1. Russians Opening Doors For Nuclear Safeguards-DOE
Energy Daily, Volume 29, Number 64
April 3, 2001
(for personal use only)
In a "breakthrough" for its key nuclear nonproliferation effort, the Energy Department says it has reached a draft agreement with Russian officials that will give DOE technicians greater access to sensitive Russian facilities to install nuclear materials safeguards.
The agreement-now under review by top U.S. officials-was described by DOE as less than comprehensive, but still a major step forward on an issue that has blocked U.S. efforts to improve security at Russian facilities holding hundreds of tons of weapons-usable plutonium and high-enriched uranium.
DOE in September 1999 suspended work on installing new security doors, locks and alarm systems at six Russian nuclear weapons laboratories and four nuclear weapons production sites because the Russians would not allow DOE technicians into buildings holding nuclear materials.
At the time, officials with Russian's Ministry of Atomic Energy, or Minatom, cited national security laws barring foreigners from entering sensitive nuclear weapons facilities.
After months of trying to work around the access problem, DOE officials recently reported they had reached agreement with Minatom in February on opening some parts of the Russian facilities that had been closed to technicians carrying out DOE's Materials Protection, Control and Accounting (MPC&A) program.
"I am pleased to report that last week the MPC&A program reached a draft agreement with Minatom that represents a breakthrough on this contentious issue," said Ken Baker, acting deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation in DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration, in a February 23 letter to the General Accounting Office.
"Upon completion of interagency review, the program will sign an access agreement providing MPC&A personnel with greater access to more sensitive Minatom facilities than any U.S. nonproliferation program.
"Some of the most sensitive parts of these facilities in the future may remain for security reasons largely inaccessible to program personnel, but resolution of the access problem will create major opportunities for further expansion of the program's work," Baker added.
Baker's disclosure was included in a GAO report released last week that found the MPC&A program had made major strides in improving protection for Russia's nuclear weapons materials.
GAO auditors said DOE had installed new security systems in 115 Russian buildings holding about 192 metric tons, or 32 percent, of 603 metric tons of plutonium and HEU judged as being at high risk of diversion or theft by terrorists or hostile nations.
But GAO said that because of the Minatom security restrictions, DOE was not installing safeguards in another 104 buildings holding hundreds of metric tons of vulnerable material.
GAO also expressed concern that some DOE security systems were not working as well as they could because-as a GAO review team discovered in visiting nine Russian sites-security practices at some Russian facilities remained astonishingly lax.
"For example, one site left a gate to its central storage facility open and unattended during the day," GAO said "According to a site official, the gate is left open to allow employees to enter and leave the facility without having to use the combination locks on the gate."
At the same time, GAO noted major improvements at Russian Navy facilities for storing reactor fuel at Murmansk and Vladivostok, among other facilities.
GAO also praised DOE for its efforts to develop a strategic plan for the MPC&A program. Along those lines, DOE told GAO it now estimated that it would cost a total of $2.2 billion through 2020 to safeguard all vulnerable Russian nuclear materials.
The generally favorable GAO review provides a boost for DOE's nonproliferation effort as it undergoes a controversial review by the Bush administration, with some sources suggesting budget cuts were in the offing. The review was first reported by The Energy Daily March 16.
The review follows skeptical comments by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld suggesting that U.S. nonproliferation aid may simply be allowing Russia to shift scarce resources toward weapons development. return to menu
B. Nuclear Cities Initiative
1. Study Finds Brain Drain From Russian Nuclear, Missile Ops
May 1, 2001
(for personal use only)
WASHINGTON - A potential brain drain from Russian centers specializing in nuclear and missile development could lead to the spread of nuclear weapons beyond Russia 's borders, a new study says.
The report commissioned by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said the migration potential of these specialists is "dangerously high" because of inadequate living standards.
"This state of affairs objectively has to push people in the direction of accepting offers of work, regardless of the source," including would-be proliferators, the report said.
The study was authored by Russian social scientist Valentin Tikhonov and was based on surveys in eight Russian cities - five specializing in nuclear weaponry and three in missile development. At least some of the nuclear cities are closed to outsiders.
Findings in the nuclear cities suggest that more than 62% of employees earn less than $50 a month, 58% of experts are forced to take second jobs, 89% report a decline in living conditions since 1992 and 14% would like to work outside of Russia.
In the cities devoted to missile development, the study said between 40% and 55% of experts surveyed believe their salary is two to three times below what it should be, 28% are forced to take second jobs, 67% report a slight or severe decline in their economic conditions since 1992, 25% would like to emigrate and 21% said they would work in the military complex of another country.
As a result of the migration potential, "the abundance of nuclear materials in the closed cities is at risk of being unlawfully sold on the open market, thereby exacerbating the problem of nuclear weapons proliferation," the study said.
The dismantling of nuclear weapons, required under agreements between Washington and Moscow, depends on the skill of experts who were involved in the weapons' development and production, it added.
The study said an increase in salary and an improvement in job satisfaction is the best way to head off migration of experts and the transfer of nuclear- and missile-related technology to aspiring nuclear powers.
"The Russian government and associated experts have a responsibility to understand the particular social and economic problems that beset these specialists at a time when Russian reforms are evolving," the report said.
"The better these trends are understood, the more effective targeted programs to address current circumstances will be." return to menu
2. Accessing the Inaccessible: The Case for Opening Up Russia's Closed Cities
Deborah Yarsike Ball
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS)
Policy Memo Series, Memo No. 194
(for personal use only)
Today the better minds are seeking abroad what they had an excess of in the USSR--satisfaction.
Nezavisimaya gazeta, July 1999
The selling of weapons-related nuclear knowledge by Russian scientists for economic gain constitutes a threat to US national security. Some estimate that the number of Russian scientists seeking permanent employment abroad constitutes five to ten percent of all researchers who have left the field of science in Russia. Moreover, there is concern that those who have left are "the better minds." The issue of brain drain concerns not only those who move abroad permanently, but those who still reside in Russia and travel abroad to sell their knowledge. Of particular concern to the US is the potential sale of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) knowledge by some.
To "mitigate the risk that economic difficulties…might create the temptation for individuals or institutes to sell expertise to countries of proliferation concern and terrorist organizations," the Department of Energy (DOE) launched a Nuclear Cities Initiative (NCI) in 1998 with the goal of creating commercial jobs and economic diversification in the ten closed cities that form the core of Russia's nuclear weapons complex to accommodate the loss of employment in the nuclear weapons industry.
However, unless Russia increases access to the areas of its closed cities that are, or could become, involved in commercial activities--while of course carefully controlling access to the sensitive areas of the institutes and laboratories--economic development will be stymied.
As the Soviet Union and then Russia began to decrease the size of its nuclear stockpile in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the impact was felt keenly by the families of the dedicated scientists, engineers, technicians, and other individuals working at the various sites that formed the Russian nuclear weapons complex. The backbone of this complex is ten cities critical to the design, construction, testing, and production of the nuclear weapons arsenal. The cities are under control of the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy (Minatom) and currently have a population of roughly 800,000 people. These gated and well-guarded cities have been closed to the outside world since their formation in the late 1940s, their existence not even acknowledged on maps. The importance of these closed cities--or as the Russians call them, closed administrative and territorial entities or ZATOs--to the nation's nuclear mission meant that the residents were well provided for and did not experience the shortages of foods and goods that characterized the plight of the average Soviet citizen.
These isolated cities are unique. Unlike the US, which eventually opened up its closed cities, separating the scientific institutes from the city infrastructure (Los Alamos being the most famous example of our early closed cities), the Soviet Union and then Russia kept the cities closed. This means that all commercial activities as well as the entire city infrastructure of social services, schools, medical care, recreation, law enforcement, and so on are located behind barbed wire fences.
The Nuclear Cities Initiative Today
The end of the Cold War has brought about a decrease in the size of the Russian nuclear arsenal and therefore reduced production requirements. As a result, the Russian closed cities must cope with a reduction in the scope of their primary mission and the need to develop new missions. During the first phase, NCI activities have focused on three closed nuclear cities: Sarov (formerly Arzamas-16), Snezhinsk (Chelyabinsk-70), and Zheleznogorsk (Krasnoyarsk-26). Each of these cities has been partnered with a US National Laboratory and a production site. The US National Laboratories were a perfect starting point because of the unique relationship that has developed between the scientists and engineers of the two countries over the past decade.
Although the US national laboratories have also experienced downsizing and have had to develop new missions, fewer opportunities exist for Russian scientists than their US counterparts because Russian personnel frequently lack the funds to move to open cities and have never had to compete in a market-based system. As a result, they are stuck in isolated communities that do not understand the basics of a market economy. NCI and the US National Laboratories are serving as a bridge between the Russian closed cities and industry. NCI is facilitating the creation of commercial enterprises by engaging private industry to help develop successful commercial partnerships in the nuclear cities. The Initiative also helps identify potential projects and outstanding Russian scientific personnel, but the program is more than a matchmaker.
Training is a key component of NCI, as it helps the cities better understand the underpinnings of capitalism. The ultimate goal is to "create the conditions required for economic diversification and sustainable job creation. " NCI helps reduce the costs to potential business partners by providing seed money, telecommunication facilities, and business start-up experts to the closed cities.
Kidney Dialysis Equipment in Sarov
An example of NCI's ability to leverage the technical know-how of the US National Laboratories to bring together private industry and Russian scientific knowledge is seen in the Renal Technology Project at the Avangard Electrochemical Plant (hereafter referred to as Avangard) located in the city of Sarov. The goal of the project is to develop an economically viable manufacturing and advanced product development capability for renal technology. The Avangard Plant was established more than 50 years ago and was the first Soviet facility to manufacture nuclear weapons on an industrial scale. Under NCI, Avangard partnered with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and identified medical technology parts manufacturing as a "business opportunity within its core capabilities." Avangard had been designing renal technologies for ten years. The plant had manufactured three versions of a dialysis machine and was looking to improve its design for sale on the world market. LLNL brokered a relationship between Avangard and one of the world's largest makers of dialysis equipment, and helped educate Avangard officials regarding Western business practices.
Most importantly, at the urging of NCI, the Avangard Plant moved its solid concrete perimeter security system back more than one mile. Moving this barrier (commonly referred to as "the fence") freed up four weapons manufacturing buildings for commercial use and contributed to the creation of a 10-acre industrial park within the city of Sarov. The buildings will be modified in order to install production lines for dialysis components.
It is believed that the project will eventually employ 500 former weapons builders in the daily production of parts for dialysis machines and, eventually, in the construction of complete dialysis systems. DOE has committed money for facility renovations and infrastructure costs.
The Problem of Access
In order for the Renal Technology Project and all NCI projects to be viable, however, NCI needs more access to the cities. Two issues critical to the success of such projects remain. First, NCI needs to make frequent visits to the sites with enough individuals to effectively carry out NCI project development work and monitor activities. Industry also needs to make numerous visits. The Russians are concerned that too many individuals are visiting the sites and that the visits are too frequent. Minatom's limitations on the number of people and the number of visits to a site can be debilitating.
The second issue is the long lead-time required for visits to be approved. Industrial partners not only need access to the production lines, they need timely access. Should something break or require immediate attention, companies cannot afford to wait for days to gain access to the plant. Production downtime translates into loss of profits. In the era of "just-in-time" production lines, no company can afford to wait to fix problems.
The NCI mandate of job creation and infrastructure and community development requires strategic planning and continual communication and cooperation between NCI representatives and the cities. Creating a vigorous and enterprising program requires multiple visits by large numbers of people, and this must become the norm. NCI does not seek routine access to areas containing classified nuclear research and production facilities. Rather, its goal is to introduce international industry representatives to the immense scientific talent residing in the Russian closed cities in hopes of creating jobs within Russia. Expecting industry representatives to wait for approval to enter the city to develop strategic plans, negotiate contracts, or fix production lines will lead to missed opportunities for workers in the isolated and closed cities of the Russian nuclear weapons complex. return to menu
C. Threat Reduction
1. Lugar Fires Salvo On Soviet Nukes
April 29, 2001
(for personal use only)
WASHINGTON At a Washington affair drenched in civility and high-mindedness, loyal and ever-decorous Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana came close to throwing the bird to the Bush administration.
"There are no programs as critical to U.S. security as those aimed at containing and dismantling the nuclear, chemical and biological warfare infrastructure of the former Soviet Union," said Lugar, a man with the mien and bearing of a mortician. "The administration must ensure that these efforts are managed effectively and funded properly."
I know, I know, those don't seem like fighting words. But, given the context, and what followed, they appeared to be a challenge to a new administration from one of the more serious Capitol Hill students of America's place in the world.
"That was a `screw you!' to the White House, wasn't it?" I asked another Republican senator, seated near me, as soon as Lugar was finished.
"He's a very curious guy," came the admiring response, acknowledging that it was.
What can pass for rhetorical mini-drama in the capital played out Thursday at a little-noticed annual awards dinner of the Eisenhower Institute. It's a non-profit group that aims to advance the legacy of former President Dwight Eisenhower, is run by his granddaughter Susan and focuses on issues of long-term strategic significance to the United States.
The affair was in a large ballroom but was not one of the ego-consumed, self-congratulatory, star-studded gatherings dotting the anemic capital social scene. Those include Saturday night's White House Correspondents Dinner at which President Bush and comic Darrell Hammond of "Saturday Night Live" were scheduled speakers, many celebrities were guests and the "in" post-dinner party hosted by burgeoning Bloomberg News featuring enough champagne to fill the Potomac River.
The Eisenhower rite is not a function where people go to be seen, nor does it rate mention in The Washington Post's gossip or society columns. Not even C-Span was there! The crowd was older, one of mostly serious public policy types, with a smattering of ambassadors, former State Department officials, think-tank pointy heads and members of the Eisenhower family.
Its big award went jointly to Lugar and former Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia, who are principal authors of legislation so significant, it is sadly typical that the vast majority of reporters here, and Americans in general, don't have a clue what it is or does.
After the Soviet Union broke up, its 30,000 nuclear weapons were to be found mostly in four new nations, namely Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The two senators, exhibiting a rare Capitol Hill commodity--vision--pushed for dismantling that stockpile and converting the nuclear material and workers to peaceful purposes.
The result was the so-called Nunn-Lugar programs, operating mostly out of the Defense Department and proving to be underappreciated successes. More than 5,000 nuclear warheads have been deactivated, many hundreds of delivery vehicles and test facilities have been destroyed, and scientists and certain former nuclear facilities are being turned into commercial enterprises.
In addition, Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), a most serious legislator who heads the Budget Committee, authored related programs reflecting his natural interest in the topic, given his state's nuclear labs.
Those programs operate out of the Department of Energy and deal with making nuclear sites and material more secure; the brain drain of scientists looking for work, converting nuclear sites to peaceful uses and turning plutonium and highly enriched uranium in Russia and the U.S. into more benign substances.
At the heart of this is a fear that in a gargantuan land mass, rife with awful economies and lousy security, there will be diversion, theft and errors in handling nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
One can knock on wood that nothing horrendous has played out since the Soviet Union collapsed. The danger of somebody getting hold of that raw material is large, especially since so many nations know, in theory, how to make a bomb, but only a few have the raw ingredients.
It's why we pay cash for Russian uranium and blend it down to use as reactor fuel; stick concrete blocks in front of the doors of storage vaults; replace wooden buildings housing biological weapons, now secured only by padlocks, with concrete and steel structures; assemble European consortiums to help turn a nuclear facility into one producing kidney dialysis equipment; and try to find civilian work for former government scientists so they can feed their kids instead of running to some high-paying job in a terrorist nation.
The public policy reason for all this has remarkable support, especially from military types. The list of those who seek continuation is not one of Greenpeace lefties. A bipartisan review commission, overseen by former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker (R-Tenn.) and big-shot Washington attorney Lloyd Cutler, wholeheartedly backed the initiatives.
In all, we spend about $2 billion annually for the programs, which now face an important challenge as their funding and execution are re-examined by an administration that may be more tough-minded, but possibly hard-headed, toward Russia.
The tension underlying the dinner speeches of Lugar and Nunn, who will leave his law practice to oversee the new Ted Turner-funded Nuclear Threat Initiative, results from proposed budget cuts of about $100 million out of a current spending level of $874 million in the Department of Energy programs. It's too early to know whether there will be Defense Department cuts.
Proposed slicing comes as the National Security Council oversees a reassessment of all Defense, Energy and State Department programs that flow from the initial Nunn-Lugar legislation of 1992.
Nobody doubts that there's been some poor management and waste. But one of the concerns of key legislators is that the Bush administration, unhappy with Russia for political and diplomatic reasons, would use the reassessments to justify budget cuts when, in fact, sharp increases are warranted.
It's why, Domenici revealed to me, he beckoned National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to his office last week to discuss all this. "She's supposed to know a lot about Russia," he said.
Rice, a Russia specialist and former provost at Stanford University, may prove to be the underestimated star of the Bush White House. Conventional wisdom was that the first African-American woman in the position would get rolled by heavyweights Secretary of State Colin Powell and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Don't bet on it, given the huge trust held in her by Bush.
But her reputation for good sense did not restrain Lugar from setting down his marker.
"Historically, no great power has ever possessed such an opportunity to work with a former adversary in removing the threat that confronts both of them," he said. "Statesmanship and patience will be required over many years."
For sure, U.S.-Russia relations will have down periods, such as now, but these non-proliferation programs are not foreign aid or charity, he said, and certainly not a "carrot" to be withdrawn if Russian behavior is not "correct."
Domenici, for one, argues that the average American should be concerned about keeping a strong "human and materials diversion" program in Russia. The risk of materials and unhappy scientists winding up in mischievous countries is just too great.
But did he come away confident after meeting with Rice?
"My sense," he said, "is that she feels very assured that they will come up with the right policy. I feel confident that she has the base of knowledge to make the right decision."
That's short of a ringing endorsement but perhaps not cause to replace that rec room downstairs with a cable-ready, Martha Stewart-approved bomb shelter.
After all, this is still a political town. And with Domenici, the budget major-domo, and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), chairman of the Appropriations Committee, all squarely behind Lugar, a power on the Foreign Relations Committee, you might just want to place your bets on the graybeards. return to menu
D. Loose Nukes
1. Bogota Police Foil 'Atom Bomb' Sale
The Sunday Times (UK)
April 29 2001
(for personal use only)
DETECTIVES in Colombia say they have seized a £1m cache of enriched uranium from the bathroom of an animal feed salesman who claims he merely found some radioactive ore on his farm. The police believe they have foiled an international gang that planned to build and sell nuclear weapons.
While tests were being conducted on the uranium to try to help determine its origin, Bogota police and an FBI team expected to arrive in the city this week said they were alarmed at the prospect of a black market in atom bombs.
"What is certain," said Ismael Malaver, the detective in charge of the team that raided Alfonso Sandoval's suburban house, "is that he was planning to sell it."
Sandoval is thought to have been using a makeshift bathroom laboratory to measure the enrichment of the uranium before he marketed it abroad.
The case has raised disturbing questions about the extent of nuclear proliferation, which has been a nightmare for security agencies since the collapse of the Soviet Union a decade ago. Experts believe that Colombia, with its reputation as a lawless haven for guerrilla and criminal gangs, may be the secret bazaar where pariah nations such as Iraq try to acquire uranium smuggled out of Russia.
So far there has been no evidence of large-scale smuggling of Russia's uranium. "Small amounts get out," said David Albright, president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security. "But it is difficult for organised crime to find anyone able to get out the larger amounts that are needed for making weapons."
Colombian officials have no doubt that the uranium they discovered in two canisters in Sandoval's bathroom was destined for use in weapons and suggest it could have been a sample for tempting potential buyers.
Even so Sandoval, 56, seemed an unlikely component of such a sinister plot. His daughter Claudia said from Bogota that he had suffered four heart attacks in December and he has been released on bail because of concerns about his health.
"We're not bandits," she said. "My father has always been a scientist with interests. Nothing clandestine. He's always done experiments. He has produced home-made shampoo, soap and detergent."
Colombian investigators scoffed at the notion of an amateur scientist experimenting with uranium for fun. In the bathroom they found a computer and a spectrometer for measuring the purity of radioactive elements as well as the two 11oz batches of uranium. One batch, they claimed, was enriched to 63%, the other to 74%.
After his release, the unassuming Sandoval appeared on television claiming he had stumbled across the uranium. But natural uranium has to be treated to reach the level of enrichment attributed to the batches found in the bathroom.
Even that level is not sufficient for making weapons, which require uranium enriched to at least 90%. It corresponds, however, to the standard of enrichment used in Russian nuclear submarines and icebreakers. Police say Sandoval visited Russia for unknown reasons in February last year.
He was not the first Colombian to be detained for possession of nuclear materials. In Frankfurt in 1994, a Colombian was arrested coming from Moscow with a consignment of plutonium in his suitcase. This turned out to be a sting by German intelligence.
A series of other arrests over the past few years in Italy, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Germany involved only small amounts of low-grade radioactive materials. "Most of it is uranium at 2-3% coming from the former Soviet Union," said David Kyd, spokesman for the International Atomic Energy Agency, based in Vienna. "But it is hard to know whether what is found is the tip of the iceberg or the bulk of the traffic."
The Bogota find was the first of its kind in Latin America, but experts are not surprised that Colombia - where smugglers of drugs, arms and emeralds operate with virtual impunity - should emerge as a player in the uranium trade. "That is the place to sell stuff on the black market," said Albright.
Colombian criminal links with Russian mafia groups were revealed in 1999 when officials discovered a half-finished Russian submarine in a warehouse hundreds of miles from the coast. The craft was being assembled by Russian engineers for cocaine-smuggling.
Kyd said that the Bogota haul might indicate that "the Colombia mafia is diversifying to the extent that it is introducing uranium into its sales brochure".
Fissile material would be useless without the sophisticated detonation technology needed for building a bomb. However, this expertise is readily available and technical information on the internet has increased the chance of a lone operator being able to build a basic nuclear bomb. return to menu
E. U.S.-Russian Nuclear Security Cooperation
1. Nuclear Inspection Site To Close
May 2, 2001
(for personal use only)
MAGNA, Utah -The nation's only permanent nuclear missile inspection site will close and its 30 inspectors will head back to Russia at the end of the month.
An agreement that allowed the inspection expires May 31. It was part of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, signed in December 1987 by President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
While U.S. inspectors monitor weapons construction in Votkinsk, Russia, rotating teams of Russian technicians have maintained the inspection outpost in the Salt Lake City suburb of Magna for the past 13 years.
The Russian inspectors will fly out of Salt Lake City on May 30, Amy Fielding, acting public relations officer for the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, told The Salt Lake Tribune for a story in Wednesday's editions.
The treaty was the superpowers' first successful effort to monitor each other's promise to stop producing medium-range missiles and to destroy their existing arsenals of such weapons.
The Russian inspectors' main purpose was to make sure no more Pershing 2 missile motors were produced
U.S. inspectors were stationed in Votkinsk, 600 miles east of Moscow, to ensure the Soviets were no longer making SS-20 missiles.
While the Utah site will be closed, the Russian permanent inspection site in Votkinsk will remain open, under terms of a different accord, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). That treaty, signed in July 1991 by Gorbachev and then-President George Bush, was aimed at reduction of U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals to 6,000 strategic warheads each by 2002.
Fielding said the Russians had the option to stay in Utah under terms of START, but declined. return to menu
2. Can Moscow Be Trusted?
U.S. Inspectors To Look For Russian Nukes Weapons Thought To Be Hidden In Enclave Of Kaliningrad
May 1, 2001
(for personal use only)
A team of U.S. weapons inspectors has arrived in Kaliningrad, Russia, as part of a mission to verify that Moscow has kept its word and has not moved tactical nuclear weapons into the area.
The inspection comes after U.S. press reports in January that Russia had moved tactical nuclear weapons to a military base in the enclave, following threats to do so if NATO's eastward expansion continued.
Though Moscow has denied the weapons were transferred, U.S. reports said satellite imagery showed the weapons moving by ship and rail to the area. Officials were not able to distinguish the type of weapons being deployed, but speculated they were tactical battlefield weapons.
The U.S. inspection is the fifth conducted within the framework of a treaty signed by the former USSR and the United States at the end of the Cold War. Previous inspections were held in 1992, 1996, 1998 and 1999. The current inspection is the last one under the framework agreement.
Russian officials said the U.S. team would be scrupulous in its examination of the Kaliningrad facility.
"It seems that the U.S. wants to confirm a scandalous statement made by the Western press concerning the deployment of nuclear weapons in the Kaliningrad region," an unnamed Russian defense official was quoted as saying yesterday by Itar-TASS.
The Washington Times originally reported on the transfer of nuclear weapons to Kaliningrad, which is a major seaport located between Poland and Lithuania. It is a major base for Russian naval and ground forces. It is also home to Baltic Fleet headquarters.
The original movement of the weapons was detected in June 2000.
Some defense officials said the weapons are probably for use on a new short-range missile known as the Toka. A Toka was test-fired on April 18 in Kaliningrad. It has a range of about 44 miles, the Times reported.
The paper said U.S. spy satellites were able to pinpoint the exact location of the weapons in a February follow-up report.
The weapons were transferred via ship to a special nuclear storage bunker near a military airfield in Kaliningrad, said the paper. return to menu
3. Russia: US Must Collaborate on Nukes
May 4, 2001
(for personal use only)
MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin on Friday urged the United States to work with Russia on arms issues and welcomed President Bush's indications he would consult other countries on a controversial missile defense system.
"First, we should not destroy the established system of international security, and second, we must act together to perfect it," Putin said.
It was Putin's first public response to Bush's announcement this week that he intends to move ahead with a nationwide system designed to shoot down missiles aimed at U.S. territory.
Bush described the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which bans such systems, as outdated. Russia, however, says the treaty is a foundation of world security and should be preserved.
Putin welcomed Bush's willingness to discuss the issue, saying, "We have noticed in the U.S. president's statement that our U.S. partners plan to consult with the international community on these crucial issues, including consultations with Russia."
"We are very much counting on this dialogue being constructive."
Putin said he agreed with Bush that times had changed in some ways. "It is difficult not to agree with the president of the United States in this sense, that the world is changing rapidly and new threats are appearing," he said.
"I agree that we must think about this and resist these threats with sensible actions," he said during ceremonies to sign agreements between Russia and the Central Asian nation of Uzbekistan.
The United States and the Soviet Union signed the ABM treaty on the theory that it would discourage a firstike nuclear attack by either side. Without defenses, an attacker would face certain annihilation in a retaliatory strike - the principle of mutual assured destruction.
Missile defense advocates argue the United States faces a greater threat in coming years from attacks involving a few missiles that could be launched by so-called rogue states such as North Korea. The old Cold War framework focusing on the United States and the Soviet Union, which broke up in 1991, is outmoded, they say.
Bush is considering a system that could be rushed into operation as early as 2004, possibly using weapons on ships or planes as well as on land to shoot down missiles in flight.
But Russia has resisted U.S. efforts to negotiate changes in the ABM treaty, which allows each side only a limited system of interceptor missiles protecting either the capital or an intercontinental missile launch site. return to menu