1. Russian Military Experts to Hold Consultations in Washington
August 6, 2001
(for personal use only)
A delegation of experts of Russia's Defense Ministry led by First Deputy Chief of General Staff General Yury Baluyevsky goes to Washington Monday to discuss strategic stability with their American counterparts on August 7-8.
ITAR-TASS learns from military sources that the consultations will focus on various aspects of international security and the future of the 1972 Russo-U.S. ABM Treaty.
The heads of the two countries' defense departments are scheduled to hold talks in Moscow on August 13-14.
Ranking Russian Defense Ministry officials note that negotiations between Sergei Ivanov and Don Rumsfeld will in many ways be based on the outcome of expert consultations in the United States on August 7-8.
The next round will take place in New York in September of this year during a meeting between Russia's Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and U.S. State Secretary Colin Powell.
According to ex-Defense Minister Marshal Igor Sergeyev, now presidential aide on matters of strategic stability, in the course of the upcoming consultations Russia and the United States are to detail positions on missile defense and strategic stability.
Sergeyev said in an exclusive interview for ITAR-TASS that "above all this concerns the American side because we have heard nothing concrete from Washington apart from philosophy and conceptual theses."
According to him, "Russia has laid out its position in full."
Commenting on the statement by U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to the effect that Washington has no plans to breach the ABM Treaty but is going to withdraw from it in keeping a Treaty provision, Marshal Sergeyev said "that will be the will of the United States, not that of Russia."
He pointed out in this connection that "Russia would like to see a dialogue on offensive and defensive strategic arms within the format approved by the presidents of Russia and the United States."
Sergeyev stressed that "Moscow is in favor of a formula ensuring the security of both the United States and Russia but at the same time retaining what was created in the 20th century and acceptable in the 21st century."
He stressed the need for the continued existence of the ABM Treaty, adding that it is a cornerstone of strategic stability. International security will suffer irreparable damage if it the Treaty is ruined. return to menu
2. Russian Experts Doubtful about START-2 Treaty Coming into Force
August 6, 2001
(for personal use only)
Alexander Konovalov, President of the Institute for Strategic Studies, said in a news program on the ORT TV channel Sunday the wording of the START-2 Treaty ratified by the U.S. Congress and the text ratified by the State Duma are not identical.
He said the Russian parliament had ratified the START-2 Treaty "with some reservations."
"The State Duma coupled ratification with a document containing amendments that render the texts of the documents unauthentic."
The expert explained that the changes concerned "the Treaty's duration and the 1997 New York Protocols drawing a line between ABM and Theater ABM."
He stressed that if START-2 were to come into force, the U.S. Congress would have to vote for the changes introduced by Russia.
But he felt Congress would "not agree to revote that document, that is to say, the START-2 Treaty cannot come into force."
As far as the START-1 Treaty was concerned, it "could by no means be regarded as a Cold War relic."
"Much of what is contained in that document will provide a basis for the negotiations we want to open, negotiations on strategic stability ranging over defensive and offensive arms as a package."
"I think the principles of the START-1 documents will work for a long time yet although 800-page treaties will probably be no longer signed."
Speaking about the prospect of Russia and the United States reaching an agreement to cut the number of warheads down to 1,500, ex-Secretary of Russia's Security Council and now deputy of the State Duma Andrei Kokoshin said, "Such cuts are more important to Russia and the United States because (Russia) will find it extremely difficult to maintain even 1,500 warheads for purely economic reasons."
Kokoshin believes the U.S. administration will not cling to the high ceilings of 3-3,5 thousand warheads defined by the START-2 Treaty.
In his opinion, "It is important for Russia to make sure that nuclear warheads are cut down to 1,500. Moreover, it is also important for it to reach an agreement on a configuration of strategic forces that would pose no threat to Russia from the standpoint of the hypothetical probability of a preemptive strike."
Kokoshin maintains that a preemptive strike will become more dangerous if the United States acquires a national missile defense system. return to menu
3. NMD Deployment to Lead to Nuclear Weapons in Space
August 6, 2001
(for personal use only)
U.S. NMD deployment will inevitably lead to the Pentagon taking nuclear weapons to outer space, something that is going to become a second historic mistake after the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Russian nuclear security expert Major General Yury Lebedev told ITAR-TASS.
In his words, "So far, there have been no such weapons in space, but the Pentagon is seeking to do that."
"However, everything will depend on Russian-American consultations, which will start in the U.S.A. Tuesday and later continue in Moscow. These justly link further cuts in nuclear arsenals with ABM problems," he said.
"I happened to take part in the negotiating processes on reductions in strategic offensive weapons and so I may state that it is clearly understood in the United States that whoever dominates outer space, dominates the world. There is no doubt that the Pentagon will strive to sneak in nuclear weapons even though this is forbidden by international agreements, including the 1972 ABM Treaty," he said. return to menu
B. U.S. Nuclear Forces
1. Bush Plan to Close Bases Eyes Nuke Sites
August 6, 2001
(for personal use only)
President Bush is proposing that a new military base-closing commission be empowered for the first time to recommend shutdowns of Energy Department nuclear weapons facilities, administration officials say.
Expanding the independent commission's power is adding to opposition on Capitol Hill. Congressional sources are referring to the DOE option as a "stumbling block" to winning congressional approval for another round of post-Cold War base closings.
The sources said New Mexico's congressional delegation likely would oppose the legislation because its state is home to Energy Department nuclear weapons research sites.
An administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity defended the DOE proposal sent to Capitol Hill. The official said it makes sense for the Pentagon and the commission to scrutinize bomb-making plants because Mr. Bush plans to reduce the U.S. nuclear arsenal of about 7,000 warheads. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is now overseeing a nuclear forces review and is expected to make recommendations for trimming weapons this fall.
"A good third of overall DOE infrastructure relates to labs and nuclear production that is linked to Defense Department requirements," the official said. "So if we change the strategic force related to the nuclear equation, we need to look at these facilities."
While the official said the administration plans to stick by its plan despite congressional complaints, it backed away from two parts of the proposal originally outlined to congressional aides on Wednesday.
The Pentagon has abandoned a plan to give the defense secretary veto power on any base the commission added that was not on his roster of recommendations.
Under the proposed law, the president would be able to either reject or accept the entire list but would have no authority to block a particular panel selection.
Second, the administration is reverting to the old system of empaneling the nine-member commission, which will require Senate confirmation. The proposed legislation had included language that allowed the president to pick the nine members based on suggestions from congressional leaders . The revamped plan gives congressional leaders six selections and the president three.
The administration official said the now-discarded appointment plan was designed to keep politically driven appointees off the commission in favor of people with national security expertise. He noted that one panel member who served in 1995 on the last commission was a refrigerator salesman.
In another possible stumbling block, congressional sources say they want the Pentagon to change the proposed legislation to allow the defense secretary to designate certain bases off-limits because of their national security importance. If this is done, the sources said, it would spare some communities the expense of having to hire consultants to protect their bases. But Pete Aldridge, the Pentagon's top acquisition official, seemed to rule that option out. "That would really politicize the process because everyone would be clamoring to get their bases on that list," he said last week.
The Pentagon announced its base-closing plan Thursday, saying it has 25 percent excess capacity and can save $3.5 billion annually, starting later this decade.
But fierce opposition is already placing the plan in doubt, even though key senators, including Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat, are pushing base closings.
Sen. Olympia J. Snowe, Maine Republican, issued a statement that was headlined, "Snowe vows continued opposition to base closings."
"I am concerned that if another base-closure process is approved, we will lose more installations critical to the support of our military capacity," Mrs. Snowe said. Her state is home to the Portsmouth naval shipyard. The 1995 commission added the Portsmouth yard to its recommended list over Navy objections. But Mrs. Snowe and other New England lawmakers persuaded the panel to take it, and its 3,500 jobs, off the list.
Congressional sources say there are four major Army posts that are prime closure candidates: Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Knox, Ky., Fort Carson, Colo.; and Fort Riley, Kan. The sources said the Army has excess training capacity and could shift its armor school at Fort Knox to Fort Hood, Texas.
The administration official also said the proposed law will give the independent commission new authority to close and move federal agencies that sit on or adjacent to a military base that is recommended for closing. But the official said there will be no effort to target NASA facilities that sit next to a closing base.
Under the plan's timetable, the defense secretary will make his recommendations to the commission by March 2003. The panel will have until the following July to approve its list, which the president and Congress may either reject or accept.
Asked whether he is confident a base-closing bill will be approved by Congress, Mr. Rumsfeld said: "The answer is no, I'm not. No one could be. It is a very difficult thing to do." return to menu
C. Nuclear Waste
1. Russian Region Unhappy with Plans to Import Spent Nuclear Fuel
BBC Monitoring Service
August 4, 2001
(for personal use only)
Atomic Energy Minister Aleksandr Rumyantsev visited Krasnoyarsk Territory to discuss the plans to send imported spent nuclear fuel there. Residents were dismayed to hear that the imports would not fund the construction of a fuel reprocessing plant or waste storage facilities. The following is an excerpt of a report by the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta on 2 August; subheadings have been inserted editorially:
Krasnoyarsk: Despite the fact that President Vladimir Putin has signed the package of "nuclear" laws regulating the procedure for the import into Russia, reprocessing, and storage of irradiated nuclear fuel from nuclear power stations in the far abroad, the Ministry of Atomic Energy's tasks in implementing the project have become no easier. On the one hand, the president has expressed his will and hierarchy ostensibly prescribes that it be obeyed implicitly. On the other hand, the regions are certainly in no hurry to give a hasty salute. After all, the main radiation burden will fall not on the Moskva River and the avenues of the Bulvarnoye Ring but on Krasnoyarsk Territory and Chelyabinsk Region.
Nuclear minister visits Krasnoyarsk
It was for this reason that the Chairman Krasnoyarsk Territory's Legislative Assembly, Aleksandr Uss, invited Russian Federation Minister of Atomic Energy Aleksandr Rumyantsev to Krasnoyarsk, to provide an opportunity to compare Moscow and local views on a real problem. After visiting the mining and chemical combine in Zheleznogorsk, the minister mounted the podium of the Legislative Assembly and entered upon a difficult dialogue with the region's deputies and scientists...
The Mayak combine, which is in Ozersk, Chelyabinsk Region, will handle the actual reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. At the moment Krasnoyarsk-26 is assigned the job of storage...
Understandably, the Krasnoyarsk residents, who have been confronted with a fait accompli by Moscow, were most interested in the financial aspect of the project. As Sergey Khrul, head of Berezovskiy District Administration, put it, "if we're up for sale, let the price be as high as possible." And this is no accident. After all, it is primarily the residents of Berezovskiy and Sukhobuzimskiy Districts who may run up against the possible consequences of the transportation and storage of spent nuclear fuel. And the problems caused for local poultry units by the reconstruction of railroad lines are already very obvious in Berezovka today...
Fuel reprocessing plant not to be fully funded
Speaking of the prospects for the RT-2 plant in Zheleznogorsk, the minister explained that if all the money earned within the framework of the project is used to complete construction of it, the rehabilitation of stricken territories will be prevented. So the fuel regeneration plant will be completed with other money, including money from commercial projects. The money for the Territory will be recorded in the federal budget.
It was this point that prompted most complaints from Legislative Assembly deputies. It should be admitted that Rumyantsev failed to convince his audience that the money to complete the RT-2 plant will be found in the requisite quantity. And without this the project does not look all that convincing with respect to Krasnoyarsk Territory.
Nuclear waste storage capacities to be increased
The minister also had difficulty answering Deputy Vyacheslav Novikov's question: "Will matters be organized in such a way that each curie imported into the Territory lowers the radiation load on its territory?" If it is a question of quantities of low-grade waste, there probably will be a reduction. But in general, of course, it is planned to import a very significant quantity of spent nuclear fuel. The emphasis was placed on the fact that the storage of spent nuclear fuel at Krasnoyarsk-26 is safe. And there is no reason to reprocess it on site. And the liquid radioactive waste in tanks at the mining and chemical combine will be reprocessed at Mayak.
Today there are 2,800 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel in "wet" storage at the mining and chemical combine. The capacity will be increased to 8,600 tonnes by increasing the storage density of fuel assemblies. The question of constructing a "dry" storage facility is also under consideration - the unfinished buildings of the RT-2 plant could be used for this purpose. This would make it possible to store around 39,000 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel. And the magnitude of the expenditure here is as follows: Construction of a "dry" storage facility for 30,000 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel requires 400-450m dollars. And naturally the state does not have this money.
So, for the present, the minister's visit amounted essentially to a scouting mission and to an attempt to probe public sentiment. The detailed scientific and technical concept of the project will be presented by the region's authorities later. It is then that thorough dissection of all details of this programme in Krasnoyarsk will begin. Especially if it does not properly take account of the region's interests. Meanwhile, according to calculations, there is at least three years to go before the first trains of spent nuclear fuel arrive in the Territory.
Source: Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Moscow, in Russian 2 Aug 01 return to menu
D. Highly Enriched Uranium
1. USEC: Russian Deal Key Union, industry oppose price cut, sole agent issues
August 5, 2001
(for personal use only)
As about 700 Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant union members keep working amid strike talk, their employer, USEC Inc., is lobbying strongly in the nation's capital to control the price and flow of $8 billion in Russian uranium, equivalent to 25,000 nuclear weapons.
USEC wants to remain sole agent for the uranium, which it resells to U.S. nuclear power plants. It also wants to secure better prices and get government approval to buy Russian commercial uranium, aside from the material taken from dismantled warheads.
Some nuclear power firms - identified by Nuclear Fuel magazine as Duke Power, Southern Co., Entergy and Exelon Nuclear - are lobbying to bypass USEC by adding an agent from their industry, whose 100 plants use the uranium to produce 20 percent of the nation's electricity.
Oliver Kingsley, Exelon's president and chief nuclear officer, visited the Paducah plant Friday with USEC President and Chief Executive Officer William Timbers. USEC described the visit as one of many by its customers and not to try to sway Kingsley's views about the Russian deal.
Condoleeza Rice, the president's national security adviser, is reviewing the Russian matter, including USEC's tentative agreement with that country for better prices. Some say a decision may be imminent. Nuclear Fuel has reported that although the White House is considering having another agent, many analysts think it could delay a decision until next year, even after the November 2002 elections.
USEC is hoping for an answer by the end of the year, when its old, five-year contract with Russia expires. The firm says Russia agreed in May 2000 to terms for better prices.
On Thursday, the plant's energy workers union overwhelmingly rejected USEC's proposed contract, which would have ended after a year if any one of three goals related to Russian uranium purchases failed. The two sides plan to resume bargaining Wednesday, but union leaders say that unless USEC takes the Russian issue off the table, there could be a strike at any time.
Not only has the issue spurred contentious bargaining, it is vital for the future of the plant, its 1,500 jobs and the spinoff revenue that has long brought economic vitality to the area.
Broader still, U.S. nuclear fuel production is at stake because the Paducah plant is the only one in the nation that enriches uranium. The 325-employee Honeywell plant in Metropolis, Ill., is the only plant in the country that makes raw product for USEC.
Some experts - notably Thomas Neff, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology nuclear researcher credited with designing the Russian deal - say USEC's proposed new prices for Russian uranium could give it a profit markup of 50 percent or more. Neff says that and other factors could lead to a monopoly and drive up the price of electricity in the nation.
USEC Senior Vice President Philip Sewell says Neff is misguided and inaccurate. Despite the heavy consequences of USEC's nuclear disarmament role, the underlying economics are complex and easily misunderstood, he said.
"Obviously, if it's important to USEC business, it's important to that plant because that's where our business lies right now," he said. "So it's a significant issue to the community."
In a 20-year deal, USEC is buying about half its uranium needs from Russia at prices well below what it costs the Paducah plant to produce the other half. Sewell said "blending" the two costs holds USEC expenses down and extends the life of the plant, whose technology is outdated and burns as much electricity as a major city.
He gave these views regarding another agent:
If another agent buys more Russian uranium than USEC is buying now, the added supply - in a market with stagnant demand for at least 10 years - will force prices down, cut USEC's profits and hurt the plant. Should a USEC customer buy from a new agent, USEC will lose that market share, creating "a double whammy."
If another agent takes part of USEC's Russian supply, it will upset the Russian-Paducah cost mix, also hurting the plant. Boosting plant production won't help because it would mean much higher power costs. Also, the added supply would force market prices down, resulting in a "triple whammy."
Not everyone agrees with USEC logic. Exclusive control over Russian and domestic uranium, combined with a successful trade action against foreign nuclear fuel suppliers, "would give USEC monopoly power over the U.S. nuclear fuel supply and drive up electricity prices in the United States," Neff wrote in the June issue of Arms Control Today magazine.
USEC wants permission from the Commerce Department to buy newly produced Russian commercial uranium, also at low prices. "If it does so, the more likely outcome is the shutdown of Paducah, making the nation largely dependent on Russian supply for its nuclear power plants," Neff wrote.
Comparing USEC to a "middleman," Neff's article said having another agent can cut the cost to utilities, and ultimately consumers, by 90 percent. It would create competition and give the U.S. government more options in dealing with USEC and Russia, he wrote.
Another option is providing federal subsidies to USEC - perhaps $200 million to $300 million annually for the roughly 12 years remaining in the Russian deal - in return for USEC's giving Russia fairer prices, withdrawing the trade action and promising to keep the Paducah plant running, Neff wrote.
In the July-August issue of Arms Control Today, Sewell responded to Neff's "inaccuracies and distortions," saying USEC is not a monopoly because it doesn't have enough uranium to supply all U.S. nuclear power plants. The rest must come from foreign suppliers, he said.
Sewell wrote that the actual profit margin from the Russian uranium "is far, far lower" than the 50 percent markup claimed by Neff, whose figures don't account for other costs, including having a large uranium inventory in case of Russian shipment interruptions, four of which have occurred in the last seven years.
Union leaders say they failed to get USEC to commit to running the plant at a specified production level, even if the union supported the Russian initiatives. That is one reason workers vigorously oppose including the Russian issue in the contract, said David Fuller, president of Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers Local 5-550.
Last year, USEC denied union claims that it wanted to close the plant and become solely a broker of uranium.
"Instead of a commitment to the community and union," Fuller said, "we have a situation set up where the workers and the community are going to take it on the chin by another USEC scheme."
USEC spokeswoman Elizabeth Stuckle took issue with Fuller.
"Any statement that USEC refused to promise certain production levels is not true," she said. "In fact, USEC offered and was prepared to commit to certain production levels as part of an overall agreement to support implementation of a new marked-based Russian contract and USEC's role as sole executive agent."
In explaining why the Russian deal means plant jobs, Stuckle likened it to a government defense contract.
"If the contract is reduced, we will have fewer resources to pass on to our employees," she said. "On the other hand, if we have a larger contract, we will have more resources to pass on." return to menu
E. Russia - North Korea Cooperation
1. Kim Taken on 'Peaceful' Tour of Russian Space Factory
August 6, 2001
(for personal use only)
RUSSIA gave North Korea's reclusive leader, Kim Jong-il, a VIP tour of its space technology yesterday, a day after both countries declared that the world had nothing to fear from Pyongyang's missile programme.
The North Korean's visit to the Khrunichev factory was hailed by official Russian media as proof of his peaceful interest in space, but will have alarmed those nervous of his alleged plans to build nuclear-capable rockets.
Among exhibits on display was Proton, Russia's most powerful satellite launcher, originally a ballistic missile and thus, suitably modified, able to hit America if fired from the Korean peninsula.
Mr. Kim's day of space tourism followed a Kremlin summit with President Putin clearly designed to put the rest of the world's fears about Pyongyang and its missile development programme to rest.
However, the trappings of Mr. Kim's trip to Russia, including a nine-day trans-Siberian train journey and a pilgrimage to Lenin's mausoleum, have highlighted the freakish nature of his so-called rogue state.
During talks with his host on Saturday, Mr. Kim, 59, pledged to observe a moratorium on missile testing until 2003 despite continuing research in the field. The programme was "of a peaceful nature," a communiqué said.
The two countries also jointly expressed support for the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which America has denounced as a major obstacle to its plans to create a missile defence shield.
North Korea, stricken by poverty and run as a Stalinist dictatorship, is top of the list of countries that America uses to justify its aims of erecting a "son of Star Wars" shield against surprise nuclear attack.
Mr. Putin has sought to boost Russia's international standing by acting as a go-between with the West, sometimes with embarrassing results.
The Russian leader was made a fool of last year when Mr. Kim described a commitment to freeze North Korea's missile programme that he had reportedly given the president as "a joke."
Staff at the Khrunichev factory stressed yesterday that they were not discussing business with North Korea. Among other exhibits on show to their visitor was a life-size model of the Mir space station.
Mr. Kim later paid a call on Russia's mission control in the town of Korolyev, which guided Mir to its successful splashdown in the Pacific this spring.
Russia has offered to put North Korean satellites into orbit, but on commercial terms only, a condition that the impoverished country would be stretched to meet.
As everywhere during the Kim visit, the road to Korolyev was lined with policemen standing every 50 yards. The disruption his entourage has caused has provoked fury among many Russians.
North Korean security appears happy only when Mr. Kim is surrounded by the same soulless, deserted streets he is used to back home.
Stations that his train has stopped in have been closed to the public hours in advance, ruining commuters' travel plans. His roadshow moves today to St Petersburg, Russia's second city, before the long journey home across Siberia.
Russia is the only foreign country apart from China that Mr. Kim has visited as leader. He travels by train because he is said to be afraid of flying. return to menu
2. N. Korean Leader, in Moscow, Says Missile Plan Is No Threat
August 5, 2001
(for personal use only)
MOSCOW, Aug. 4 -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Il declared today that his missile development program posed no threat to international peace and renewed his pledge to freeze testing until 2003, a fresh gesture aimed at undermining the rationale for President Bush's proposed nuclear shield.
Making a historic visit to the former capital of the communist world, the reclusive Kim signed a joint statement with Russian President Vladimir Putin terming his missile program "peaceful in nature" and opposing U.S. plans for an antimissile system to defend against countries such as the Stalinist North Korea.
Kim first committed to a two-year extension of the 1999 moratorium on ballistic missile launches during discussions with European officials in May. But his foreign minister later told a visiting New York scholar that Pyongyang would not stick to the pledge unless the Bush administration signaled interest in improving relations. Bush recently invited North Korea to resume talks, and today's statement appeared to be a response.
"The North Korean leader has confirmed that North Korea intends to adhere to the moratorium on the launching of ballistic missiles that it had declared until the year 2003," Kremlin deputy chief of staff Sergei Prikhodko told reporters after the meeting between Kim and Putin. Prikhodko reported no conditions on the moratorium.
North Korea reportedly also revived a previous proposal to scrap its missile program altogether if other countries help it launch satellites. Moscow officials told the Interfax news agency that they would be happy to provide such assistance as long as Russia was paid for its services -- either by North Korea or by a third party such as the United States.
Kim's visit to Moscow -- his first official foreign trip anywhere but to China -- comes as Putin is looking for bargaining chips in his forthcoming negotiations with Bush over the future of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972.
By securing goodwill statements from Kim, analysts said, Putin hopes to undercut the central premise of Bush's missile defense plan -- the notion that maverick governments present a serious danger, as demonstrated by North Korea's test launch of a missile over Japan in 1998.
However, Alexander Pikayev of the Carnegie Moscow Center, a research organization, pointed out that Kim did not renounce continued development of ballistic missiles, only testing.
Igor Bunin, director of the Center for Political Technologies, a Moscow research group, said that Putin and Kim were using each other in their distinctive debates with Washington, holding up the prospect of closer Russia-North Korea relations as a scare tactic. "Both sides are engaged in typical blackmail with regard to third countries, primarily the United States," he said.
Whatever the result, Kim's trip here will go down in the annals as one of the stranger state visits in recent times. Afraid to fly, the man known to his people as the "Dear Leader" traveled to Moscow in a 21-car armored train with darkened windows and gun-toting guards. It chugged its way across the Russian heartland for 10 days before arriving Friday night.
His presence in Moscow has irritated many of the city's residents. Trains were shut down for hours, roads were blocked to traffic and even Red Square was closed to visitors to accommodate the quirky leader's security fetish. His motorcade appeared to be larger than Putin's. The restrictions imposed on his behalf even drew a rebuke from former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who complained that they were excessively Stalinist.
Like Communist leaders of old, Kim laid flowers at the Lenin Mausoleum today and then went inside to inspect the embalmed father of the Soviet state.
"You can probably safely say that you now know Russia as well, and maybe even better, than some Russian politicians," Putin joked to Kim in front of Russian television cameras.
"I think I came to know Russian nature and the Russian soul better," Kim replied.
Russian officials contend that the hassle of Kim's visit was by far outweighed by the possibility of drawing one of the world's most isolated leaders out of his shell. "The cost is minimal," said Sergei Karaganov, a foreign policy analyst with close ties to the government. "But the benefit long-term could be substantial." return to menu
F. Russia - India Cooperation
1. Russia, India to Sign Nuclear Power Plant Agreement in October
Agence France Press
August 6, 2001
(for personal use only)
MOSCOW -- Moscow and New Delhi in October will sign an agreement on Russia's construction of a multi-billion-dollar nuclear power plant in India's southern Tamil Nadu state, officials here said on Monday.
The agreement on the Kundakulam nuclear power plants construction will be signed during a visit here by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Deputy Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeny Reshetnikov told Interfax.
He estimated the cost of construction at 1.5 to two billion dollars.
Moscow and New Delhi initially agreed on the plant's construction some 13 years ago, but the project was abandoned following the Soviet Union's collapse.
The deal was resurrected when former Russian President Boris Yeltsin visited India in 1998.
Officials in India earlier said that Russia would supply the design and 90 percent of the equipment for the plant and also provide 54 percent of the credit at four percent interest.
India will have to repay the credit in 14 equal installments, one year after the commissioning of the plant.
The first unit of the plant is expected to be commissioned by December 2007 and the second by December 2008.
The plant will supply power to the four southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. return to menu
G. Statements, Speeches, Testimony
1. Domenici Introduces Fissile Material Loan Guarantee Act to Help Safeguard Russian Weapons-Grade Materials
Office of Senator Pete Domenici
July 31, 2001
(for personal use only)
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Pete Domenici today introduced legislation to further U.S. efforts aimed at preventing weapons materials from the former Soviet Union's stockpiles from ever entering hostile hands.
Domenici today introduced the Fissile Material Loan Guarantee Act, which would create a unique collaboration between Western lending institutions, the Russian Federation and international nonproliferation groups to ensure the safeguarding of large stock of Russian weapons-ready material. The bill is co-sponsored by Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.)
"One of the most urgent national security threats facing the United States today is the specter of Soviet era material and weapons of mass destruction falling into hostile hands. In fact, the recent Baker-Cutler report outlining the vital importance of U.S. nonproliferation program described this threat as 'a clear and present danger to the international community as well as to American lives and liberties,'" Domenici said.
"This act would enable the imposition of international protective safeguards on new, large stocks of Russian weapons-ready materials in a way that enables the Russian Federation to gain near-term financial resources from the materials. These materials would be used as collateral to secure a loan, for which the U.S. government would provide a loan guarantee," he said.
The bill would authorize federal guarantees of loans up to $1.0 billion from private sector lending institutions. For each $20 million loan, Russia would be required to place two metric tons of weapons grade material, one ton of weapons-grade plutonium and one ton of weapons-grade highly enriched uranium, under international safeguards. This program would not require U.S. expenditures, except in the event of defaults.
The legislation requires that loan proceeds be used in either debt retirement for the Russian Federation or in support of Russian non-proliferation or energy programs. It also requires that the weapons-grade materials used to collateralize these loans must remain under International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) safeguards forevermore and thus should serve to remove them from concern as future weapons materials.
Domenici stressed that this legislation will not replace or diminish existing programs working to ensure that weapons-grade materials can never be used in weapons in the future. For example, the HEU Agreement is moving toward elimination of 500 tons of Russian weapons-grade uranium, which could fuel 20,000 nuclear weapons. The Plutonium Disposition Agreement is similarly working on elimination of 34 tons of Russian weapons-grade plutonium, enough material for more than 4,000 nuclear weapons.
"This new bill provides another tool toward reducing these threats to national, as well as global, security. Estimates are that the Russian Federation has vast stocks of weapons-grade materials in addition to the amounts they've already declared as surplus to their weapons needs in these earlier agreements. Not only does this proposal provide a unique nonproliferation tool, but this proposed mechanism provides a relatively low cost approach to reduction of threats from these materials," Domenici said.
Domenici, who joined with Lugar in introducing a similar bill near the end of the 106th Congress, said he has received additional assurances that this bill provides a useful route to reduce proliferation threats. return to menu
DISCLAIMER: Nuclear News is presented for informational purposes only. Views presented in any given article are those of the individual author or source and not of RANSAC. RANSAC takes no responsibility for the technical accuracy of information contained in any article presented in Nuclear News.