important item on the U.S.-Russian agenda of the Bush Administration.
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India Defends Importing Nuclear Fuel from Russia
February 20, 2001
(for personal use only)

NEW DELHI, Feb 20 (Reuters) - India said on Tuesday that importing nuclear fuel from Russia for reactors at its Tarapur power plant was covered by international safeguards.

A foreign ministry spokesman rejected U.S. criticism of the nuclear deal with Russia, and said New Delhi had "consistently and impeccably observed safeguards."

"All import of fuel for Tarapur atomic power station has always been under IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards," Raminder Singh Jassal said, adding the IAEA had been informed about the shipment.

The U.S. State Department said last week that Russia's supply of nuclear fuel to India raised questions about Moscow's commitment to nuclear non-proliferation and urged it to call off the deal.

India, which carried out nuclear tests in 1998, has declared itself a nuclear power and vowed to press on with building a nuclear deterrent.

The Tarapur reactors near Bombay are under IAEA supervised safeguards, but some other Indian nuclear facilities are not.

The State Department said Russia, as a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, was committed to not cooperating with the nuclear programmes of any country that did not accept comprehensive safeguards on all its nuclear facilities.
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Norwegian, Russian Lawmakers Discuss Arms Reduction Plans [Excerpt]
Military News Agency
February 21, 2001
(for personal use only)

Hans Resyord, chairman of the defense committee in the Storting ([Norwegian] parliament)…was speaking at a meeting with Army General Andrei Nikolayev, defense committee chairman in the State Duma lower house of Russian parliament. He wanted to know Nikolayev's opinion on the strategic and conventional forces ratio, a spokesman for the defense committee told the Military News Agency.

While discussing the problem Nikolayev told his Norwegian colleague that Russia would not be able to bring down its nuclear arsenals below the level determined by international agreements in next 10 years. He also said that a number of states and alliances display a tendency to scale up the power politics. As an example he gave the U.S. new administration's plan to deploy the National Missile Defense, as well as to militarize the peacekeeping activity. In particular, he stressed that NATO nations had demonstrated in Yugoslavia that they prefer peace compulsion to peacekeeping. As the result, a million of refugees who left their houses before the peacekeepers came was complemented by another million.
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F. Russian Nuclear Forces

1.U.S. Tells OSCE of Missile Launch Notification Agreement
The Washington File
February 20, 2001
(for personal use only)

U.S. Ambassador David Johnson described for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) Permanent Council a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on missile launch notifications signed by the United States and Russia last December that will promote mutual confidence and strengthen international security.

The agreement provides for a new and more comprehensive system of pre- and post-launch notifications for both ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles, said Johnson, the U.S. permanent representative to the OSCE, speaking in Vienna February 15.

It also provides for notifications when forcing satellites out of orbit and when conducting experiments in space that could adversely affect the operation of early warning radars.

Once it is implemented bilaterally, the system will be open to participation by other interested states, he said.

Following is a transcript of Johnson's statement:

(begin transcript)

United States Mission to the OSCE

Delivered by Ambassador David T. Johnson to the Permanent Council, Vienna
February 15, 2001

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I would like to make a statement on behalf of the United States of America and the Russian Federation.

I am pleased to inform the Permanent Council, on behalf of myself and Ambassador Belous, that on December 16 our Foreign Ministers signed in Brussels a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on Notifications of Missile Launches.

This agreement will strengthen strategic stability by establishing a new and more comprehensive system of pre- and post-launch notifications for both ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles. It also provides for notifications when forcing satellites out of orbit and when conducting experiments in space that could adversely affect the operation of early warning radars.

This new agreement builds upon the June 2000 agreement between the Russian Federation and the United States to establish in Moscow a joint warning center for the exchange of early warning information on missile launches. Together, these two initiatives will strengthen strategic stability by substantially reducing the risk of experiencing false ballistic missile attack warnings and by promoting mutual confidence.

The Russian Federation and the United States welcome the opportunity to work together through this agreement. Our bilateral cooperation demonstrates our shared commitment to strengthening international security.

Once it is implemented bilaterally, we intend to open the missile launch notification system to participation by other interested states. Today, we have circulated the full text of this agreement in both English and Russian. Thank you.

(end transcript)
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Arms tests heat US-Russia debate
David Filipov
Boston Globe
February 17, 2001
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MOSCOW - Russia yesterday test-fired land, air and sea-launched nuclear-capable missiles, adding some Cold War-style punch to an increasingly heated verbal battle between Moscow and Washington over nuclear weapons and missile defense.

The rare, near-simultaneous launches from a land-based silo in northwest Russia, a nuclear-powered submarine in the Barents Sea, and a bomber were probably part of a coordinated exercise, military and diplomatic analysts said, and almost certainly were planned well in advance.

The Russian Navy and the Strategic Rocket Forces announced launches within minutes of each other. Two hours later, the Russian Air Force said a TU-95 bomber had also fired a strategic missile.

The message yesterday's exercises conveyed - that Russia is keeping its strategic arsenal in shape - came just after the Bush administration stepped up the rhetoric in its dispute with Moscow over a planned US missile defense and hours before Washington launched an attack on Iraqi radar installations.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has said that Russia was "part of the problem" by helping "rogue states" such as Libya, Iran and North Korea acquire missile technology. Washington hopes to meet the potential threat of missile attacks from rogue states with a $60 billion National Missile Defense shield.

Moscow angrily responded that it was meeting its obligations under international treaties to prevent the transfer of weapons technology. Yesterday, a senior Russian general accused the US of "anti-Russian propaganda" to justify the deployment of a missile defense system.

The general, Leonty Ivashov, dismissed US claims that a defense system would be intended to stop only small numbers of missiles fired from Iran or North Korea. Instead, Ivashov told reporters, the US initiative was aimed at giving the United States a strategic edge over China and Russia, something he said would lead to "a new arms race."

A significant part of that race could involve the Topol, the advanced, highly mobile land-based missile Russia fired yesterday from launch pad in Plesetsk, in northwest Russia, to a target the military said it successfully hit on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Pacific, 4,200 miles to the east.

The Russian military has said it could respond to the deployment of NMD by refitting the single-warhead Topol with multiple warheads, making it harder for a missile defense to defeat.

Most of Russia's other long-range missiles have either passed their service lifetimes or are set to be dismantled under the START-II strategic arms reduction treaty, which both Russia and the United States have ratified but which has not gone into effect.

Moscow says missile defense would wreck the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, which it sees as the basis for all subsequent nuclear disarmament deals, including START-II. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, due to meet US Secretary of State Colin Powell next week in Cairo for the first high-level talks between Moscow and the Bush administration, has said he hopes for "constructive dialogue" on the issue of missile defense.

But the Bush administration has repeatedly said it is prepared to deploy the National Missile Defense shield regardless of Russia's views. This has led Russian politicians of all stripes to suspect the United States of building support for missile defense in its allegations that Moscow is violating proliferation treaties.

"If the US suspects Russia of violations they should raise the question, and not destroy the cornerstone of arms control," said Alexei Arbatov, a Russian legislator from the liberal Yabloko party.

Russia's protests have been accompanied by some actions that have raised tensions abroad. On Wednesday, nuclear-capable Russian bombers conducted exercises near Norway and Japan, forcing those countries' air forces to scramble. Japan later said Russian warplanes had briefly entered Japanese air space, but Moscow denied that.

US intelligence reports have also indicated that Russia might have moved short-range, tactical nuclear weapons to its Baltic port of Kaliningrad, an enclave wedged between Poland, a NATO member, and Lithuania, whose desire to join the Western alliance irritates Moscow.

Russia has denied moving the weapons to Kaliningrad, but Ivashov, who often makes hawkish remarks about the West, said Moscow could consider this option if NATO expands into the Baltics.

Ivashov also said Moscow was ready to present an alternative missile defense plan that would not violate existing treaties. The plan, which President Vladimir Putin had hinted at last year, involves deploying smaller-scale missile defenses near states that cause concern about missile attacks, rather than a full-blown strategic umbrella for the United States.

US officials have dismissed the idea, but Russia hopes Washington's European allies, which have their own reservations about National Missile Defense, might warm to the Russian plan.
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