"Combating Terrorism: Preventing Nuclear Terrorism," Rose Gottemoeller, Senior Associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Before the House Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs, and International Relations, Committee on Government Reform, September 24, 2002
1. Russia Proposes Disarmament Talks In Moscow In Late October - Early November
September 24, 2002
(for personal use only)
MOSCOW,- Russia proposes that the ad hoc groups on strategic offensive potentials and anti-missile defence hold meetings in Moscow in late October-early November, an official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Alexander Yakovenko was quoted as saying to Russian newsmen on Tuesday. On September 20, Russia and the United States agreed in Moscow to set up the expert groups to be part of the advisory group on strategic security, said Yakovenko.
According to the Russian official, Russia also proposes to launch dialogue on military activity in outer space. Yakovenko believes that such discussions could be held either simultaneously with the sessions of the above groups, or separately, as part of the group for anti-missile defence. return to menu
2. Russo-American Treaty On Strategic Offensive Reductions To Be Ratified This Year
September 24, 2002
(for personal use only)
MOSCOW-- The Russian State Duma (the lower chamber of Russia's Parliament) will probably ratify the Russo-American Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions (SOR) this year, Andrei Nikolayev, the head of the Duma Defence Committee, has been quoted as saying.
According to the legislator, even if the international situation seriously aggravates, the ratification will hardly cause any problems.
The SOR Treaty envisages a considerable reduction of the two countries' nuclear arsenals, Nikolayev added.
Russian and US experts may meet in Moscow to discuss antimissile defense
RBC, 24.09.2002, Moscow 19:47:45.Russian and US representatives agreed to create joint task forces on questions of strategic security at negotiations in Washington on September 20, Alexander Yakovenko, official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry told journalists today. The Russian party would like to propose holding the first meeting of these task forces in Moscow at the end of October or at the beginning of November 2002. Experts are expected to consider questions concerning strategic offensive arms and antimissile defense, the spokesman specified. return to menu
1. India, Russia Sign Contracts For Construction Of Nuclear Station
Islamic Republic News Agency
September 24, 2002
(for personal use only)
New Delhi -- India and Russia have signed three contracts worth one billion-dollars for the construction of Kudankulam nuclear power station in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Yevgeny Rodin of 'Atomstroiexport' corporation said in Moscow, "Besides the shipment of equipment and deployment of Russian experts at the construction site in India, these contracts also include the supply of third-party products, for which tenders would be invited by Russia from foreign vendors," reported Press Trust of India on Tuesday.
Russia will provide technical credit to India equivalent to 54 percent of the total cost of the US dlrs 2.6 billion project in the form of the equipment and services, under the framework agreement signed recently, it said.
Moscow is also to supply nuclear fuel to Kudankulam for 40 years at the fixed cost of US dlrs 157 million annually.
Running on light-water Russian VVER 1000 reactors first two units of Kudankulam nuclear power plant are scheduled to be completed in 2007-2008.
An MoU was signed by India's Secretary of Department of Atomic Energy Anil Kakodkar and Russian Atomic Energy Minister Rumyantsev in November last during Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Moscow visit.
To bring down the cost of construction, India, which has already built 14 indigenous nuclear power plants, will perform all the construction work itself.
The Russian experts will only supervise at every stage under the 57-million dollar Detailed Project Report (DPR) prepared two-and-half years ago, it said. return to menu
C. Iraqi Nuclear Armament
1. Lukashenko Flatly Denies Aiding Iraq
The Moscow Times
September 25, 2002
(for personal use only)
The Associated Press
Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko flatly denied allegations that his nation had provided dual-use technology or goods to Iraq, which would allow Baghdad to produce nuclear weapons.
"We have very good relations with Iraq, but we cooperate with Iraq only in those areas that are not prohibited by the United Nations," Lukashenko told the BBC in an interview. A tape of the interview was made available to The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Lukashenko stressed that Belarus "is not the kind of state, in its potential and might, that could defy the opinion of the world community."
Lukashenko, who has earned the strong disfavor of the United States and other Western nations with his authoritarian policies, has eagerly reached out to Iraq and other countries the United States accuses of fostering terrorism.
Defense Minister Leonid Maltsev said Tuesday that the allegations are "insinuations and speculation that have no official proof."
"Belarus, in its international relations, acts in strict compliance with decisions of the UN and other international documents, agreements," he said after meeting Tuesday with Ukrainian Prime Minister Anatoly Kinakh in Kiev, Interfax reported.
Belarussian-Iraqi cooperation is developing rapidly. A week ago, the head of Iraq's electricity system visited Minsk, and Lukashenko met with Iraq's deputy prime minister in July. return to menu
2. Saddam's nuclear shopping tour (excerpted)
Michael Evans and Richard Beeston
The Times (Britain)
September 25, 2002
(for personal use only)
IRAQI agents have been scouring countries across Africa for uranium to help Saddam Hussein to build nuclear weapons, The Times has learnt.
The dossier released by the Government yesterday noted in passing that Baghdad had recently tried to acquire "significant quantities of uranium from Africa". But what it left out was evidence supplied to the Cabinet Office's Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) showing that Saddam's agents have secretly visited a number of African countries, 13 of which have uranium as a natural resource.
Uranium, once enriched, could form the core of a nuclear bomb, but there is no evidence yet that Saddam has succeeded it acquiring it. "If Iraq had succeeded in buying uranium from Africa, the dossier would have said so," one Whitehall source said.
The Iraqis are known to have targeted the war-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo, though no uranium has been extracted there for several years. The mine that produced the uranium used in the American bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 is in an area controlled by Zimbabwean troops.
KIEV- The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry expressed "resolute disagreement" with the accusations of selling weapons to Iraq, brought on September 24 by the US Secretary of State on behalf of the US.
"When it comes to the information presented as evidence or providing any kind of explanation on the validity of the accusations", the US reasoning "does not stand criticism", the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry press service said on Wednesday.
Kiev emphasizes the fact that "in the absence of notable evidence" the American side launched a review of their policy towards Ukraine. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry believes that the partial suspension of the US assistance is of "quite negative, though symbolic significance." Kiev shows "fundamental concern in whether the actions of the US administration are motivated by its assistance in the creation of a democratic and market Ukraine integrated into Europe or the United States is guided by motifs of other kind," stresses the Foreign Ministry.
Kiev assures that Ukraine is ready to cooperate "with the aim of proving the accusations groundless." return to menu
4. African Gangs Offer Route To Uranium: Suspicion Falls On Congo And South Africa
James Astill in Nairobi and Rory Carroll
September 25, 2002
Iraqi agents have been negotiating with criminal gangs in the Democratic Republic of Congo to trade Iraqi military weapons and training for high-grade minerals, possibly including uranium, according to evidence obtained by the Guardian.
It comes as the dossier unveiled by Tony Blair accused Saddam Hussein of trying to buy African uranium to give Iraq's weapons programme a nuclear capability. The dossier did not identify any country allegedly approached by Baghdad but security analysts said the Congo was the likeliest, followed by South Africa.
"We know Saddam has been trying to buy significant quantities of uranium from Africa, though we do not know whether he has been successful," Mr Blair said.
A delegation of five Iraqis was arrested in Nairobi by the Kenyan secret service last November while travelling to eastern Congo on fake Indian passports, a western intelligence officer said.
Documents seen by the Guardian show that leaders of the Mayi-Mayi, a brutal militia embroiled in the country's civil war, visited Baghdad twice and offered diamonds and gold to the Iraqis. Uranium was not mentioned in the documents but the intelligence officer said the Mayi-Mayi would be able to obtain the material in areas it controlled.
Initial contact between Baghdad and the militia was said to have been brokered by a Sudanese general who offered Sudan as a conduit for Iraqi oil and arms.
Since US obtained uranium for its first atom bombs from a mine in the Kivu region, foreign governments have vied for the Congo's uranium.
In 1998 North Korea sent military trainers to Shinkolobe under an agreement with the country's former president, Laurent Kabila. They were swiftly withdrawn under American pressure after it was alleged that they had reopened a uranium mine.
Citing sources in Brussels, French radio reported last year that Mobutu loyalists had moved 10kg (22lbs) of uranium bars to Libya, en route to a "rogue state" believed to be Iraq.
Some analysts were sceptical. "That uranium mine is an old story but as far as I know it has been closed for some time. I don't know of any rumours or information regarding the Iraqis being involved," Jakkie Cilliers, head of the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, said.
Dr Cilliers was also doubtful of Baghdad obtaining uranium from South Africa. "As a past nuclear power we are an obvious suspect but it is un likely because the programme was dismantled under the observation of the the International Atomic Energy Agency."
In the 1980s South Africa's apartheid rulers built several nuclear bombs and, according to a BBC investigation, a year before halting the weapons programme in 1989 they traded enriched uranium with Saddam Hussein.
The BBC cited an anonymous South African intelligence official who said that Washington, which favoured Saddam at the time, approved the deal. "About 50kg were sold to the Iraqis. The Americans gave the green light for the deal," the official was quoted as saying.
South Africa signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty in 1991 and dismantled its en richment capabilities but Dr Cilliers did not rule out the possibility of rogue officials or former officials dealing with Iraq after that date.
Yesterday was a national holiday in South Africa and no government spokesman was available to respond to Mr Blair's speech.
Africa produces a fifth of the world's uranium. Niger, Namibia, South Africa and Gabon have exported the material. Last year Niger was the biggest producer at 3,096 tonnes.
At least four other countries - Congo, Zambia, Central African Republic and Botswana - are said to have exploitable deposits. Most of the deposits are mined by European and South African companies and end up exported to Japan and France. return to menu
5. Brazil Uranium Sales To Iraq Stir Debate
United Press International
September 24, 2002
(for personal use only)
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Recent allegations by a dissident Iraqi scientist that Saddam Hussein's regime is constructing nuclear weapons using uranium supplied by Brazil during the early 1980s have led to the re-emergence of claims that the country smuggled large amounts of the material to Iraq in exchange for oil and nuclear weapons technology.
In an interview with The Times of London last week, Khidir Hamza -- who defected from Iraq in 1994 -- told the British newspaper that 1.3 tons of low-enriched material bought from Brazil was being processed for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
However, according to Brazil's Jornal da Tarde newspaper, which recently reprinted a 1990 expose entitled "The dark history of the relationship between Brazil and Iraq," Brazil sold three large shipments of uranium to Iraq in clandestine transactions.
An International Atomic Energy Agency report says that U.N. weapons inspectors, during a 1991-97 investigation into Iraq's nuclear capabilities, found some 27 tons of uranium originating from Brazil.
An investigation by Jornal da Tarde and its parent publication, Estado de Sao Paulo, claims that Brazil exported "dozens of tons" of uranium to Iraq between 1979 and 1990 in undocumented deals.
Brazil's National Commission of Nuclear Energy still maintains that any nuclear material sold by Brazil to Iraq during that time was powdered uranium dioxide, a raw material used for nuclear reactor fuel.
"That material -- which is not the same as the material known as 'yellow cake' (uranium freshly mined from the ground that cannot be used for nuclear weapons) -- was not smuggled," said a statement sent to United Press International.
"The chemical or physical form of the element is not the same as the element used to manufacture nuclear weapons.
"That uranium was under international safeguards of the IAEA, properly identified, catalogued and sealed, which can be confirmed by inspectors of the agency itself," the statement said.
An IAEA official told UPI from the organization's headquarters in Vienna that the statement was "valid" and that "what remains of the original Brazilian-sourced uranium is indeed stored at a facility in Iraq, which is under ongoing IAEA safeguards."
"That is, our inspectors visit annually to verify that the same quantity of material remains and that IAEA seals on the containers remain intact," said the official.
Despite the Brazilian nuclear commission's insistence that it engaged in no wrongdoing at the time, the Iraqi scientist's claim has rekindled interest in Brazil's former relationship with Iraq, now considered the next target for the U.S.-led war on terror.
Word of clandestine uranium shipments from Brazil to Iraq first surfaced in a 1981 report by Bernardo Kucinsky, a former correspondent for Britain's Guardian newspaper.
Now a professor of journalism at Sao Paulo University, Kucinsky told UPI that Brazil didn't really "smuggle" uranium to Iraq some 20 years ago. Rather, it engaged in "secret shipments without the knowledge of the Americans or international nuclear regulatory authorities."
Kucinsky recounted how in the '70s and '80s, Brazil's military regime forged an agreement with the Iraqi government, based on established relations regarding civilian work contracts granted to Brazilian companies.
That agreement, he said, would oblige Brazil to ship uranium to Iraq in exchange for a steady oil supply after the 1979 oil crisis.
"There was a strong possibility of oil from Iraq being interrupted," recalled Kucinsky. "In those days, the Brazilian state company (Petrobras) depended largely on Middle East oil Unlike the U.S. policy, Brazil didn't attempt to diversify its sources."
Because Brazil relied heavily on Middle Eastern oil (more than 70 percent of its imports came from that region), officials in the regime were "panicked at the time," said Kucinsky.
"They said that was the reason (for shipping uranium to Iraq); they wanted an exchange of two forms of energy," he recounted.
Authorities at the time stressed that Brazil could not supply enriched uranium to Iraq because it lacked the technological ability to transform the material into the weapons-ready variety.
It is a stance that Brazil maintains to this day. The nuclear agency's statement noted that "in order to produce a nuclear weapon, the uranium needs to be enriched, a complex technology that is mastered by a restricted group of countries."
Despite the denials, Kucinsky said that he believes Brazil's military dictators had an ulterior motive in the early '80s for forging a relationship with Iraq -- namely, the creation of the country's own nuclear weapons program.
Brazil was conducting what many then referred to as "parallel nuclear programs." One was an aboveboard financing of projects utilizing nuclear power as an energy source; another was the regime's unofficial pursuit of nuclear warheads.
"So it is possible that the agreement included also the exchange of nuclear information," said Kucinsky. "Brazil would get nuclear help from Iraq as oil in exchange for its uranium."
What aroused suspicions at the time that Brazil's relationship with Iraq wasn't what it appeared was the June 7, 1981, bombing by Israeli fighter jets of an Iraqi nuclear reactor in Osirak.
"This is what attracted attention to the whole issue," he said.
Twenty-one years later, a possible new clue to the exact nature of Brazilian-Iraqi ties is adding further credence to the theory that Brazil indeed sold weapons-ready uranium to Iraq in exchange for help in developing its own nuclear program.
Jornal da Tarde reported last week that about 40 Brazilian scientists were in the Osirak power plant during the 1981 Israeli bombing.
"This brings forth the suspicion that this agreement between Iraq and Brazil was not only in exchange for oil but also there was some sort of nuclear, scientific cooperation between the two countries to develop nuclear weapons," Kucinsky said.
While not an admission to collaborating with Iraq on nuclear weapons, a Brazilian nuclear commission official told UPI on condition of anonymity that during the 1980s, "Iraq was seen as just one more commercial partner." The official said that "Saddam was not at that time, the monster that he is today."
The Times interview with Hamza notes another possible clue tog the nature of Brazil-Iraq relations in the early 1980s.
Before leaving Iraq in 1998 -- just days before U.S.-led air strikes -- U.N. weapons inspectors had dismantled an illegally imported German centrifuge installation that had been used to refine progressively natural or low-enriched uranium until it became suitable for weapons, the Times reported.
German scientist Karl-Heinz Schaab -- who had been sought by German authorities since 1990 on charges of selling German uranium enrichment technology to Iraq before the Gulf War -- had spent time in Rio de Janeiro while eluding German authorities. He was captured returning to Germany and convicted of treason in 1999.
In March 1998, Brazil's Federal Supreme Court turned down an extradition request for Schaab, saying he was charged with a politically motivated crime, which meant that under Brazilian law, could not be extradited.
While the Hamza interview might have revived old memories of Brazil's one-time relationship with Iraq, some experts said they found his comments on Brazilian uranium exports misleading.
David Albright, president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, said that there is no evidence that the non-enriched uranium sold by Brazil is being used for nuclear weapons development in Iraq, as indicated by Hamza's remarks to The Times.
"What we understand from our own work is that it's inspected every year because it's under the non-proliferation treaty," said Albright, referring to the 1968 U.N. Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that now includes 187 countries -- including Iraq.
"It was all there, last inspection, though there are worries that if there's war, Iraq may divert it."
What also concerns Albright is the seemingly arbitrary singling out of Brazilian uranium by Hamza as the alleged material used for suspected weapons development.
According to IAEA data, several nations -- including Italy, Nigeria and Portugal -- sold uranium of varying levels of enrichment to Iraq, some in quantities greater than Brazil.
And France and Russia sold relatively small amounts -- 50 kilograms -- of highly enriched, weapons-ready uranium to Iraq during the same period.
Iraq could use Brazilian uranium in weapons of mass destruction if it had the time and technology to complete the sophisticated process of enriching the material, said Albright.
"There is some uncertainty about what Iraq has, but most people view that it is a problem of the future -- that Iraq could build a uranium-enrichment plant ... if it was under pressure it may use the uranium from Brazil or other places," he said, noting the process would take "several years."
"This thing that Hamza caused is inexcusable," said an irate Albright, who in conversation with UPI railed against the Iraqi scientist's allegations.
He called them "speculative" and "misleading" on several occasions and added: "You can quote me on that." return to menu
D. Nuclear Waste
1. Nuclear Waste Alchemy Praised
John F. Bonfatti
September 25, 2002
(for personal use only)
WEST VALLEY - Speaker after speaker called what has happened at the West Valley Demonstration Project groundbreaking, and they were right.
An unprecedented state-federal partnership used pioneering technology to turn deadly, liquid, radioactive waste into a manageable solid, an accomplishment the project celebrated at ceremonies Tuesday marking the official end of that process, called vitrification.
"We've turned a potential environmental threat into an environmental success story," Alice Williams, the project manager for the Department of Energy, told several hundred workers, officials and local citizens who helped push for the cleanup.
"We became the first project in the nation to complete a vitrification program, and the first to demonstrate that high level waste can be handled safely," she said.
The ceremony marked the end of vitrification, in which 60,000 gallons of dangerous waste that was sitting in decaying underground tanks was pumped out, treated and blended into molten glass. It's a process that the DOE is now utilizing in much larger facilities elsewhere.
Twenty years after the federal law establishing the project was passed, and six years after the first radioactive liquid was transformed into radioactive glass, more than 24 million curies of radioactivity (by comparison, 7.3 million curies were released at the Chernobyl atomic plant accident) were solidified in 631 tons of glass contained in 277 stainless steel canisters.
The liquid in the tanks represented the most urgent threat at West Valley, which operated as the country's only commercial nuclear fuel reprocessing center in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Had the waste escaped the tanks, it could have found its way into nearby Cattaraugus Creek and, eventually, Lake Erie.
But it isn't the only problem. The tanks still remain in the ground. The process building, which will house the stainless steel canisters until off-site storage is built, still stands, as does the vitrification building. There are two large dumps filled with radioactive materials and a plume of radioactive ground water.
The state, through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and the federal government, through the DOE, have engaged in as-yet unfruitful negotiations over future cleanup and long-term stewardship of the site.
While enough communication between the parties has taken place to forestall a threatened cut in federal funding, the two sides are not close to reaching an agreement.
NYSERDA President Bill Flynn said the state presented a proposal to the DOE several months ago but has not seen a reply.
"I hope the enthusiasm of today kick-starts like momentum for the negotiations," he said.
Williams said she is not on the DOE negotiating team, which she said was headed up by the DOE's Mark Frye.
The parties are set to meet for more negotiations in October. return to menu
1. U.S.-Kazakhstan: Former Kazakh Weapons Scientists Aid U.S. Medicine
Anne Marie Pecha
Global Security Newswire
September 24, 2002
(for personal use only)
A group of former nuclear scientists in Kazakhstan will soon be using U.S. Energy Department funds to help supply diagnostic medical materials to the United States, a department official said yesterday.
Officials from the department's Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Kazakh Institute of Nuclear Physics signed an agreement Sept. 16 at a conference in Almaty, Kazakhstan, to supply radioactive isotopes to the U.S. medical industry, institute director Kayrat Kadyrzhanov told the Almaty Ekspress-K newspaper last week.
U.S. contractor Technology Commercialization International also plans to participate in the project, which involves nearly 150 specialists in producing and processing nuclear materials, said the official from the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration.
"If the project is successful, it will lead to the creation of permanent, long-term peaceful employment for these former weapons of mass destruction personnel," the official said.
According to the recent agreement, Kazakh specialists will produce medical isotopes, Los Alamos technicians will verify their quality and Technology Commercialization International will buy them.
Funded with $1.1 million over three years from the NNSA's Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention program - and with matching funds from Technology Commercialization International - the project aims to enhance potentially scarce supplies of the medical isotope Germanium 68. Health care personnel are increasingly using the isotope to help diagnose certain types of cancer and other diseases in the heart and nervous system with a technique called positron emission tomography, the official said.
The Energy Department is the main supplier of Germanium 68 in the United States, according to the official. The United States has many diagnostic technologies and demand for necessary isotopes is growing quickly. Meanwhile, Kazakhstan easily produces medical isotopes but has few technologies in which to put them to use, according to Ekspress-K.
"The project redounds to the economic benefit of both the U.S. and Kazakhstan and will advance medical care in the U.S.," the NNSA official said. return to menu
1. Alexander Yakovenko, The Official Spokesman Of Russia's Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Answers A Question From Russian Media Concerning Reports About Transfer By Great Britain To Russia Of Materials Evidencing Iraq's Creation Of WMDs
Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Of The Russian Federation
September 24, 2002
Question: Please comment on reports that the British side has handed over materials evidencing Iraq's creation of WMDs to the Russian MFA today.
Answer: Indeed, on the morning of September 24 British Ambassador to Moscow Roderic Lyne was received by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Saltanov. A conversation took place, at which the two touched on the situation around Iraq and in the Palestinian territories.
Lyne also reported that his government's report on the problem of Iraq's WMDs was being brought to the notice of the members of the British parliament today. As the ambassador noted, after that it was borne in mind to widely circulate those materials and acquaint other states with them. The text itself of the report was not transmitted in the course of the talk. return to menu
2. Transcript of Statement by Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov to Russian and Foreign Media Following Meeting with US President George W. Bush, Washington, September 20, 2002 (Excerpted)
Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Of the Russian Federation
September 23, 2002
Foreign Minister Ivanov: In the talk just held with the President of the United States, George Bush, the focus was on the implementation of the agreements which had been reached by the Russian and US Presidents to develop the strategic partnership between our countries. Those partner relations between our countries, as the Presidents stress, bear a strategic character and rest on the principles which were set forth in the Joint Russian-US Declaration on the Strategic Partnership, signed during Mr. Bush's visit to Moscow. Within the framework of this partnership we are expanding our cooperation in the area of strategic stability, in the area of combating joint threats and challenges and cooperating in the interest of international stability and security. Designed to become an important element of this cooperation is the four-sided Consultative Group for Strategic Security with the participation of the defense and foreign ministers of Russia and the USA, which was established by the Presidents of our two countries.
The first meeting of this group will take place today and we expect that its work will bear a permanent character. At it we will be considering all the issues of mutual concern, from strategic stability to regional conflicts.
Defense Minister Ivanov: In the course of my two-day stay in Washington and meetings with the heads of all the agencies concerned with security, we frankly discussed the whole range of questions of our bilateral relations as regards strategic stability and regional conflicts. Today we are launching a mechanism of the bilateral group for implementation of the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty. In the framework of contacts between the two defense ministries working groups already exist that not for the first month have been working not only on these issues, but have been considering, for example, the possibility of cooperation between Russia and the United States in the missile defense field as well. We, of course, very thoroughly discussed the situation in crisis and in hot spots of the world. Particularly from the point of view of terror threats and the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We jointly drew the conclusion and now told President Bush that, for example, Russian-American cooperation on Afghanistan is developing successfully, and that we are acting in unison. Our joint line in this matter consists of all-round support for Afghanistan's transitional government so as to bolster its authority and capabilities to act on the territory of Afghanistan. I want to report to you for the first time that we've received a formal invitation from the United States Defense Department to send a group of Russian investigators to Guantanamo for the second time to participate in questionings of another batch of detained Russian citizens who are there now. In October this year our delegation, consisting primarily of Prosecutor General's Office workers, will go there. It is about participation in a questioning of the five Russian citizens who were recently detained and are now at Guantanamo. The American side stated in detail to us its approaches to the situation in Iraq. In our turn, we explained and handed over to the heads of the US security services and the Defense Department irrefutable data proving official Georgian representatives' connection with terrorists in Georgia.
3. Transcript of Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov's Press Conference at US National Press Club, Washington, September 20, 2002 (Excerpted)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
September 23, 2002
Esteemed Mr. President,
Esteemed Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to share my impressions of the talks held and of the results of the work of our delegation at the General Assembly of the United Nations.
As you know, today US President George W. Bush received the Defense Minister of Russia, Sergei Ivanov, and me. Also today, a telephone conversation took place between our presidents. So active a political dialogue between our states, including at the top level, vividly demonstrates the new level of mutual relations which is enshrined in the Joint Declaration on the New Strategic Partnership between Russia and the USA, signed in the course of the visit of the US President, Mr. Bush, to Moscow in May, this year.
Russia follows the principle enunciated in this document. Russia is interested in developing a constructive partnership, predictable relations with the United States of America. The development of just this kind of relations meets the interests of our two peoples, and it meets the interests of the international community. We are convinced that by relying upon these principles, Russia and the USA can jointly search for answers to new threats and challenges, to the regional problems still persistent in the world. It was important for us to hear from US President Bush that the United States also intends to firmly adhere to these principles in relations with Russia; which the US administration regards as a long-term strategic priority. Therefore, unfortunately, I'll have to disappoint those who in recent days have begun to speculate about a cooling-off in Russian-American relations. That simply isn't so.
Today's telephone conversation between our presidents, and the talks with the US President, with the Secretary of State and with the Secretary of Defense have once again convinced us of this. We attach special significance to cooperation between our two states in the fight against international terrorism. Essentially since World War II Russia and the US have again become allies, allies in the fight against this highly dangerous challenge to the world community. We have consistently stood up for preservation and strengthening of the broad antiterrorist coalition, set up after the tragic events of September 11 in New York and Washington. The chief power of this coalition lies in the unity of action of all its participants and firm reliance upon the UN Charter and on international law. On constructive cooperation between Russia and the US, which are the largest nuclear powers, the future of strategic stability in the world depends in many respects. That was why the Presidents of our countries took a decision this May during the summit in Moscow to establish the Russian-US Constructive Group for Strategic Security made up of Foreign Ministers and Defense Ministers.
The first meeting of this group was held today. We thoroughly discussed ways to implement the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, signed in Moscow. We examined the problems of transparency in cooperation in missile defense and a full range of nonproliferation problems, including the topic of the global partnership against the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction, which had been considered at the summit in Kananaskis, Canada. I want to at once stress that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov and I are satisfied with the frankness and substantive character of our dialogue and for our part are ready to continue that constructive work. In the same constructive spirit we will be looking for ways to solve the still-lingering differences. Anyway, I am convinced, and our American partners share this opinion, that after today's meetings many approaches, positions of each other have become clearer and this is very important. We have begun to understand each other better, to understand the positions of each other.
DISCLAIMER: Nuclear News is presented for informational purposes only. Views presented in any given article are those of the individual author or source and not of RANSAC. RANSAC takes no responsibility for the technical accuracy of information contained in any article presented in Nuclear News.