1. RUMORS ABOUT MASS DEPARTURE OF RUSSIAN SCIENTISTS
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The rumors about the mass departure of Russian scientists for abroad are exaggerated, Russia's education and science minister Andrei Fursenko said this Monday at an international seminar, "Support for the Development of Scientific Career and Academic Mobility between the Russian Federation and the European Union."
"The rumors about the danger of brain drain from Russia are exaggerated today," the minister said. He noted that this topic had been exploited since the early 1990s.
In the opinion of Fursenko, today one can see natural migration of scientific personnel from Russia to other countries.
"The only problem is that this movement should proceed in all the directions: the return of our scientists to Russia and the arrival of foreigners into the country," the minister said.
In his opinion, internal migration when "young and active people simply quit for other spheres of activity" inflicts considerable damage on Russian science. "Internal migration has produced a more devastating effect on Russian science than external migration," Andrei Fursenko said.
Scientists quit science, giving preference to business, for example, where incomes are much higher.
According to estimates, from several dozen to several hundred thousand scientists have left Russia in the past 15 years. A poll of the Science and Innovation system produced interesting results. When asked about whether brain drain had contracted in recent years, 36% of the respondents answered in the affirmative and 55% of the polled answered in the negative. When asked about whether scientists who had left Russia in the 1990s were returning back to the country, 9% of the respondents gave a positive answer and 87% a negative one.
1. GREAT BRITAIN FINANCES CONSTRUCTION OF SITE FOR NUCLEAR
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Great Britain will finance the construction of the site in Murmansk for the continuous dry storage of containers with nuclear wastes under the Global Partnership program. The total cost of the project is 16.2 million pounds (over $30 million).
This was disclosed on Friday at the presentation of the project, held in Murmansk on the territory of Atomflot repair and technological enterprise, where the site is intended to be located.
British Ambassador to Russia Tony Brenton participated in the ceremony. According to him, the participation of Great Britain in the project is highly important. "England participates in the project since it's interested in prevention of the nuclear wastes expansion in the world and especially in Russia, where this issue is particularly actual," he told RIA Novosti.
The site for the continuous dry storage of containers with nuclear waste will be located in a facility of the enterprise built in the Soviet era.
A spokesman for Atomflot told RIA Novosti that the construction of the facility was stopped due to the economic crisis in the country. Currently the storage of containers will be maintained by means of modern technologies, he noted.
"Public organizations conducted an independent ecological expertise of the project and we do not have any serious claims," Sergei Zhavoronkin, the Director of the Murmansk regional public ecological organization "Belunna-Murmansk", said in his turn.
According to him, the independent public ecological expertise of this project was held for the first time in Russia.
According to the project, the facility will keep approximately 50 containers with nuclear wastes up to 50 years.
"The continuous storage of the containers is conditioned by the fact that some types of nuclear wastes cannot be utilized," the Atomflot disclosed.
The project is to be implemented by the middle of 2006.
All in all Great Britain intends to give Russia $750 million for prevention of nuclear wastes expansion within the frames of the Global Partnership program.
1. RUSSIA SPEAKS AGAINST ENLARGING NUCLEAR POWERS' CLUB, SAYS PUTIN
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Russia believes that Brazil, just like any other country, has the right to develop its peaceful nuclear programs, but is sharply against increasing the number of countries who possess nuclear weapons, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday in an interview with Brazilian newspapers Folha de Sao Paulo and Globo.
"Further distribution of nuclear weapons across the planet won't improve the situation in the world as regards security, but will instead further push mankind to a dangerous line," believes the Russian president.
"That's why we believe that it would be right if Brazil joined IAEA additional protocols. But, I repeat, we proceed from the fact that Brazil has all rights to develop its peaceful nuclear program," said the head of the Russian state.
Vladimir Putin reassured that Russia was ready to cooperate with Brazil in that direction in all aspects. "We have a good experience here, good developments, experts, because it's one of the interesting and promising lines of cooperation," he emphasized.
Mr. Putin did not rule out that the issue of nuclear cooperation would be raised during his visit to Brazil. "This is quite possible. We know a third unit is being commissioned at the nuclear power plant in Brazil. I repeat, we have very good traditions of power mechanical engineering and a lot of developments in this sphere. We could be interesting partners for one another," said the Russian president.
2. Putin's nuclear plans signal new arms race, Bush's critics blame his push to build a missile defense system
Hearst News Service
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The announcement last week that Russia is building advanced nuclear missiles signals that a new arms race is under way, a development that Bush administration critics say was triggered by the imminent deployment of the U.S. missile defense system.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told a gathering of Russian military officers last Wednesday that his government is testing new missiles that "will be put in service within the next few years and, what is more, they will be developments of the kind that other nuclear powers do not and will not have," according to the ITAR-Tass news agency.
The Russian leader, who has previously stated that defeating terrorism fomented by the Chechnya rebellion was his top security concern, told the audience that "we will continue to persistently develop our armed forces on the whole, including its nuclear arsenal potential."
U.S. system almost ready
Putin's comments are the latest in a series of Russian warnings that the development of the American missile defense program will not go unchallenged.
The U.S. missile defense system is scheduled to be operational by the end of December. The system consists of six rocket interceptors installed in silos at Fort Greely, Alaska, with 10 more interceptors planned there. Four more will be based at Vandenburg Air Force Base in central California.
The goal of missile defense is to protect against a very limited missile attack. In theory, a non-explosive warhead carried aloft into space by a U.S. rocket interceptor would hit and destroy an enemy warhead bearing down on a U.S. city.
Many defense analysts have warned that the drive by the United States to develop a missile defense could provoke an arms escalation.
Fears of an arms race
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, has cautioned that missile defense "is likely to unleash an arms race with other countries."
Harold Brown a former secretary of defense under President Carter, said that China would build up its long-range nuclear forces "to whatever level is necessary ... in the face of a future U.S. ballistic missile defense system."
The Pentagon in its annual assessment of China's military power echoes the view that Beijing considers missile defense a direct threat.
The Defense Department's report last May said Beijing believes that U.S. missile defenses "will challenge the credibility of China's nuclear deterrent and eventually be extended to protect Taiwan."
Victoria Samson, a nuclear analyst with the nonpartisan Center for Defense Information, said Putin's emphasis on nuclear weapons "absolutely is a response to what the United States has been doing" in missile defense.
She noted that Putin's comments came the same week the Pentagon announced that the first six interceptors had been installed at Fort Greely, which is 100 miles southeast of Fairbanks.
Mixed test results
Missile defense is a complex technological undertaking, and eventually will include a complicated network of computers, satellites and sensors to guide the rocket to its target.
The system has had five test successes and three failures.
As Pentagon officials acknowledge, the successful tests were under controlled circumstances to help prove the technological concepts.
Russia and China are concerned that their nuclear deterrent would be greatly diminished by a U.S. missile defense system. U.S. officials have responded that missile defenses are only designed to counter missiles launched by Iran or North Korea.
Pentagon officials also point out that the thousands of Russian warheads already available could overwhelm American missile defenses.
The Pentagon expects to spend $10 billion next year for the system.
White House unconcerned
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the administration was not concerned about new Russian nuclear weapons programs.
Asked about Putin's comments, McClellan said: "We are very well aware of their long-standing modernization efforts for their military."
He said that the two countries were allies in the war against terrorism and shared the goal of reducing nuclear arsenals.
Putin and Bush will have the opportunity to discuss the issue face to face this weekend.
The two leaders were scheduled to have lunch during a meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation organization in Santiago, Chile.
While news that 380 tons of conventional explosives are missing from a former Iraqi military installation has made headlines, less attention is being paid to evidence that Iraqi scientists are using their skills to try to produce chemical and biological weapons for Iraqi insurgents. Even more worrisome is the possibility that these scientists could provide international terrorist groups operating in Iraq with chemical, biological or even nuclear weapons capabilities.
The end of Saddam Hussein's rule and the iron-fisted control that he wielded over Iraq's weapons and weapons development programs left Iraq's weapons scientists out of work and facing an uncertain future. As a result, insurgent groups have been working to recruit these scientists to join in their fight.
After an exhaustive 15-month investigation, the CIA's Iraq Survey Group, led by Charles Duelfer, reported recently that it found no evidence that Saddam had chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons - or active programs to create such weapons - at the time of the U.S. invasion. But the group also said that insurgents in Iraq have been pursuing chemical and biological capabilities for use against U.S. forces since the invasion. Some of the insurgents may also have developed connections with foreign terrorist groups operating in Iraq, the report said. These findings could have profound consequences.
The Iraq Survey Group reported that its experts on chemical weapons, or CW, and counterterrorism "uncovered and tracked down an active insurgent group that had been using former regime CW experts to attempt to create and use CW for use against the coalition." In another case, a group of Iraqi scientists without weapons expertise have been trying to produce the poison ricin to use in mortar shells, as well as deadly tabun and mustard chemical agents, the group said. This band of scientists, dubbed the Al Abud network, was broken up by coalition forces before it could succeed.
With the network's destruction, Duelfer assured Congress that he was "convinced we successfully contained a problem before it matured into a major threat." But other groups are also reported to be trying to acquire chemical and biological weapons.
In another worrisome development, the International Atomic Energy Agency announced on Oct. 1 that sophisticated equipment that could be used to make nuclear weapons was missing in Iraq. The next week, the CIA's special adviser on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction reported that Iraqi weapons scientists were working with insurgents to develop chemical weapons.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many experts feared that rogue states and terrorists might acquire chemical, biological or nuclear capabilities. But proliferation from the former Soviet Union has been far less significant over the past decade than initially feared.
Recent research we conducted suggests that a series of significant barriers have made it very difficult for those seeking such weapons to connect with weapons scientists or people with access to materials in the former Soviet Union. Important disincentives have also discouraged those in the Russian weapons complexes from making illicit transfers. In short, what has saved us so far has been the terrorists' inability to get close to weapons scientists and others with access to critical materials.
But many of the barriers and disincentives that stemmed the flow of weapons, materials and knowledge from the former Soviet Union are barely present in today's Iraq. A key difference between the two countries is that international terrorists with an interest in acquiring unconventional weapons now operate in Iraq. Moreover, Iraq's lawlessness makes it easier for terrorists to recruit unemployed scientists.
Although the Al Abud network was disrupted before it could succeed, unless coalition forces and the Iraqi government can improve security conditions inside and on the country's borders and effectively control former Iraqi weapons scientists, terrorist groups can get what they want.
A critical task for U.S., Iraqi and international authorities is to secure materials and equipment that could be used in chemical, nuclear or biological weapons. Equally important are programs that bolster the barriers and disincentives for former Iraqi weapons scientists and technicians who could help terrorists or rogue states acquire these deadly capabilities. That approach is similar to the one the United States took with the former Soviet Union. While there are many priority actions in Iraq, this should be one of the most important.
The single greatest danger facing humanity, President Bush says, is the threat of nuclear weapons falling into terrorist hands.
So in the next four years, Bush looks to work with other nations to prevent countries from developing nuclear weapons, to secure and dismantle existing weapons and stop black-market trafficking of nuclear materials.
This isn't exactly the arms-control policy of past presidents -- the lengthy negotiations and detailed agreements, mostly between the United States and the Soviet Union or Russia over nuclear stockpiles, missile defense and weapons testing.
Instead, this is arms control rooted in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
"Those attacks also raised the prospect of even worse dangers -- of other weapons in the hands of other men," Bush said in February. "The greatest threat before humanity today is the possibility of secret and sudden attack with chemical or biological or radiological or nuclear weapons."
Bush has said terrorism is a global problem, and he seeks a multinational solution. He has worked with other nations to stop North Korea and Iran from developing nuclear programs. He backs efforts to encourage countries to intercept weapons components and to help nations secure or remove radioactive materials.
Bush has also promised to expand on the 1991 Nunn-Lugar program for dismantling weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union and finding work for former weapons scientists.
The program's co-founder, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., said he will propose legislation this week to eliminate bureaucratic snags and to create a new program aimed at dismantling conventional weapons. Lugar said he has worked with the administration on the plans.
But Democrats and some analysts say the president's efforts don't reflect the urgency of the threat. And they say his ability to rally nations behind his arms-control measure has been undermined by his disdain for older weapons treaties and faulty U.S. intelligence on Iraq's weapons programs.
Jack Mendelsohn, a U.S. arms control negotiator in the 1970s and '80s, said U.S. credibility on identifying nuclear threats "is only slightly greater than zero" because of Iraq.
When the United States describes dangers in Iran or North Korea's nuclear programs, "the other countries say, 'Yeah, but you guys tend to go off the deep end and you exaggerate,' " he said.
But to the administration, the threats from both nations are real. They are the two remaining points on Bush's "axis of evil" now that Iraq's Saddam Hussein has been toppled, and both are considered sponsors of terrorism.
Some analysts believe the greatest nuclear threat to the United States could come from an ally -- Pakistan.
Bush has cited as a success the breakup of a proliferation network headed by Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan, and President Pervez Musharraf has become an important ally in the fight against terrorism. But Islamic militants are active in Pakistan and its politics are turbulent.
Joseph Cirincione of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said instability in Pakistan could "mean a hemorrhaging of nuclear expertise, materials and possibly even weapons themselves."
"Our policy toward Pakistan is basically the hope that everything stays OK," he said.
1. U.S. Ambassador Calls on Russia to Fully Support Efforts to Restrict Nuclear Technology Transfers
Global Security Newswire
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U.S. Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow called on Russia this week to fully support a Bush administration effort to restrict transfers of nuclear technologies that could be used to produce weapon-grade materials.
During a speech Tuesday at Princeton University in New Jersey, Vershbow said Russia had been ï¿½reluctantï¿½ to support a Bush administration initiative to restrict transfers of uranium enrichment and reprocessing technologies. As first proposed by President George W. Bush in February, the initiative calls for countries to deny such technologies to those countries that do not already possess them.
ï¿½We believe this is needed to plug a key loophole in the [Nuclear] Nonproliferation Treaty, whereby states have the right to master the technologies needed to produce nuclear weapons under false pretenses ï¿½ that is, by declaring their peaceful intent, while using civilian nuclear programs as cover for weapons development,ï¿½ Vershbow said.
ï¿½Our bitter experience with Iranï¿½s and North Koreaï¿½s covert nuclear programs shows why we can no longer give countries the benefit of the doubt,ï¿½ he added.
During this yearï¿½s summit at Sea Island, Ga., Group of Eight members agreed to a one-year freeze on new exports of uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing capabilities to countries that do not already possess them. They also called on non-G-8 members to follow their example. Russia is a G-8 member, along with Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
ï¿½Although we may not agree with Russia on all tactical aspects of the nonproliferation agenda, Iï¿½m optimistic that our strategic outlooks will increasingly coincide, since our interests are basically the same,ï¿½ Vershbow said.
He noted Russiaï¿½s support at this yearï¿½s G-8 summit for another Bush administration initiative to require countries seeking to import nuclear technologies for civilian programs to first have had signed an Additional Protocol to their International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards agreement. The Additional Protocol gives the agency the authority to conduct more intrusive monitoring of a countryï¿½s nuclear activities.
Vershbow praised the accomplishments of several joint U.S.-Russian nonproliferation activities, such as efforts to redirect former Soviet WMD scientists to civilian research projects and efforts to eliminate Russian nuclear weapons by removing their fissile material and converting it for use as civilian nuclear power plant fuel. He also praised Russiaï¿½s decision in May to join the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative, which seeks to interdict shipments of WMD-related cargo.
ï¿½We look forward to the active engagement of its security and military agencies both in preparing for interdiction operations, and in shutting down proliferation networks once and for all,ï¿½ he said.
In his remarks, Vershbow praised the ï¿½increasingly constructive interactionï¿½ between the United States and Russia on nonproliferation issues, noting Moscowï¿½s growing realization of the need to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and to prevent terrorists from obtaining weapons of mass destruction.
ï¿½The Russians showed some ambivalence in the past about the threat posed by Iraq under Saddam Hussein, and about the current regime in Tehran. However, they are increasingly clear-eyed about the danger, and our cooperation is improving,ï¿½ Vershbow said.
The United States has been concerned about Russiaï¿½s construction of the nuclear power plant in the Iranian city of Bushehr. Citing the press service of the Russian Security Council, the RIA Novosti news agency reported today that Russia planned to continue its cooperation with Iranian civilian nuclear efforts.
In his remarks, Vershbow also noted a number of recent moves by Russian President Vladimir Putin to centralize political power in the Kremlin, including through an end to popular elections for members of the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament; a proposal to eliminate popular elections for regional governors; and increasing state control over Russian media sources.
ï¿½It appears that all branches and levels of government are being made more accountable to the president, but less accountable to the public,ï¿½ Vershbow said.
ï¿½I donï¿½t want to overstate what has happened so far,ï¿½ he added. ï¿½I want to be clear about this: Russiaï¿½s transformation from its repressive, Soviet past has not stopped or been reversed.ï¿½
The recent political moves in Russia are not likely to weaken cooperation with the United States on nonproliferation issues, Vershbow said.
Even so, he added, ï¿½regression toward more authoritarianism and reduced accountability in Russian governance would ï¿½ ultimately undermine Russiaï¿½s evolution into the strong, confident and responsible partner that we will need at our side to help us overcome the global threats we will face in this century: terrorism, proliferation, and regional instability.ï¿½
2. US waives secret arms sales sanctions on Russian firm, imposes new penalties
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The United States has taken the unusual step of lifting classified punitive sanctions against a Russian company for illegal arms sales and slapped new, public penalties on the firm for illicit missile technology transfers, the State Department said Friday.
The company, Federal Research and Production Complex Altay, was hit with the secret sanctions in July when the department announced it had "made a determination" under US arms control laws that could not be made public for national security reasons.
"Publication of the determination would be harmful to the national security of the United States," the department said in a terse, one-sentence July 22 notice in the Federal Register which provided no other information.
The identity of the firm in question remained secret until this Thursday when the department rescinded the initial sanctions in a second, equally cryptic Federal Register notice that said the penalties "no longer apply."
It then said without explanation that the company referred to in the July 22 notice was the "Federal Research and Production Complex Altay."
In lifting the earlier penalties, though, the department also imposed new sanctions on the company, including a ban on US government contracts, for allegedly selling missile technology.
In a second notice in Thursday's Federal Register, the department said the Federal Research and Production Complex Altay "has engaged in missile technology proliferation activities that require the imposition of measures pursuant to" US arms sales regulations.
In addition to the ban on US government contracts, the sanctions include a two-year bar on any US assistance or sales of equipment to the company, the denial of US export and import licences for the firm, the notice said.
1. Iranian official to discuss nuclear program in Moscow
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Hossein Mousavian, secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council's foreign policy committee, came to Moscow on Monday to meet with Russian officials, the Iranian Embassy's press service told Interfax.
A source told Interfax that matters related to the Iranian nuclear program, including Tehran's decision to suspend uranium enrichment operations starting from November 22, will be discussed at the talks.
2. Moscow hails end of Tehran's uranium-enrichment program
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Russia welcomes Iran's decision to abandon its uranium-enrichment program, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko told a news conference in Moscow on Monday.
"We are generally positive about this step, which was taken by Iran voluntarily," Yakovenko told Interfax.
"Our position is that this is a move in the right direction. We hope that Iran's cooperation with the IAEA [the International Atomic Energy Agency] will strengthen. We are looking forward to a IAEA Board of Governors session, during which these issues will be discussed," he said.
3. RUSSIA TO CONTINUE PARTICIPATION IN DEVELOPMENT OF PEACEFUL NUCLEAR PROGRAMS IN IRAN
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Russia intends to continue its active participation in the development of Iranian peaceful nuclear energy industry while observing relevant international obligations, stated secretary of the Russian Security Council Igor Ivanov in a phone conversation with secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran Hassan Rowhani on Thursday.
The Russian Security Council's press service told RIA Novosti that Mr. Ivanov and Mr. Rowhani exchanged opinions on current bilateral issues and some global problems.
Hassan Rowhani informed the secretary of the Russian Security Council about agreements between Iran and the EU "triad" - the United Kingdom, France and Germany - on the issue of Iranian nuclear program. In that respect, the Iranian side expressed gratitude toward Russia for strong support during the preparation of these agreements. The agreements provide for a constructive approach toward the issue of Iranian nuclear program during the upcoming meeting of IAEA Board of Governors in November.
In his turn, Igor Ivanov expressed satisfaction with the fact that Iran and the EU had finally reached understanding.
The Russian side hopes that the agreements between Iran and the EU will be fully implemented, which in turn will ensure the normalization of the situation around Iranian nuclear program. Russia, as always, will provide all necessary assistance in that respect.
4. Russia seeks active participation in Iran's peaceful nuclear programme
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Russia wishes to participate actively in Iran's peaceful nuclear programme in due conformity with international commitments, the secretary of the national security council was quoted as saying Thursday.
"Russia intends to participate actively in the development of civil nuclear energy in Iran in line with international obligations," Russsian news agencies quoted Igor Ivanov as telling his Iranian equivalent Hassan Rohani by telephone.
Iran has informed Russia of the terms of an agreement reached with France, Germany and Britain -- on behalf of the European Union -- on the controversy of Iranian nuclear power.
Iran agreed to suspend uranium enrichment in order to defuse international concern about its nuclear programme -- seen by the United States as a cover for an atomic weapons drive.
The deal brokered by the EU three offered Iran trade, security and technological incentives in return for its cooperation.
Tehran asserts that it only wants to generate atomic energy in order to meet booming domestic power demand and free up its vast oil and gas resources for export.
RIA Novosti news agency reported that Russia had expressed satisfaction at the accord with the western powers, saying it would help to normalise the Iran's situation.
Moscow is in the process of completing Iran's first nuclear power plant, although it has refused to provide fuel for the project until it guarantees its safe return to Russia for reprocessing.
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said in September his Islamic state was pushing forward with nuclear cooperation with Russia despite protests from the West.
He said the reactor in the southern Iranian town of Bushehr would go ahead despite resistance from the United States and Israel.
1. INDIA'S OPINION OF RUSSIAN ECONOMY HAMPERS TRADE
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A large obstacle in the development of trade and economic relations between Russia and India is that India does not recognize Russia as a market economy, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said at a session of the intergovernmental Russian-Indian commission for trade, economic, scientific, technological and cultural cooperation.
According to him, the problem has been already solved in relations with many countries, including the United States, the European Union and China.
Mr. Zhukov said India conducted the most antidumping investigations against Russia, but most importantly, Russian companies were presumed to be from a country without a market economy.
He said that large Russian businesses (nonferrous metals, energy, mineral production, high-tech, telecommunications and civil aviation) had shown a clear interest in the Indian market.
The deputy prime minister said he hoped that before President Putin's visit to India in December, it would be possible to resolve problems between Moscow and New Delhi connected with Russia's entry into the WTO, as it would triple trade between the countries.
According to Federal Customs Service, in 2003 Russia's trade turnover with India was $3.3 billion. Russia exported nearly five times as much as it imported ($2.7 billion and $584 million, respectively).
"In the next few years," he said, "Russia and India will not only have to continue cooperation in traditional spheres, but also to promote cooperation projects in new spheres, primarily in the development of high-tech industries, mutual investments and active cooperation."
Mr. Zhukov said nuclear power and joint development and production of aircraft were among these high-tech industries and new forms of cooperation.
Mr. Zhukov also spoke about the possibilities of developing new information technologies, methods of communication, medicine and medical equipment and also noted the largepotential in the space sphere.
In order to develop cooperation in these areas, Mr. Zhukov said it was necessary to adopt a number of measures including the creation of favorable conditions, an exchange of technologies and accelerated development and strengthening of the appropriate market structures in the two countries, as well as to perfect the regulatory, financial and information support of industrial cooperation.
3. Russia ships reactor shell for Kudankulam atomic power plant :
Press Trust of India
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Russia today formally delivered the casing (vessel) of the first of two nuclear reactors for the 2000 MW Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu.
At a ceremony in port city of St Petersburg, which was attended by S K Jain, the Chairman of Nuclear Power Corporation Ltd, and Valentina Matviyenko, the local governor, the outer casing of the VVER-1000 light water nuclear reactor was loaded on an India-bound ship, RosBalt news agency reported.
Under the 300 million US dollar deal with India's NPCL, United Machine-building Plants (UMZ), which is based at Izhora near St Petersburg, is to supply two reactors for the Kudankulam nuclear power station. The casing of second reactor is scheduled to be delivered in April next year.
In all UMZ is to supply 21 metric tons of equipment for Kudankulam by the end of 2006.
Meanwhile, a group of engineers and officials from Kudankulam have completed training in operation and maintenance of VVER-1000 nuclear reactors at a similar Russian power plant in Russia's Tver region.
1. Putin heads to Brazil to boost military, nuclear cooperation
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Russian President Vladimir Putin, who arrives in Brazil late Sunday in the first visit here by a Russian leader, said in newspaper interviews that he expected a fruitful trip that will include talks on nuclear energy and military cooperation.
"We expect much from this trip," Putin told the dailies Folha de Sao Paulo and Globo.
"We gave good opportunities to diversify our bilateral relations" in the areas of aerospace and high technology, and nuclear energy, said Putin, who was in Chile this weekend for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperationsummit.
"I also hope to consolidate our first success, which is our technical-military cooperation," the Russian leader said.
Putin mentioned Russia's interest in helping Brazil build a third nuclear power plant, saying cooperation in this area cannot be "neglected."
Brazil has one of the world's largest uranium reserves but has clashed with the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over allowing the nuclear watchdog to inspect a uranium enrichment facility in Rio de Janeiro state.
"Brazil, like any other country, has the right to develop its (civilian) nuclear program," Putin said. "However, we vehemently oppose the enlargement of the nuclear club (of nations with nuclear weapons)."
Brazil has signed and ratified the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the US government has said it was confident Brasilia was not developing nuclear arms.
Putin arrives in the capital Brasilia late Sunday and will visit Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Brazil's Congress on Monday. The Russian president, whose delegation includes government officials and business persons, leaves Brazil on Tuesday.
During Putin's visit, Brazil might bring up its bid to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
In September, Brazil, Germany, India and Japan launched a united campaign for permanent seats on the council, with mutual pledges of support for each other's candidacies.
The 15-nation Security Council has had the same five permanent members with veto power -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- since the UN was established in 1945, after World War II.
"It is no secret that Brazil is one of the real and viable candidates for a permanent seat," Putin told the Brazilian newspapers. "The topic must be evaluated in all its complexity."
1. Sailor Killed in Accident on Russian Nuclear Submarine
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A Russian Navy commission is investigating an incident on a nuclear submarine from the Pacific Fleet that led to the death of a sailor, Interfax news agency reported. The sailor was killed due to an explosion caused by the ï¿½rupture of a pipe feeding pressure to a fresh water tank,ï¿½ the agency quoted its source in the main naval headquarters as saying.
However, information on the explosion onboard the K-223 sub was revealed only after sailor Dmitry Kovalï¿½s funeral, five days after the incident took place on Nov. 14.
Koval reportedly died saving his fellow servicemen. Some of them were injured after the explosion.
The agencyï¿½s source stressed that the incident had not taken place during combat operations at sea, but at a jetty at the Pacific Fleet submarine base in Kamchatka.
Earlier, a source in the Pacific Fleet headquarters was quoted by the agency as saying that the military prosecutorï¿½s office of the Pacific Fleet had opened a criminal case into the sailorï¿½s death.
On Aug. 12, 2000, the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk sank during exercises in the Barents Sea with 118 crew on board. Government officials said that an explosion, possibly from a torpedo, caused the disaster.
Another submarine ï¿½ a November class K-159 ï¿½ also sank in the Barents Sea in August 2003 on its way to be stripped of its nuclear reactors.
Russia's new nuclear missile system is purely defensive and part of the country's program to upgrade its military, Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said the country is developing a new "state-of-the-art" nuclear missile system unlike any weapon held by other countries. He said it will be deployed "in the near future" but gave no details.
"It's a military issue, of course," Fedotov told The Associated Press on Friday when asked about the new missiles. "Any armed forces needs a kind of upgrading, so it's a natural process."
The Russian minister was asked why the country was trying to improve its nuclear capabilities at a time when the international community is working to get countries like North Korea and Iran to abandon their nuclear programs.
"Of course it is necessary to improve missile system in order to avoid any accidents. This is standard procedure," Fedotov said.
Fedotov said that "as everything we have, it's totally defensive."
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said President Bush and Putin had discussed the issue previously. He suggested that close ties between the two leaders makes alarm unnecessary. But he didn't eliminate Washington's concern.
"We have a very different relationship than we did in the Cold War," he said. "The fact that we do have a good relationship enables us to speak very directly to our Russian friends."
Christopher Langton, head of defense analysis at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies, said Putin's comments appeared to be the first time that Russian officials had spoken publicly about a new deterrent, though he had no idea what the system might be.
Putin has made clear that improving the armed forces, which declined after the breakup of the Soviet Union, is a priority. In the past year, Russia defense officials have made several announcements about new weapons.
Fedotov was in New York for a series of meetings and to introduce a General Assembly resolution to commemorate next year's 60th anniversary of the end of fighting in World War II's European theater.
3. One killed in blast on Russian nuclear submarine
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One sailor was killed Friday when a blast went off during maintenance work on a Russian nuclear submarine based on the Kamchatka peninsula on the Pacific Coast, a navy spokesman said.
A spokesman for Russia's Pacific Fleet said the accident occurred at the Vilyuchink navy base but refused to specify the type of submarine affected.
NTV television separately reported that the sub was a Murenadesignation Delta) type vessel capable of carrying 12 intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Navy officials said only that one of the pipes supplying oxygen on the craft blew apart, raising air pressure to dangerous levels in one of the compartments.
"I was told that there was an explosion," Tatyana Koval, mother of the killed seamen Dmitry, told NTV television.
"A canister blew apart," she said.
The navy spokesman said the submarine remained operational.
In August 2000, 118 seamen died when the Kursk nuclear submarine sank in the Barents Sea.
Another nine Russian sailors died in the K-159 submarine when it sank in the Barents Sea in August 2003 while being towed to port for decommissioning. Only one of the seamen on board was recovered alive.
4. WHAT NEW NUCLEAR MISSILE SYSTEMS DOES RUSSIA HAVE?
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President Vladimir Putin mentioned the successful tests of new nuclear missile systems at a conference with the top leaders of the Russian Armed Forces on November 17. "...They will be supplied to the armed forces in the next few years," he said. "...The other nuclear powers do not have and will not have comparable systems in the near future." Nezavisimaya Gazeta decided to find out what the president meant.
Experts believe that he probably meant the Bulava system for Project 995 submarines, which are under construction. The Bulava SS-N-30 ballistic missile with ten warheads has a range of 8,000km. Work on it began in 1986 (project Bark, renamed Project Bulava in 1998), but no apparent results have been achieved. The 2004 tests entailed the launching of a practice round, the goal being to test the launcher that fires the missile from the submarine's silo. So far, Russia does not have a single live Bulava missile or control systems for it.
There is only one new missile in Russia, the ground-based Iskander-M, which has been recently put on combat duty in the armed forces. This unique missile is almost invisible to radars, can maneuver in flight and has a cruising speed of Mach 3, which allows it to avoid any of the modern ballistic defense systems. The missile is also a precision weapon. However, it is not a strategic but a tactical frontline missile with a range of 280km. In other words, it does not threaten "the other nuclear powers."
Besides, the creation of new nuclear weapons is impossible without tests, and nuclear explosions have not been held in Russia since 1990. "It is impossible to know the physics of a nuclear explosion without tests," said Academician Boris Litvinov, chief designer of nuclear and thermonuclear weapons at the Research Institute of Technical Physics. "The general belief that a perfect nuclear charge can be created only with the help of calculations is not true. The more sophisticated a physical device, the more experiments should be conducted with it."
1. MOX-production plant project in Seversk in limbo
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The head of radiation safety department at the Tomsk region administration Yury Zubkov said that to Regnum.ru. ï¿½Who will be held responcible in case of an accident at the MOX-plant? Who will be responsible for the daily operation? These questions are open now. While these questions are not answered neither of the G8 countries will not give money to implement the program. England was the first to announce thatï¿½ Yury Zubkov said. So, it is early to speak about the MOX plant construction, it can be on hold for a indefenite time.
However, the USA try to adopt the French MOX technology MELOX to the conditions in Seversk. According to the Platts news agency, the Department of Energy (DOE) will contract with Cogema to transfer MOX fuel fabrication technology to Russia, DOE announced on November 12. Under the contract, which has yet to be negotiated, Cogema would provide "proprietary intellectual property" and "limited technical support" to the U.S. DOE for construction of a mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication facility in Russia, the department said in a November 12 presolicitation notice. The MOX fuel will be fabricated using some 34 tons of former Russian weapons plutonium as part of the U.S.-Russian plutonium disposition program. Cogema is part of the DCS consortium that plans to construct a MOX fuel plant in the U.S. for plutonium disposition. The contract for work on the project in Russia would run from January 2005 to December 2006, DOE said. The department did not specify a dollar figure for the work. The contract will be negotiated on a sole-source basis because only Cogema can transfer its own MOX technology, DOE said.
1. Nuclear Suitcase Bombs Can Be Detected From Space Satellites
Free Press International
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Suitcase nuclear bombs can be detected from space satellites. The Multispectral Thermal Imager (MTI) satellite developed at Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories includes a sophisticated equipment that can detect any nuclear energy on earth.
The US Air Force Space and Missile Test and Evaluation Directorate launched the MTI into polar orbit in 1999 using an Orbital Sciences Corporation Taurus rocket.
Usama Bin Laden allegedly has already purchased a number of nuclear suitcase bombs from Chechen organized crime groups and there have been reports that he has backpack bombs also.
So if there are suitcase bombs out there, we should already know exactly where they are.
1. The U.S. Perspective on U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540
Andrew K. Semmel, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
Department of State
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Remarks to the Asia-Pacific Nuclear Safeguards and Security Conference Sydney, Australia November 8, 2004
Thank you very much.
It is a genuine pleasure to be here among such distinguished panelists and guests. Let me first join others in thanking the Australian government for organizing this intensive look at ways to strengthen international efforts to prevent state and non-state actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 is the latest in a series of internationally directed, measures aimed at preventing WMD proliferation and, most particularly, preventing and countering terrorist acquisition and use of these deadly weapons.
As the original sponsor of UNSCR 1540, the United States took a leading role in developing and adding this tool to our collective "toolbox" of measures to prevent proliferation. My remarks today offer a brief look at the conditions prompting the call for UNSCR 1540 and our priorities in negotiating the resolution. I will also look forward at how the United States hopes Resolution 1540 will contribute to more effective responses to terrorist efforts to acquire WMD.
A LAYERED NONPROLIFERATION DEFENSE
Over the years, while working with others, we have built a complex nonproliferation regime to deal with diverse proliferation threats. With each "layer" or initiative, the regime has sought to adapt to new challenges presented by advances in technology, evolving security dynamics, emerging threats, and other events. The first line of nonproliferation defense are the global nonproliferation treaties -- the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty [NPT], Chemical Weapons Convention [CWC], and Biological Weapons Convention [BWC]. They have served us well for decades by creating widely accepted norms against WMD acquisition, stockpiling, and proliferation, and they continue to advance dialogue and cooperation among nations. However, we have learned hard lessons with North Korea, Libya, Iraq, and Iran. These treaties have established strong global norms, but their ability to prevent WMD acquisition is only as strong as States Parties' willingness to comply with their treaty-based obligations, and by the resolve of compliant parties to hold others to their obligations.
The multilateral export control regimes -- the Nuclear Suppliers Group [NSG], Zangger Committee, Missile Technology Control Regime, Australia Group, and Wassenaar Arrangement -- are a second layer of our nonproliferation defense. Each of these export control regimes plays a critical role in identifying key WMD and missile-related material, technology and appropriate approaches to control access to such items. In the case of the Zangger, NSG, and Australia Group, these limited membership export control regimes have given greater specificity to items of concern under the NPT and CWC and have broadened the materials or technologies controlled.
However, recent experience -- most notably the clandestine A.Q. Khan nuclear trafficking network -- has made clear that having strong supplier state commitments and solid control lists do not automatically translate into prevention of illicit exports. Proliferators have adapted and often stayed one step ahead of preventors and prevention. We, too, must adapt and stay one step ahead of them. Proliferators have become adept at circumventing export controls through falsification of end-use information, end-user documentation, or cargo manifests; illicit suppliers and shippers collude and use transport routes and transshipment points in countries that lack strong controls and enforcement mechanisms.
In addition to nonproliferation treaties and regimes, the United States and other countries have engaged in a variety of ad hoc bilateral dialogues, partnerships with key like-minded states to enhance national controls over sensitive technologies and to reduce, secure, or eliminate sources of sensitive materials and technology. While seeking positive solutions, we have not shied away from use of sanctions and other punitive measures to achieve nonproliferation goals.
In general, this "layered nonproliferation defense" has worked well, where implemented, to impede and slow efforts of state and non-state actors to acquire WMD. But progress has been spotty and even frustrating, since not all states are willing or able to take seriously the appeal for stronger nonproliferation measures. Though countries can agree generally on the danger posed by weapons of mass destruction, rarely can they agree on concrete responses.
In the wake of 9/11, global nonproliferation took on increased urgency spurred by the tangible information gathered in the tragedy's aftermath about the ambitions of terrorists and terrorist organizations to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction. This nexus of terrorists seeking WMD created a strong imperative to evaluate whether existing nonproliferation tools were sufficient to address the growing threat.
WHY UNSCR 1540?
Since 9/11, the United States has looked through fresh eyes at the nonproliferation "toolbox." We assessed that the nonproliferation architecture assembled over the past three decades needed to be reinforced. We did not identify any "quick fixes" or simple solutions for this threat. We recognized that, when it comes to the WMD threat and its correlation with terrorism, time is not on our side. We simply did not believe that we had the luxury of our predecessors for negotiation across many months or years to arrive at solutions to this danger.
Against this backdrop, President Bush in the fall of 2003 called on the United Nations Security Council to adopt an anti-proliferation resolution. He urged that it require states to: (1) criminalize the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related materials; (2) to enact and enforce strict export controls; and (3) to secure sensitive material within their borders. In February of this year, in the wake of revelations about the A.Q. Khan network, President Bush reissued this call in a speech at the U.S. National Defense University. He also outlined a number of additional proposals to strengthen nonproliferation efforts -- seven in all. Intersecting with this focus on terrorism was a growing awareness of the Khan network. Companies within countries were building specialized components for exports to countries seeking nuclear weapons. In specific cases, the government was not aware of the company's activities nor did it have controls in place that would enable it to halt the illicit exports.
Ensuring that states adopt effective controls and enforcement over sensitive items is not a new endeavor. The United States and many other countries have been trumpeting the importance of strong and effective laws and enforcement measures for many years in a variety of settings. Significant strides have been made in elevating awareness about the importance of strong controls and in taking decisive action to put in place measures that keep deadly technologies out of the wrong hands. Yet a clear gap remains between the global consensus about the threat of WMD proliferation and concrete action on the ground. If I can be excused for using an American baseball metaphor, there has been much wind-up and motion on this matter but not much pitch and very little follow-through.
While not a proliferation panacea, UNSCR 1540 helps close this gap -- more potential for more pitch and more follow through. It makes strong national controls and enforcement a requirement rather than an option. Rather than engaging in protracted, multiyear treaty negotiations, the Security Council responded relatively quickly to lay out some basic requirements to address the threat to international peace and security posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It is a necessary requirement, because terrorists or those that sponsor them exploit opportunities and vulnerabilities where they exist. It is axiomatic that prevention is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain. Proliferators, like those involved in the Khan network, have shown their cunning in using not the quickest or most cost-effective routes to ply their dangerous trade, but in seeking the path of least resistance. UNSCR 1540 seeks to meet proliferators' lethal flexibility with the firm resolve of states to cut off the path to proliferation. It places a premium on establishment of legal and regulatory measures at the national level. It seeks to build capacity from the bottom up rather than attempting to impose it from above.
Resolution 1540 also reflects the steady progression of national and international efforts to address the challenges of WMD terrorism in the post 9/ 11 environment. Numerous course corrections have been adopted. And new initiatives have been launched such as the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), a highly successful counter-proliferation addition to our overall toolbox. The PSI brings together countries in partnership to defeat trafficking of deadly weapons and technologies involving state and non-state actors of special concern. The PSI and 1540 are complementary. Paragraph ten of the resolution reflects this symbiosis. The October 2003 seizure of the BBC China traveling to Libya with a cargo of centrifuges is one dramatic example of cooperative action to prevent WMD proliferation, which 1540 promotes as necessary and essential.
LOOKING FORWARD: IMPLEMENTATION OF 1540
Resolution 1540 is the result of a tedious but ultimately successful negotiation among many countries, and consensus agreement on a way forward. It preserves the core priority articulated by the United States and by others: The international community needs to take concrete action; states must put in place effective controls and enforcement so that non-state actors will not acquire deadly technologies that they would then turn on civilized nations. We are determined to work closely with other countries to ensure they establish effective national controls and enforcement measures.
We expect that states will take seriously paragraph four of the resolution calling upon them to submit comprehensive reports to the 1540 Committee on their efforts to comply with the resolution's operative elements. As of the October 28, 2004 deadline, only 54 countries had submitted their required reports -- a less than one-third response rate. I understand that the number of country reports is now about 70.
These country reports are an important tool in understanding the scope of the challenge before us and how best it can be addressed. For those who conclude that they are somehow immune to the effects of terrorism at home or elsewhere and feel no compulsion to file a report, I would simply say that terrorism anywhere affects the global economy everywhere. No state will remain unaffected by WMD proliferation; none of us is stronger than the weakest link. It is in all our interests to be a frank and open about our capabilities to respond to proliferation threats.
Each states' critical review of its own laws and regulations will help locate national, regional and international gaps. This process may facilitate an understanding of "best practices" by countries. No one intends such best practices to represent a "one size fits all" formula; rather, it intends to utilize the best available information on practices that work, even when adapted to local circumstances. The Nonproliferation Committee in New York, chaired by Ambassador [Mihnea] Motoc, is working to assemble a panel of experts to review country reports. The Committee's review of states' reports will help match assistance to the needs of member states, and the United States is prepared to assist where it can.
Though Resolution 1540 has been structured under Chapter VII, we do not envision "enforcement" as a role for the Committee. We believe that there is strong international support for this resolution and that states will comply with 1540's provisions without the need for Security Council action. If asked, the United States will work with states on a bilateral basis, or in partnership with other states, to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities under 1540. We of course will revisit this view if it becomes evident that countries are not taking their 1540 obligations seriously or are ignoring their responsibility to put in place the legal and regulatory infrastructure required under the resolution.
Let me conclude by saying that the clear intent of terrorists and terrorist organizations to acquire WMD and their known disregard for innocent lives adds great urgency to an already grave security imperative. The international community cannot rest on its nonproliferation laurels. It must be as creative, agile, and aggressive in preventing proliferation as the proliferators themselves are about acquiring WMD. This is a race we cannot afford to lose. Preferably, our game plan should be multilateral, multi-national, multi-year, and multi-dimensional. It should include diplomacy, law enforcement, economic incentives and disincentives, border security measures, and where necessary the use of force. It should run the full gamut of persuasion and coercion. It should be flexible and adaptive. It should involve both carrots and sticks but sticks should be considered only when carrots fail to generate compliance.
Neither one state nor any single approach can solve this global problem. To the contrary, a single state supplying critical materials or technologies could defeat the efforts of us all. Success requires collaboration, a long-term commitment, clear-eyed vigilance, a multiplicity of tools, as well as a serious political commitment to defeat this modern scourge. There must be commitment but there must also be follow-through in the form of enforcement and compliance. There may yet be time to prevent terrorists and those who sponsor them from acquiring deadly capabilities. We strenuously hope this is the case. We look forward to working with other countries in implementing the resolution and building a more effective set of nonproliferation tools to keep the world's most dangerous weapons out of the hands of the world's most dangerous individuals or groups.
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