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Nuclear News - 05/17/02
RANSAC Nuclear News, May 17, 2002
Compiled by David Smigielski



A. Cooperative Threat Reduction
    1. Kazakh Parliament Prolongs Agreement With U.S. On Destroying Missile Silos, RFE/RL Newsline, May 17, 2002
    2. Bush to Propose Project With Russia, Las Vegas Sun, May 16, 2002
    3. U.S., Uzbekistan Start Anthrax Island Cleanup, Saidazim Gaziev, Tol.cz, May 13, 2002
B. HEU Purchase Agreement
    1. Russia Expects To Increase Low Enriched Uranium Supplies To U.S., Interfax, May 16, 2002
C. Debt for Nonproliferation
    1. U.S. Official Pushes For Soviet Debt Write-Off, Anna Raff, Moscow Times, May 16, 2002
D. Russia-U.S.
    1. Dances With Bears: Putin Makes A Wall Street Play, John Helmer, Asia Times Online, May 17, 2002
    2. New START Treaty Will Not Be Unalterable, Strana.ru, May 17, 2002
    3. A Worthless Scrap Of Paper, Pavel Felgenhauer, Moscow Times, May 16, 2002
    4. Will The Bubble Burst At The Russia-U.S. Summit? Victoria Whall, Russian Observer, May 16, 2002
    5. Cozy With The Russians, Rocky Mountain News, May 15, 2002
    6. Putin The Pragmatist Backs U.S.-Russia Pact, Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer, May 15, 2002
    7. Left-Wingers Negative To New Strategic Arms Reduction Agreement, RBC, May 15, 2002
    8. U.S. Can't Ignore Nuclear Threat, Ted Turner, USA Today, May 15, 2002
E. Russia-NATO
    1. 'Historic' Accord Gives Russia A Bigger Say In NATO, Judy Dempsey, Financial Times, May 14, 2002
F. Russia-Iran
    1. U.S. Names Armenian Company Suspected Of Illicit Technology Transfer To Iran, RFE/RL Newsline, May 17, 2002
    2. Iran-Russia: Russia Is Not Providing WMD Technology, Official Says, NTI Newswire, May 17, 2002
    3. Moldovan Premier Denies U.S. Will Apply Sanctions On Moldovan Companies, RFE/RL Newsline, May 16, 2002
    4. Armenia: U.S. Sanctions Expose Unease Over Warm Ties Between Yerevan And Tehran, Emil Danielyan, Radio Free Europe, May 16, 2002
    5. Kazakhstan Refutes Israel's Accusation, Caspian News Agency, May 14, 2002
G. Russia-Burma
    1. Russian Government Approves Agreement For Nuclear Centre In Myanmar, Nuclear.RU, May 16, 2002
H. Nuclear Waste
    1. IAEA To Help Georgia Find, Cope With Radioactive Materials, RFE/RL Newsline, May 17, 2002
    2. Kyrgyzstan: Landslides Threaten Radioactive Waste Dumps, IRIN, May 14, 2002
I. Links of Interest
    1. Path To The Summit: US-Russian Nonproliferation Dialogue, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, May 9, 2002
    2. State Duma, Parliamentary Diplomacy, And U.S.-Russian Relations, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, May 2, 2002
    3. U.S.-Russian Relations: Toward A New Strategic Framework, Eugene B. Rumer and Richard D. Sokolsky, National Defense University, May 2002
    4. Extremists And Bandits: How Russia Views The War Against Terrorism, Fiona Hill, Brookings Institution, April 2002

A. Cooperative Threat Reduction

1.
Kazakh Parliament Prolongs Agreement With U.S. On Destroying MissileSilos
RFE/RL Newsline
May 17, 2002
(for personal use only)


The Senate -- the upper chamber of Kazakhstan's parliament -- voted on16 May to extend for an unspecified period the agreement signed with theUnited States in 1993 on the destruction of ICBM silos and on nuclearnonproliferation, Russian news agencies reported. Kazakh Army Chief ofGeneral Staff Malik Saparov told journalists in February that allnuclear warheads on Kazakh territory at the time of the collapse of theUSSR were returned to Russia by the end of 1995. He said a total of 147missiles silos have been destroyed; six remain at the Leninsk testingground in Kyzyl-Orda Oblast, according to Interfax on 21 February.
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2.
Bush to Propose Project With Russia
Las Vegas Sun
May 16, 2002
(for personal use only)


President Bush will propose to Russian President Vladimir Putin nextweek that the two countries cooperate in joint projects to defendagainst missile attack, a U.S. official says.

Bush will offer to share American technology with Russia, a move firstproposed by President Reagan two decades ago, a senior U.S. officialsaid Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Bush's intention is to enshrine anti-missile cooperation in a documentof strategic cooperation that will be issued when he meets Putin inMoscow along with formal notification of a treaty to slash U.S. andRussian strategic nuclear weapons arsenals.

Putin had opposed the U.S. missile defense program as potentiallyrestarting an arms race in an effort to overcome a shield, but Bushbrushed aside Russia's concerns and next month the United States willofficially abandon a 1972 treaty with Moscow that prohibits nationalmissile defenses.

Cooperation between the two countries is on the upswing.

On Wednesday, the Bush administration welcomed closer cooperationbetween Russia and NATO, but remained noncommittal on whether Moscoweventually could join the military alliance.

Some former allies of Moscow are in, while others are anxious to beadded.

Secretary of State Colin Powell, after two days of meetings with NATOministers in Reykjavik, Iceland, pointed to progress: an arms-controlbreakthrough with Russia, expanded NATO-Russia partnership and tightenedU.N. military sanctions against Iraq that won approval with Moscow'shelp.

Powell said he also raised concerns with Russian Foreign Minister IgorIvanov at the NATO meeting about Moscow's suspected complicity inassisting Iran's weapons buildup, including technology for nucleardevices.

The Russians do not deny selling items to Iran but "they don't believethey are selling them anything that individually or together shouldcause us to have the kind of concern that we do," Powell told reportersen route to Washington.

Powell also said he had received assurances from Ukrainian authoritiesthat President Leonid Kuchma was not involved in the transfer or plannedtransfer of military equipment to Iraq.

Powell said the new NATO-Russia Council, negotiated after Putin'ssupport for the West in countering terrorism, is leading to a newpartnership" after the end of the Cold War.

The deal falls short of full NATO membership for Russia but offers aforum for the 19-member alliance to develop ways to cooperate onterrorism and other issues.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer praised the agreement but said theBush administration was not signaling that Moscow would join NATO.

"Over time, other assessments will be made," Fleischer said. "That'sgoing to depend on cooperation. It's going to depend on events. And thisis a garden that will be watered and now will grow."

Fleischer said NATO took a major step toward "integrating Russia withthe European-Atlantic community of nations."

Fleischer said the move was in line with Bush's efforts to improverelations with Russia.
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3.
U.S., Uzbekistan Start Anthrax Island Cleanup
Saidazim Gaziev
Tol.cz
May 13, 2002
(for personal use only)


As the Aral Sea dries out, a dangerous island is rapidly drawing nearerto the Uzbek mainland. Ostrov Vozrojdeniya--the Island ofResurrection--was home to the largest biological weapons testingfacility in the Soviet Union until 1991, and barrels of anthrax bacteriawere buried there in 1988. Once the island joins the mainland, it isfeared that animals and humans could transfer anthrax, as well as otherdeadly bacteria and viruses--intentionally or unintentionally--withrelative ease.

A joint U.S.-Uzbek operation is set to begin on 15 May to address thethreat. Its mission is to keep the biological weapons that weremanufactured and tested on the island for decades from reaching themainland. A brigade of specialists under the supervision of U.S. expertswill be involved in exterminating the bacteria.

American military ecological experts have already landed on the island,and for the first time in more than 10 years, work at the former weaponsfacility is set to begin. Although the U.S. efforts are shrouded insecrecy, reports indicate that the team hopes first to estimate the realdanger of the experimental substances that the Soviets left behind.

Anthrax cases were reported over the course of 2001 in the neighboringcountries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan, but Uzbek HealthMinister Feruz Nazirov has said that no cases were reported inUzbekistan in 2001.

The Uzbek authorities say 166 hygiene-control points have beenestablished on either side of the country's borders, and the governmenthas begun to immunize high-risk groups, including postal workers,customs inspectors, and airport and airline staff. It has alsostockpiled antibiotics and other medicines. Nazirov added that there arefive mobile medical units ready to act in case of an epidemic.

The U.S. Congress granted $6 million to Uzbekistan for the island'scleanup in October, at the height of the anthrax scare in the UnitedStates.

The decontamination work is being carried out only on the portion of theisland that belongs to Uzbekistan--about three-quarters of the landmass.The rest belongs to Kazakhstan. Some specialists contend that thedecontamination efforts will be futile unless the entire island iscleared. The Kazakh authorities are considering applying forinternational grants to do same type of work on their part of theisland.

Alim Aykimbaev, the director of the Kazakh Research Center forQuarantines and Animal-Borne Diseases, stressed the importance of Kazakhinvolvement. "Disinfection efforts cannot be carried out strictly alongborder lines of the island, because the whole island is contaminated .There is a danger of infection moving from the Kazakh territory back tothe cleaned Uzbek territory. That is why we should be holdingdecontamination efforts simultaneously in both parts," Aykimbaev toldlocal media.
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B. HEU Purchase Agreement

1.
Russia Expects To Increase Low Enriched Uranium Supplies To U.S.
Interfax
May 16, 2002
(for personal use only)


Russia expects to increase low enriched uranium supplies to the UnitedStates under a long standing HEU-LEU Agreement, Russian Atomic EnergyMinister Alexander Rumyantsev told reporters in Moscow on Monday.

Russian and U.S. negotiators are discussing increasing the import quotafor Russian uranium, Rumyantsev said. He did not specify to what extentthe quota would be increased.

It was earlier reported that Russia would resume uranium supplies to theUnited States at the end of April. Two lots of uranium have since beenshipped to the United States. Russia's proceeds from the 2002 dealshould amount to$ 500 million.

Russia stopped supplying the uranium at the end of January this yearwhen the Americans started to demand a lower price. Russian and U.S.officials spent January and February discussing the issue. Eventually,the Russian nuclear ministry backed down and reduced the price of theuranium. Media reports said at the time that Russia had lowered theprice for low-enriched uranium from$ 90 per separative work unit (SWU)to$ 15-$20.

Under the 20-year HEU-LEU deal, which is worth an estimated$ 12 billion,Russia must dilute 500 tonnes of highly-enriched weapons-grade uranium(HEU) extracted from about 20,000 warheads into commercial low-enricheduranium (LEU) used as fuel for power plants.

According to the Atomic Energy Ministry, Russia has supplied the U.S.with 4,200 metric tons of LEU, equivalent to 141.4 tons of HEU, as ofJanuary 2002.

Rumyantsev said Russia and the United States would soon sign anotherdeal to extend the HEU LEU deal by 10 years. This will likely take placeafter the Russian-U.S. summit.
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C. Debt for Nonproliferation

1.
U.S. Official Pushes For Soviet Debt Write-Off
Anna Raff
Moscow Times
May 16, 2002
(for personal use only)


All of Russia's Soviet-era debt should be written off as a way ofpersuading Moscow to end troubling nuclear cooperation with Iran, aninfluential security advisor to the U.S. presidential administrationsaid Wednesday. Speaking by telephone from his home in Maryland, RichardPerle said the first step would be to get the U.S. government and U.S.banks to forgive any Soviet debt they held. "Then we could turn toEuropean governments, and they could put pressure on their banks," hesaid. "We would take it one country at a time."

But finance experts were skeptical about the plan, saying the U.S.government would not be able to force private European banks to partwith billions of dollars in outstanding loans.

Perle, who is chairman of the Defense Policy Board, which advises theU.S. defense secretary, first floated the idea of a total write-off ofRussia's Soviet-era debt last summer, but did not link it to Iran at thetime.

Now that relations between Washington and Moscow have grown warmer inthe wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, Iran remains perhaps the mostcontentious issue separating the two countries and is sure to bediscussed at the upcoming summit between Presidents George W. Bush andVladimir Putin. The United States has accused Russia of aiding Iran'snuclear, ballistic missile, biological and chemical weapons programs andhas called on Moscow to end this sort of cooperation. Russia, which isbuilding an $800 million civilian nuclear reactor for Iran at Bushehr,has denied that it is contributing to Tehran's weapons program.

Speaking Tuesday at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington,Perle indicated that he understood the importance of trade with Iran tothe Russian economy and said the United States should be prepared to"share the burden" if Moscow were willing to restrict cooperation withTehran. But with Russia's economy still buoyed by high oil prices,foreign debt has ceased to be an effective bargaining chip, said MaximKulikov, director of the Moscow-based Economic Expert Group. Moreover,the debt is owed largely to European nations.

"Why would Europe just write off an additional source of funds whenRussia is fully capable of paying these debts according to schedule?" hesaid. "If they were going to forgive these debts, they should have doneso when Russia was having trouble with payment."

As of late last year, Russia's Soviet-era debt -- both sovereign andprivate -- totaled $88 billion. The lion's share is owned to the ParisClub of creditor nations and the London Club of private creditors. Athird is owed to Germany. Only 9 percent of the overall sum is owed toU.S. government lenders.

Deutsche Bank spokesman Detlef Ramsdorf said the idea of the Germangovernment intervening in the German banking industry was ridiculous."We are a free country," Ramsdorf said by telephone from Frankfurt. "Thegovernment has no right to expropriate any private business or takemoney from a private bank." Perle argued that those who lent money tothe Soviet regime knew what they were getting into.

"They lent money for political reasons, not to get a rate of return," hesaid.
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D. Russia-U.S.

1.
Dances With Bears: Putin Makes A Wall Street Play
John Helmer
Asia Times Online
May 17, 2002
(for personal use only)


The haste with which President George W Bush announced this week's armscontrol treaty with Russia - barely minutes after negotiators for thetwo sides had finished working on the text and days before they hadfinished the side document on missile defense - must have beenembarrassing for President Vladimir Putin.

The disclosure allows almost two weeks to examine what has been draftedbefore Bush and Putin will sign the documents. Already, it is plain thatthe only concession Washington has made to Russian concerns is to callthe warhead limits document a treaty, even though it isn't binding inany of the specific ways nuclear arms control has been mandated betweenWashington and Moscow for a generation. Bush's aides have alreadyconceded that it was the demand of the US Senate to have Putin'ssignature on a treaty that would be subject to ratification that wasmore compelling for Bush than Putin's demand to sign a document calledby that name.

In fact, there are so many loopholes in the treaty, and so much time inwhich to fudge, that the text may encourage even more suspicion betweenthe adversaries than was meant to be put to rest. Americans have alreadystarted asking, for example, whether Russian nuclear warheads willactually be more secure, and less threatening, if they are taken offtheir rocket launchers and inventoried in a warehouse, rather thandismantled and destroyed.

If Imelda Marcos, the notoriously acquisitive wife of the formerdictator of the Philippines, had publicly signed a promise to reduce hergargantuan shoe collection, would that have reassured anyone that shewas committing herself to limit the profligacy of her personal spendingout of public funds? The Bush-Putin treaty of 2002 has the Imeldaquality - a promise to restrain profligacy, which depends on thecharacter of the profligates to honor it.

But wait a minute. Whatever may be said about those who run themilitary-industrial complex of Russia, Putin cannot be judged to beprofligate with public funds. Indeed, most interpretations of why he hasagreed to Bush's treaty credit him with accepting the need to conservefunds by reducing the arms budget as much as possible.

So what else is driving the leadership of Russia to accept Washington'sterms? The answer becomes clearer from the bulletins of the US-orientedbrokerages and investment houses. It is their assessment that dramaticimprovements in the atmosphere of political relations between the US andRussia reduce investor wariness, and allow the boards of trustees,managers, and credit committees of large US investment funds and banksto pump more cash into Russian assets. This happened often enough duringthe Boris Yeltsin period that now, when Russia is one of the fewemerging market risks to be generating acceptably high rates of return,there is a potentially enormous sentiment on Wall Street in favor of arepeat.

The reasoning is straightforward. No matter what performance the euroeconomies turn in, it is the headquarters of the dollar that continuesto dictate economic terms to the rest of the world. The dollar looks forthe best rate of return that can be justified in line with the risk. IfPutin can convince Wall Street that he can do two things - sustaindomestic growth rates and amiability with the Bush administration - thenRussian risk shortens, and the spread between risk and profit grows moreattractive. Accordingly, investment analysts start betting that theinflow of American portfolio and direct investment into Russia willskyrocket.

>From Putin's perspective, if this happens he may be able to turn fantasygrowth rate projections into real ones, and generate a far bigger taxtake. And of course, if government revenues expand in step, there justmay be enough of a windfall to fund the military-industrial complexafter all. And if that happens sometime before the year 2012, theloopholes of the Bush-Putin treaty will have served a Russian strategicpurpose, and not simply an American one.

The three-pager that Bush and Putin are about to sign makes more senseas a treaty with Wall Street than with Washington. If so, it may proveto be a better, longer-lasting deal for Russia than Imelda Marcos hadwith her shoemakers.
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2.
New START Treaty Will Not Be Unalterable
Strana.ru
May 17, 2002
(for personal use only)


The new Russia-U.S. treaty on cuts in strategic offensive arms, which isexpected to be signed during the Moscow visit by U.S. President GeorgeW. Bush, will be effective until December 31, 2012.

This document envisages a possibility of either its prolongation orreplacement by another agreement, Strana.Ru writes, referring to asource in Russia's Foreign Ministry. The sides are supposed to continuework on extending confidence-building measures and increasingtransparency in strategic arms reduction. It is envisaged in the treatythat a bilateral commission will be set up to plan new actions topromote transparency.

The Foreign Ministry source emphasized that the treaty would not be "anunalterable document" but will be "the first disarmament treaty" thatRussia will sign with the Bush Administration. It will consolidate theprovision that the START-1 treaty will remain effective, and control andinspections will be effected under the new treaty as well. The START-1treaty will be in force till December 5, 2009, and it envisages apossibility of its prolongation.
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3.
A Worthless Scrap Of Paper
Pavel Felgenhauer
Moscow Times
May 16, 2002
(for personal use only)


Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin have agreed to sign atreaty next week in Moscow to cut strategic nuclear weapons over 10years from their present level of 5,000 to 6,000 warheads each to 2,200to 1,700.

The proposed treaty is only three pages long, in sharp contrast toprevious strategic arms control agreements like START I, signed in 1991,or START II, signed in 1993, that ran to hundreds of pages withappendices describing in detail verification of compliance procedures,timetables for decommissioning of specific weapons systems, precisedefinitions of the methods for counting warheads, etc.

A high-ranking Russian official who has access to the new draft treatytold me this week that most of the text consists of a long preamble thatincludes a declaration of good intent, assurances of friendship, speaksof peace on Earth and so on. The treaty per se is only half a page long(double spaced). It seems Bush this week read out the entire "treaty" toreporters virtually verbatim: "Russia and the U.S. will by 2012 have2,200 to 1,700 warheads."

This treaty does not have any timetable for decommissioning, nodefinitions of what a warhead is or how to count them, no verificationprocedures -- no nothing. Russian sources say that Washington hassupplied Moscow with some plans for future decommissioning of strategicweapons systems (e.g., 50 MX Peacemaker missiles with 10 warheads eachare earmarked by the Pentagon for scrapping soon). But thesedecommissioning plans are not part of the new treaty and are in factunilateral, nonbinding promises.

Washington has also vowed great openness and says it will allow theRussians full access to verify future cuts. But again the verificationprocedures are not stipulated in the treaty and depend only on futuregoodwill.

Legally speaking, in military arms control terms, the new treaty isnothing more than a worthless scrap of paper. Without any agreedprocedure on how to count nuclear warheads, an entire nuclear submarinewith 20 ballistic missiles and the capability of carrying 400 nucleardevices may be counted as one "warhead" if most of its payload istemporarily stored on land. The new treaty essentially allows Russia andthe United States to cut or not as they please, to deploy new attacksystems or to keep old ones. This is not arms control, but the end ofarms control as it has been known for 30 years.

Of course, the new treaty will be condemned as a national sellout bymany in the Russian elite. Last Sunday, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov,anticipating a wave of criticism, announced that the new treaty is onlya brief outline and that some follow-ups may be negotiated. However, thepossibility that Washington will continue traditional arms controlnegotiations is minute.

The new treaty is seen as a major victory for Washington and a defeatfor the Kremlin, which wanted some substantial guarantees that plannedU.S. missile defenses will not threaten Russia and that offensivenuclear cuts will be "irreversible" but got a worthless piece of paper.However, the treaty is assured of ratification in the State Duma, wherePutin has a comfortable majority.

In fact some of Russia's military chiefs also support the accord. From1997 to 2001, when Igor Sergeyev was defense minister, almost allprocurement money was spent on strategic nuclear weapons. SinceSergeyev's ouster there has been a backlash against strategic nuclearweapons led by Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Kvashnin. The GeneralStaff is planning to use the treaty to cut strategic missiles and spendits money on other projects. Strategic nuclear weapons are increasinglyseen as senseless and unusable by many Russian generals. In 1999,despite strong objections from Russia, NATO bombed Yugoslavia andnuclear deterrence could not prevent it. The outcome would have been thesame whether Russia had 1,500 warheads or 5,500. The new treaty mayactually turn out to be a "win" for both Moscow and Washington inasmuchas its signing signals that Russia has abandoned the cherished principleof nuclear parity with the United States -- the last vestige of formerSoviet superpower status.

Now it is time the Kremlin stopped acting as a lame superpower in otherfields by downsizing not only its nuclear arsenal by two-thirds but itsentire military machine and reforming what's left into something moreprofessional, so that Russia can begin to develop as a normal, civilstate.

Pavel Felgenhauer is an independent defense analyst.
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4.
Will The Bubble Burst At The Russia-U.S. Summit?
Victoria Whall
Russian Observer
May 16, 2002
(for personal use only)


A lag in public opinion towards cooperation with the U.S. could causetrouble when U.S. president visits Russia next week.

A "man on the street" opinion poll on NATO-Russia relations, in which46% of Russians asked responded that they were against entry into thealliance, presents a very different picture to the one the Russianpolitical elite has been disseminating in recent weeks. Approximately34% of those queried indicated they were in favor of entry, with 20%undecided.

The results of the poll, which was carried out by the Public OpinionFoundation May 4-5th, demonstrates that the Russian public is far fromcertain that Russia should be allying itself with the North AtlanticTreaty Organization. 52% of the 1,500 people asked said the bloc posed athreat to Russia's security, with only 31% responding that it did not,which would suggest that for many, the cold war is still a reality.

However, as far as the U.S. and Russian Foreign Ministers, Colin Powelland Igor Ivanov are concerned, the cold war is now over. This wasconfirmed when they speaking at a press conference in Reykjavik onTuesday.

But the Russian mass media has resisted getting swept away by the "newera" rhetoric, remaining suspicious of the new alliance. Coverage of therecent NATO and Russia ministerial talks focuses on the limits of thesoon to be established Russia-NATO Council, and which side hadgained/lost the most in the NATO deal.

The new joint policy-making body will take cooperation to another levelby enabling Russia and NATO to work together on security issues, but twoof the core features of NATO membership will not hold for Russia, namelythe right to veto NATO actions and the principle that an attack on onemember is considered an attack on all.

The chairman of the Federation Council's Committee for InternationalAffairs Mikhail Margelov seems satisfied with this.

"In keeping with the formula chosen by the Russian President, we areready to go as far in our cooperation with NATO as the alliance itselfis ready to accept it," Margelov told reporters on Tuesday.

He for one didn't seem to think that Russia had done more than it shouldhave to reach agreement with the U.S., underlining that Russia'snational interests would not be sacrificed in the name of closercooperation.

"This formula also says that (our cooperation will go as far) as thealliance is ready to respect Russia's national interests," the Chairmansaid.

Meanwhile, since President Bush boasted recently that he is no moreworried about Moscow's nuclear arms than about Britain's, experts areworried that the U.S. political elite might be getting ahead of itself.

Michael McFaul, an expert on the U.S.-Russia relationship, has expressedconcern that American leaders are not seeing the real Russia. He saidthat there was always an understandable risk of American leaders seeingthe country through the eyes of the people they dealt with in Moscow,Reuters reported Wednesday.

Progress in bilateral relations, Mr. McFaul said, could lead to U.S.leaders forgetting that Russia is not a consolidated democracy, andblind them to the threat that Russia could still slide into autocracy inthe next decade.

If the American leadership has been looking at Russia throughrose-tinted glass, they will soon realize their mistake. Sentiments ofthe average Russian on the street towards the U.S. will come to thesurface when President Bush makes his first official visit to Russianext week.
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5.
Cozy With The Russians
Rocky Mountain News
May 15, 2002
(for personal use only)


The strategic arms reduction treaty President Bush will sign next weekin Russia only rubber stamps what both countries planned to do anyway.

The treaty calls for the United States and Russia to reduce theirarsenals of strategic nuclear warheads from their current levels ofroughly 6,000 each to between 1,700 and 2,200 over the next 10 years.That was the number Bush campaigned on and the number recommended in adefense review last year.

The treaty is remarkable for what it doesn't do.

It sets no timetable, and either nation would presumably be incompliance if the reductions were carried out on the last day of thetreaty in 2012.

It does not call for the destruction of the warheads. A senioradministration official said that some of the U.S. warheads will bedismantled, others placed in "deep storage" and still others kept inoperational reserve as spares.

The treaty says nothing about the deployment of the remaining warheadsor the mix of delivery systems -- subs, rockets or long-range bombers.It makes no mention of missile defense.

Either party can opt out on 90 days' notice, and the verificationmechanism has yet to be agreed on.

Bush had felt that a treaty wasn't even necessary, that handshakeagreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin was enough. But Putininsisted on having it in writing and the U.S. Senate insisted on havingsomething it could ratify. The treaty will enable the two leaders tohave a high-profile summit signing ceremony in St. Petersburg, and theSenate will get a good, old-fashioned debate about arms control andstrategic defense.

As a practical matter of threat reduction, the United States would bebetter served by Congress' expanding and fully funding CooperativeThreat Reduction, popularly called Nunn-Lugar after its Senate authors,in which the United States funds the dismantling and secure storage ofRussia's decaying and poorly guarded nuclear arsenal. That act hasresulted in the deactivation of 5,896 warheads. Nunn-Lugar also can dealwith an issue -- Russia's estimated 8,000 tactical nuclear weapons --not addressed by this newest treaty.

The importance of the treaty, in the opinion of Bush's advisers, is thatit will contribute to a predictable and stable relationship with Russia,and Bush himself said it heralded a "new era of U.S.-Russianrelationships."

It also marks an evolution of Bush foreign policy. He came to officebelieving Russia could be ignored. The treaty is tangible evidence thathe no longer thinks that.
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6.
Putin The Pragmatist Backs U.S.-Russia Pact
Trudy Rubin
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 15, 2002
(for personal use only)


Last summer I spent two weeks traveling to five Russian provincialcapitals, talking to entrepreneurs who had started small andmedium-sized businesses. This was the face of the new Russia. Thebusinessmen praised President Vladimir Putin for trying to modernizeRussia's moribund ways.

The new nuclear pact between the United States and Russia is furtherevidence that Putin is focused on building a different Russia. Putinswallowed a slew of U.S. demands in his quest to put divisive nuclearissues to rest and get on with integrating Russia into the globaleconomy.

This treaty says less about nukes than it does about Putin's toppriority: to align Russia squarely with the West.

Judged purely by arms-control standards, this treaty would look veryodd. It calls for each side to cut its nuclear arsenals by two thirdsover the next 10 years - to between 1,700 and 2,200 strategic nuclearwarheads.

But, at U.S. insistence, the pact doesn't require either side to destroyany warheads. It leaves open the possibility that weapons taken out ofservice can be reinstalled later on missiles or nuclear submarines.

The treaty also raises the acute danger that retiring - rather thandestroying - Russian warheads might create new risks that fissilematerials will be stolen. Russia's weapons-storage system is still soinsecure that warehousing warheads may be more dangerous than keepingthem on missiles.

Far from finally putting the Cold War to rest, the accord reflects acontinued Cold War mentality in the Bush administration, where someapparently think they must store thousands of warheads in case Russiametamorphoses back into a menace.

Yet Putin has swallowed myriad U.S. demands. He acquiesced to U.S.withdrawal from the ABM treaty banning anti-missile systems. He evenseems ready to tolerate admission of the Baltic states into NATO, anidea that once drove Kremlin officials crazy.

The Russian leader has reaped some modest rewards. After first declaringthat any U.S.-Russian accord could be sealed solely with a handshake,the treaty-averse President Bush has agreed to Putin's request for alegally binding pact. But the document is only three pages long and ismore of a bare bones framework than a traditional treaty.

More telling, the Bush team has agreed to give Russia a bigger voice inNATO as part of a new NATO Russia Council. Moscow will participate fullyin deliberations on certain key issues such as the war againstterrorism. Clearly, Putin decided to take what he could get to secureRussia a prominent voice in international debates over key issues - thevoice of a senior European power.

We see now that the one-time KGB officer is a definite pragmatist. Afterflirting with the idea of making alliances to constrain U.S. power, herealized that such endeavors couldn't get him what he wanted. Ententeswith China, North Korea, or Cuba don't hold the keys to Russia'seconomic development. China, in fact, holds as much potential to becomea foe as an ally.

Putin knows that Russia must look west for foreign investment, fortechnology, for membership in the World Trade Organization. Only such apolicy "can provide the necessary conditions for Russia's eventualrebirth as a great power," writes Vladimir Frolov, foreign policyadviser to the Russian duma, in the Moscow Times.

In fact, the Russian leader really had no other choice than to endorse aweak arms accord. The Bush administration, on the other hand, had achoice: It could have backed a pact that truly eliminated excesswarheads and lessened the chance of nuclear theft. It didn't.

Strange times when Russian leaders base decisions on pragmatism and U.S.leaders on outdated ideology.
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7.
Left-Wingers Negative To New Strategic Arms Reduction Agreement
RBC
May 15, 2002
(for personal use only)


Left-wing opposition believes that the coming signing of the newUS-Russian strategic arms reduction agreement will be another stage ofnational betrayal. It is written in the statement of the NationalPatriotic Union of Russia (NPSR) and signed by communists' leaderGennady Zyuganov.

According to the authors of the document, those 1,500 nuclear warheadsthat Russia will be allowed to have are exactly as many as the USAntimissile Defense System will be capable of destroying. "The Kremlinis making everything for the US system to be protected from being struckback", the authors claim. The USA will simply store its warheads andwill be able to install them at any moment.

The opposition demands that the President should refuse to sign theagreement, which contradicts national interests. They called on Putin toconduct consultations with the Federal Assembly on the issue ofstrategic security.
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8.
U.S. Can't Ignore Nuclear Threat
Ted Turner
USA Today
May 15, 2002
(for personal use only)


I'm worried that we're about to make the same mistake we made a decadeago.

In August of 1991, when a coup by Soviet hard-liners fell apart,then-president Mikhail Gorbachev gave credit to live global televisionfor keeping world attention on the action, and Time magazine wrote:"Momentous things happened precisely because they were being seen asthey happened."

But if good things can happen because a lot of people are watching, badthings can happen when few people are watching. After the Soviet Unioncollapsed, the media moved off the story of the nuclear threat - and wemoved into the new world order without undoing the danger of the oldworld order.

In the wake of Sept. 11, people are realizing that the nuclear threatdidn't end with the Cold War. Soviet weapons, materials and know-how arestill there, more dangerous than ever. Russia's economic troublesweakened controls on them, and global terrorists are trying harder toget them.

When President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Moscownext week, they will sign a treaty to reduce the number of nuclearweapons on each side. They need to reduce a lot more than that. Some ofthe poisonous byproducts of the two powers' arms race are piled high inpoorly guarded facilities across 11 time zones. They offer mad fools thepower to kill millions.

At a Bush-Putin news conference two months after the terrorist attacks,Bush declared: "Our highest priority is to keep terrorists fromacquiring weapons of mass destruction." He also has told his nationalsecurity staff to give nuclear terrorism top priority.

Where's the money?

But it's hard to see this priority in the budget and policies of theadministration. Not a dollar of the $38 billion the administrationrequested in new spending for homeland defense will address looseweapons, materials and know-how in Russia. The total spending on theseprograms - even after Sept. 11 - has remained flat at about a billiondollars a year, even though, at this rate, we will still not havesecured all loose nuclear materials in Russia for years to come.

But what worries me most is not the lack of new spending, but the lackof new thinking. Where are the new ideas for preventing nuclearterrorism?

We can't just keep doing what we've been doing, and we can't just copyold plans; we've got to innovate. If we are hit with one of theseweapons because we slept through this wake-up call from hell, it will bethe most shameful failure of national defense in the history of theUnited States.

Waning public interest

Unfortunately, public pressure for action is weak, partly because mediaattention on nuclear terrorism has begun to fade. And it's fading notbecause the threat has been addressed or reduced, but because the mediacover what changes, and threats don't change much day to day. They justkeep on ticking.

The media need to stay on this story because it's harder to getgovernment action when there's not much media coverage. If something'snot in the media, it's not in the public mind. If it's not in the publicmind, there's little political pressure to act. If public attentionmoves off this nuclear threat before the government has moved to reduceit, we will be making the same mistake we made after 1991.

Leadership, however, means being out in front even if no one's pushingfrom behind. Bush and Putin need to think bigger and do more. They needto reduce the chance that terrorists can steal nuclear weapons ormaterials or hire away weapons scientists. They need to work together aspartners in fighting terror and encourage others to join. They need tolaunch a worldwide plan to identify weapons, materials and know-how andsecure all of it, everywhere, now - if we are to avoid Armageddon.

CNN founder Ted Turner last year established the Nuclear ThreatInitiative, dedicated to reducing the threats from nuclear, biologicaland chemical weapons. He has pledged to provide $250 million to fund itsactivities.
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E. Russia-NATO

1.
'Historic' Accord Gives Russia A Bigger Say In NATO
Judy Dempsey
Financial Times
May 14, 2002
(for personal use only)


Nato and Russia agreed to establish a new partnership on Tuesday, endingdecades of mistrust between the former cold war enemies.

The agreement gives Russia a bigger voice in Nato discussions on a rangeof topics, including terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Russiandiplomats will now have a place in the western alliance's headquartersin Brussels.

Lord Robertson, Nato secretary-general, described the deal to create anew Nato-Russia Council as "historic".

Igor Ivanov, Russian foreign minister, said the NRC "is a mechanism forequal co-operation among 20 nations, acting in their nationalcapacities".

Joschka Fischer, German foreign minister, said it was "a historic chancefor the beginning of a real inclusion of Russia into the transatlanticrelationship".

"This is the funeral of the cold war. It marks a profound, historicalchange," said Jack Straw, UK foreign secretary.

But Colin Powell, US secretary of state, was more muted in hisassessment. "We believe it will lay a foundation for co-operation withRussia while fully respecting that Nato can act independently," he said.

The agreement comes a day after Washington and Moscow agreed a landmarktreaty to cut the number of nuclear warheads on both sides by two-thirdsover the next decade. That drew praise from Nato foreign ministersmeeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, where they were also debating the growinggap between the military capabilities of the US and Europe as well asNato enlargement.

Under the new agreement the Russian delegation will have its own officesin Nato "with a name on the door", said one UK diplomat. It will workwith Nato's military and political staff. Ambassadors will meet monthlyand diplomats from both sides will convene once every two weeks toprepare NRC sessions.

The NRC is an idea suggested by Tony Blair, British prime minister, lastNovember. Nato and Russia are expected to work closely on nine topics,ranging from the war against terrorism and non-arms proliferation, totheatre missile defence and crisis management.

A deal was clinched despite last-minute squabbling over whether toretain the current Nato-Russian permanent joint council. The Russianshope the joint council, which will be "dormant", will serve as areminder of the extent to which Tuesday's agreement enhances Moscow'srole.

Vladimir Putin, Russian president, and Nato heads of state will crownthe relationship at a summit in Rome in two weeks.

But US and European diplomats say the NRC will only work if Nato cangive Mr Putin some tangible benefits.

"Putin needs the tools for reform and transformation of his own defenceministry," said a Nato official. "But first Putin has to get his owndefence ministry, still suspicious of Nato, to recognise suchco-operation with Nato would not be seen as a threat."
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F. Russia-Iran

1.
U.S. Names Armenian Company Suspected Of Illicit Technology Transfer ToIran
RFE/RL Newsline
May 17, 2002
(for personal use only)


The U.S. State Department on 16 May named one Armenian company and onebusinessman subjected to sanctions for allegedly supplying to Iranequipment or technology that could be used in the manufacture of weaponsof mass destruction, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau reported. They areapparently the Lizin chemical plant in Charentsavan, north of Yerevan,and its owner, Armen Sargsian, the younger brother of murdered PrimeMinister Vazgen Sargsian. Lizin has for years manufactured an eponymousbeet-based biochemical substance used as an additive to animal fodder,but which can also be used to produce proteins that increase resistanceto nuclear radiation. Lizin did not feature in the list of Armenianexports to Iran last year. But a former government official told RFE/RLthat the company's "unique" equipment was dismantled and sold to Iranlast year, and that this could not have been done without thegovernment's knowledge.
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2.
Iran-Russia: Russia Is Not Providing WMD Technology, Official Says
NTI Newswire
May 17, 2002
(for personal use only)


Contrary to U.S. concerns, Russia is not helping Iran develop nuclearweapons, a Russian official said, calling on the United States toprovide concrete evidence that Russia is exporting sensitivetechnologies to Iran (see GSN, May 16).

"We have adopted comprehensive measures to exclude the merestpossibility of missile technology transfers," said Nikolai Shumkov, headof military missile technology at the Russian Space Agency. U.S.officials "said they were satisfied with these measures. Then suddenlywe get a new flurry of complaints from them, and we don't know why," hesaid.

Russia, which is helping build a civilian nuclear plant in Iran, hassaid all trade with the country is in compliance with the NuclearNonproliferation Treaty. A Bush administration official, however, saidthis week that the United States has "solid reason" to believe Russia ishelping Iran's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

The Bush administration has said it will discuss Russian assistance toIran during next week's summit between Russian and U.S. PresidentsVladimir Putin and George W. Bush, at which the presidents are expectedto sign a new arms reduction treaty (see GSN, May 14).

A U.S.-Russian team established five years ago to address the issue ofIran recommended tightening Russian export controls, which Russia didand calmed U.S. fears, Shumkov said (see GSN, May 7). Then the WhiteHouse began expressing concern again in recent months, even though Bushadministration officials have acknowledged that Russia is not leakingnuclear information, he said.

A U.S. diplomat said last week that Russian entities might be exportingsensitive technologies to Iran without the knowledge of the upper levelsof Russian government.

"There may be some willful criminality down the chain of command withinthe Ministry of Atomic Energy and some of the institutes and enterprisesunder its aegis," he said. "Maybe some people are doing this withoutsanction from above. But we do think they are taking inordinate risks"(Guy Chazan, Wall Street Journal, May 17).
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3.
Moldovan Premier Denies U.S. Will Apply Sanctions On Moldovan Companies
RFE/RL Newsline
May 16, 2002
(for personal use only)


Vasile Tarlev on 15 May dismissed media reports that the United Stateswill apply sanctions on Moldovan companies for supplying militaryequipment to Iran, Infotag reported. Tarlev told journalists that he hasnot received any notification on the sanctions and added, "If thenotification arrives, we will take the appropriate measures."
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4.
Armenia: U.S. Sanctions Expose Unease Over Warm Ties Between Yerevan AndTehran
Emil Danielyan
Radio Free Europe
May 16, 2002
(for personal use only)


Armenia is facing a major diplomatic embarrassment after the UnitedStates imposed sanctions on some of its companies, accusing them ofhelping Iran develop weapons of mass destruction. The U.S. StateDepartment announced on 9 May that it will penalize unnamed Armenian,Chinese, and Moldovan firms for allegedly transferring sensitiveequipment and technology to Iran in violation of internationalagreements. As RFE/RL reports from Yerevan, the move has, among otherthings, brought to light Washington's unease over the Caucasus nation'swarm rapport with Tehran.

The unexpected decision by the United States to impose sanctions onArmenian firms is a sign that Washington is no longer willing to quietlytolerate deepening Armenian-Iranian ties.

The sanctions prohibit the firms from selling their products in Americaand from receiving any U.S. government assistance.

The Armenian government has moved quickly to investigate the Americanclaims, stressing at the same time that it has not been implicated bythe U.S. State Department. But all indications are that the Armeniangovernment will have to review its warm relationship with Iran in orderto repair the diplomatic damage.

"The Americans were never happy with our cooperation with Iran," anArmenian official familiar with foreign affairs told our correspondentthis week. "But until recently, they were quite cautious in voicingtheir objections. They are now following Armenian-Iranian contacts moreclosely and have already narrowed our freedom of action on that front."

According to former Armenian Foreign Minister Alexander Arzumanian,Yerevan risks spoiling its vital relationship with the world's solesuperpower unless it addresses American concerns. In an interview withRFE/RL, Arzumanian said, "The atmosphere of mutual trust [in U.S.Armenian relations] has been undermined, and that could lead to arevision of some aspects of those relations."

The Bush administration has yet to publicize the names of the Armenianfirms that the State Department says transferred sensitive technologyand equipment to Iran.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the names eventuallywill appear in the "Federal Register," the official journal of the U.S.government. He said the items in questions are listed on multilateralexport control lists that seek to curb the transfer of longer-rangemissiles and prevent the spread of chemical, biological, and nuclearweapons.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry said later that it has started "an activedialogue" with Washington to try to "find solutions to the resultingproblems." It did not deny the U.S. allegations. For his part, ArmenianPresident Robert Kocharian told reporters that if the U.S. charges proveto be true, the authorities in Yerevan "should figure out why thathappened."

The nature of the activities for which the Armenian companies are facingsanctions is also unclear. Of all the products made in Armenia,electronic items seem the most likely to attract the attention of U.S.nonproliferation experts. Armenia used to be an important part of theSoviet high-technology defense industry, supplying microchips,semiconductors, computer software, and other electronic components formissile guidance systems.

About two dozen Armenian factories were involved in the sector. All ofthem now are either partly or fully owned by the state. For this reason,some observers believe it would have been difficult for these firms tohave sold sensitive products to Iran without the government's knowledge.Arzumanian agrees: "There is no way any Armenian company engaged indangerous deals with Iran and our authorities were unaware of that. Irule that out."

So, too, it appears, do the Americans, who imposed the sanctions withoutwarning Armenia beforehand, although Boucher made it clear the Armeniangovernment has been "very helpful" in U.S. efforts to prevent Iran fromdeveloping weapons of mass destruction. The move comes amid tougheningU.S. policy toward Tehran following President George W. Bush's chargethat Iran is part of a global "axis of evil."

Several days before the sanctions announcement, the U.S. ambassador toArmenia, John Ordway, issued what now looks like a veiled warning thatYerevan has gone too far in cementing its links with the IslamicRepublic.

In an interview with RFE/RL, Ordway said: "Maintaining solid trade andgood neighborly border relations with Iran is critically important forArmenia. We have nothing against that. Our concern has to do withsomething else. And it's no secret because we've been very, very clearabout Iran's desire to acquire weapons of mass destruction and itssupport for terrorism. And it seems to me that Armenia, as a countrywhich is so close to Iran, should have the very same concerns. So wecertainly look to Armenia for support in our efforts to deny Iran themeans to acquire weapons of mass destruction, as well as to speak outagainst Iran's support for terrorism."

Ordway's comments were significant in that a U.S. official was publiclyvoicing reservations about Armenian-Iranian relations. Ordway was thenumber-two figure in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow before his posting toArmenia last year and must have closely watched Russia's arms exports toIran, one of the thorniest issues in the U.S.-Russian relationship.

Some state-controlled Russian entities have previously been subjected tosimilar U.S. sanctions for allegedly assisting in Iran's nuclear programand for selling weapons to Tehran. That, however, has not deterredMoscow from signing lucrative deals with the Iranians.

Tiny Armenia, by contrast, is not in a position to ignore U.S. worries,and not just because it is a major per capita recipient of American aid.Armenian officials have indicated that global geopolitical changescaused by the 11 September terrorist attacks necessitate a pro-Westerntilt in their foreign policy.

In the past, Armenia has succeeded in persuading Washington that itsbilateral projects with Iran -- notably the planned construction of agas pipeline -- do not contradict U.S. interests in the region.

Arzumanian, who headed the Armenian Foreign Ministry from 1996 to 1998,said: "The Americans always presented their concerns regarding Armenia'srelations with Iran. But our mutual trust allowed us to first talk aboutthose concerns and then to take steps to dispel them and make sure thatthere are no doubts that Armenia does not cooperate with Iran to thedetriment of any other friendly state."

It may still be possible to carry on with that policy. But that willlikely require the Armenian leadership to exercise greater cautiontoward Iran by tightening export controls and possibly shelving plannedmilitary cooperation.
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5.
Kazakhstan Refutes Israel's Accusation
Caspian News Agency
May 14, 2002
(for personal use only)


The Israeli government has put Kazakhstan on a list of eight countrieswhich, in the Israelis' opinion, illegally supply Iraq with material andtechnology for the production of nuclear weapons. The Kazakh nuclearindustry (Kazatomprom) national company has categorically denied thepossibility that any shady deals that circumvent internationalconventions had been concluded. The company's management understandsthat any violation of these rules will entail serious sanctions. BBCreports that Mukhtar Dzhakishev, the president of the KazatompromNational Atomic Company said that uranium materials in the Republic ofKazakhstan are monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency[IAEA] and annually undergo IAEA verification. Moreover, Kazatompromspecially noted that, unlike Kazakhstan, Israel had not signed theinternational agreement on the nonproliferation of nuclear material, andit was covertly a nuclear power at that. The material that is exportedfrom Kazakhstan is not suitable for the production of nuclear weapons,Kazatomprom declares.
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G. Russia-Burma

1.
Russian Government Approves Agreement For Nuclear Centre In Myanmar
Nuclear.RU
May 16, 2002
(for personal use only)


The Russian government approved a draft co-operation agreement withMyanmar (Burma) on the construction of a centre for nuclear studies. Apress release of the government information department issued onWednesday, May 15, says that under the agreement, the two countries willcooperate in designing and building a nuclear centre, a research nuclearreactor with a thermal capacity of 10 MW, two laboratories, a nuclearsilicon alloying installation, as well as the support infrastructure,including an installation for the disposal of nuclear waste and a wasteburial site.

Under the draft co-operation agreement, Russian Federation will designthe centre, render technical assistance in choosing and examining theconstruction site, and supply equipment and materials. Russia will alsodeliver fresh nuclear fuel. The press release says that throughout theoperational life of the centre, Russia will assemble, install andinitiate the operation of its main technical equipment. The governmenthas placed the Atomic Energy Ministry in charge of implementing theagreement.
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H. Nuclear Waste

1.
IAEA To Help Georgia Find, Cope With Radioactive Materials
RFE/RL Newsline
May 17, 2002
(for personal use only)


During talks in Tbilisi on 15 May between Georgian PresidentShevardnadze and the visiting director general of the InternationalAtomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, agreement was reached that theIAEA will help train 60 Georgian specialists who will then comb selecteddistricts of western Georgia on foot to search for radioactivesubstances left behind by the former Soviet Army, Caucasus Pressreported.
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2.
Kyrgyzstan: Landslides Threaten Radioactive Waste Dumps
IRIN
May 14, 2002
(for personal use only)


Recent landslides in southern Kyrgyzstan threaten to flood nearby areas,including radioactive storage sites containing Soviet-era uranium waste,UN and government officials said.

Amanbai Sarnogoev, an official of the Kyrgyz Ministry of Ecology andEmergency, had told the United Nations on Tuesday that the overallsituation in the area was stabilising, but the ministry was monitoringthe threat of the landslides daily, a UN official told IRIN from theKyrgyz capital, Bishkek.

Olga Grebennikova, the United Nations Development Programme's PublicAffairs Officer, said that according to information provided by theministry, a landslide started to move in Mayluu Suu city of Jalal-AbadOblast on Sunday, partially covering the channel of the Mayluu-Suuriver. This had led to the flooding of the Kyrgyzelectroizolit powerplant.

The ministry warned that further damming of the river channel could leadto the formation of an artificial lake, which, if it burst, couldthreaten the local population. The landslide is 200 metres wide, 200metres long and 400 metres high, fortunately missing one radioactivewaste dump.

The ministry has already sought help from the World Bank and the AsianDevelopment Bank, as well as neighbours and Russia, to solve the problemof tailing, or radioactive, waste dumps, in the region.

Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Tanayev told a news conference inBishkek on Monday that if landslides caused floods, the radioactivewaste might get into the region's water supply, thereby causing anecological catastrophe.

"Landslides in the region of the Mayluu-Suu are very dangerous as thereare 23 sites around there where Soviet-time uranium waste is stored,"Tanayev was quoted by the French news agency, AFP, as saying.

The report quoted experts saying that such a catastrophe would devastatenot only Mayluu-Suu, a town of 23,000 people, but would also sweepradioactive waste through an overcrowded and largely agricultural regionin neighbouring Uzbekistan.

Meanwhile, the issue of the dumps will be discussed at the heads of UNAgencies meeting in Bishkek on Wednesday, where James Lynch, the UNResident Coordinator, will report on the situation in Mayluu-Suu.

Kyrgyzstan inherited some 50 radioactive waste sites after it gainedindependence following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991,including the 23 sites near Mayluu-Suu, which are around 50 years old.
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I. Links of Interest

1.
Path To The Summit: US-Russian Nonproliferation DialogueCarnegie Endowment for International Peace
May 9, 2002
http://www.ceip.org/files/events/events.asp?EventID=485


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2.
State Duma, Parliamentary Diplomacy, And U.S.-Russian RelationsCarnegie Endowment for International Peace
May 2, 2002
http://www.ceip.org/files/events/events.asp?EventID=479


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3.
U.S.-Russian Relations: Toward A New Strategic Framework
Eugene B. Rumer and Richard D. Sokolsky
National Defense University
May 2002
http://www.ndu.edu/inss/strforum/sf192.htm


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4.
Extremists And Bandits: How Russia Views The War Against Terrorism
Fiona Hill
Brookings Institution
April 2002
http://www.csis.org/ruseura/ponars/policymemos/pm_0246.pdf


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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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