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Nuclear News - 05/14/02
RANSAC Nuclear News, May 14, 2002
Compiled by David Smigielski



A. Cooperative Threat Reduction
    1. Bush US-FSU Non-Proliferation Budget Is In, But Will It Be Enough? Charles Digges, Bellona, May 13, 2002
B. HEU Purchase Agreement
    1. Nuclear Friendship Comes Back, Aleksei Nikolsky, Vedomosti, May 13, 2002
    2. USEC Credit Ratings Drop Another Notch, Joe Walker, The Paducah Sun, May 10, 2002
    3. Nukes For Sale, Joseph E. Stiglitz, Forbes.com, May 9, 2002
C. Russia-U.S.
    1. U.S., Russia To Cut Nuclear Arms, James Gerstenzang And John Daniszewski, Los Angeles Times, May 14, 2002
    2. U.S., Russia Agree To Cut Nuclear Arms, David L. Greene, Baltimore Sun, May 14, 2002
    3. Missiles Do Not Spoil Friendship, Vremya Novostei, May 14, 2002
    4. Moscow Denies US Reports That Russia Is Planning Nuclear Tests, Charles Digges, Bellona, May 13, 2002
    5. Nuclear Exchange, Gennady Nikiforov, Utro.Ru, May 13, 2002
    6. Russia-U.S. Negotiations On Strategic Offensive Armaments Are Difficult, Interfax, May 13, 2002
    7. House Approves U.S., Russian Nuclear Exchange Visits, Associated Press,May 12, 2002
D. Russia-Iran
    1. Russian Minister Urges Understanding With USA On Iranian Nuclear Links, Interfax, May 13, 2002
E. Russian Nuclear Forces
    1. What The Government's Defense Contract For 2003 Will Look Like, Strana.ru, May 13, 2002
F. Nuclear Terrorism
    1. Treaty's Dark Side: Threat of Terrorism, Greg Miller, Los Angeles Times, May 14, 2002
    2. Tough Bomb Materials Treaty Expected, Charles J. Hanley, Associated Press, May 11, 2002
G. Announcements
    1. Press Release: Biden Welcomes Proposed Strategic Force Reduction Treaty, Looks Ahead to Senate Review Process for the Agreement, Office of Senator Joseph Biden, May 13, 2002
    2. Transcript Of An Interview By Deputy Foreign Minister Of The Russian Federation Georgy Mamedov To Public Russian Television, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, May 13, 2002
    3. Transcript Of An Interview By RF Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov Granted To ORT Pozner's Vremena Program (excerpted), Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, May 12, 2002
H. Links of Interest
    1. Arms Control Association Answers Questions About Bush-Putin Arms Talks, Arms Control Association, May 13, 2002
    2. Preview Of President Bush's Trip To Russia: Assessing Current Relations Between Moscow And Washington, The Brookings Institution May 9, 2002

A. Cooperative Threat Reduction

1.
Bush US-FSU Non-Proliferation Budget Is In, But Will It Be Enough?
Charles Digges
Bellona
May 13, 2002
(for personal use only)


In a world more keenly aware of the threats of easily attainableradioactive materials than ever before, the Bush administration's 2003budget request for non-proliferation and security projects in the FormerSoviet Union is seen by many as modest when measured against the USPresident's apparently stalwart commitment to world security.

The administration's overall 2003 funding request for these programs -which are led by the US Departments of Energy (DoE), Defence (DoD) andState - is $957 million, according to the Russian American NuclearSecurity Advisory Council (RANSAC), who late last month released itsanalysis of the Bush non-proliferation budget request.

When compared to the regular congressional appropriation for theseactivates, the Bush request represents a modest increase of $149million. This request, however, is approximately $57 million less thanthe total funding approved by congress in 2002 where post-Sept. 11supplemental funding is included in the totals, the RANSAC report said.

The administration budget request is already passing through the handsof the House of Representative's Armed Services Committee (HASC), whichhas proposed a number of corrections to accommodate administrationrequests for Homeland defence.

The bashful increases in the Bush non-proliferation request and thecompeting requests for Homeland defence would seem to reflect the USpresident's ambivalence to funding many of these non-proliferationprograms - particularly the Cooperative Threat Reduction Act (CTR), orNunn-Lugar. In April, the administration, informed Moscow in a statedepartment cable that it would not certify CTR and State Departmentnon-proliferation programs in Russia - effectively grinding many of themto a halt.

At issue, said American officials, was Russia's reluctance to admit toSoviet-era stocks of extremely lethal nerve gasses that, under CTR, aresubject to destruction. Russia responded angrily that it had notbreached the agreement.

The non-certification, as spelled out by the State Department cable, didnot affect the millions of dollars of non-proliferation aid offeredthrough the US Department of Energy (DoE). But CTR, which is run by theUS Department of Defence (DoD), and the State Department, are thus farrequired by US law to receive yearly re-certification verifying theRussian "commitment" to fulfilling its treaty obligations.

As of last week, however, the US House of Representatives begandiscussing two bills that would give the US president power to waive thecertification requirements for CTR and similar programs, if the fundingis deemed important to US security, the Associated Press reported. It isdoubtful, however, say State Department officials, that the waiver willbe ready in time for the May 23-26 summit between Bush and RussianPresident Vladimir Putin.

Funding request for DoE

On the whole, the DoE is requesting $1.13 billion for non-proliferationprojects. But "Analysis" author William Hoehn cautioned in an emailinterview that this figure corresponds to a number of non-proliferationactivities, including many things that are not directly related to nonproliferation programs on the ground in Russia. For example, this budgetitem would fund activities related to US fissile material disposition,ensuring operational safety of Soviet reactors, and non-proliferationresearch and development in DoE labs.

The administration requested for DoE non-proliferation programs inRussia and FSU states, therefore, is approximately $420 million. Thisrepresents a slight increase over 2002 congressional appropriations -including supplemental requests - and about a 48 percent increase whenthose supplemental requests are excluded, the report said. However, thislarger increase is somewhat deceiving because it includes $49 million innew funding for a project that has been transferred to the DoD's CTRprogram, the report said.

Nonetheless, the report said that major budget increases are proposedfor DoE efforts to dispose of excess plutonium in Russia, improve FSUexport controls and dismantle nuclear warheads. The report also notedthat programs designed to improve security over nuclear materials andnaval warheads and to create peaceful employment for weapons scientists"were adequately funded compared to prior budgets, but not at a levelequal to last year's final appropriation.

Funding request for the DoD/CTR

Funding for DoD non-proliferation efforts also grew by about 4 percentto approximately $428 million, according to the RANSAC report. Nearlyall of this funding - $417 million - is requested for CTR activities.CTR's request for 2003, the report said, is up by approximately $16.5million over last year's request. This request, however, would have beenmuch higher were it not for the transfer of a $46 million project to endRussian weapons-grade plutonium production to the DoE, said the report.Most of the major increases in CTR programs, the report said, are inRussian nuclear weapons transportation security, chemical weaponsdestruction, and biological weapons proliferation prevention.

Funding request for the State Department

Requests for the State Department's activities remained relativelystable when compared to 2002 appropriations before supplemental fundingis considered: approximately $109 million proposed in 2003 versus $113million provided in regular appropriations in 2002, the report said. TheState Department's Science and Technology Centre, biological weaponsredirect, and export control and border security programs all receivedboosts in the supplemental appropriation, however, so the overall StateDepartment funding for weapons of mass destruction funding activities inthe FSU is down by $76 million, or 41 percent, from total fundingprovided in 2002.

It Is Not Enough

Despite Bush's eventual agreement to boost funding - as evidenced by theslight overall increase in non-proliferation funding requests - and thenearly assured passage of a certification waiver it requested ofcongress for programs like CTR, many non-proliferation advocates inWashington are dismayed by what they see as virtually no increase inspending at all.

Most vocal among these critics has been former US Senator Sam Nunn, whoin 1991, with Senator Richard Lugar, crafted the Nunn-Lugar, or CTR,program. Currently, Nunn co-chairs with American media mogul Ted Turnerthe Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), a Washington based NGO devoted tothe non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

Last week, Nunn sharply criticized Bush for not requesting an increasein funding for non proliferation project in Russia.

"Even as the administration seeks increases of tens of billions forfighting terrorism, for homeland security and for developing a missiledefence system, it seeks no increase for efforts to keep weapons of massdestruction out of the hands of terrorists," he was quoted last week assaying by the Global Security Newswire (GSN), which publishes on NTI'swebsite.

Nunn told GSN that the Bush administration has requested $65 billion forthe war on terrorism and for so-called homeland security measures in theUnited States - a figure Nunn said is more than three times what wasrequested for the Gulf War. In his statements to GSN, Nunn argued thatthe greatest threat to US security is posed by terrorists armed withcrude radiological or nuclear weapons.

As Bellona Web reported last week, the creators of a comprehensive newdatabase at Stanford University that tracks the smuggling of radioactivematerials deemed FSU a "supermarket" for would be nuclear terrorists.

Indeed, securing funding for Russian non-proliferation programs has beenan uphill battle under this administration. The amount requested for2003 is roughly equal to the $1 billion approved for 2002.

But according to Nunn, in his statements to GSN, even reaching lastyears figure required congressional intervention. Last year, theadministration only requested $745 million for threat reduction programs- a decrease of about $100 million, Nunn said, according to GSN.Congress had to add $257 million to reach last year's financialappropriation of $1 billion, Nunn told GSN.

Cuts proposed

But even as former Senator Nunn levelled his critique at the generoussums Bush requested for Homeland security, the US House ofRepresentatives' Armed Services Committee (HASC) was on its way tofashioning a bill that would grant those sums - partly at the expense ofthe DoE 2003 non-proliferation projects.

According to a RANSAC congressional Update issued May 8, the HomelandSecurity the legislation would cut, though, $39 million from theadministration's $1.13 billion request for Energy Department nuclearnon-proliferation programs, citing in part nearly $60 million in"unobligated balances" from the current fiscal year intended foreliminating weapon-grade plutonium in Russia.

A $10 million reduction would be made in the DoE's Russian plutoniumdisposition program from $98 million to $88 million, and $4 millionwould be added for US fissile materials disposition. The program toeliminate Russian plutonium production would be reduced by $30 million,from $49 million to $19.3 million.

In those DoE programs that do not take place in Russia, other cuts weresuggested by HASC, specifically in the DoE's international safetyprograms, which would lose $3 million from the requested $146 million.

CTR remains untouched

Funding for CTR programs was fully authorized, at $416.7 million, RANSACreported. However, only $50 million of the $133.6 million requested forthe CW destruction facility was approved, with the $83.6 million balancebeing redirected to Russian strategic offensive arms elimination,strategic nuclear arms elimination in Ukraine, and Russian warheadstorage and transportation security.

The committee's report cited concerns Russia is not living up to itsChemical Weapons Convention commitments, GSN reported. It approved,however, a provision to allow the president to allow Cooperative Threatreduction funding to continue by waiving a requirement to certify Russiais complying with all relevant arms control agreements.

The committee recommended a provision to express as the sense ofCongress that Russian proliferation of weapons of mass destructiontechnology, items and know-how to Iran and other countries of concern"represents a clear threat to U.S. national security and vitalinterests," GSN reported.

With the completion of the HASC mark-up, both the Administration'sbudget-requests for US Russian non-proliferation programs and theHomeland Defence requests will be voted on by the House ofRepresentatives.
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B. HEU Purchase Agreement

1.
Nuclear Friendship Comes Back
Aleksei Nikolsky
Vedomosti
May 13, 2002
(for personal use only)


In the run-up to U.S. President George Bush's visit to Moscow, theatomic authorities of both countries announced plans to expandcooperation frozen almost a year ago. Russia resumed, the other day, itsdeliveries of depleted uranium to the United States within the frameworkof the HEU-DU contract. U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham went onrecord as saying that NASA would buy Russian plutonium-238 for itsinterstellar spacecraft. One nuclear filling will cost the States atleast $10 million.

In the run-up to U.S. President George Bush's visit to Moscow, theatomic authorities of both countries announced plans to expandcooperation frozen almost a year ago. Russia resumed, the other day, itsdeliveries of depleted uranium to the United States within the frameworkof the HEU-DU contract. U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham went onrecord as saying that NASA would buy Russian plutonium-238 for itsinterstellar spacecraft. One nuclear filling will cost the States atleast $10 million.

The U.S. regards the HEU-DU deal, which has contributed to the Russianbudget $2.5 billion since 1995 (all told, Russia is likely to make $12billion), as a method of taking away from Russia its stocks ofweapon-grade highly enriched uranium, which otherwise might fall intothe hands of terrorists dreaming to create a nuclear bomb of their own.Russian atomic specialists mix highly enriched uranium with natural onein order to obtain fuel for nuclear power stations.

After the coming to power of the Bush Administration, the HEU-DUdeliveries were frozen, with the Americans insisting on a cut in theRussian uranium price. In February 2002, Russia agreed to axe theoriginally coordinated price by approximately 15%. During the recentthree-day visit (ended May 9) the Russian Atomic Minister, AlexanderRumyantsev, paid to the U.S., he declared that the first batches ofuranium under the new contract had been shipped.

The West has been increasingly concerned lately with a threatened use ofthe simple and cheap "dirty bomb," a device spraying radioactivematerials, which can be set off by a conventional explosion. Messrs.Rumyantsev and Abraham focused on the new theme during theirnegotiations, deciding that a specialized working group should becreated to address the threat. Rumyantsev promised to look for andneutralize medical and power-generating devices using radioisotopes. Inthe Soviet times, a lot of long-playing fuel batteries on the basis ofplutonium 238 and other isotopes were stationed in Far North areas andother places. This year, several inhabitants of West Georgia got dosesof radiation while attempting to use for household purposes one of suchdevices that had been employed in a West Georgian hydropower project.

In a reciprocal courtesy gesture, Mr. Abraham declared an intention tosupport Russian isotope producers in accordance with a method that hadbeen tested within the framework of the HEU-DU contract. In his words,the United States would immediately get down to placing orders for thepurchase of a batch of plutonium-238 isotopes as used in power-supplysources for space stations.

Mr. Abraham's idea came as a surprise for independent experts, who sofar have difficulty estimating the scale of the "isotope" deal. NASAreports that the United States has launched, since 1961, 26 spacecraftequipped with power plants on the basis of plutonium-238. NASAstatistics say nothing about the number of military satellites using thesame kind of power plants. The Cassini craft that was launched to Saturnin 1997 had on board over 30 kg of plutonium-238. To quote Pavel Podvig,expert with Center for the Study of Disarmament Problems, MoscowPhysical and Technological Institute, one kilo of the isotope costs$300,000. This means Russia may make as much as $10 million on thelaunch of one station similar to Cassini.

Defense Information Center expert Ivan Safronchuk believes, however,that in the next few years the Russian atomic authorities are unlikelyto earn more than several dozen million dollars from isotope exports tothe States. The United States, he says, will certainly try to make thedeal conditional on curtailment of Russia's atomic power cooperationwith Iran, which has brought this country $300 million.
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2.
USEC Credit Ratings Drop Another Notch
Joe Walker
The Paducah Sun
May 10, 2002
(for personal use only)


Already at junk bond status, the USEC Inc. credit ratings have dropped anotch and could do so again if a deal to lower prices of uranium boughtfrom Russia continues to languish, according to Standard & Poor's, thebond rating service.

The S&P has lowered its ratings, including its corporate credit ratingof USEC, from BB+ to BB and called the outlook negative. The ratings,which have been below investment grade since early 2000, mean USEC mustpay higher interest for newly borrowed money.

S&P credit analyst Scott Sprinzen cited "protracted delays" in gettinggovernmental approval of a new contract to lower the cost of enricheduranium that USEC buys from Russia. He said the ratings could drop againif the agreement is not finalized, "or if the apparent contamination ofa substantial portion of the company's natural uranium inventories leadsto a material writedown."

USEC says about 9,500 metric tons of natural uranium stored in cylindersat the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant could have traces oftechnetium-99, a contaminant more radioactive than uranium. The materialwas transferred from the Department of Energy to the company as part ofits privatization, but USEC has been unable to get DOE to replace theuranium with untainted stock. Contamination issues cloud the potentialuse of the material for enrichment or sale.

In February, USEC reached a new agreement to lower Russian uraniumprices through 2013, but the deal has still not been approved by theU.S. and Russian governments. USEC has repeatedly said lower Russianuranium costs help preserve the Paducah plant, where production expensesare higher.

"We still remain confident that the government will approve the Russianagreement and this uncertainty will be removed," USEC spokeswomanElizabeth Stuckle said.

She said the ratings drop has no immediate financial impact on USECbecause it has no short-term debt and its long-term bonds have fixedinterest. "It could affect the cost of future borrowing," Stuckle said.

Stuckle pointed out that the S&P gives below-investment ratings to 43percent of the more than 1,700 publicly traded firms it rates. She said142 are rated BB, "so apparently that's not uncommon."

When the S&P dropped the rating the first time, energy workers' unionofficials and some lawmakers said they feared USEC orchestrated the moveto avoid legal requirements to keep operating both Paducah and itssister plant in Ohio. Although USEC downplayed those claims, the Ohioplant closed 16 months later.

USEC reported in April that despite more revenue, its net income droppedby nearly $62 million in the past nine months, but the firm expectedgradual improvements by getting the Russian deal approved. Despitecontinued rumors and union concerns of several hundred more layoffs atthe 1,500-employee Paducah plant, Stuckle said there are no plans forjob cuts.

Issued last week, the S&P's latest summary of USEC mentions the earningsdrop, but also notes the company is the world's largest producer ofenriched uranium. It cites the firm's cost cutting, cash flow andmoderate debt amid a "difficult market environment" marked by oversupplyand lower prices.
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3.
Nukes For Sale
Joseph E. Stiglitz
Forbes.com
May 9, 2002
(for personal use only)


It was lunacy to privatize the U.S. agency that processes uranium forbombs.

Sept. 11 brought home the dangers of terrorism. But years before that,during the mid-1990s, a decision was made that worsened the risk ofnuclear terrorism today: The government privatized the U.S. EnrichmentCorp., commonly known as USEC.

A division of the Energy Department, USEC had been the government entitycharged with enriching natural uranium metal. Low-enriched uranium fuelsnuclear power plants; highly enriched uranium fuels nuclear weapons. Thetwo products are made by the same process.

In 1993 USEC was also entrusted with implementing a swords-to-plows dealwith the Russians. It would dilute highly enriched uranium fromdeactivated Soviet nuclear warheads and sell it to utility companies forpower. We had no desire to see some underpaid apparatchik sell nuclearmaterial to an Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein.

To most people the idea of privatizing the agency making ingredients fornuclear bombs made as much sense as selling shares in the DefenseDepartment. But forces were arrayed to push a USEC sale. Clinton wasdesperate to balance his budget. To budget bureaucrats every dollarcounted--although I believe that sound accounting would not allowreceipts from privatization to be counted. Treasury was blinded byideology--the notion that privatization was always and everywhere a goodthing. And Wall Street hungrily eyed the underwriting fees.

As chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, I saw the proposal asbad economics and, worse, bad national security. Over the CEA'sobjections, the agency went public in July 1998, raising $1.5 billion at$14.25 a share. Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch led the underwriting,reaping $43 million in fees, an amount that seems out of proportion tothe government's take, especially taking account of the hundreds ofmillions of dollars' worth of uranium stockpiles that the governmentthrew in to the deal.

We worried that a profit-motivated USEC would put obstacles in the wayof getting more uranium out of Russia, and this is just what happened.USEC has no desire to see the U.S. market flooded with uranium fromabroad. So USEC has pushed for unrealistically low prices from theRussians and asked for U.S. government subsidies. So far it has boughtonly 141 metric tons of the 500 tons of bomb-grade uranium to which itis committed to purchasing. By some estimates the amount of highlyenriched uranium still in Russia is equivalent to 26,000 warheads.

Consider: A terrorist or state need buy (or steal) only 55 pounds of thehigh-grade uranium to make a bomb. And the engineering prowess requiredto turn that U-235 into a weapon is not great. It would be accessible toa rogue state, probably to a very well financed terrorist. Those 55pounds would be enough to flatten everything in a half-mile diameter. IfUSEC bought more uranium we could rest easier about it not ending up ina terrorist's hands.

As a business proposition USEC is a loser, too. Its technology isantiquated. One argument for the sale--that it would enable the companyto proceed with the development of a new laser-based technology--hasevaporated: As the CEA predicted, USEC abandoned the laser effort. Netincome fell to $16.6 million in the last year from $250 million beforeprivatization. The stock is trading at around $7. But USEC officialsaren't regretting the stock sale. Last year Chief Executive WilliamTimbers made $990,000 in salary and bonus, more than triple what hecould have made as a government official.

Privatization was a mistake. What should we do now? Renationalization isone option. Another idea comes from USEC's customers, the utilities.They want to form a new company that would buy uranium directly fromRussia and sell it to the utilities at a price lower than USEC offers,cutting out the middleman. This would benefit American consumers whilespeeding up the removal of uranium from Russian depositories.

In the post-9/11 world it has become even more necessary to find a wayto prevent nuclear proliferation.

Joseph E. Stiglitz is the 2001 Nobel Winner in Economics and a Professorat ColumbiaUniversity.
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C. Russia-U.S.

1.
U.S., Russia To Cut Nuclear Arms
James Gerstenzang And John Daniszewski
Los Angeles Times
May 14, 2002
(for personal use only)


The United States and Russia agreed Monday to cut their nuclear arsenalsby two-thirds over the next decade, completing a treaty that PresidentBush said "will liquidate the legacy of the Cold War."

If confirmed by the Senate and Russia's State Duma, the treaty willreduce the stockpiles of deployed nuclear warheads from the currentlevel of 5,000 to 6,000 on each side to a range of 1,700 to 2,200.

Bush and Russian President Vladimir V. Putin are expected to sign thepact next week in Moscow. "This is good news for the American people,"Bush said. "It'll make the world more peaceful and put behind us theCold War once and for all."

Some experts, however, cautioned that the impact the treaty would haveon each country's ability to wage nuclear war might be less significantthan such a sizable reduction would suggest.

Perhaps most important, although the agreement requires a sharpreduction in the number of deployed warheads, none have to be destroyed.

Experts anticipate that each country will dismantle many weapons. Butthe weapons' plutonium can be reused, thousands of warheads are expectedto be in readily accessible storage, and each nation will be allowed towithdraw from the treaty with three months' notice. Also, the pact doesnot address the numbers of bombers, missiles and submarines that candeliver warheads to targets on short notice.

The treaty's most far-reaching significance may be to formalize thedramatic change that has taken place over the last decade in theU.S.-Russian relationship. Two countries with sufficient nuclear weaponsto destroy the world many times over are taking a large step back fromhalf a century of confrontation.

"The new era will be a period of enhanced mutual security, economicsecurity and improved relations," Bush said.

Putin said he was "satisfied with the joint work."

He praised Bush for pressing for the pact's completion, saying that"without the interested, active position of the American administrationand the attention of President Bush, it would have been difficult toreach such agreements."

Although diplomats began discussing the treaty in August, a White Houseaide said, the push for the arms cut was given new impetus in November,when Bush and Putin met in Washington and the president's ranch nearCrawford, Texas.

Bush said then that the United States would undertake the cuts on itsown and that he saw no need for a treaty. Putin matched the proposalwith promised Russian cuts but said he wanted a formal treaty to guardagainst a subsequent U.S. administration deciding to ignore theagreement.

Putin got that document when U.S. and Russian negotiators finished theirwork on it in Moscow early Monday.

"A few months ago, the United States did not want to hear about anylegally binding agreement," said Andrei A. Piontkovsky, director of theIndependent Institute for Strategic Studies, a think tank in Moscow."The very fact that such an agreement is about to be signed is a majorvictory of Russian diplomacy."

The most recent arms control agreements were reached roughly a decadeago.

A strategic arms reduction agreement signed by then-President GeorgeBush and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev in 1991 set the currentlimits of roughly 6,000 nuclear warheads per side. A second agreement,reached less than two years later, would have cut the weapons to no morethan 3,500. But it never went into effect.

Unlike those complex and lengthy treaties, the new agreement is onlyabout three pages long. It leaves to each side decisions about how manywarheads will be dismantled, how many will be placed in what is called"deep storage" and how many will be kept on standby.

Also, each country is free to determine its mix of weapons amongland-based missiles, submarine-based missiles and bombers. In the WhiteHouse view, this freedom demonstrated that the two countries do not seeeach other as threats.

The agreement leaves unresolved how compliance with the treaty, whichwill require approval by two-thirds of the Senate, will be monitored.However, it will draw from the 1991 pact, which requires on-siteinspections and military sites in each country.

The signing of the treaty is likely to be the centerpiece of Bush'svisit to Moscow and St. Petersburg at the end of next week.

While the agreement builds on the cooperative relationship Bush andPutin have established, sore points remain between the two countries.The Russians were angered by the recent U.S. withdrawal from the 1972Antiballistic Missile Treaty so that the administration can work on anational missile defense system.

U.S. officials remain concerned that Russia's aging nuclear weapons aretoo loosely guarded to keep them from falling into the hands ofterrorists or other nations, and that Russia is turning its nucleartechnology into a cash-earning export.

Initial reaction from Congress to the new treaty was positive.

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate ForeignRelations Committee, praised the agreement and said he hoped to beginhearings on it this summer.

Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina, the committee's senior Republican,who in the past has been skeptical of arms control agreements, was saidby an aide to have no immediate objections.

The pact could face a harder time winning approval in Moscow.

Because Putin had hoped that the treaty would ensure that each countrywould destroy some warheads, this failure could become a politicalliability for him. Some retired military leaders already consider himtoo accommodating to Washington.

As a result, Piontkovsky said, the treaty may encounter some difficultyin the State Duma, where Putin can generally summon a comfortablemajority.

The Russian president will face complaints "about the 'sellout' ofnational interests," Piontkovsky said. He also said "themilitary-industrial lobby will scream on every corner about theunacceptable low level of ... warheads."

Alexander A. Konovalov, president of the Institute for StrategicAssessment, another think tank, agreed that confirmation may be aproblem in Moscow.

"Duma deputies are populists by nature, and they will do everythingpossible to retain their posts and gain popularity," Konovalov said."For them, any deal with the Americans is an object worthy of criticism,since it's what the public likes to hear."

Dimitri K. Simes, president of the Nixon Center, a Washington thinktank, said the pact "doesn't really commit either side to things theyweren't likely to do anyway."

Still, he said that the Russians overcame Bush's initial objections tonegotiating a formal treaty.

"You may be cynical and say, 'Who cares?' But clearly the Russians wereable to change the U.S. position literally 180 degrees," Simes said.
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2.
U.S., Russia Agree To Cut Nuclear Arms
David L. Greene
Baltimore Sun
May 14, 2002
(for personal use only)


The United States and Russia forged a historic treaty yesterday thatwould require both nations to slash their nuclear arsenals by two-thirdsover the next decade. President Bush, who plans to sign the treaty inMoscow next week, said it would "liquidate the legacy of the Cold War."

With little advance word, Bush appeared outside the White House to makethe announcement, hours after U.S. and Russian diplomats completedmonths of negotiations. The two sides had been eager to strike a deal inadvance of Bush's visit to Russia.

Each country made concessions. Bush dropped his original objection tosigning a formal treaty. And Russian President Vladimir V. Putin grantedthe United States broad flexibility in deciding how many nuclearwarheads will be destroyed and how many can be stored for possiblefuture use.

The treaty, analysts noted, is important mostly for its symbolism; itdoes little more than keep both countries on course to scale back theirnuclear arsenals in ways they had planned. But the accord could open thedoor for greater cooperation on more complex issues, such as how toentice American investors to Russia and how to bring Russia into theWorld Trade Organization.

The treaty, which must be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate, isexpected to be approved.

Critics expressed concern about the absence of any requirement thatwarheads be destroyed. Allowing Russia to stockpile weapons once theyare taken out of deployment, some said, could pose a serious danger ifterrorists or rogue nations were able to obtain the warheads and usethem.

Under the treaty, which must also be ratified by the Russian Duma, bothsides will cut their arsenals from about 6,000 warheads to between 1,700and 2,200 by 2012. The deal, officials said, all but replaces the STARTII treaty, signed in 1993, to cut each side's arsenals to between 3,000and 3,500 warheads. That treaty has not taken effect.

In practical terms, the new accord is only codifying sharp cuts in bothnations' arsenal that were in the works under President Bill Clinton.Nevertheless, before leaving Washington for Chicago, Bush said thesigning of the treaty would "begin the new era of U.S.-Russianrelationships."

"The new era will be a period of enhanced mutual security, economicsecurity and improved relations," Bush said. "It will make the worldmore peaceful and put behind us the Cold War once and for all."

In Russia, Putin said, "Without the interested, active position of theAmerican administration and the attention of President Bush, it wouldhave been difficult to reach such agreements."

Yesterday's announcement comes as the two nations have grown especiallyclose since Russia committed itself to working as a full partner infighting global terrorism after Sept. 11.

Bush and Putin will most certainly sign the three-page document - farshorter than previous arms treaties - in a formal setting amid muchfanfare. But many questions remain about how the treaty will beimplemented, a fact both presidents have played down as they havestressed their warm personal bond in recent months.

Russia has long objected to the Bush administration's desire tostockpile rather than destroy arms. Russian Defense Minister SergeiIvanov said his country still opposes the U.S. position that weaponsneed only to be taken out of commission. He did not say whether Moscowwould revive its objections to the U.S. position as the treaty is beingimplemented.

A senior Bush official said most of the U.S. warheads that will beremoved from the U.S. arsenal would be destroyed. He stressed, however,that a Pentagon report on U.S. nuclear capabilities released this yearsaid that in light of uncertain global threats, "there may berequirements for us to have nuclear capabilities far into the future."

For that reason, the official said, "some of the weapons will bedismantled, some of the weapons will be placed in deep storage, and someof them will be stored as operational spares."

Critics said they feared that Russian warheads, or stockpiled nuclearmaterials, could end up in the wrong hands. They noted that while activenuclear warheads in Russia are tightly guarded, those that go in storagefacilities are far less secure.

Rep. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, a senior Democrat on the HouseEnergy Committee, called the new treaty "a great step" but added thatdestroying weapons would make sure they never fall to terrorists.

"Russia and the United States should reach an agreement to destroy eachweapon," he said, "not keep them in a garage."

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Delaware Democrat who leads the SenateForeign Relations Committee - where hearings on the treaty will takeplace - supported the agreement but made clear that hard questions wouldbe raised: "Are the reductions generally irreversible, or will most ofthe weapons be put in storage for later use? Will the reductions takeplace promptly? How well will we be able to verify Russian compliancewith the treaty's provisions?"

Sen. Richard G. Lugar, an Indiana Republican, called the accord "a steptoward a safer world."

The treaty disappointed advocates who have been pushing for deeper andmore verifiable arms cuts. Philipp Bleek, a policy analyst at theindependent Arms Control Association, said it appeared that in sealing adeal on a treaty in advance of their summit, the Americans and Russiansleft themselves too much flexibility and papered over disagreements.

"They agreed to disagree," Bleek said, adding that he saw littleenthusiasm from Bush to work for a strong treaty.

"The Bush administration has made clear that they are not particularlyinterested in an agreement and that they are really doing a favor totheir friend Vladimir Putin," Bleek said. "They realized that they coulddo this in a way that did not constrain them too much."

In November, when Putin visited Washington and Bush's Texas ranch, Bushsaid at first that he opposed a formal agreement and planned to reducethe U.S. nuclear arsenal unilaterally, regardless of what Russia did. Bythe end of Putin's visit, Bush said he would not object to a formaltreaty.

Most analysts agreed that while Bush planned to move ahead with armscuts regardless of a treaty, the deal is something Putin desperatelysought and needed to boost his political standing at home.

James Lindsay, a senior foreign policy analyst at the BrookingsInstitution, said a formal agreement with the United States raisesRussia's stature on the world stage at a time when the country is beingviewed as increasingly irrelevant.

"For Putin, it is important for reasons both at home domestically andabroad to have some symbol of Russia's continued great power status,"Lindsay said. "Russia is the only country in a bilateral nuclearrelationship with the United States, and that has some symbolic value."

U.S. officials seemed more comfortable bending to Putin's demand for aformal treaty after Putin decided in recent months to raise no formalobjection to the U.S. withdrawal from the 1972 Anti Ballistic MissileTreaty. That withdrawal was crucial for Bush and his desire to seek amissile defense system.

Because both nations were planning to reduce their nuclear arsenals,reaching the agreement was in many ways the easiest issue for Bush andPutin to tackle. Far more difficult issues lie ahead, many of which willbe addressed next week.

They include Bush's plan to create a missile defense system - whichRussia is wary of - as well as Russia's selling of arms and exporting ofnuclear technology to nations such as Iran, which has long raised theire of the United States. In addition, Putin is desperate to court U.S.investors to give the Russian economy a boost and to gain U.S. supportfor Russian entry into the World Trade Organization.
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3.
Missiles Do Not Spoil Friendship
Vremya Novostei
May 14, 2002
(for personal use only)


Monday, May 13, for all superstitions, appeared to be a good day forRussia-U.S. relations - the presidents of both countries almostsimultaneously made public assurances that the Russian and U.S.diplomatic teams conducting the preparations for the upcoming May summitfinally came to terms on the main issue - the signing of a new bilateraltreaty on strategic arms reduction (START). As George Bush said, theU.S. and Russia have reached agreement on a "considerably reducing" thenuclear stockpiles, and he intends to sign a relevant treaty with hisRussian counterpart. According to the U.S. president, the treaty is toeliminate the vestiges of the cold war and will mark the start of a newepoch in U.S.-Russia relations. The Kremlin has confirmed the good news.Referring to an urgent report made by Russia's Foreign Minister IgorIvanov, President Vladimir Putin told newsmen that "an understanding onthe wording of one of the main documents to be signed during the summithas been reached on the whole at the Russian-American talks in Moscow."

So what happened in Moscow on Monday during what had been planned asabsolutely routine talks between Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister GeorgyMamedov and U.S. Senior Deputy Secretary of State John Bolton? Only lastmorning Mamedov admitted that "the talks are going on with difficulty"and no one, neither the Russians nor the Americans, "can be absolutelysure of their successful outcome." And Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov saidthe day before that, so far, it has not even been agreed on what thepresidents would sign - a treaty or merely an agreement. In less than 24hours the Russian Foreign Ministry reported in an official statementthat "it has become possible cardinally to bring near the positions ofthe sides."

However, some high-ranking Russian officials say the Russians and theAmericans have failed to come to terms on the most painful issues.Commenting on the statements made by the two presidents, DefenseMinister Sergei Ivanov explained that "they do not mean that Russia hasnot withdrawn its objections to U.S. plans to store and not destroy partof its warheads to be removed from combat duty." And nothing specifichas been disclosed by those who will take part in the talks - Moscow andWashington have agreed that the contents of the documents to be signedwould be kept secret until their signing. At present it helps thepresidents a good deal - in the absence of objective information on thetalks they are free to make any statements on the issues to bediscussed.

However, ten days before the summit it is dangerous for them to bluff.All the more so, since the Russian-American honeymoon will last exactlyone month, until June 13, when the time for the formal procedure of U.S.withdrawal from the 1972 ABM treaty runs out. This will inevitably befollowed by a crumbling of the whole system of international disarmamenttreaties, and discussion of mutual claims will become a vital necessity.

At present Moscow and Washington play up to each other. Both presidentspublicly admit that they sympathize with each other ever since theirfirst meeting in Ljubljana. In the past six months Moscow has refrainedfrom ideological pressure on the Americans, though the U.S. position israther vulnerable at present - the policy pursued by the U.S. is notvery popular in the world today. Washington official, for their part,assure that they work for raising Putin's popularity to "maintain hisfurther rapprochement with the West."

Another daily, Vedomosti

(http://vedomosti.ru/stories/2002/05/14-02-03.html#top), writes thatRussian defense experts are disappointed with the work done by thecountry's diplomats. According to Pavel Podviga, an expert at the Centerfor Disarmament Studies, under a new treaty the U.S. will not have todestroy a single nuclear warhead carrier - neither the bombers, norsubmarines nor ground based missiles. "Why sign a treaty which reducesnothing and is not binding for the signatories? It will only mar theatmosphere of bilateral relations, as was the case with the START-2treaty, which has not been fulfilled after all," the expert said.

In the opinion of Ivan Safronchuk, an expert at the Defense InformationCenter, the sighing of the treaty has become possible because itappeared to be needed by President Bush - "the critics of hisAdministration from among the Democrats pointed out that withdrawal fromthe ABM treaty undermined the system of arms control treaties andCongress could slash allocations for the NMD by $1 billion. Now theDemocrats no longer have this trump card." And Vladimir Putin needs thenew treaty to show the public that the U.S. takes into account Russia'sopinion.
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4.
Moscow Denies US Reports That Russia Is Planning Nuclear Tests
Charles Digges
Bellona
May 13, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has denied suggestions published inThe New York Times that Moscow is planning nuclear tests on the Arcticisland of Novaya Zemlya, Russian television quoted the Foreign Ministeras saying.

The US House of Representatives on Saturday urged President George W.Bush to seek access to a Russian nuclear test site in the Arctic amidreports the Russians were preparing to resume testing.

"Unfortunately such statements often emerge from Congress for no reasonat all," Ivanov said in an interview aired late on Sunday on statecontrolled ORT television.

"Russia is demanding that the US administration clarify the reason forsuch declarations, if we are to have new strategic relations based onmutual trust and respect," he added.

The New York Times reported that the call by the US House ofRepresentatives was prompted by a recent intelligence briefing inCongress, which featured new data indicating that Russia was preparingto resume nuclear tests on the Arctic island of Novaya Zemlya.

Nikolai Shingaryov, assistant to Russia's deputy atomic energy minister,also strongly denied the US allegations in a telephone interview withBellona Web Monday.

"The Atomic Ministry is not preparing for any kinds of nuclear tests onNovaya Zemlya, and the American intelligence that was given to congresssimply doesn't correspond with reality," he said.

Pavel Felgenhauer, a Moscow-based defence analyst, however, contradictedthis. Citing several interviews he conducted with high ranking Russiangovernment officials, Russia is indeed gearing up for testing on theisland - and has been ever since the Bush administration released itsNuclear Posture Review earlier this spring.

The Nuclear Posture Review suggested it may be necessary for the UnitedStates to resume testing to make new nuclear weapons and to ensure thereliability of existing ones.

In a March article in Moskovsky Novosty, Felgenhauer quoted severalanonymous government sources as saying Russia, too, would prepare fornuclear tests, but would not begin weapons testing until the Americansbegan testing first.

"Naturally, the government began preparing for major tests as soon asthe US Posture Review came out," said Felgenhauer in a telephoneinterview with Bellona Web. "But they won't move until the Americansdo."

Neither the Kremlin press office nor Ministry of Defence would commenton the Felgenhauer's assertions, although Russia has admitted conductingin 1999 a series of so-called "subcritical" nuclear experiments onNovaya Zemlya, which are not banned by the Comprehensive Test BanTreaty.

The information presented to Congress about possible preparations formajor tests on Novaya Zemlya was contained in a report by the JointAtomic Energy Intelligence Committee, a panel that collects the views ofmany federal agencies on nuclear issues, the Times reported Sunday.

The assessment in the report described a pattern of technical activitieson Novaya Zemlya - the Arctic equivalent of the US nuclear test range inthe state of Nevada - that matched known Russian activities to preparefor past nuclear tests, the newspaper quoted officials as saying.

The intelligence report on Novaya Zemlya was included in a broaderbriefing to Congress on cooperative programs between the United Statesand Russia to reduce threats from nuclear, biological and chemicalweapons, a project that includes tracking Moscow's compliance with anumber of arms control agreements, including the test-ban treaty.

It was not immediately clear how large scale nuclear testing wouldaffect US-Russian non proliferation programs, which past aided indismantling nuclear weapons covered under the START treaty and worked todispose of weapons-grade plutonium stockpiles. Moscow officials for theUS Department of Defence's Cooperative Threat Reduction program referred"policy" questions to Washington. Officials there were unavailable forcomment.

Sean McCormack, a spokesman for the White House National SecurityCouncil, declined comment on the report of the alleged test, saying theBush administration did not discuss intelligence matters, Reutersreported.

"We are concerned that we may not be able to know if any entity weretesting in a way designed to avoid detection," the spokesman added. "Weexpect Russia to abide by the testing moratorium that it has declaredfor itself."

The Times report - noting US President George W. Bush was to meetRussian President Vladimir Putin this month to discuss a pact to cuttheir nuclear arsenals - said the lawmakers who attended the briefinghad a range of reactions from scepticism to alarm.

It said some questioned whether the intelligence report was a tactic tohelp pave the way for Washington to resume nuclear testing, while otherswere so troubled by it they drafted legislation calling for access toRussian nuclear sites and allowing work on a new generation of USnuclear warheads.

The report comes less that two weeks before Bush is to fly to Moscow fora May 23-26 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, at which theUS and Russia hope to sign new nuclear arms reduction treaty.
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5.
Nuclear Exchange
Gennady Nikiforov
Utro.Ru
May 13, 2002
(for personal use only)


The Bush administration has told Congress about intelligence reportsclaiming that preparations are being made for a nuclear test in theNovaya Zemlya Archipelago.

The news alarmed some Congressmen, but critics of the Administrationhastened to suggest that by so doing the intelligence community wastrying to prepare the ground for a resumption of nuclear tests in theUnited States itself.

The Bush administration has told Congress about intelligence reportsclaiming that preparations are being made for a nuclear test in theNovaya Zemlya Archipelago.

The news alarmed some Congressmen, but critics of the Administrationhastened to suggest that by so doing the intelligence community wastrying to prepare the ground for a resumption of nuclear tests in theUnited States itself. The New York Times recalls that in the past fewmonths U.S. intelligence reports have issued repeated warnings aboutunusual activity on the island, with several government experts makingsuggestions that Russia has set off tiny nuclear devices there.

The Russians, meanwhile, have said they are strongly committed to theinternational nuclear test ban treaty signed by Bill Clinton in 1996.The Senate has not yet ratified it, and the Bush administration hasofficially declared it does not think the Treaty conforms to U.S.national interests, adding, however, that it is going to honor it forthe time being.

State Duma Vice Speaker Vladimir Lukin has said in a broadcast interviewthe Americans are in fact trying to cover up their own efforts todevelop nuclear weapons. He also questioned the validity of reportsclaiming Russia was carrying out any prohibited tests.

In this connection the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress hasapproved amendments to the defense budget providing for an exchange ofvisits to nuclear test sites in the United States and Russia. Expertssay this might be a useful form of control over the Moscow-Washingtonmoratorium on nuclear tests.
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6.
Russia-U.S. Negotiations On Strategic Offensive Armaments Are Difficult
Interfax
May 13, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov and U.S. Undersecretaryof State John Bolton, who have started negotiations in Moscow, "willdiscuss in detail all disarmament questions," and not merely the text ofthe document that is being prepared for signing by the presidents ofRussia and the United States.

Mamedov made this statement before the negotiations.

The questions can be divided into three groups, he said.

The first group is made up of questions Moscow and Washington hope tosettle by the document that is being drafted for the summit. Russiahopes that the document will have the status of a treaty.

The second group is made up of questions "related to strategic offensivearmaments, which will not be settled by the document, but mechanisms forwhose decisions will be made," Mamedov said.

The third group is made up of questions "that are not directly thematter of strategic offensive armaments, but without which strategicstability is impossible," he noted.

The deputy minister said he implied, "in the first turn, the questionsof missile defense." He said he hopes "to achieve mutually acceptableresults" on questions of the future document, and "to report on that toour ministers, who will meet in Reykjavik soon."

The treaty or the agreement to be signed by the presidents "has, as withany other international document of such significance, a clause thatreserves the right of a party to quit it in case of a threat to nationalinterests," Mamedov said.

He was asked about the general progress of Russia-America negotiationson strategic offensive armaments. "It's difficult. Firstly, the topic isvery complicated; secondly, there was a long pause after the Americanparty decided against ratifying START-2; and thirdly, a newadministration with its own approaches has taken office," the diplomatsaid.
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7.
House Approves U.S., Russian Nuclear Exchange Visits
Associated Press
May 12, 2002
(for personal use only)


[...]

The House has approved legislation calling for exchange visits betweenthe U.S. nuclear test site in Nevada and Russia's test site on an Arcticarchipelago in an effort to promote openness in the face of reportedsigns Russia may be preparing to resume nuclear testing.

[...]

The new questions about Russia's nuclear testing come just weeks beforePresident Bush is to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin for aMay 23-26 summit in Russia where arms control is on the agenda.

Russia has observed a moratorium on full-scale nuclear testing since itslast test explosion in October 1990.

Moscow has said it would continue to conduct subcritical test blaststhat are not prohibited by the international Comprehensive Test BanTreaty because they are necessary to ensure the safety of the country'snuclear arsenal. In subcritical experiments, plutonium is blasted withexplosives too weak to set off an atomic explosion.

Critics warn that carrying out even limited tests could encourage othercountries to conduct full-scale nuclear tests.

Russia ratified the test ban treaty in May 2000. The treaty was signedby President Bill Clinton in 1996. Bush has said he does not support thetreaty and will not ask the Senate to approve it, but will not violateit.

The Weldon proposal was approved 362 to 53 as an amendment tolegislation that passed the House on Friday authorizing $383 billion innational security spending during the 2003 budget year.

The CIA and State Department had no comment on reports that Russia maybe preparing to resume testing. Sean McCormack, spokesman for theNational Security Council, said U.S. officials "are concerned that wemay not be able to know if any entity were testing in a way designed toavoid detection, and we expect Russia to abide by the testing moratoriumit has declared for itself."
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D. Russia-Iran

1.
Russian Minister Urges Understanding With USA On Iranian Nuclear Links
Interfax
May 13, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russia and the United States must reach an understanding onRussian-Iranian cooperation in nuclear energy, Atomic Energy MinisterAleksandr Rumyantsev told the press in Moscow on Monday [13 May]. "Wemust find an option that will suit everyone without harming anyone," hesaid.

During his recent official visit to the United States, Rumyantsev saidthat the issue of Russian Iranian cooperation in nuclear energy "wasleft off the agenda for Russia's negotiations with the US". "Wediscussed various options that would bring Russia and the United Statescloser together on this issue," he said.

During the talks, the US negotiators again made it clear thatcooperation with Iran in the nuclear field is out of the question,Rumyantsev said. "On the other hand, we keep telling the United Statesthat this cooperation does not infringe on IAEA principles," he said.Iran has signed all the documents required by the IAEA, Rumyantsev said.He noted that IAEA officials carried out over 60 verifications in Iranand found no offences against its rules. Russia has notified Iran thatit will now supply nuclear fuel to the Bushehr station, which is underconstruction, provided that the fuel be sent back.

Russian engineers are currently working on the construction of one powerunit in Bushehr under a Russian-Iranian contract worth over 800mdollars.

Rumyantsev believes that a compromise with the United States regardingRussian-Iranian cooperation may be reached within six weeks after theRussian-US summit.
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E. Russian Nuclear Forces

1.
What The Government's Defense Contract For 2003 Will Look Like
Strana.ru
May 13, 2002
(for personal use only)


Although President Vladimir Putin has signed a national program ofarmaments covering the period between 2001 and 2010, overt and covertdebates on the issue are still underway with industrial corporationstrying to secure lucrative contracts by lobbying their interests in themilitary establishment.

Although President Vladimir Putin has signed a national program ofarmaments covering the period between 2001 and 2010, overt and covertdebates on the issue are still underway with industrial corporationstrying to secure lucrative contracts by lobbying their interests in themilitary establishment. For example, several aircraft-building firmshave indicated their interest in contracts for the development offifth-generation aircraft. But Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov sees thepriorities differently. His headache is the present state of militaryaircraft - they need modernizing to the tune of millions of rubles. Butthe development of new aircraft would require billions, and it isunderstandable why the defense minister is in favor of modernization.

Generals differ on whether the Strategic Nuclear Force or conventionalforces are more important for the country's defenses. In accordance withthe national program of armaments singed in January 2001, the StrategicNuclear Force should account for about 16% of the government's defensecontract, but in fact its current share is 18%. Nevertheless, someformer military chiefs still maintain that the Strategic Nuclear Forceneeds to play a more important role and criticized Chief of StaffAnatoly Kvashnin for his plan to put only two Topol-M intercontinentalballistic missiles on combat duty. It is true, though, that since thenit has been decided to put at least six Topols on combat duty. Somemilitary experts maintain that ten would be the bare minimum. Manyothers predict a further drop in the funding of the Strategic NuclearForce because of the prospect of a new START treaty being signed in thenear future.

The government's defense contract for next year might include funds forresearch leading to the development of weapons capable of dealing withtactical nuclear weapons (the Pentagon plans to use such weapons inlocal wars) and the new AMB systems that the United States plans toproduce in 2002 and 2003. Some Russian military chiefs involved in thedevelopment of military hardware and weaponry say this should become oneof the priorities of the country's military policy.

Next year's government defense contract might also include funds fornuclear tests, considering that Russia and the United States areexpected to store nuclear warheads.

Although figures indicating how much will be spent on armaments andresearch represent classified information, one can get a rough idea ofthe expenditures involved fromstatements by military chiefs. According to Defense Minister SergeiIvanov, the defense ministry will spend 68 billion rubles on researchand development and the rearmament and overhaul of weapons and militaryhardware in 2002. This figure accounts for about one fourth of themilitary budget. Most of the funds will be spent on research anddevelopment - up to 40% as compared with only 10-12 percent in1996-1998. 30 to 40 percent will be spent on modernization and 11 12percent on repairs. As for new military hardware, only a few samples ofeach type will be bought. Minister Ivanov has said on many occasionsthat in the years until 2006 the bulk of the military budget will bespent on research and development, repairs and modernization, andaccording to Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Moskovsky, the money will bespent roughly in the same proportion as has been the case this year. Andyet, some changes might be made next year to meet new challenges. Thedefense minister has said considerable funds will be spent on themilitary applications of outer space. This year 12% of the government'sdefense contract will be spent for the purpose. Moskovsky says more willbe spent on the development of space vehicles in 2003. As plans standnow, eight space vehicles and four rocket carriers are expected to bemanufactured in 2002. The corresponding projects for 2003 are 11 spacevehicles and 8 rocket carriers.

The bulk of the money earmarked for 2003 will be spent on themodernization of conventional forces. At least that is what SergeiIvanov and Anatoly Kvashnin are calling for. In their opinion,modernization will be cheaper and commercially more effective becausemodernized hardware could be sold to foreign countries in theforeseeable future. According to General Moskovsky, modernization willaffect Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters, SU-27, SU-25, SU-24 and MIG-29aircraft and TU-95 and TU-160 strategic bombers. T-72 and T-80 tanks toowill be modernized.
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F. Nuclear Terrorism

1.
Treaty's Dark Side: Threat of Terrorism
Greg Miller
Los Angeles Times
May 14, 2002
(for personal use only)


To generations who came of age during the Cold War, the nuclear armsagreement announced Monday by U.S. and Russian officials has the ring ofa once-impossible dream.

Thousands of nuclear weapons would be removed from arsenals that defineddecades of hostility between the United States and the former SovietUnion.

But the agreement encountered immediate criticism that it fails toaddress the more realistic, post-Cold War threats that the United Statesfaces. In particular, arms control experts said the treaty would raisethe likelihood that warheads would find their way into the hands ofterrorists or rogue nations because the Bush administration insistedthat both countries be allowed to achieve reductions by storing--ratherthan dismantling--their nuclear weapons. As a result, thousands ofRussian warheads that might have been permanently disabled under a moreaggressive treaty could instead be moved into storage facilities whosesecurity is rated uncertain at best, even by the administration's ownrecent intelligence assessments.

"Reducing nuclear weapons on both sides is a good thing," said Ivo H.Daalder, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a nonpartisanthink tank in Washington. "But we may be no more secure after thisagreement has been implemented than we are today."

Under terms of the treaty, which must be approved by the U.S. Senate andthe Russian Duma, the two countries would over the next decade reducetheir stockpiles by two-thirds, to 1,700 to 2,200 warheads apiece.

The agreement leaves it to the countries to determine how they wouldmake those reductions. A White House official who asked not to beidentified said the Pentagon is responsible for working out details ofU.S. compliance. Some of the U.S. weapons would be dismantled, theofficial said, but others would be placed in "deep storage" or set asideas "operational spares."

Weapons placed in the latter category would not be available forimmediate use on submarines or bombers or in silos, but they could bequickly redeployed.

The White House has not spelled out specific scenarios in which itenvisions a redeployment of stored nuclear weapons, and arms controladvocates have said it's hard to envision circumstances in which 2,200warheads would be inadequate.

But the Bush administration insisted that the treaty allow flexibilityfor "uncertain security environments" in the future. The three-pageaccord also contains a clause allowing either side to exit the agreemententirely with three months' notice.

That aggressive posture scored points with conservatives, making theproposed treaty palatable to some who have questioned the need for anyarms control negotiations in an era when the United States is theworld's sole superpower.

"This is the least bad outcome," said Frank Gaffney Jr., president ofthe conservative Center for Security Policy and a former Pentagonofficial.

The United States and Russia had been pursuing the treaty for much ofthe last year and until recently disagreed sharply over how far to go intaking weapons offline.

Russia, whose economic troubles have strained its ability to maintainits arsenal, had pressed for language that would have required weaponsto be dismantled. But Russia had little bargaining power in negotiationsthat often highlighted the growing disparity between the two countries'fortunes since the end of the Cold War.

Though Russia preferred dismantling weapons, President Vladimir V. Putinis now likely to feel politically compelled to maintain parity with theUnited States by storing an equal number of warheads, experts said.

"If the United States is storing rather than dismantling its weapons, itwill be hard for the Russians to [do otherwise]," said Robert Einhorn, aformer U.S. assistant secretary of State for nonproliferation.

But Russia's ability to safeguard its nuclear arsenal has come underincreasing doubt.

A report by the National Intelligence Council--a panel representing U.S.spy agencies- concluded that Russia's security system "was designed inthe Soviet era to protect weapons primarily against a threat fromoutside the country and may not be sufficient to meet today's challengeof a knowledgeable insider collaborating with a criminal or terroristgroup."

The report says that security at Russian facilities is already beingtested. Russian authorities, according to the document, have "twicethwarted terrorist efforts to reconnoiter nuclear weapons storage sites"in recent years.

Many of Russia's nuclear weapons storage sites "remain off-limits toU.S. officials," meaning their security conditions have never beenevaluated, the report said.

And economic turmoil in Russia continues to erode its ability tosafeguard its arsenal. In some cases, guards at nuclear facilities havegone months without pay, and others have launched hunger strikes todemand better working conditions.

All of which makes Russia's vast nuclear weapons infrastructurevulnerable to organized crime and terrorist groups who couldtheoretically sneak out a warhead in a small pickup truck, experts said.

"The longer those warheads sit around in Russia, the greater the chancethat they get lost or sold," said Tom Z. Collina, director of the globalsecurity program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Dismantled warheads also pose a security risk. Their component partscould still be used to reconstruct a warhead or a "dirty" bomb in whichradioactive material is dispersed by a traditional explosive device. Butthe threat would be greater if thousands of Russian warheads went intostorage intact, Collina and others said.

"Certainly it's good to take the arsenals down by two-thirds," Collinasaid. "But this treaty leaves unanswered the question of what happens tothe warheads once they're off the missiles."
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2.
Tough Bomb Materials Treaty Expected
Charles J. Hanley
Associated Press
May 11, 2002
(for personal use only)


The world's nations, spurred on by fears of catastrophic terror attacks,are expected by year's end to put the final touches on a toughenedtreaty obligating governments to better protect nuclear material frombombmaking terrorists, the head of the U.N. nuclear agency said.

Mohamed ElBaradei also said Friday he hopes for an agreement withWashington and Moscow giving his International Atomic Energy Agencyresponsibility for verifying reductions in U.S. and Russian nucleararsenals. Historically, such reductions have been verified by the twonuclear powers alone.

In a third area, ElBaradei said he favors a treaty requiring regulationof radioactive materials, such as cobalt used for cancer therapy, thatcannot be made into true nuclear weapons but that terrorists could blowup with explosives - so-called "dirty bombs" - to spread panic.

ElBaradei, in an interview, said global attitudes toward nuclear threatshave changed since Sept. 11. Just last month, American officialsreported that a captured leader of al-Qaida, the group blamed for thoseattacks, told interrogators it planned to build some kind of nucleardevice.

"We have seen a new kind of risk we have not seen before, people whowould sacrifice their lives in the process of committing an act ofviolence. We have seen a high degree of sophistication in committing anact of violence," he said. "That necessitated a complete re-evaluationof the (nuclear) security risk."

One early result, ElBaradei said, should be an expansion of the 1980Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. That treatyset technical standards for protecting plutonium and enriched uranium -the material of nuclear bombs - but only in internationaltransportation.

Specialists have been negotiating a major amendment to the treaty thatwould expand its requirements to also guard such bomb-grade materialwhen it is in civilian use or in storage - at research or power plants,for example - with specified protective structures and securitymeasures.

The working group meets again next month, planning to submit a draftdocument to a full-scale diplomatic conference for approval. "We hopethat we'll be successful and complete the exercise by the end of theyear," ElBaradei said.

He was also hopeful about chances for wrapping up three-way negotiationswith the United States and Russia that would allow the agency to checkany nuclear bomb material declared excess under arms control agreements.

Since its founding almost a half-century ago, the Vienna-based U.N.agency has not played an active role in any kind of review of thenuclear powers' weapons inventories.

"We are making some progress," ElBaradei said. "I hope in the not verydistant future, we'll have an agreement. That, I think, would be animportant breakthrough."

He also said he favored "binding norms" - that is, a treaty - to setworldwide standards for the security of cobalt-60, cesium-137,strontium-90 and other radioactive isotopes used in medicine andindustry. Such materials could contaminate large areas for long periodsif blown up in a terrorist bomb.

ElBaradei said negotiating a treaty could take years, however, and fornow he would like to see governments commit, less formally, to securityguidelines that the agency published last December.
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G. Announcements

1.
Press Release: Biden Welcomes Proposed Strategic Force Reduction Treaty,Looks Ahead to Senate Review Process for the Agreement
Office of Senator Joseph Biden
May 13, 2002


Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Chairman of the Senate Committee onForeign Relations, issued the following statement today:

"It is very good news that the United States and the Russian Federationhave reached agreement to significantly reduce our nuclear arsenals. Thetreaty that President Bush has said he will sign will cut the number ofwarheads each of our nations may retain to between 1,700 and 2,200, downfrom about 6,000. Eliminating these weapons of mass destruction wouldmake Americans more secure and the world a safer place. I salutePresident Bush for his leadership on this issue and his partnership withPresident Putin.

"I especially welcome President Bush's decision to submit this newtreaty to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification, asopposed to sending it to both houses as an executive agreement.Requiring a treaty -- and so the support of two-thirds of the Senate --for arms control agreements contributes to a stable foreign policy. Evenas the White House and the Senate change hands, it is rare that a treatycommitment, once made, is reversed.

"Once this treaty is formally submitted, the Senate Foreign RelationsCommittee will approach it as we have all other arms control agreements,asking some basic questions: Will this treaty make the United Statesmore secure? Will it reduce the danger of nuclear war? Will it stand thetest of time?

"We also will be looking at some very specific questions: Are thereductions generally irreversible, or will most of the weapons be put instorage for later use? Will the reductions take place promptly? How wellwill we be able to verify Russian compliance with the treaty'sprovisions? What are the mechanisms to effectively implement and enforcethe treaty?

"I have every hope that we will be able to begin hearings on this treatythis summer."
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2.
Transcript Of An Interview By Deputy Foreign Minister Of The RussianFederation Georgy Mamedov To Public Russian Television
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
May 13, 2002


Question: What is the situation regarding the preparation for thesummit?

Answer: It is now easier because after the first round of the talks veryimportant high-level exchanges have taken place at the political level.Above all, the telephone conversation of the Presidents on May 7, aswell as the visit by Igor Ivanov to Washington where he discussed issueswith President Bush and had extended conversations with the Secretary ofState. On the issues remaining over and above the Treaty and theDeclaration we have clear-cut instructions on how to work towardslooking for solutions. On the Vremena program on ORT channel yesterdaythe Secretary of State expressed considerable optimism saying that theDeclaration and the Treaty will be signed and we share this optimism andwill try to do everything we can.

Question: There are some controversial questions, for example, what willhappen to the warheads: will they be stored or destroyed. Will thatquestion be discussed?

Answer: All the issues will be discussed. We will follow through thewhole range of topics, not only on the text because the negotiations arealways broader than the text. There are three groups of issues: firstare the ones that we are going to address in the concrete agreement (wehope it will be a Treaty). We are given ten years to accomplish that. Wemust clearly identify the goals, the perspectives and the mechanism.Another group of issues is issues connected with strategic offensiveweapons which will not be solved in this concrete agreement, butmechanisms will be created for discussing and solving them. And a thirdgroup of issues is the issues without solving which strategic stabilityis impossible, but which, strictly speaking, are not issues connectedwith START cuts. This is above all, the issue of anti-missile defense.We will discuss these three groups of issues, and, I hope that on theissues that should be in the agreement (I repeat, we hope that it be aTreaty), we will reach mutually acceptable results, and we will reportback to our Ministers, who, as you know, will meet in Reykjaviktomorrow.

Question: How are the negotiations proceeding?

Answer: The negotiations are proceeding with difficulty. First, becausethe topic is very complicated, and second, because there was a big breakafter START-2 after the American side decided not to ratify START-2, andthirdly, the new administration came along with its own approach. Thenew military doctrine, new plans of the building and use of nuclearweapons were published. Because Russia and the US plan their nuclearforces ten years ahead, and not one year, naturally, we too, had toanalyze our plans considering new aspects in the approach of theAmerican side, so, the negotiations meet with heavy going. But we hopethat the agreement we are working on will work out, and if thePresidents approve it, it will not be the last. There will be otheragreements in the field of strategic defensive weapons or, ABM systems.

Question: You said that the negotiations were sticky, complicated, butGeorge Bush has indicated that we will go down to 1,500-1,700 warheads.What is the problem?

Answer: The positions were set forth long ago. Let me remind you that wewere the first to set up this position in November 2000 before it becameknown who will be the next president of the US. Even as they werecounting the bulletins in Florida, the Russian President Vladimir Putinmade a statement proposing to the American side to cut the strategicoffensive weapons to 1,500. After that the American side took some timefor reflection. Then the US President made a statement in May advocatingradical reductions of strategic offensive weapons. Then the ceiling of1,700-2,200 warheads after ten years was reached. Thereafter, one of themost complicated procedures was to translate it into a legally bindinglanguage of treaties so that even after the Bush administration, after2004 when a new President of the United States is, perhaps, elected,everything we agreed upon should be in effect so that it should be realagreements that are verified.

Question: The question of warheads is more or less clear. But what to doabout carriers? Our Defense Ministry has accused the Americans of notgoing to reduce the carriers, unlike us. They, for their part, willsimply refit their B-52, to carry precision weapons which does not meana reduction of carriers because at any moment they can be refitted tocarry nuclear weapons. Will the carrier topics be addressed?

Answer: The topic of carriers will constantly be at the focus ofattention and this has nothing to do with the position of the ForeignMinistry, the intelligence and the Defense Ministry. We have a nationalposition approved by the Russian President. Our position is simple,clear and logical. We are still bound by START-1 treaty signed in 1991and it will be in effect until 2009. It describes everything in detail:what is to be done with carriers, when they should be refitted, whenthey should be reduced, etc. We want all these procedures of the Treatywhich is in effect and which has been ratified, to be fulfilled and thenthere will be no questions between us and the Americans. So, we areconducting negotiations on how to integrate the START-1 provisions intothe new agreement which we hope to prepare for the US President's visit.

Question: Does the Treaty being prepared for the summit contain aprovision on the conditions on which this or that side can withdraw fromthe Treaty?

Answer: Of course, any international document of that caliber contains apoint that reserves the right for any side to terminate the Treaty ifits interests are threatened.

Question: Can there be any other reasons?

Answer: This is reason enough, as we see it.
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3.
Transcript Of An Interview By RF Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov Granted ToORT Pozner's Vremena Program (excerpted)
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
May 12, 2002


[.]

Anchor: The document that will be signed during the Moscow meeting ofthe presidents of Russia and the US, is it a treaty or an agreement?

Foreign Minister Ivanov: That issue is yet under discussion. The Russianside thinks it should be a treaty. The main thing, however, is that itwill be a legally binding document, and it will be subject toratification both in the United States and in the Russian Federation.The difference is that according to the rules and procedures in the US,it requires two-thirds of the votes to ratify a treaty and a simplemajority of the votes to ratify an agreement. That indicates theimportance of the document. So, we believe that considering theimportance of this problem that is raised in the document, it should bea treaty. But the question has not yet been decided.

Anchor: Igor Sergeyevich, will the START treaty be in any way linkedwith the development of the national missile defense in America?

Foreign Minister Ivanov: From the start, the new US administration hasdeclared that we do not see each other as adversaries and no treaties oragreements are needed between partners. This question was discussed inthe course of the top-level talks. But in view of the importance of theSTART problem we said that while we are all in favor of partnershiprelations but we have not yet reached a level of confidence that fullyrules out verification. So, the question of the need to conclude theTreaty was raised by our side.

START-1 expired last year, but it will be in effect until 2009. START-2is not in force because the United States has not ratified it. It iswithdrawing from the ABM Treaty. That creates a vacuum at a veryimportant and critical moment in the field of arms control, includingcontrol of nuclear arms. So, we thought that it is very important tostart these negotiations and achieve a certain understanding, certainprinciples and criteria. The talks will continue, but at this stage wemust commit to paper the agreements that can already be signed before wemove forward.

The linkage between offensive and defensive weapons was confirmed in thepolitical declaration at the meeting of our presidents in Genoa. Thethesis will be reflected in the document on strategic arms reductions.

Anchor: Mr. Ivanov, what do you think about the statement of the US thatexpands the "axis of evil"?

Foreign Minister Ivanov: Today our countries -- the United States,Russia and most of the countries of the world -- are confronted withcertain threats. These are, above all, terrorism and other threatsconnected with the danger of the spread and proliferation of massdestruction weapons. We can imagine what will happen if mass destructionweapons fall into the hands of terrorists. We come out for uniting theefforts of the world community. After September 11 we made a historicstep. Never since the Second World War has the international communityformed a coalition against the common enemy. It was Nazism then and itis terrorism now. It is not by chance that the Russian PresidentVladimir Putin has compared terrorists with Nazis. However, I believethat terrorism cannot be identified with certain religions or peoples.It calls for very accurate information so as to be certain what goals weare setting ourselves and what methods are suitable for tackling thesegoals and tasks. These topics are under constant discussion and webelieve that the United Nations should play the leading role in thisdiscussion.

Anchor: Igor Sergeyevich, do you share the view that there are certaindifferences in Russian American relations?

Foreign Minister Ivanov: We do have and may have differences. This isnatural. There are differences among allies, there are differing views.The question is how to overcome these differences. If the United Statesis worried that technologies may leak out of Russia that may be used todevelop mass destruction weapons it is necessary together to takedecisions to cut the possible channels of illegal leakage ofinformation. At the same time there should be no unsubstantiatedaccusation. And if the concern arises we should meet and discuss thequestion that should arisen. And this is how we are trying to work withthe US Secretary of State.

Anchor: Is the US ready to discuss with Russia any limitations on thecreation of national anti missile defense?

Foreign Minister Ivanov: In our talks with the American partners, theAmerican side stresses that the anti-missile defense it is planning tocreate it will be of limited character. It's important that they stressthat it will not pose a threat to the strategic forces of Russia and tothe global strategic balance. I hope that in the course of negotiationswe will manage to put these principles in the Declaration that isexpected to be adopted in the course of President Bush's visit toRussia, and that these principles will be implemented in practice oncethey are fixed in the declaration. So, our view is that rather thancreating mini nuclear bombs we should jointly strengthen the regime ofnon-proliferation of mass destruction weapons.

Anchor: What is your vision of Russia-NATO relationship?

Foreign Minister Ivanov: In two days time there will be a meeting of theforeign minister of Russia and NATO where we hope to complete thedrafting of the document which will then be put to the Russian and NATOheads of state for signing in Rome on May 28. The substance of theagreements we are planning is to set up a new body, a Russia-NATOCouncil in which the NATO members as national entities and Russia willbe on an equal basis discuss the problems that they identify fordiscussion, take decisions and jointly implement them. It is not anadvisory or consultative body, it is an executive body. The creation ofthe Russia-NATO Council is opening a new area for cooperation.

Anchor: Views differ within the US administration on foreign policyissues. There are those who favor a tough line with regard to Russia. Atthe same time many administration representatives favor the developmentof economic and political ties with Russia. Which wing in your view willgain the upper hand?

Foreign Minister Ivanov: Of course, there are differing views, and thereare discussions. But at the end of the day the President has the finalsay. He is committed to building a relationship of strategic partnershipwith Russia for the long term. The declaration on the new framework ofstrategic relations, which we are going to sign, is called upon to setdown the principles that will underlie our relations in the political,economic, militaryategic and humanitarian areas. So, it is adocument of fundamental importance.

Anchor: There are reports that members of the US administration havereported to the President about intelligence data on the preparation ofthe Russian nuclear test range on Novaya Zemlya for tests. What can yousay about it?

Foreign Minister Ivanov: Unfortunately, such ungrounded statements aremade from time to time in various committees in the US Congress. Weexpress our surprise. This is another piece of information which willforce us to raise another query. There are still people in the UnitedStates who think in the categories of the Cold War.

Anchor: The preamble of the Concept of the Foreign Policy of the RussianFederation adopted in 2000 says that the expectations that new and equaland mutually beneficial partnership relations between Russia and thesurrounding world have not materialized. Is that still true?

Foreign Minister Ivanov: The Concept of Foreign Policy fully reflectedthe real picture at the end of the 1990s after the breakup of the USSRand the way the situation in the world around Russia was transformed.Our task was to correctly define in this Concept the place of Russia inthe modern world and what assets we had and how to solve the tasksfacing us. Proceeding from that analysis we determine the scale ofpriorities in Russian foreign policy. Above all, it is ensuring nationalsecurity. Second is creating favorable conditions for continuedpolitical and economic reform in our country. Third is protecting theinterests of our compatriots abroad. Fourth, helping our business tobreak into the world markets. The conclusions that we have drawn and thetasks that we have set were derived from that analysis. That assessmentstill holds.

Anchor: Is it true that we are trying to be all things to all men?

Foreign Minister Ivanov: Journalists usually cite the example of the USwithdrawal from the ABM Treaty suggesting that Russia has caved in. Whatdoes it mean to cave in? That US move affects the interests of the wholeworld community and not only of Russia. The withdrawal of the naval basefrom Cam Ranh is seen as a concession to Washington. The US has nothingto do with it. Bilateral negotiations were conducted with Vietnam. Forten years not a single ship entered that base. Why should we hold on toit? On Cuba there was for forty years a station that, in the opinion ofexperts, did not fulfill the functions that it was created for. And thisis seen as a gift to Washington, which is not true.

Anchor: Do you see the upcoming summit meeting as strengthening theRussian-American partnership relations or as a confirmation of a specialgeopolitical role of Russia?

Foreign Minister Ivanov: You have correctly identified two aspects.These are Russian-American relations that are important not only for ourtwo countries. They not only go a long way to determine the climate inthe whole world from the viewpoint of strategic stability and from theviewpoint of the subsequent processes of the formation of a new worldorder. And second of course, the affirmation of the independent role ofRussia, its own face in the new world considering its history, religion,culture, its present interests.
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H. Links of Interest

1.
Arms Control Association Answers Questions About Bush-Putin Arms Talks
Arms Control Association
May 13, 2002
http://www.armscontrol.org/pdf/maysummitqa.pdf
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2.
Preview Of President Bush's Trip To Russia: Assessing Current RelationsBetween Moscow And Washington
The Brookings Institution
May 9, 2002
http://www.brook.edu/dybdocroot/comm/transcripts/20020509.htm
DISCLAIMER: Nuclear News is presented for informational purposes only.Views presented in any given article are those of the individual authoror source and not of RANSAC. RANSAC takes no responsibility for thetechnical accuracy of information contained in any article presented inNuclear News.



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