There has been considerable progress recently toward forging aninternational consensus on the need for urgent action to prevent weaponsof mass destruction from the former Soviet Union from falling into thehands of terrorists. The problem is that the sense of urgency has notyet penetrated the bureaucracy of the Bush administration or some of theRepublican leadership in Congress. At the highest political level, theadministration recently recorded an impressive achievement, persuadingthe other members of the Group of Eight of rich industrial nations tomatch $10 billion in planned U.S. spending to control and dismantlenuclear, chemical and biological weapons over the next 10 years. But atthe more mundane level of implementation, this year's funds for programsin Russia and other former Soviet states were frozen until this weekbecause of lingering resistance within the administration and Congress.At a time when senior administration officials are warning that attemptsby terrorists to attack the United States with a weapon of massdestruction are all but inevitable, such roadblocks must be removed.
Though U.S.-funded programs to deactivate or destroy former Sovietweapons and dispose of nuclear materials have been underway for adecade, the scale of the remaining problem is awesome, and terrifying.Sixty percent of Russian nuclear materials still are not properlysafeguarded. Of even more serious concern, little has been done aboutthe vast arsenals of chemical and biological weapons still held byRussia. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.),who originally sponsored the disposal and safeguard programs, recentlyvisited a Russian base where 1,971,000 artillery shells filled withdeadly chemical agents are stored in dilapidated bunkers; a terroristwho managed to obtain only one shell would have the means to kill asmany as 100,000 people.
Destroying that stockpile of chemical weapons is at the top of Sen.Lugar's priorities for new programs to be funded under the recent G-8agreement. Serious obstacles must be overcome, including winning Russiancooperation for expanding control programs and holding alliedgovernments to their somewhat vague funding commitments. What'sremarkable -- and unacceptable -- are the continuing bureaucratic andpolitical snags in Washington. Despite President Bush's strong andrepeated endorsement of the Nunn-Lugar programs since 9/11, the StateDepartment blocked disbursement of funds for new programs through thefirst nine months of the fiscal year by refusing to meet a congressionalrequirement that it certify Russia's compliance with existing armscontrol treaties. Though the Clinton administration issued the requiredcertification for eight straight years, Bush administration hard-linershave nixed it on the grounds that Moscow has not opened some biologicalfacilities to inspection. The administration instead asked Congress topass legislation waiving the certification process; now that proposal ismeeting resistance in the Republican-controlled House, which so far hasagreed to a waiver only for the last months of this fiscal year.
Serious problems do exist with winning Russia's full compliance with itscommitments on weapons of mass destruction. But the proper response canhardly be to hamstring the programs that are working to dismantle orsafeguard those weapons so they cannot fall into the hands of roguestates or terrorists. The Bush administration has been arguing that theRussian government should now be regarded as a partner; if it believesthat rhetoric, it should issue the certification needed to expediteNunn-Lugar programs, or press House Republicans for a permanent waiver.The challenge of controlling the threat of the former Soviet arsenal ishuge enough; there's no room for obstructionism in Washington. return to menu
2. Congress Clears Path for CTR; Lugar Outlines Next Steps
Global Security Newswire
July 25, 2002
(for personal use only)
The U.S. Congress this week cleared the way to spend the $400 millionallocated for new projects to destroy strategic weapons in the formerSoviet Union this year (see GSN, May 2). The money had been blocked whenthe Bush administration said earlier this year that it could not certifythat Russia is complying with arms control obligations.
The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate each voted this week toeliminate a funding requirement for new projects in the CooperativeThreat Reduction program that stipulates the president must certify,among other things, that Russia is abiding by arms control agreements.U.S. President George W. Bush is the first president to have denied thecertification since the program began in 1991.
The provision passed this week, however, lasts only through Sept. 30,and CTR supporters are calling for rapid expenditure of the remainingfunds on new projects. They are also pushing for an extended or evenpermanent waiver to take advantage of billions of dollars in new fundspledged for threat reduction efforts over the next decade.
The creators of the CTR program outlined yesterday how to expand theprogram in future years, beginning with Russia's thousands of chemicalweapons.
Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and former Senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) -co-authors of the original legislation that has led to $5 billion infunds to destroy former Soviet weapons and subsidize former Sovietweapons scientists - told reporters yesterday that a permanent waiver isneeded to move swiftly ahead with new CTR projects. A freer hand isalso necessary to implement the Moscow Treaty, recently reached by theUnited States and Russia to reduce deployed nuclear weapons, they said.Russia is expected to require significant financial assistance to liveup to its part of the deal.
The final version of the fiscal 2003 defense authorization bill,currently under negotiation between the House and Senate, is expected toaddress a more extensive waiver.
Nunn, who now heads of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, said thecertification process - originally created to ease concerns over Russianuse of the CTR funds and to encourage a fuller accounting of Russia'sWMD inventories - is no longer practical. He said the Moscow Treaty isbased primarily on faith and trust - there are no verificationprocedures such as there were in previous treaties.
Lugar's Top Ten List
With a permanent waiver, Nunn and Lugar said the CTR program will beable to take full advantage of $20 billion pledged by the United Statesand the European Union at the G-8 summit earlier this month to addressthe proliferation threats emanating from the former Soviet Union.
Lugar urged devoting those funds to a list of 10 critical threats,starting with Russia's large stockpile of chemical weapons.
"The United States and Russia ratified the Chemical Weapons Conventionin 1997," Lugar said. "Today, some five years later, the U.S. is in themidst of a very expensive destruction process but the Russians havebarely eliminated 100 pounds of their estimated 40,000 metric tonstockpile. The smallest of these, an 85 mm shell, can easily fit into asuitcase. Just one briefcase can carry enough agents to kill tens ofthousands of people."
Russian biological weapons also need greater attention, according toLugar.
"We have enjoyed great progress . but there are still some facilities inRussia who will not engage with us," he said. "Specifically, there arefour former military facilities that have not opened their doors. Thisis a mistake that must be corrected."
Lugar plans to go to Russia next month in an effort to lift some of the"mystery of the biological situation."
Lugar also urged expanding CTR programs to cover tactical nuclearweapons, the further engagement of former weapon scientists, materialprotection, control and accounting projects, radioactive sources for a"dirty bomb," the shutting down of plutonium producing reactors,nonstrategic submarines that can carry nuclear-capable cruise missilesand nuclear reactor safety.
1. Minatom's Starry-Eyed Import Plans Defy Safety Imperatives And BusinessSense
July 25, 2002
(for personal use only)
Russia's nuclear regulatory body, Gosatomnadzor (GAN), has weighed in onRussia's efforts to import radioactive waste and it's not pretty.Anti-nuke camps are springing up this summer from Krasnoyarsk toChelyabinsk to the Kola Peninsula to protest the toxic loads, which are,according to Russia's Nuclear Power Ministry (Minatom), almost set toroll. Many average Russian citizens, if given the chance, would vote tostop the trains at the borders.
But the plans are in motion and Minatom is the key lobby pushing thescheme, claiming that spent nuclear waste (SNF) imports could earnRussia $20 billion over the next decade. The Ministry has drafted alengthy "analysis" of the plan for the Kremlin ahead of PresidentVladimir Putin's signing off on the import project.
Nuclear Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said at a recent wide-rangingpress conference that the presidential signature should come in October,after a number of sub-legislative documents regulating the process ofimport, storage, and reprocessing of the SNF are finalised.
The import plan was prepared last year and three laws were hassledthrough the State Duma, despite 2.5 million signatures petitioning for areferendum on the issue. The Central Election Commission threw 800,000signatures out on technicalities, some as petty as "incorrect" streetabbreviations. The laws provide for the import of some 20,000 tonnes ofSNF to Russia forstorage or reprocessing, though Russia maintains the prerogative ofreturning reprocessed fuel.
Rumyantsev told reporters at a press conference earlier this month thatRussia should be ready for its first imports of SNF by November and thatthe multi-billion-dollar reprocessing plan would commence.
Among the candidate countries - besides a handful of former Eastern Bloccountries - to be sending SNF, according to the minister, were SouthKorea and Japan. Because the SNF in these countries is under the consentrights of the United States - which controls 70 to 90 percent of theworld's SNF - Rumyantsev said negotiations were still in the works,though he has hinted on many occasions that contracts with Japan aresimply waiting to be signed.
It was one of many nuggets that Rumyantsev dropped at the newsconference. But Rumyantsev has a habit of dropping nuggets that turn tofool's gold when held to the light and that reveal Minatom's basicinability to face how desolate the reprocessing market for Russia is. Sostrong is the denial that the minister has even, on occasion, inventedcustomers out of thin air.
For instance, officials with Japan's Ministry of Economics, contacted byBellona Web recently, said that Minatom had never approached theirgovernment with the suggestion of buying its spent fuel. Officials withthe South Korean embassy in Moscow would not comment.
A similar embarrassment occurred last April when Rumyantsev told ameeting of environmentalists that Minatom was set to sign contracts withGreat Britain - its primary competitor on the world reprocessing market- to take SNF from Scotland's Dounreay experimental reactor facility.When interviewed by Bellona Web about this, Great Britain's nuclearregulatory officials expressed surprise and said that they had no plansto send the SNF to Russia.
Rumyantsev also promised at his press conference that Minatom "willfulfil all of its obligations" to import SNF from the Hungarian Paksplant - an obligation Minatom was relieved of by the Supreme Court,which found a 1998 governmental decree allowing the import of 400 tonnesof Hungarian SNF illegal. The shipment predated Russia's legislationallowing the import of radioactive waste. Mayak is currently inpossession of 33 tonnes of that load, but Rumyantsev promised to appealthe Supreme Court decision and import the remaining 377 tonnes of SNFthat was stopped in 1998 by an environmental lawsuit.
Officials: Russia not ready to import or reprocess
Even if customers began lining up with trainloads of SNF, if Hungarywere allowed to send its 377 remaining tonnes of SNF, and the UnitedStates began allowing Russia to import US-consent SNF, highly placedofficials at both GAN and Minatom say Russia simply isn't ready for theinflux.
Perhaps most embarrassing to Rumyantsev's zeal are recent statements byNikolai Shingarev, head of Minatom's board for relations with governmentagencies and information policy, to Bellona Web about Russia'scapabilities to launch the reprocessing cash-cow.
"No major imports are expected over the next five to seven years becauseof strong competition on the international reprocessing market - whichis divided between France and Britain," he said.
The Eastern European countries from which Russia currently accepts SNFis unlikely to foot the estimated $3.4 billion bill required to getRussia's reprocessing industry on its feet.
Further damning evidence of Russia's inability to handle reprocessing -and even storage of SNF until reprocessing facilities are ready - camein a scathing letter to Rumyantsev from GAN chief Yuri Vishnevsky, whosystematically pointed out the oversights in the Minatom analysis forthe Kremlin of the import and reprocessing programme.
In the letter - which was leaked by Greenpeace - Vishnevsky wrote thatthe Mayak plant in the Urals, where the waste is to be stored,represented an enormous environmental threat and was unsuitable because:
the plant's operators were continuing, routinely and illegally, to dumpliquid radioactive waste in nearby reservoirs;
laws governing nuclear energy and radioactive safety and environmentalprotection make the plant inappropriate for storing imported waste;
the projected income and profits from the business were "incorrectlycalculated";
problems of transporting the nuclear waste had been "incorrectly"assessed and claims that the transport containers had been tested andfound to be fully up to international safety standards were flawed.
GAN's plethora of objections "confirmed the impossibility of receivingforeign spent nuclear fuel for reprocessing" given the current conditionof the Russian facilities, the letter said.
Minatom Dismisses GAN Concerns
But Putin is still expected to give the green light to the import plan,despite the GAN's withering criticism. Vladimir Slivyak, of theEcodefence! anti-nuclear organisation, said GAN's objections would havelittle impact on Kremlin thinking and that the decision to proceed orhalt the plan would be political.
Responding to a question about Russia's capabilities to receive andreprocess foreign SNF that were addressed in Vishnevsky's letter,Rumyantsev said: "I find myself in complete contradiction with GAN."
Rumyantsev's position was not surprising, given Minatom's on-goingefforts to force the regulatory body into the shadows. Indeed, he seemedunfamiliar even with GAN's basic objections, and breezed past them intoa discussion of SNF storage in the Krasnoyarsk region of CentralSiberia.
Citing the RT-2 temporary storage facility at Zheleznogorsk, nearKrasnoyarsk - instead of Mayak's RT-1 facility - Rumyantsev projectedthat RT-2 could hold 2,000 to 2,500 tonnes of foreign SNF even afterwaste from Russia's nuclear stations was put there. The problem withRT-2, however, is that it is not fully constructed, whereas RT-1 atMayak - with its GAN documented flaws - has neither reprocessingcapacity nor storage capacity for such amounts of SNF.
Rumyantsev was nonetheless optimistic that the cash was there to be hadfor an even larger storage facility to hold SNF for reprocessing.
"[T]he conception changes somewhat, but we generally have a project," hetold reporters.
"Let's say we take 2,000 tonnes [of foreign SNF] and make even $1billion, which is much lower than the world price [.] Then we can buildfor $350 million - and we have the plans for this - a dry storagefacility on the same foundations as the RT-2 facility for 80 tonnes ofSNF. That's enough for us and future generations." Earlier Minatom'sofficials said the projected capacity for such dry storage at the RT-2would hold around 33,000 tonnes of SNF.
Rumyantsev anticipated that it would take some 20 years to fill the drycask at RT-2 and the money for storing foreign waste could be spent onimproving reprocessing technology. He also took GAN to issue for itsassertion that Russia lacks the capability for effective reprocessing atpresent.
"We reprocess 600 tonnes [of SNF] a year," he told reporters, somewhatin error. In fact, Russia at present only has the theoretical capabilityof reprocessing 400 tonnes a year, according to research by Bellona Web.In actuality, only 30 to 40 percent of that gets reprocessed annually.
Minatom's Shingarev confirmed those figures, saying Russia reprocessessome 130 to 150 tonnes a year. To raise that figure to competitivelevels, he said, $1.1 billion before 2010 - and $3.4 billion overall -would be required to develop Russia's spent nuclear fuel reprocessingindustry.
Minatom's bucks from abroad
Rumyantsev also spoke at length regarding Minatom's projects abroad,which include several reactor blocs in India, China, and thecontroversial Bushehr reactor in Iran. These projects combined promiseto net Minatom some 1.5 to 2 billion dollars - plus the fuel sales andSNF buy-backs that these deals will guarantee once the plants arecompleted.
It is tempting to think, then, that Minatom's projects abroad couldfinance much of the storage and reprocessing upgrades Shingarev referredto.
But Alexander Pikayev, a nuclear arms proliferation analyst with theCarnegie Endowment for International Peace in Moscow, said that most ofthese construction deals are handled by credit - a fact omitted byRumyantsev as he discussed the foreign contracts.
"The signing of these contracts is usually accompanied by the signing ofan intergovernmental agreement for a large [Russian] government credittoward the construction," he told Bellona Web.
"Russian taxpayers then end up footing the bill for a time for theconstruction of these plants in countries that don't have the money topay for it themselves."
According to the antiatom.ru website - which is run by Slivyak'sEcodefence! - Russia has issued some $5 billion in credits for theconstruction of nuclear power plants, none of which have been fullyrepaid. The most recent credit - for $44 million - was issued to Ukraineto complete the construction there of the Khmelnitsky plant's secondreactor.
"More money is going out of the state budget on these projects than iscoming in," said Vladimir Kuznetsov, a former GAN official now with theenvironmental group Green Cross. "It's not a good business plan." return to menu
1. U.S., Russia And Global Entente
July 25, 2002
(for personal use only)
America's war on terrorism and Russia's pursuit of economic engagementwith the West reinforce each other and now dominate world politics. Onlya decade after the end of the Cold War, American and Russian leadersmove toward an era of global entente that will reduce the strategicinfluence of Europe, China and Japan on Washington and Moscow.
This chilling thought has begun to take form in Europe's major capitals,where it is seen as a deeper and even more unwieldy phenomenon thanAmerican unilateralism. Concern also surfaces in statements from Tokyoand Beijing. A world long fearful of the consequences of superpowernuclear war now frets about the effect of deepening cooperation betweenthe White House and the Kremlin.
If Global Entente replaces the Cold War, one metaphor will survive thetransition. It is still useful to see the Americans playing poker whilethe Russians play chess.
Vladimir Putin has become George W. Bush's hole card with the Europeans.Bush is Putin's queen on the chessboard, to be moved into a position ofrescue or of domination at decisive moments. They play different games,but intersecting goals and interests put them on the same side of thetable.
Case in point: Once-vocal opposition from Berlin, Paris and elsewhere toU.S. national missile defense -- and particularly to Bush's proposal toscrap the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty --evaporated last autumn whenPutin quietly accepted Washington's withdrawal from the 1972 accord.
"It is a mistake," he grumbled, sacrificing the treaty as a lost pawn inhis longer-term game.
Without Putin and the Russians expressing righteous indignation,European leaders could no longer defend the arms control treaty as thecornerstone of strategic stability. And without the Europeans predictingdoom, Bush's American critics were deprived of critical ammunition.
This pattern could come into play again in the diplomatic run-up to anAmerican military strike against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein nextwinter. Diplomats recently in Moscow detect signs that Putin has alreadyreached an informal, private understanding with Bush that Russia willnot be an obstacle to American use of force -- once Bush has clearly andeffectively made his case against Iraq to world opinion.
The Russian Foreign Ministry continues to argue otherwise as itfrantically tries to rally Europeans and the Chinese to a common effortto save Moscow's ex-client in Baghdad. But the Russian president'spragmatism is almost certain to trump lingering Cold War loyalties onceagain.
In an unusual public keynote address at the Foreign Ministry on July 12,Putin challenged Russia's most senior diplomats to take up his view ofU.S. cooperation as the key to Russian economic and political revival.Putin told his ambassadors that Russia's diplomacy is unequipped torespond to free markets, modern media or the threat of global terrorism-- and must be overhauled.
Open Russian acquiescence on Iraq will change the internationalenvironment, particularly in the U.N. Security Council. Putin'stentative commitment to Bush moves Russia close to current French andBritish positions.
French President Jacques Chirac and British Prime Minister Tony Blairhave separately told Bush that they will support U.S. action afterWashington has launched and completed a fresh, thorough effort to getHussein to accept effective U.N. inspections for weapons of massdestruction, officials report. The assumption in London and Paris isthat Hussein will risk war rather than accept intrusive inspections.
Russia's defection would isolate China as the only permanent member ofthe Security Council opposing any form of military action against Iraq.Beijing is unlikely to push its opposition very strongly in thesecircumstances. And Europeans unhappy with American policies see theirroom to maneuver diminishing.
"Since Sept. 11, Bush has treated Russia as a more reliable partner thanhis European allies," says one senior European official. "Russia is moreeager, and more pliable, on security matters. For Washington, theEuropeans are too strong to be treated like Russia, as a junior partner,but too weak to oppose American designs. We are bothersome in-betweens."
That view is speculative at this point. Russia's strategic leapfroggingof the Europeans is contingent on two developments. Putin's ForeignMinistry speech was an implicit admission that his policies do not yethave the support of his own national security elite or public. He musteventually secure that support. And its puny economy must expand rapidlyif Russia is to have true weight in world affairs.
But the trend lines do bring together the instinctual Bush and theintellectual Putin. The American must avoid letting the short-termdemands of each hand that he plays block what he will need to do in thefuture (letting Putin off the hook on Chechnya or ignoring Russia's armssales to China.) And Putin cannot rely on the elegant inevitability ofchess, as his communist predecessors did while their empire collapsedbeneath them. return to menu
2. Russian Security Council Secretary, US Ambassador Meet
July 25, 2002
(for personal use only)
Strategic stability and efforts to combat international terrorism werehigh on the agenda at a Kremlin meeting Thursday between RussianSecurity Council Secretary Vladimir Rushailo and the US ambassador toRussia, Alexander Vershbow.
The sides expressed appreciation of positive shifts in Russian-Americandialogue over the recent months and a breakthrough in cooperation asregards key aspects of international and regional security, that has toa great extent changed the world.
Following the meeting, Vladimir Rushailo said that Russia and Americahad an identical approach toward the combat against internationalterrorism. At the talks, we tackled methods to fight terrorism inCentral Asia, the Middle East, the Caucasus and Transcaucasia, he said.
According to the Russian security council's press-service, the sidesdefined the two countries' common position as long-term, jointactivities in response to modern threats and challenges. The formationof a world anti-terrorism strategy is required.
Rushailo is confident that the practice of dual standards should beavoided when it is the struggle against terrorism in all itsmanifestations that is under review.
"We don't approve of the division of terrorists, like the states, intogood and bad, acceptable and non-acceptable. International law enforcessupreme judgement for us. It is only the UN that can speak and act onbehalf of all the world community," asserted the Russian SecurityCouncil Secretary.
He was also firm that Russia would bring the counter-terrorist operationin the Northern Caucasus to its logical end so that the breeding groundsof evil might be uprooted once and for ever.
Anti-terrorism efforts were regarded in a set with issues ofconsolidation of international security, disarmament and nuclearnon-proliferation. The sides underlined the importance of an agreementachieved by the G8 in Canada on Global partnership in preventing thedissemination of mass-destruction weapons and materials.
Information was exchanged on progress in ratification of a START-3treaty signed in Moscow during the recent visit of US president Bush,which provided a basis for nuclear disarmament and further consolidationof strategic stability and international security. return to menu
3. Ambassador Lists American Nuclear Concerns (excerpted)
July 23, 2002
(for personal use only)
The United States remains concerned about Russia's nuclear cooperationwith Iran, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow said Monday,warning that those ties and Russian weapons sales to China could stillthreaten world security.
Vershbow, in a sweeping speech on the second day of a weeklongconference at Golitsyno near Moscow, also issued frank criticism ofRussia's military actions in Chechnya and of threats to Russia'spost-Soviet freedoms. Such criticism had been muted in recent monthsamid warmer U.S.-Russian ties prompted by President Vladimir Putin'ssupport of the U.S.-led anti-terrorism campaign.
In addition, he said that the United States wants to step up imports ofRussian oil in the coming years as part of a strategy to diversify itssources of fuel.
"We continue to have concerns that technology and know-how for nuclearweapons are flowing to Iran," Vershbow said at the conference, accordingto the U.S. Embassy.
"Russia has to keep close watch on nearby countries - Iran, Iraq, NorthKorea - that are actively seeking to acquire nuclear, chemical orbiological weapons," Vershbow said. "Russia has to avoid letting itsdesire for commercial gain end up hastening the day that these countriescan pose a threat that could not only destabilize their own region, butundermine the security of the entire world."
Vershbow noted that the United States and other Western nations recentlypledged $20 billion in aid to help Russia destroy or secure its weaponsof mass destruction.
"We hope that in the wake of this new initiative Russia will do its partby tightening its controls on nuclear cooperation with Iran," he said.
The ambassador also expressed concern about Russia's weapons sales toChina.
"Could the massive amounts of weaponry that Russia sells to China - forunderstandable commercial reasons - add to the instability of Asia?" heasked. "If war broke out in the Taiwan Straits, this would lead toserious instability on Russia's eastern border."
On the economic front, he said he was "not happy" with the relativelylow level of U.S.-Russian trade and investment, but said that couldchange with efforts to bring Russian oil to U.S. markets.
He said that at a summit in May, "our two presidents issued an importantjoint statement on energy that holds out the prospect for Russia tobecome a major supplier for the U.S. market."
"We will try to translate this into concrete deals at a U.S.-Russianenergy summit in Houston in October," Vershbow said.
"Our investments [in Russia] are likely to get much larger, particularlyin the energy sector," he said.
He said the United States hopes to receive more oil from Russia over thenext 15 years and that Russia may become one of the main U.S. suppliers,Interfax reported.
Yukos sent its first shipment of crude to the United States earlier thismonth.
Vershbow also indirectly expressed concern about recent investigationsof journalists and researchers by the Federal Security Service (FSB)that have alarmed human-rights groups.
"Will Russians have the right to associate with one another and withthose abroad as they wish, or will the state keep track of associationswith foreigners and messages sent on the Internet?" he asked.
Regarding the Chechnya war, Vershbow asked: "Will Russia have thecourage to seek a political solution to the bloody war in Chechnya,which continues despite the government's claims that the situation isreturning to normal? Will the Russian leadership hold to account thosemembers of the security forces who, in the name of fighting terrorism,are committing serious violations of the human rights of the civilianpopulation?"
The Council of Europe's human-rights commissioner, Alvaro Gil-Robles,who attended the same conference, said the authorities weren't doingenough to end violations of civilians' rights.
1. Russian Government Approves Long-Term Program Of Cooperation With Iran
July 26, 2002
(for personal use only)
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has signed a resolution toapprove the long-term program of development of trade, economic,industrial, scientific and technical cooperation between the RussianFederation and the Islamic Republic of Iran for the period until 2012.The Government Information Department reported that the EconomicDevelopment and Trade Ministry had been instructed to hold respectivenegotiations with the Iranian party in cooperation with other interestedagencies. The program provides for cooperation in the fuel and energyindustry, the implementation of the project of laying, financing andmaintaining a gas pipeline between Iran and India, the development of agas condensate deposit, the implementation of a project of developmentof an oil field, cooperation in optimizing the production methods of anoil refinery in Iran to allow for refining heavy types of oil producedin Iran, etc. In the electrical power industry, the cooperation willinclude the implementation of projects included in the 10 year programof development of Iran's electrical power industry and the project ofthe nuclear power plant construction in Iran.
The program also provides for cooperation in the ferrous metal industry,the chemical and petrochemical industries, the aviation industry, thecoal mining industry, the banking sector, the transport andcommunication sector, including the building of an optic communicationline, designing, manufacturing and launching communication satellitesand a micro satellite. return to menu
E. Nuclear Terrorism
1. Russian, U.S. Officials To Discuss Cooperation In Fighting Terrorism
July 26, 2002
(for personal use only)
Links between Chechen rebels and Al-Qaida are expected to come up fordiscussion at the meeting of the Russian - U.S. working group onfighting terrorism to be held on Friday.
Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Trubnikov and U.S.First Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage will head thedelegations at the meeting.
The two sides will continue an exchange of views on the Afghansituation, the Russia - U.S. cooperation in Central Asia andTranscaucasia and the South Asian situation in terms of counteringterrorism in those areas, Alexander Yakovenko, an official spokesman forthe Russian Foreign Ministry, has told the press
The meeting will also cover coordination of the Russian and U.S.anti-terrorist activities in the UN Security Council's committee onterrorism and consolidating the legal fundamentals of anti terroristactivities in the framework of the international law and the UN Charter.
This will be the eighth meeting of the working group that was set up inJune 2000 and had been known as the working group of threats fromAfghanistan until May 2002 when the presidents of the two countryrenamed it and significantly expanded the group's mandate. Its scopeincludes now countering terrorist threats with the use of nuclearmaterial and other weapons of mass destruction. return to menu
2. Russian-American Working Group Will Consider The Questions Of FightingNuclear, Biological And Chemical Terrorism
July 25, 2002
(for personal use only)
The Russian-American Working Group on combating terrorism will discussat its coming session, within the framework of its "extended mandate,"the questions of fighting nuclear, biological and chemical terrorism,said official spokesman for the US Department of State Richard Boucher.He pointed out, addressing journalists in Washington on Wednesday, thatthe decision to extend the mandate of the Working Group was taken by thePresidents of Russia and the United States, Vladimir Putin and George W.Bush, at their May summit in Moscow. The Working Group has become animportant forum for expanding Russian-American cooperation in combatingterrorist threats all over the world, said the spokesman for the USDepartment of State.
Richard Boucher underscored that at its coming session the members ofthe Group will discuss the questions of anti-terrorist cooperationbetween the two countries not only in connection with the situation inAfghanistan but also because of instability in Central Asia, theCaucasus, the Middle East and also in other regions.
The Working Group will gather on Friday, July 26th, in the territory ofthe United States' main Naval Academy in Annapolis (Maryland) under theco-chairmanship of Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister VyacheslavTrubnikov and US First Under Secretary of State Richard Armitage. Amongthe members of the Group there is a considerable number of high-rankingdiplomats, military men and representatives of the secret services ofthe two countries, said Richard Boucher. return to menu
F. Russian Nuclear Forces
1. US Seeks More Russia Nuclear Info
July 26, 2002
(for personal use only)
U.S. officials want to press Russia for greater access to informationabout Russia's nuclear weapons programs as the countries reduce theirnuclear arsenals, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday.
Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee he was confidentRussia would make the two-thirds reduction in its deployed nuclearwarheads called for under the treaty signed in May by President Bush andhis Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
Bush wants the Senate to ratify quickly the treaty, which calls forreducing each side's strategic nuclear arsenal from about 6,000 warheadsto between 1,700 and 2,200 by 2012.
The treaty does not include any measures to verify that each side makesthe required reductions. Rumsfeld said that was not a problem becauseBush and Putin had announced plans to cut their arsenals to that levelanyway.
Critics say the treaty's lack of verification is a major flaw.
"We need to be assured that 10 years from now, the United States andRussia know where and in what condition those weapons are, because ofthe chronic terrorist threat" of obtaining nuclear weapons, said DarylKimball of the Arms Control Association.
Rumsfeld said U.S. officials still want more information about Russia'snuclear program especially its hoard of smaller, battlefield weapons. Hesaid the Americans would work to get more access to that informationthrough further negotiations with Russia.
"There's no question that, even today, Russia is not transparent. Theyhave a very secretive approach to a great deal of things," Rumsfeldsaid. "It is a concern. We're a good distance from feeling comfortable."
Sen. Carl Levin, the committee chairman, said the Senate probably willratify the treaty. Levin, D-Mich., said he was troubled by the fact thatthe treaty allowed an unlimited number of warheads to be kept instorage.
"I hope we will find ways to destroy weapons, not just store them,"Levin said.
Rumsfeld said the United States needs to keep some warheads in storagein case its deployed warheads are found to be unsafe or unreliable. TheUnited States does not have a factory ready to make new nuclear weapons,while Russia whose warheads do not have as long of a shelf life has anactive warhead production line.
The high costs of storing nuclear warheads means both sides will onlykeep the ones they really need, Rumsfeld said.
"Russia has no interest in keeping weapons that are of no use to them,"he said. return to menu
2. US In The Dark On Russian Tactical Nukes
July 25, 2002
(for personal use only)
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld wants Russia to share informationabout its top-secret tactical nuclear weapons -- small-yield weaponsthat could be used on a battlefield to devastating effect, he told theSenate Armed Services Committee Thursday.
"We do not have a good fix on the number from an intelligencestandpoint," Rumsfeld said.
Russia has "many multiples more than we do of theater nuclear weaponsand our interest is gaining a better understanding" of them, he said.
He is not looking for a reduction in the figure.
When United States and Russian officials meet in September to discusshow both sides will verify the destruction of other weapons, Rumsfeldintends to bring the matter up.
"I ... want to see to it that theater nuclear weapons are brought up andtalked about, not from a standpoint of (reductions) but oftransparency," Rumsfeld said.
Tactical nuclear weapons figure heavily in worst-case terroristscenarios. Because of their small size, their large numbers and what wasreported in 1996 by the CIA to be the inadequate security surroundingthem in the former Soviet Union, these weapons could be tempting andvulnerable targets for well-financed terrorists.
Rumsfeld testified Thursday on the Moscow Treaty, signed in June by U.S.President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The agreement seeksto dramatically cut both countries' arsenals and must be ratified by theSenate.
Russia is believed to have thousands of tactical nuclear warheads notcovered by the treaty. These small weapons can be launched from tacticalaircraft like fighter planes, according to U.S. intelligence and defenseofficials.
The number of theater nuclear warheads in the U.S. arsenal is similarlyclassified, but by 1997 in accordance with a unilateral decision byPresident Bush in 1991 -- all those deployed in Europe were returned tothe United Sates. They were destroyed by 1998, according to thePentagon.
As Russia draws down its strategic nuclear arsenal from roughly 7,000 tofewer than 2,200 in accord with the new reduction treaty with the UnitedStates, and as its conventional army continues to shrink from its ColdWar size, Russia may rely more heavily on the tactical weapons to assureits territorial security.
The security systems surrounding Russia's tactical nuclear warheads isbelieved to be relatively light; in 1996, Director of CentralIntelligence John Deutch told the Senate that "a knowledgeable Russianhas told us that, in his opinion, accounting procedures are soinadequate that an officer with access could remove a warhead, replaceit with a readily available training dummy, and authorities might notdiscover the switch for as long as six months."
Moreover, the weapons themselves are believed to have very few securityfeatures. With time, an experienced weapons handler could overridefail-safe mechanisms and detonate the warhead.
U.S. nuclear weapons and Russian strategic weapons are largely protectedby "permissive action link," a device that automatically disables thewarhead if it is tampered with by someone without special authority.Russian tactical weapons are not protected with the same devices,according to an Air Force issue paper on the subject. return to menu
1. Secretary Abraham Travels To Paris, Moscow And London To EnhanceInternational Energy Cooperation (excerpted)
Department of Energy
July 26, 2002
Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham departed today for official visitsto Paris, Moscow and London, during which he will meet with government,industry and trade officials in an effort to promote the National EnergyPlan, enhance relationships with leaders of the countries visited andimprove international cooperation on energy and nuclear nonproliferationmatters.
The trip is being undertaken to expand and improve upon ties withinternational energy partners and to provide an opportunity to betterimplement the international aspects of President Bush's National EnergyPolicy. The Secretary will also receive updates on the operations of theCaspian Pipeline, efforts to enhance energy diversification, nuclearnonproliferation activities and challenges faced by the energy industryof each country.
While in Moscow Secretary Abraham will receive briefings from a workinggroup chartered by President Bush and Russian President Putin to developcollaborative research to reduce stocks of weapons-grade plutonium andhighly enriched uranium, as well as waste produced by civilian reactors.
The working group was co-sponsored by Secretary Abraham and RussianMinister of Atomic Energy Alexander Rumyantsev. Secretary Abraham willalso meet with the Russian Minister of Energy, Igor Yusufov to discussthe upcoming Commercial Oil and Gas Summit, to be held in Houston inOctober, as well as investment opportunities for American and Russiancompanies in each other's countries.
"I last visited Russia in November 2001, when the Caspian Pipeline wasopened, and I very much look forward to charting the progress of thatoperation," Secretary Abraham said. "I'm also very interested, alongwith my Russian counterpart, in receiving reports from the workinggroups established in May by Presidents Bush and Putin to evaluate waysto reduce stocks of weapons grade plutonium and uranium, as well as thewaste produced by civilian reactors. Reducing the amount of dangerousnuclear material is a paramount goal of this Administration. PresidentBush pledged to keep these materials and technologies out of the handsof those who wish us harm. As I've said before, there is no higherpriority in my Department than the success of nuclear nonproliferationprograms. My meetings in Russia will help advance that goal on aninternational scale." return to menu
H. Links of Interest
1. Rumsfeld: U.S. Will Continue To Provide Allies With Nuclear Umbrella
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