The threat of terrorists' getting hold of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons used to be the stuff of Hollywood melodramas. Now it is a daily nightmare for national security and law enforcement officials around the world.
That changed reality adds urgency to the 11-year effort, pioneered by Senator Richard Lugar and his former colleague Sam Nunn, to secure and destroy unconventional weapons left over from the cold war. Despite an impressive success record, these programs need more money and more flexible spending rules to achieve their ambitious goals.
Unfortunately, several powerful House Republicans did their best to hobble the programs before heading home for the holidays. Thanks to the handiwork of these lawmakers, especially Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania and Duncan Hunter of California, financing for urgently needed steps to secure or destroy weapons is jeopardized by inflexible bureaucratic requirements. House opponents have also blocked the transfer of funds for removing weapons materials from countries that weren't part of the former Soviet Union. That is a bad idea. Earlier this year Washington was forced to raise private money to remove bomb-grade uranium from Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
House Republicans this year denied the administration the permanent authority it sought to waive record keeping and other restrictions that Russia has not yet been able to meet. They also held up long-term financing for a plant the administration wants to build in Russia to destroy nerve gases. Some of the toxic chemicals are stored in canisters small enough to be carried away in a briefcase. The same site also holds hundreds of chemical warheads designed to be fitted onto Scud missiles.
These damaging restrictions can be overturned in the coming session of Congress if the White House is willing to spend political capital doing so. It will have a strong ally in Senator Lugar, who will become chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. More money is also needed to protect and eliminate portable tactical nuclear warheads and the small Russian nuclear generators that contain ideal ingredients for terrorist manufacture of radiological dirty bombs.
Since the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush has come to better appreciate the danger that portable and destructive munitions might fall into the hands of terrorists. He ought to summon Mr. Weldon and Mr. Hunter and tell them to stop undermining programs that protect American security. return to menu
2. Partners in Preventing Nuclear Proliferation?
December 9, 2002
(for personal use only)
To a rogue state or terrorist trying to get nuclear weapons, Ukraine must look pretty good right now. According to the U.S. State Department, President Leonid Kuchma personally approved the sale of the Kolchuga early warning radar system to Iraq. If the Ukrainian president could sell a radar system to Saddam Hussein that endangers his putative friends, would he not be capable of selling Iraq nuclear materials? And then there is Yury Orshansky, one of Ukraine's most notorious businessmen, who has been quoted as saying about the Iraqis, "Even if they want to create a nuclear bomb, we will study this."
So it's lucky that the last nuclear weapon left Ukraine in June 1996, the result of a hard-won trilateral deal between Kiev, Moscow and Washington. Launched by U.S. Secretary of State James Baker in the last months of the administration of Bush senior, it came together during the Clinton administration as a pragmatic package deal. The deal included security assurances for Ukraine (the United States would be there if Russia tried to bully it), assistance to destroy the missiles and bombers that were left in Ukraine, and fuel for Ukraine's nuclear power plants. In return for this, Ukraine would let the 1900 nuclear weapons on its territory go back to Russia to be dismantled. And that is what happened.
The point of the story is that the right combination of incentives and demands, advanced with careful diplomacy, can prevent nuclear capabilities from falling into the wrong hands. The stars lined up in this case: Ukraine was eager to make its way into partnership with the United States, Russia was desperate for help in dealing with the nuclear consequences of the Soviet Union's breakup and the U.S. administration was intent on getting the job done. In addition, the problem was easily definable: 1,900 nuclear warheads had to be taken off missiles or out of storage, be loaded onto trains and shipped out of Ukraine.
Today, the problem is not so easy to define. There are little caches of nuclear or radiological material scattered all over Ukraine, such as the 75 kilograms of highly enriched uranium at the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology. Some of the material could be made into nuclear weapons, but most could only go into a "dirty bomb." These devices would sow more contamination and panic than death and destruction, but they could exact a high price in public morale and economic damage.
What is more, the stars are not very well aligned any more. For one thing, Ukraine has turned its quest for partnership away from the United States. The United States has pushed hard for democratization, economic reform and the rule of law in Ukraine, and the Ukrainians, sadly, have responded at best in fits and starts. Mostly, they seem to have turned elsewhere. Russia, for example, is today viewed less as a threat to Ukrainian sovereignty than as a source of foreign investment and industry orders.
On the nuclear front, Russia has had 10 years of living with the Soviet Union's breakup. Thanks to the trilateral deal, and similar deals with Kazakhstan and Belarus, Russia has avoided having any new nuclear weapon states on its periphery. It continues to make progress in its joint work with the United States to protect nuclear weapons and materials and to dispose of them over time. In short, the acute sense of nuclear crisis that drove Moscow in the early 1990s has dissipated.
The Bush administration has not been much at peace with the amount of attention that these problems require. A good deal of heavy lifting, starting with the president and extending to the vice president, the secretary of state, the secretary of defense and a constellation of high-level officials, is what it took to get the nuclear weapons out of Ukraine. Although that amount of attention cannot be sustained for every proliferation problem, keeping nuclear weapons away from terrorists and rogue states won't be accomplished on bureaucratic autopilot.
To push the stars back into alignment and get control of Ukraine's nuclear proliferators, the United States will have to try some new ideas. Most important will be to re-engage Russia in the effort. Russia has the commercial links to knock heads in the Ukrainian business community, and it should be urged to do so. Although the Bush administration has vilified the relationship between Vice President Al Gore and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomydin, Chernomyrdin was influential in the denuclearization deal in the mid-1990s. Now ambassador to Ukraine, Chernomyrdin's influence among Ukrainian businessmen could be useful in stopping nuclear leakage.
Second, while the United States does not want to endorse Kuchma's current leadership style, it should recognize the need to act fast against proliferation threats in Ukraine. In other words, although there are concerns about Kuchma and aid to Ukraine has been cut, we should make sure that there are U.S. funds available to spend quickly on high-priority nuclear projects. If we have to wait for a decision to grind through the annual budget cycle, we'll lose.
Finally, the Bush administration needs a tiger team to work on this problem. It should be made up of highly motivated technical experts from around the government, but they should have daily access to higher-level decisionmakers who can break logjams, particularly about spending money. The tiger team's first order of business should be to set priorities -- i.e. the nuclear materials that are the greatest threat and most at risk. Then they should set the strategy -- what needs to be moved, how quickly and at what cost.
It will be up to a higher level, however, to devise a way to get the job done, to get the Kuchma administration to agree to work out the nuclear problem. Since the U.S.-Ukrainian relationship is currently so troubled, this will not be easy.
However, Kuchma's clear desire, voiced at the recent NATO summit in Prague, to show that Ukraine still desires partnership could be an important catalyst for progress. A special U.S. negotiator, focused on getting specific projects in place, could work wonders.
If the United States succeeds in getting Ukraine to face up to the proliferation threat that its nuclear capabilities still pose, then we might be on the road to restoring the U.S.-Ukrainian bilateral relationship. And if Russia proves to be a good partner in this effort, then it might open up some important possibilities for the future. In particular, if this works, then maybe we could try it next on North Korea. return to menu
3. Interview: Incoming US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar (excerpted)
National Journal/Global Security Newswire
December 9, 2002
(for personal use only)
NJ: One of your signature achievements in the Senate has been the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, which is designed to quantify, secure, and eventually destroy the former Soviet Union's vast arsenal of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. While the program has had its skeptics - some of whom are prominent in the Bush administration - no one is quibbling with the importance of the underlying goal of nonproliferation, especially following the Sept. 11 attacks.
Lugar: People have written doctoral theses about the ups and downs of the Nunn-Lugar program over the past 11 years. In the early debate on the program, many people were worried that we were giving away money to the Russians for disarmament that they would turn around and use to build another weapon behind the barn. People raised the devil on Capitol Hill about some provisions, such as housing for Russian officers involved in the program, and all sorts of restrictions were put on the funds.
Nevertheless, the Pentagon has confirmed that the program has destroyed approximately 6,000 nuclear warheads and dismantled a huge array of missiles, bombers, and submarines. Because of the program, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus are now nuclear-free nations. Even in the lean years, the Nunn-Lugar program has survived, which is no mean feat, given the number of different Congresses that have come and gone during its existence. At the end of the day, most people understand that removing a nuclear warhead from a missile aimed at their hometown is not a form of foreign aid to Russia.
NJ: In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, have skeptics in the Bush administration been more receptive toward Nunn-Lugar?
Lugar: I think 9/11 did put the program in a more favorable light among those in the administration who were clearly not fans of Nunn-Lugar. To this day, I really don't understand their objection to the program, except perhaps that it wasn't invented on their watch. When President Bush returned from his Moscow meeting with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, where they signed the Moscow Treaty [on strategic nuclear reductions], both Senator Biden and myself met with him at the White House, along with Condi Rice, Cheney, and [White House Chief of Staff] Andrew Card. Biden and I confirmed that we would do all we could to help implement the Moscow Treaty reductions, but I told President Bush that nothing much was going to happen without a vigorous Nunn-Lugar component to actually destroy the weapons.
As an example of how Nunn-Lugar was being obstructed, I pointed out that we are five years into the Chemical Weapons Convention signed by both the U.S. Senate and the Russian Duma. I'm here to tell you that the Russians have probably not destroyed 200 pounds out of a declared stockpile of 40,000 metric tons of chemical weapons, and they won't without enormous financial and technical assistance from the United States. So I told President Bush that nothing is happening with reducing Russia's chemical weapons, primarily because worker bees in his own administration were unwilling to waive congressional restrictions that have built up like barnacles on Nunn-Lugar funds over the years. Dr. Rice said, "Worker bees? Those are assistant secretaries." My reply was, "Well, whoever they are, they've stopped chemical weapons reductions dead in the water."
At Shchuchye, where I visited twice, they have the neutralization process all in place. But what isn't there is legislation in the U.S. Waivers that are needed are in a bill that probably is not going to pass for quite a while. As a matter of fact, nothing much is happening with regard to [Russian] chemical weapons.
Each time I talk to the president, I mention the state of play in these programs. And he'll say 'I'm going to tell [Rice].' And in fairness, she wrote me a tremendous letter in support of presidential waivers that I took to the Senate floor to get an amendment passed to the defense appropriations bill giving the president waivers forever on this sort of thing. And the House just stiffed us altogether and wouldn't touch it. So the compromise, mercifully, was one year in regards to chemical weapons waivers. We're back in business.
NJ: Do you believe that as Foreign Relations chairman, you will have more success in streamlining the Nunn-Lugar funding process?
Lugar: As chairman, I hope to make headway in that regard by outlining for my Senate colleagues and the American people what actually happens as a result of all this staff subterfuge, internecine warfare, and other nonsense that goes on behind the scenes. My argument is going to be that we need to debate legislation, then authorize and appropriate money in as straightforward a way as possible, and get on with the job. So I hope to make some headway in that regard because I have a more conspicuous forum in which to make that case.
NJ: Recently, you and former Senator Sam Nunn [D-Ga.] have called for a "global Nunn-Lugar" program that essentially calls on every nation to secure its stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, or risk being coerced by the United States into doing so. That sounds like the basis for a pretty aggressive foreign policy.
Lugar: That's because we live in a world where terrorists and nonstate actors, if they ever got their hands on weapons of mass destruction, would represent an existential threat to the United States and every other law-abiding nation. Just imagine if we had been attacked by a nuclear weapon flying into the World Trade Center. They might have leveled Manhattan and killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, if not more. For that reason, I think President Bush has adopted the same principle behind "global Nunn-Lugar" as the foundation for his doctrine, namely, nations that possess weapons of mass destruction are responsible for securing them. Because we can never be sure of the degree of interaction between these groups and rogue states, there are some nations such as Iraq and North Korea that may be deemed too irresponsible to possess these weapons.
The question we need to put to India and Pakistan, on the other hand, is "Can you secure your nuclear weapons?" If not, they should ask for U.S. help in securing their weapons, and we should give it. The American people might well ask why they should have to pay to secure nuclear weapons that India and Pakistan decided to build. The answer is that the proliferation of those weapons would have awful consequences for the United States. That's the world we live in.
NJ: What should be done about the WMD arsenals of the so-called 'Axis of Evil?'
Lugar: In the case of Iraq, we are at a point where we are calling for disarmament, along with 15 other countries on the U.N. Security Council. In the case of North Korea, we're attempting to coalesce the Japanese, Chinese, South Koreans and Russians to indicate that North Koreans will have to be responsible in regards to their nuclear program. And their failure to do so will have awful consequences. If we're adept, we'll work with the Iranians in such a way that it never comes to confrontation. There are at least some hopeful signs the Iranians are interested in changing. And the Libyans and Syrians hopefully will change their behavior.
NJ: Do you agree with critics who say that the Moscow Treaty on nuclear weapons reductions is too vague in terms of identifying exact numbers and types of weapons to be destroyed, and how that destruction will be verified?
Lugar: Well, the Moscow Treaty certainly reflects the skepticism some Bush administration officials have about arms control. When I visited with President Bush, I pointed out that the treaty does not really make clear how any of the reductions are verified. In fact, it's not really clear in the treaty that anything happens at all.
I'm a pragmatist on arms control, however, and I described to President Bush a facility in Russia that I visited where the warheads are removed from four Russian strategic missiles each month. Those missiles are huge, they flow through there at a regular and easily identifiable rate, and we can count them. So unless we bite the nose off our own face by cutting Nunn-Lugar funds for that facility, we can at least count on four strategic nuclear missiles being destroyed there each month, because it's almost a jobs issue with the Russians involved. That's verifiable arms control. return to menu
B. Multilateral Threat Reduction
1. Weapons for sale? Moscow's aging stockpiles represent a growing threat to the world
December 16, 2002
(for personal use only)
A CRUMBLING STATUE of Lenin stands guard over the Russian village of Shchuch'ye and its Cold War legacy -- 80 loosely guarded buildings containing a total of nearly two million shells filled with sarin and VX nerve gas. Each shell, at this remote site in the Ural Mountains 1,500 km southeast of Moscow, is capable of killing a stadium-full of people. To keep these and other stockpiled Russian weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists, the West has spent almost $12.5 billion over the past 10 years trying to help rid Russia of its surplus chemical, biological and nuclear arsenals. More money for the job is coming, some of it from Canada: on Nov. 25, Foreign Minister Bill Graham arrived in Moscow with the initial $5-million installment of $1 billion in cleanup money Ottawa plans to give Russia over the next 10 years. "We're very concerned about that stuff being around," Graham told Maclean's. "It's a threat to us."
But the race to destroy Russian stockpiles is one the West may already be losing. Russian sites are notoriously insecure, with stockpiles guarded by underpaid, badly trained and ill-equipped security forces. The CIA says some biological weapons may have already been stolen from the country, which some analysts call a "Wal-Mart for terrorists," and smuggled to Iraq. Analysts also believe weapons-grade uranium has been smuggled into North Korea, while Chechen militants have sought -- and possibly obtained -- nuclear weapons.
Even as the West continues to pump in money, critics in the U.S. Congress say Russia, which under a series of international agreements has pledged to reduce its stockpiles, is not living up to its end of the bargain. Western money appears to be disappearing: a recent Russian parliamentary audit revealed that US$270 million in foreign aid earmarked for nuclear disarmament was unaccounted for. Some observers, meanwhile, charge that Western funding for stockpile reduction allows Russia to divert resources to new nuclear programs that are in contravention of international non-proliferation guidelines.
Monetary oversight is difficult to enforce in Russia. So is establishing what, if any, existing stockpiles have already been destroyed: Russia has barred foreign inspectors from some of its sites. There is big money at stake: under the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, a program launched by the G8 last June at the Kananaskis summit in Alberta, $31 billion (including the $1 billion from Canada) was pledged to dismantle Russian arsenals. Now, the G8 countries are demanding that Russia co-operate fully by accounting for funds and allowing site access. If the Russians refuse, it is unclear whether all the money will be advanced. "We have made it clear to Russia that there is going to have to be significant improvement," said Jim Wright, assistant deputy minister for global security in Canada's Foreign Affairs Department. "Site access is a serious issue."
So is Russia's ongoing nuclear program. President Vladimir Putin has made strengthening his country's nuclear forces a top priority. The Russian military is currently building 40 naval nuclear missiles and is modernizing both naval nuclear forces and a fleet of Tupolev-160 bombers, the backbone of Russia's airborne nuclear attack forces. Advanced weapons research has also been boosted at 10 ultra-secret research cities, where an estimated 40,000 specialists are working on new nuclear weaponry. "They've come to expect the West will pay for safety -- even as they have been rearming in great secrecy," says Charles Digges, a Moscow-based researcher for Bellona, a Norwegian agency that tracks Russian nuclear safety.
New weapons aside, Russia is coming under increasing pressure to fix the problems in its stockpile reduction program. Canadian officials can testify to how difficult it is to get things up and running. Canadian funds have already been spent on building roads and power lines to a proposed plant in Shchuch'ye where chemical and biological weapons were to be destroyed. It's unclear if that plant will ever be built (the U.S. had suspended funding, but may now go ahead if Russia fulfills its commitments and is accountable for the money). Canada also spent money promoting a plan to use plutonium from Russian nuclear weapons as fuel for reactors in Ontario. But Russia now wants to keep the plutonium for its own nuclear program. "They see this stuff as gold," says Digges, "and there is enormous opposition to letting the West destroy it."
Nowhere in Russia is the vulnerability of its Cold War arsenals more frightening than in the Siberian ports of Vladivostok and Murmansk. There, 131 submarines lie idle, in decrepit condition, many with reactors, nuclear fuel and possibly even weapons still aboard. (In November one decommissioned nuclear submarine near Vladivostok caught fire, raising fears of a nuclear catastrophe; panicked local firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze.) Russia plans to chop the subs into scrap by 2010. And some of Canada's $1-billion commitment may go to the safe destruction of the vessels. "I consider the submarines a clear and present danger to Canada," said Graham. "If radiation gets loose it's going to end up in Canada, because it's right across the Arctic Ocean from where we are."
But as Canada considers pouring millions into the submarine program, other foreign donors already involved in the initiative are increasingly unhappy. Japan, which has committed more than $400 million to the submarine projects, has found it difficult to convince Russian authorities to let its own investigators audit the results. The head of the Japanese effort, Toshiyuki Kawakami, says that while the Japanese have been granted access, Russia has stipulated a 95-day notice period, which is a "hindrance to the flexibility of investigation schedules." Britain, meanwhile, set aside $125 million for Russian disarmament programs, including submarine dismantlement. But Moscow refused to guarantee that sponsors wouldn't be held liable should an accident occur during cleanup operations, says Ian Downing, head of the British government's nuclear safety program for Russia. "They seem to have changed all the ground rules," he says. "They are unable to agree to the normal international terms for these kinds of agreements."
The lack of co-operation has forced the Bush administration to reconsider future funding under the G8 initiative. Raphael Della Ratta, a weapons control researcher at Princeton University's Russian American Nuclear Security Advisory Council, says numerous U.S. programs in Russia, including efforts to halt production of weapons-grade plutonium, re-employ unemployed Russian weapons scientists, and bolster security at numerous weapons facilities, have been derailed by Russian secrecy. "The problems with transparency are getting worse," he says. "Are they complying with the biological and chemical weapons treaties? Are they disarming? If Russia doesn't have the money to be an equal partner, they could at least co-operate as an equal partner. But they haven't."
Washington is also angry over Russia's decision to invest in new nuclear weapons -- and over Russian nuclear aid to Iran, where Russia is building a civilian reactor and has plans to construct up to six more. Bush's assistant secretary of state for non-proliferation, John Wolf, says there can be no doubt Iran is "a leading exporter of support for terrorist groups." Because of that, Wolf says, Russian nuclear aid to Iran means the U.S. is "forced to juxtapose" aid to Russia with Russian aid to Iran.
Moscow seems unmoved by the growing criticism. During a recent press conference, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov downplayed Western concerns -- even as he welcomed the prospect of more funds to come. "We are now working on the practical implementation of how the promised money will be delivered," he said. "It would be untimely to talk about any problems at this point." But there's no denying the threat posed by aging stockpiles. Yuri Vishnyevsky, head of Russia's state nuclear energy inspectorate, recently confirmed that several kilograms of uranium, including weapons-grade material, have gone missing. Last week, the CIA revealed that a Russian virologist might have taken an especially lethal strain of smallpox to Iraq in 1990. In the face of such revelations, demands that Moscow account for the funding it is receiving will only increase - even as relations with Western donors continue to chill. return to menu
C. Radiological Devices
1. U.S. Concerned About Nuke Smuggling in Central Asia
December 9, 2002
(for personal use only)
Radioactive material that could potentially be used to make so-called "dirty bombs" has been seized at border posts in Central Asia in the past 12 months, a senior Defense Department official said Monday.
The smuggled material, contaminated metals, was confiscated at checkpoints along the Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan borders, Harlan Strauss, director of International Counterproliferation Programs at the Defense Department, told Reuters.
"It is possible to be reprocessed and to be utilized in a way that radioactive material can be used for a dispersal device or a small weapon to contaminate an area," he said.
Dirty bombs scatter radioactive material using conventional explosive devices.
"There continues to be movement of material across borders which is of concern," Strauss said on the sidelines of a conference on terrorism.
"We have recently, particularly in Central Asia, stopped some shipments of radioactive material exiting the region.
"In this case it was contaminated metals. How radioactive is a question of debate and discussion. Where it was going was unclear because the papers were not legit."
The United States has been concerned since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 that instability and economic hardship could prompt low-paid scientific workers to smuggle material that could be used to make nuclear or biological weapons.
Worries that a fundamentalist Islamic group such as al Qaeda could acquire such destructive items have increased hugely since last September's attacks on the United States.
Over the past decade at least 88 pounds (40 kg) of weapons-usable uranium and plutonium has been stolen from poorly protected nuclear facilities in the former Soviet Union, according to a report published by Stanford University's Institute for International Studies earlier this year.
While most of this material was subsequently retrieved, at least 4.4 pounds of highly enriched uranium stolen from a reactor in Georgia remains missing.
In Russia, U.S.-funded radiation detectors installed at eight border crossings have detected more than 275 cases involving contaminated scrap metal, irradiated cargo and other radioactive materials that could pose a proliferation concern, a General Accounting Office official told a U.S. congressional committee in October.
The United States has spent about $86 million to help about 30 countries, mostly in the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe, combat the threat of smuggling of nuclear and other metals that could be used in weapons of mass destruction. return to menu
D. US-Russia Relations
1. Vladimir Putin Sends Russia-US Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty For Ratification
December 9, 2002
(for personal use only)
On December 7, President Vladimir Putin sent the Russo-American Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty to the State Duma, or the lower parliamentary house, for ratification, the presidential press office told RIA Novosti Monday.
The parliament will shortly resume hearings on the Treaty, which was signed at the Moscow summit this May, emphasized the press office. return to menu
2. Bush, Putin Discuss N. Korea's Nukes
December 6, 2002
(for personal use only)
President Bush and Russian President Vladimir, just back from China and India, discussed North Korea's nuclear ambitions and joint U.S.-Russian efforts at a peaceful resolution on the Korean peninsula, a White House spokesman said.
The two presidents spoke by telephone Friday morning, primarily so that Putin could pass along the results of his Asian tour this week, officials reported from the Kremlin and the White House.
A statement from the Kremlin said Putin briefed his American counterpart on his "deep and constructive discussion of regional and global foreign policy issues" with leaders in China, India and the ex-Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan.
White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said Bush and Putin "discussed the situation on the Korean peninsula and the importance of North Korea - making certain that they comply with the international community and promote a de-nuclearized Korean peninsula."
"And, two, they discussed the importance of continuing our joint efforts to make that the case," Fleischer said.
North Korea was the "heart of their discussion," Fleischer said, adding that the Iraq crisis "did not come up."
Military tensions on the Korean peninsula - and in the surrounding region - have escalated since North Korea disclosed in October that it had a secret program to develop nuclear weapons. North Korea had agreed to end its nuclear weapons programs in 1994 in exchange for two civilian nuclear power reactors and fuel oil help.
That agreement collapsed, and the shipments of fuel oil to North Korea have halted.
During his Asian tour, Putin sought to further consolidate Russia's close ties with China and India, important trade partners and top customers of its ailing military industrial complex. His talks in Beijing and New Delhi also focused on pooling efforts to combat international terrorism.
The Kremlin statement added that Putin and Bush praised their recent meeting near St. Petersburg, saying it confirmed the "importance of U.S.-Russian cooperation for preserving security in the world."
Bush's three-hour stop in Russia last month was seen as his way of thanking Putin for supporting a United Nations resolution requiring Iraq to disarm.
Bush also wanted to reassure Russia that NATO's decision to expand into the former Soviet bloc - including the three former Soviet republics in the Baltics - would not threaten Moscow's security. return to menu
E. International Nuclear Business
1. Minatom of Russian and the AREVA group will sign the Protocol of intentions
December 9, 2002
(for personal use only)
Minister of Atomic Energy RF Alexander Rumyantsev will visit France from 9 till 11 December on the invitation of Anne Lauvergeon, chairwoman of the AREVA group's executive board, to sign the Protocol of intentions between Minatom of Russia and AREVA, the press service of the Ministry told Nuclear.Ru. The nuclear super holding company AREVA was established in November 2001. 79 % shares are held by the state owned CEA-Industrie, a commercial subdivision of the French Atomic Energy Commission, and 5 more percents - directly by the French government. AREVA includes several companies; a holding company, which appeared as result of merging assets of two world leading nuclear power companies Framatom ANP and Cogema, makes its basis.
"Co-operation of enterprises and organizations of Minatom of Russia with AREVA companies is stable and long-term and covers the whole spectrum of nuclear fuel cycle, therefore, partnership with AREVA presents great interest from the view point of Russian export development", - the Minatom of Russia said. In the course of visit of Mr. Rumyantsev to France on Dec????? 9, in addition to the meeting with Anne Lauvergeon, chairwoman of the group's executive board, the negotiations with P. Colombani, the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of France, and N. Fontaine, the France's Deputy Minister of Industry, will be held.
In the course of the Russian-French negotiations the following issues will be discussed: long term atomic energy development strategy, development of new types nuclear power reactors with natural safety, disposal of nuclear materials disengaged in the process of disarmament, promising procedures and techniques in the field of nuclear fuel cycle, as well as participation of France and Russia in the global partnership program, providing among other things for disposal of nuclear weapons. On December 10, the Russian delegation will visit La Hague reprocessing facility of treated spent fuel and on December 11 the MOX fuel production plant. return to menu
F. Russia-India Relations
Russia makes `all or nothing' defence sale offer to India
December 9, 2002
(for personal use only)
Russia will sell nuclear submarines and long-range bomber aircraft to India only if New Delhi buys jet trainer aircraft as well, a news report said Saturday.
``There has to be one package agreement,'' Mikhail Dmitriev, Russia's deputy defence minister, was quoted as saying by The Hindustan Times.
``We ... expect to conclude the package agreement before next summer,'' said Dmitriev, also the chair of Russia's Committee for Military Technical Co-operation, which oversees defence exports.
India is reportedly seeking to purchase Russia's Akula class of nuclear-powered submarines and the TU-22 long-range bomber-cum-reconnaissance aircraft.
Indian Defence Ministry officials in New Delhi and Dmitriev in Moscow were not immediately available for comment.
India has been Russia's top customer of military hardware since the Soviet era.
India has been trying to buy advanced jet trainers for nearly a decade, and was earlier reported to have been in the final stages of negotiations with Britain's BAE Systems PLc for 66 Hawk 100 aircraft.
However, India's Defence Minister George Fernandes told Parliament last month that ``various options'' were being considered.
The Indian air force has been training young pilots with obsolete trainer aircraft. Over six years, more than 100 crashes have killed approximately 50 pilots. return to menu
2. Russia: Putin Emphasizes 'Strategic' Importance Of India Ties (excerpted)
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
December 5, 2002
(for personal use only)
Another important component of the Russian-Indian relationship is cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. In 1998, Russia signed a contract to build a power station with two nuclear reactors at Koodankulam, in the state of Tamil Nadu. After several delays, construction began earlier this year. Putin, during his visit to New Delhi this week, said Moscow wanted to make additional deals. But here, too, there are obstacles.
Chari said: "Moscow has indicated that it may be able to provide more by way of civilian nuclear reactors apart from what it is already supplying: two VEER 1,000-megawatt reactors. Now, I'm not very certain whether this will be able to be done because Russia is also a member of the Nuclear Suppliers' Group. And India has not signed any kind of an agreement to accept full-scope safeguards, which really means putting its entire nuclear program under safeguard. So how this will be done, I'm not really sure."
The Nuclear Suppliers' Group seeks to control exports of nuclear materials, equipment, and technology. As one of the 30 signatories, Russia is obliged not to sell nuclear technology to any state that does not have safeguards approved by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on all of its nuclear facilities, as required by the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). As a nonsignatory of the NPT, India does not meet that standard. The United States has already objected to the original reactor deal between Moscow and New Delhi, casting doubt on the viability of future agreements. return to menu
G. Nuclear Safety
1. A. Rumyantsev: "Only skilled maintenance of all nuclear procedures and techniques promotes atomic energy development"
December 9, 2002
(for personal use only)
Atomic Energy Minister RF Alexander Rumyantsev met with representatives of public and ecological organizations of the Urals and Siberia in Minatom of Russia on 6 December. In the course of the meeting ecological aspects of Minatom activity were discussed, in particular, ecological and economic safety at import of irradiated nuclear fuel, ways to solve problems of Techa tandem reservoir system at Mayak Production Association (Chelyabinsk region). Speaking at the meeting, Mr. A. Rumyantsev noted: "Ecological safety of all projects in the industry is a priority". Touching on the problems of atomic energy development, the Minister said: "Only the country which can provide skilled maintenance and safety of all nuclear procedures and techniques will be able to develop atomic power".
Mr. Rumyantsev also mentioned a constructive nature of ecologists criticism, having emphasized that "the Ministry considers it expedient to establish special parliamentary commissions to maintain foreign spent nuclear fuel import projects at all stages of their implementation". Parliamentary commissions will provide documents covering all spent nuclear fuel handling procedures, all estimates and regulatory documents, which will permit to make projects ecologically transparent for general public. In conclusion the Minister noted that such meetings were undoubtedly useful and necessary and would be held in future to maintain broad and constructive dialogue with public. return to menu
2. Minister Advocates Control Over Nuclear-Fuel Imports
December 9, 2002
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Speaking to agroup of environmental activists in Moscow on 9 December, Atomic
Energy Minister Aleksandr Rumyantsev said that he supports the creation of a parliamentary control commission to oversee his ministry's project to import spent nuclear fuel for reprocessing, strana.ru reported. He said that such a commission "would be presented with all documents related to the technology of handling spent nuclear fuel and all accounts and normative data, which would make these projects ecologically transparent to the public." According to ITAR-TASS, Rumyantsev said that his ministry will conduct regular meetings with representatives of all of the regions directly affected by the plans to import and reprocess spent nuclear fuel. return to menu
1. Texas Company Fined for Illegal Transshipment of Computers to Russia
Bureau of Industry and Security
Department of Commerce
December 4, 2002
Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Lisa Prager announced today that Jet Info Systems International (Jet) located in Dallas, Texas will pay a $40,000 civil penalty to settle allegations that it reexported computers from Germany to the Russian Federal Nuclear Center of the Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics (Arzamas-16) in violation of U.S. export control requirements.
The Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) alleged that, on two occasions in 1996, Jet transshipped computers from Germany to Arzamas-16 through the Netherlands without the required BIS reexport authorization. Although the computers were manufactured abroad, they remained subject to U.S. export control regulations because they were produced with U.S.-origin technology. In a related case, BIS also alleged that Alexander Zisman, a Russian national, arranged for the transportation for one of the shipments from Germany to Arzamas-16 through the Netherlands without BIS authorization.
In addition to the civil penalty, a two-year denial of export privileges was imposed on Jet in connection with the settlement agreement. The denial of export privileges will be suspended provided that Jet does not commit any export control violations during the two-year suspension period. In the related case, Mr. Zisman will pay a $20,000 civil penalty and be denied export privileges for five years.
The Department of Commerce, through BIS, administers and enforces export controls for reasons of national security, foreign policy, anti-terrorism, nonproliferation, and short supply. Criminal penalties and administrative sanctions can be imposed for violations of the Export Administration Regulations. return to menu
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