1. No Decision On Russian Nuclear Submarine Sank In Barents Sea Taken
(for personal use only)
ST. PETERSBURG, January 27. /RIA Novosti-North West correspondent Anna Novak/. Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov is not sure that lifting the K-159 submarine, which sank this year in the Barents Sea, is possible this year.
"I am afraid this year we will not be entirely technically prepared for this," Kuroyedov told reporters Tuesday.
The submarine will definitely be lifted in any case, he stressed. But, so far, no decision has been taken on the exact time of lifting it, the admiral said. "We shall lift it when we are ready," he added.
The decommissioned K-159 sank on August 30 last year, as it was towed to a dockyard for utilization. Only one of its ten crewmen was saved.
Kuroyedov took part in training session with the top naval command in St. Petersburg.
1. Russia And Switzerland To Sign Agreement On Chemical Weapons Elimination
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MOSCOW, January 27 (RIA Novosti) - On Wednesday Russia and Switzerland will sign an agreement on cooperation in elimination of chemical weapons reserves in Russia, says a report of the Swiss embassy to the Russian Federation.
"Switzerland envisages to allocate approximately 15mln Swiss francs (some $12mln) for this cooperation," reads the document.
The agreement that will be signed in Moscow will regulate the framework conditions of such cooperation. The agreement is based on the Swiss Federal Parliament's decision on the encouragement of elimination of chemical weapons on a global scale, the report says.
2. Lugar Concerned About U.S. Follow-Through on Russian CW Destruction
Global Security Newswire
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WASHINGTON ï¿½ U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) yesterday expressed concern about the United States honoring its commitment to help build a major chemical weapons destruction facility in Russia through the U.S. Defense Departmentï¿½s Cooperative Threat Reduction program.
Funding has lagged, he said, because ï¿½some members of Congress were not in favor of any of the money being involved with chemical weapons.ï¿½
ï¿½They see nuclear weapons as the real threat, chemical weapons as a bridge too far,ï¿½ he said.
Lugar spoke at a press conference yesterday after a meeting with representatives from seven other countries and the European Union that are contributing to construction of a destruction facility at Shchuchye to discuss the status of the project and their funding commitments.
Though not explicitly, the meeting also was intended to demonstrate the importance other countries attach to the project with the hope of encouraging strong congressional support this year, a participant said afterward.
ï¿½Itï¿½s important for the United States to see confirmation that there is common interest abroad in supporting this project, that we are all on the same line,ï¿½ said Benedict de Cerjat, the deputy chief of mission for the Embassy of Switzerland.
In attendance were representatives from Canada, the Czech Republic, Italy, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the European Union.
The United States has promised to contribute $540 million, of the estimated $1 billion needed to build the Shchuchye facility, through its threat reduction programs. So far less than $100 million of that has been spent, Lugar said. The goal for beginning destruction activity is in 2005.
Russia has pledged to spend $2 billion on chemical weapons destruction and nuclear submarine dismantlement.
The other parties have committed at least $64 million specifically to the Shchuchye effort, Lugar said.
ï¿½It is the primarily the Russians and the United States. Other [countries] will contribute with smaller amounts, but smaller amounts may be also important, because it shows there is a general commitment,ï¿½ said Cerjat.
The Shchuchye project is a major one for the threat reduction program, which receives approximately $430 million a year from Congress for securing nuclear, chemical, biological and missile weapons and materials in the former Soviet Union. Approximately $500 million more is spent annually by the Energy and State departments largely to deal with Russian nuclear weapon materials.
Learning Curve Cited
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) in particular has criticized spending threat reduction money on non-nuclear projects. Hunterï¿½s committee authorizes threat reduction funding on the House side.
Lugar said legislators are growing in appreciation for the potential dangers of chemical weapons proliferation.
ï¿½All of us have been going to school, the educational curve has been substantial and so in due course we have seen the dangers of chemical weapons,ï¿½ he said.
ï¿½This is something that takes time, fortunately weï¿½ve had some time,ï¿½ he said.
The Russian facility currently stores more than 2 million artillery rounds and warheads filled with the nerve agents sarin, soman and VX. The weapons must be destroyed to fulfill Russiaï¿½s obligation to the Chemical Weapons Convention.
ï¿½I have visited Shchuchye on two occasions and am convinced that the weapons stored there must be dismantled quickly and safely,ï¿½ he said during his closed-door meeting with the representatives. His remarks were released afterward.
The Pentagonï¿½s inspector general last month reported several risks to the effort, including that Russia may not use the facility to full capacity, that it could rescind land allocation for the facility, or that operation could be suspended or terminated because of environmental laws (see GSN, Jan. 13).
Pentagon officials have said the more extreme risks are not likely, as they could cause Russia to run far afoul of Chemical Weapons Convention schedules for eliminating the weapons.
Briefed by the Pentagon, Lugar said at the meeting the issues were being addressed.
ï¿½I was pleased to learn that the Nunn-Lugar program and our Russian partners have been working for some months to resolve the issues raised by the inspector general,ï¿½ he said, referring to the original sponsors of threat reduction legislation, former Senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) and himself.
ï¿½It is clear that our efforts to protect the United States from weapons of mass destruction entail risks, but the greater risk is to do nothing to address this clear and present danger associated with the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons arsenals of the former Soviet Union,ï¿½ he said.
The United States will consider a request from Libya to pay for dismantling its chemical and nuclear weapons programme, Congressman Curt Weldon said yesterday during a visit to Tripoli.
Citing the example of US funding for "threat reduction" in Russia, he told Matoug Matoug, Libya's deputy prime minister in charge of scientific research: "We would be interested in a similar programme in Libya, with American dol lars to help you dismantle your weapons programme."
Seven members of Congress led by Mr Weldon arrived in Libya on Sunday for a goodwill visit - the first since Colonel Muammar Gadafy came to power more than 30 years ago.
After a meeting with Col Gadafy yesterday, Mr Weldon said: "It was an extremely positive two hours. We discussed the hope that we will achieve normal relations soon."
"He came across as a very sincere man," said Solomon Ortiz, a Texas Democrat. The meeting took place in a tent erected beside the ruins of the house where Col Gadafy's adopted daughter was killed by US bombs in 1986.
Members of the delegation said they were convinced Col Gadafy was serious about his new place in the world, and wanted desperately to come back in from the cold after years of US and UN sanctions.
Darrell Issa, a California Republican, said Col Gadafy "expressed his regret that a quarter century has passed of isolation between our countries". The meeting, Mr Issa said, "is just the first step".
Another congressman, Tom Lantos, arrived separately on a visit he said was sanctioned by the White House. He declined to give details of his meetings but said: "It is an historic moment when an Arab country decides to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction and requests assistance from the US and the UK."
Financial help with the dismantling was one demand pressed by Col Gadafy's son, Saif, in an interview with the Guardian and another British newspaper on Sunday.
He also called on the west to help upgrade the peaceful side of Libya's nuclear programme. "They have to provide us with western nuclear technology that can link with our existing one for civilian purposes."
Yesterday Mr Lantos's group toured the Tajoura nuclear research centre, near Tripoli, where they met scientists and viewed the 10 megawatt research reactor.
The first American politicians to visit Libya since Col Muammar Gaddafi seized power 35 years ago landed in Tripoli at the weekend as the former international pariah's journey out of the diplomatic cold accelerated.
Yesterday morning, a United States Navy plane with the Stars and Stripes on its tailfin touched down to bring six congressmen to the Libyan capital.
On a mission sanctioned by Washington, they were eager to assure their country's former sworn enemy that President George W Bush would probably resume diplomatic and business links with Libya this year.
The last time an American military plane was known to have entered Libyan air space was 17 years ago when President Ronald Reagan ordered strikes on Col Gaddafi's leadership tent compound in response to the bombing of a Berlin nightclub. That attack claimed the lives of two American servicemen and injured hundreds, prompting Mr Reagan to denounce the Libyan leader as a "mad dog".
In a further indication of changing times, strong indications emerged that Tony Blair will meet Col Gaddafi in Tripoli in the first half of this year to put the final seal of approval to Britain's relationship with Libya.
British and Libyan officials hope that this week's trip to London by Abdul Rahman Shalgam, Tripoli's foreign minister, will clear the way for an announcement on a visit by the Prime Minister.
Three British junior ministers are expected to travel to Tripoli first and Britain will also train Libyan army officers.
Col Gaddafi's son, Seif al-Islam, who flew back to Tripoli from his postgraduate studies in London on Friday to meet the American delegation after arranging their visit, has told friends that his father now considered Mr Blair his most valuable international ally.
The US congressmen arrived as British, American and United Nations experts prepare to start dismantling Libya's weapons of mass destruction programmes following Col Gaddafi's public declaration of their existence last month.
"We are extremely pleased and excited by the direction that the leader has taken," said Curt Weldon, the delegation head, who chose diplomatically to use the title preferred by the Libyan regime for Col Gaddafi. "We are here to listen and to open a new door in the chapter of US-Libyan relations."
Mr Weldon, a Republican, emphasised that the decision on restoring ties and lifting sanctions rested with the White House, but he predicted that both were in the offing. "Once our governments have completed the process of formal relations, there is no limit to what we can accomplish together."
The delegation made clear that the first priority would be to kick-start American oil interests that have been frozen by US sanctions. "US oil companies are chomping at the bit to get back," Mr Weldon added. "We will be relaying their interest."
He highlighted congressional links with the parliaments of Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan as examples of how American and Libyan politicians could work together in future. Some critics would argue that all are countries better known for their lucrative oil and gas reserves than respect for human rights and democracy.
Tom Lantos, a leading Democratic congressman and an enthusiastic supporter of the Israeli cause in Washington, arrived separately in Tripoli on a commercial flight on Saturday evening. His personal invitation from Col Gaddafi, long one of the most outspoken opponents of Israel in the Arab world, is a further indication that the Libyan leader is keen to put out feelers to all his former foes.
In a sign that there may be some sticking points ahead, friends of Seif Gaddafi said Libya would seek compensation for the nuclear equipment and material removed by the inspectors and would also expect to receive civilian nuclear technology in return for surrendering its military programmes.
Although compensation is a non-starter, Libya could become eligible for help with peaceful nuclear technology once it fulfils its commitment to sign up to all protocols of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
1. Russia And France To Discuss Military Cooperation In Moscow
(for personal use only)
MOSCOW, January 27 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov and chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Geneal of the Army Anatoly Kwashnin will hold talks on Tuesday with chief of the Main Staff of the French Armed Forces Henri Bentegeat, now on a working visit to Russia, Tass learnt at the Russian Defence Ministry.
The sides plan to discuss ï¿½prospects for the development of military cooperation between Russia and France in the bilateral format, relations between Russia and NATO as well as the European Union, pressing issues of European and international securityï¿½.
The French and Russian military leaders also intend to examine ways of improving cooperation between the two nations in the struggle against international terrorism and the threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
On Tuesday afternoon, Bentegeat will present Kwashnin the Honorary Legion Order at the French embassy in Moscow, which the French president awarded the Russian general for his great contribution to consolidating Russian-French cooperation in the military sphere.
1. RF Intends To Cooperate With US In Fight Against Terrorism
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MOSCOW, January 26 (Itar-Tass) - Russia intends to closely cooperate with the United States in the fight against terrorism and the nuclear non-proliferation, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said.
After his talks with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and President Vladimir Putin on Monday, Ivanov said, ï¿½We are open for close cooperation with the U.S. in the fight against terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as the Korean settlement and other aspects because our common goal is to create a safe and secure world.ï¿½
On the WMD programme in Iraq, the Russian minister stressed, ï¿½This problem cannot be considered closed.ï¿½ In his view, inspections should be continued by experts, who are staying in Iraq now, and by international structures, which were earlier created to solve this problem.
ï¿½This problem is linked to the fact that we are confident or not confident in the U.S. or special services, by the major goal is that weapons of mass destruction do not fall in the hands of terrorists,ï¿½ Ivanov said. He emphasised, ï¿½The international community seeks to receive a clear answer to Iraqï¿½s possession of weapons of mass destruction.ï¿½
Commenting on mass media reports on the withdrawal of servicemen from Iraq, Powell said this does not mean that the U.S. stops searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He noted that these servicemen are transferred to another job when their mission is over. According to U.S. intelligence, Saddam Hussein intends to create weapons of mass destruction. Iraq has, had and used weapons of mass destruction, Powell said.
At the same time, Powell said his talks with Vladimir Putin did not focus on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The talks touched on what will happen there in the future, he said.
On the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. secretary of state stressed that it is necessary to continue efforts to find a solution to this problem within the U.N. framework.
On Georgia, Powell said the U.S. has no plans to create military bases in Georgia. He said the United States is seeking to maintain good relations with Georgia and it is not going to create bases there.
The U.S. secretary of state lauded a flexible position taken by Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and President Vladimir Putin on the creation of military bases in Georgia.
2. Powell Coming To Moscow To Discuss US-Russia Cooperation
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MOSCOW, January 25 (Itar-Tass) - U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell arrives is Moscow later Sunday to discuss cooperation between Russia and the U.S. in the international arena.
He is expected to stay here until Tuesday, January 27.
Monday, January 26, he will have talks with the Russian Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov, and the Defense Minister, Sergei Ivanov.
Deputy chief of Kremlin administration, Sergei Prikhodko, said President Vladimir Putin also planned to receive Powell to discuss Iraq, Iran, the Middle East, bilateral cooperation, and preparations for the next summit meeting of the Group of Eight Industrialized Nations.
ï¿½Weï¿½re preparing for an efficient meaty discussion,ï¿½ Prikhodko said.
Tuesday, January 27, Powell is due to meet with Russian business executives and have a meeting with activists of Russian youth organizations in the famous Spasohouse, the official residence of U.S. ambassadors in Moscow.
On the same day, Powell is expected to have an exchange of views with the speaker of the lower house of Russian parliament, Boris Gryzlov.
Sources in Washington said he would come to Moscow from Tbilisi where he would attend a ceremony of inauguration of the newly elected Georgian President, Mikhail Saakashvili.
Russian Foreign Minister will also be there, but the two men will unlikely find it necessary to have a separate meeting in Tbilisi before their Moscow talks, said Richard Boucher, an official spokesman for the U.S. Department of State.
Powell would more likely use an opportunity for meetings with foreign ministers from other countries, including Georgiaï¿½s neighbors.
MOSCOW, January 25 (RIA Novosti) - US State Secretary Colin Powell will arrive in Moscow on a routine visit tonight.
Russian presidential administration deputy head Sergei Prikhodko said Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to receive Powell.
A Russian foreign ministry source said Colin Powell's visit will make it possible for the sides to discuss a whole range of issues in bilateral relations.
Key regional problems will be touched upon at Powell's talks in Moscow, including the situation in Iraq and its economy restoration, the Middle East settlement, counter terrorism issues.
An important topic will be the issues of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and security. The talk will be about the situation around Iran, and ways to resolve the nuclear problem of the DPRK. The Russian side would like to receive from Washington more detailed information on international inspections that will be conducted in Libya, as well as cooperation in blocking the possible leakage of nuclear components from Pakistan.
Issues of fulfilling the Russo-American Agreement on Strategic Offensive Reductions and the Declaration of Strategic Partnership will be considered at the meeting.
According to the Russian foreign ministry source, the situation on the post-Soviet territory will be discussed as well.
The American side reported that Powell intends to discuss with Russian representatives the situation in Georgia, including the issues of withdrawal from that country of two Russian military bases. Moscow says Russia can resolve this issue with Georgia bilaterally and does not need any mediators.
The US state secretary will discuss issues of bilateral trade and economic cooperation in Moscow too. The talk will be about interaction in the sphere of energy, as well as enhancement of investment cooperation.
1. Russia, Japan Want To See Korean Situation Normalized Soon
(for personal use only)
MOSCOW, January 27 (Itar-Tass) - Moscow wants ï¿½the six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear problem to resume as soon as possible because there is no other way to solve it,ï¿½ Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov told Itar-Tass on Tuesday after a meeting with Japanese counterpart Hitoshi Tanaka.
Losyukov noted that Mr. Tanaka had agreed with him that a new round of the talks might be held in February.
ï¿½We were at one in thinking that the development of multilateral economic cooperation in Northeastern Asia is capable of facilitating the normalization of the situation on the Korean peninsula,ï¿½ Losyukov said.
1. Russia Looks to Deploy More Warheads on Fewer Missiles
Global Security Newswire
(for personal use only)
Russia plans to develop and deploy more multiple-warhead ICBMs to maintain its strategic nuclear force levels as its existing single-warhead missiles become obsolete over time, Janeï¿½s Defense Weekly reported this week (see GSN, Dec. 18, 2003).
Russiaï¿½s strategic missile forces are expected to be cut from 15 to 10 divisions by 2008, according to the Armed Forces General Staff, and mobile, multiple-warhead ICBMs are planned to replace some of the retiring systems (see GSN, Dec. 18, 2002).
In particular, initial Russian plans call for deploying three divisions of road-mobile, four-to-six-warhead Topol-M missiles, the first of which is expected to begin to be deployed later this year, a general staff official said.
ï¿½Every 2 1/2 years we plan to deploy a new regiment armed with a mobile Topol-M,ï¿½ he said.
The missile will carry missile defense countermeasures that will ensure a 90-percent kill probability, the official said (see GSN, Mar. 28, 2002).
So far, Russia has deployed only single-warhead, silo-based Topol-Ms at a rate of about six per year for a current total of 34 missiles deployed at the Tatishchevo missile base, according to Janeï¿½s (see GSN, Dec. 30, 2003).
Ultimately, the plans call for the new version of the Topol-M to gradually replace Russiaï¿½s arsenal of more than 340 single-warhead, silo-based SS-25 missiles, according to Janeï¿½s.
Looking further into the future, Russia intends this year to begin development of a new 10-warhead, liquid-fueled ICBM. Development of this missile-defense-resistant missile is expected to take 10 to 15 years, Janeï¿½s reported (Nikolai Novichkov, Janeï¿½s Defense Weekly, Jan. 28).
1. Radioactive Metal Detected And Sent For Tests In South-Western Russia
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ROSTOV-ON-DON, Southern Russiaï¿½Transport inspectors discovered a metal object Satuday in a railway container at a southern port that was emitting a high level of radiation, the Emergency Situations Ministry told The Associated Press.
The object, which was not further described, was isolated and sent from the port of Novorossiisk to a radiation monitoring center in the nearby Krasnodar region for inspection, said Sergei Kozhemyaka, a duty officer at the ministry's southern Russian branch, AP reported.
He said the object was emitting 4,500 microroentgens an hour, which is hundreds of times normal radiation levels, according to Russian public health officers. It arrived at the port on January 14th on a train carrying scrap metal for export from the Saratov region, Kozhemyaka said, according to AP.
1. Remarks with American Chamber of Commerce Chairman Andrew Somers At a Russian-American Business Breakfast (excerpted)
Colin L. Powell, Secretary of State
Department of State
(for personal use only)
I have had a very excellent trip so far. Yesterday, I spent several hours with President Putin and a number of hours, as well, with Foreign Minister Ivanov, as well as the Minister of Defense Ivanov. And in all of those meetings, we celebrated the strength of the U.S.-Russian relationship right now, three years into this administration. We have accomplished many things together: a new strategic framework, the Treaty of Moscow, expanded trade opportunities, working together on number of regional issues--whether it's the Six Party framework to deal with the North Korean nuclear problem or how we have worked together to deal with the challenges provided by our friends in Iran with their nuclear program. The way in which we work with the Russian leadership when we were trying to defuse the crisis in the subcontinent, when it looked like India and Pakistan might be going to conflict a year and a half or so ago. Worked pretty closely with the Foreign Ministry Ivanov at that time.
At all levels American and Russian officials are cooperating. You know of the close relationship that exists between the President and President Putin, and with myself and Mr. Ivanov, and Mr. Rumsfeld and Dr. Rice with Sergey Ivanov, and at all levels. But it is just not personal relationships that count, personalities come and go. What is really happening is that institutional relationships are being created.
And nowhere is this institutional relationship more important than the way in which we deal with business, trade and commercial issues, because ultimately the engine of any society, especially democratic society, is how one provides for the means for people to earn a living, for people to make a profit, for people to put in place their ingenuity, their initiative, their entrepreneurial spirit and create businesses and trade opportunities, for the purpose of making a profit, as all of you here are interested in doing. But more fundamentally than that, for the purpose of providing jobs for people, so the people will have faith in their democratic system, people will believe they can provide a better life for their children. So ultimately we are here to make a profit, but to provide for people so people can see that this is the correct direction in which to move.
So, I am very pleased with the state of the U.S.-Russian relations right now and especially pleased that things are improving in the sector of trade, but there are still problems, there are still challenges. President Putin and I, and Ministers Ivanov and I, spoke yesterday about some of the difficulties that are ahead because we are getting along so well, we are such good friends with all of our Russian colleagues, we can speak candidly and openly when we see areas that we think we should speak more about or where we would like to see improvement from our perspective and also to hear back from them whether they think we are giving them correct advice or not.
This is the basis of the friendship, to speak candidly with each other. It is the kind of friendship that exists between the United States and Russia. Another way in which that was manifested was Mr. Ivanov and I in Georgia, the day before yesterday for the inauguration of the President of Georgia, Mr. Saakashvili, and how in our conversations yesterday we agreed that Georgia should be a place where we would cooperate with each other and not compete with each other. Why? Because that would best serve the people of Georgia.
2. Interview with First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia V.I. Trubnikov to Interfax News Agency on the Fight Against International Terrorism (excerpted)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin
(for personal use only)
QUESTION: On the eve of the New Year the US and the world as a whole again faced the threat of large-scale terrorist acts deemed to come from Al Qaeda. Why, in your opinion, haven't the efforts of the international community in which Russia is actively involved, led to the liquidation of the network of international terrorism?
ANSWER: Victory over international terrorism is a grandiose task, including in terms of its difficulty. We are talking about the liquidation of what may be the main global threat to humanity in present-day conditions. This can only be effectively and reliably done by pooling the efforts of the world community in the fight against terrorism and acting in the framework of rigorous -- I should say unassailable -- legality, that is, on the basis of international law and a stronger central role of the UN.
After the horrific terrorist attacks on the US in September 2001, the world community has managed to rally in the face of a common enemy, let me remind you, for the first time after the Second World War. Resolute, joint, legitimate and therefore highly effective actions against terrorist structures in Afghanistan were taken. One can merely surmise what the results could have been of a concerted anti-terrorist campaign if the Iraqi crisis had not occurred. The acute contradictions over Iraq, unfortunately, did not only largely undermined the unity of the international community, but in fact shook the foundations of the broad international anti-terrorist coalition, moreover, put into question, in the eyes of many, its fundamental goals and ideals.
In effect, the matter at issue was not even the fate of a single state, although that too is an extremely important issue, but the future world order. Whether it should be based on the "rule of the fist" or on international law.
It is to a large extent due to the balanced, non-confrontational external policy of Russia, its firm and consistent championing of the principles of solving key world problems on the basis of multilateral cooperation, the supremacy of international law and the stronger central role of the UN that the growth of crisis processes in international politics was avoided, and the shaken unity of the international community substantially restored.
The pace of broad international anti-terrorist cooperation, lost because of the Iraqi "hiccup," now has to be restored. I am sure, however, that we will manage to do so, partly because the world community in recent years has managed to equip itself with adequate new and effective mechanisms of interaction in the counter-terrorism sphere. I mean above all the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the UN Security Council.
And yet, on the other hand, the potential of terrorists should not be underrated by, for example, demanding that the exact deadline for its final destruction be set. The terrorist international has been far from liquidated. On the contrary, it is revealing ever new potential for regeneration, moreover, it is "mutating", adjusting itself to changing conditions, once again outstripping the pace of interstate counter-terrorist cooperation. The Taliban is seeking to restore its combat potential, other terrorist structures in different parts of the world are becoming more active and moreover, new terrorist networks are emerging. Extremists of every stripe are trying to take advantage of the complicated security situation in Iraq. The latter, by the way, shows convincingly not only that unilateral actions against sovereign states -- even under the slogans of combating terrorism, but in fact not sanctioned by international law -- merely aggravate the terrorist threat, but also that international terrorism will continue to make the most of any mistake of the international community, any lack of coordination in its efforts, not to speak of serious contradictions, such as those over Iraq.
QUESTION: It has still been impossible to work out a single international legal definition of "terrorism" and corresponding draft conventions long initiated by India and Russia are stalled at the United Nations. What, in your opinion, is the reason for that?
ANSWER: You are right that there are still differences among UN member states regarding the outstanding key provisions of the Indian draft of a comprehensive anti-terrorist convention and the Russian draft of a convention on the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism. The deepest contradictions are over the first of these documents. The main "nerve center" here is the desire of some countries, notably developing ones, to have violent actions under the flag of national liberation struggle removed from the definition of terrorism. Besides, the advocates of that position insist on the actions of the armed forces of states, including their special services, being equated with terrorism.
Regarding the Russian draft, some delegations have questions too. For instance, not all of them are happy that the future convention will not address such a complicated topic as the legality of possession of nuclear weapons by states. But what makes our document relevant is above all the approach of terrorism to the dangerous nuclear dimension.
I would like to stress that the provisions of the above drafts that have yet to be agreed belong not so much to the legal as to the political area and stem from the fact that a number of conflict situations have yet to be resolved. We are convinced that in the interests of strengthening the universal international-legal basis of the struggle against terrorism it is necessary, as quickly as possible, to rise above the motives of political expediency and to complete the work at the UN on these important documents. Through corresponding bilateral and multilateral formats we are persisting in our call for uniting efforts to overcome ideological differences and achieve compromises on the issue. A breakthrough in this direction would make a tangible contribution to the work launched at the UN on the initiative of President Putin of Russia, to develop a global strategy of counteracting new challenges and threats, including such a dangerous one as terrorism, under the aegis of the Organization.
3. Opening Remarks - Secretary Colin L. Powell with Russian President Vladimir Putin
Department of State
(for personal use only)
PRESIDENT PUTIN: Good afternoon, dear colleagues. Dear Mr. Secretary of State, I am glad to see you again, to have an opportunity to exchange with you views on both bilateral and international issues. Since our recent summit in Camp David, we have been marking positive shifts in the development of our bilateral relations. The list of our urges that we have drawn up together with President Bush is under constant control of our experts and we are moving forward in implementing these priorities. We're also making progress in the area of strategic stability, as well as in cooperation on such sensitive issues as space. By the way, my colleagues and I would like to congratulate you on your achievements in the exploration of Mars. We also acquainted ourselves with great interest with plans proposed by President Bush in terms of exploration of the moon and Mars, and there is much that we could explore together in this area. We have also positive development in the area of trade and economic ties. Our interaction in the area of combating terrorism is also strengthening. And we also work rather closely together in Afghanistan.
The discussion on the settlement in Iraq continues, as well. Just like you do, we believe that the United Nations should be returning to Iraq. You know that we held in Moscow recently negotiations with representatives of the Provisional Government Authority in Iraq. And we consider the very fact of these meetings as a moral and political support for this Authority. We are also discussing the issue of debt relief for Iraq. We have agreed that we will be discussing this problem within the framework of the Paris Club.
On the whole, I would like to say that we in Russia consider Russian-American relations ... the development of Russian-American relations ... as an achievement, both in terms of the foreign policy of Russia and the actions of your Administration. That is why again, we are very pleased to see you here and we are confident that your visit will be useful.
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much, Mr. President. I bring you greetings from President Bush, and he also believes that we have made great progress in our relations over the past three years. And he is also very interested in the follow-up work of the checklist that we use, that came out of the Camp David meeting. And [Foreign] Minister [Igor] Ivanov and I have had a chance to discuss progress on that checklist.
I thank you for ... I'm pleased with the level of cooperation that exists as we discuss issues such as Iraq, such as Afghanistan, and we've had good conversations so far this morning on Georgia and Moldova, and other areas of mutual interest. I'm also pleased at the developments that are on the horizon, with respect to continued cooperation in space. I'm also pleased at how we have put into effect our strategic framework, the Treaty of Moscow, and the Minister and I were discussing earlier how we should follow up on the implementation activities associated with the Treaty. In trade issues, things have improved considerably in recent years.
On the whole, Mr. President, we have a rich relationship with many dimensions. I think all of those efforts that we have underway mutually are moving in a positive direction and President Bush is very satisfied with the state of our relationship. Of course when we do have areas of disagreement or areas of dispute, the strength of our relationship allows us to discuss the areas with candor and openness. Thank you for receiving me, Mr. President. I look forward to our conversation.
PRESIDENT PUTIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary of State. I agree with your assessment. I, too, believe that the fundamental base of relations between Russia and the United States is solid and strong, and that despite all tactical differences that we might have on some international issues and such issues as protect national interests, the base, the solid base, of our relationship allows us to successfully overcome them. And we intend to continue to move in this direction. I would like to assure you, Mr. Secretary of State, that Russia's society has the same sentiments of the development of Russian-American relations. The same view is prevalent both in the State Duma and in many executive bodies. And I would like to assure you that the policies of Russian Federation will continue to be stable and predictable.
4. Press Briefing - Secretary Colin L. Powell with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov (excerpted)
Department of State
(for personal use only)
FOREIGN MINISTER IVANOV: Ladies and gentlemen, we have just finished the very substantive and candid discussion at the meeting between the President of the Russian Federation and the Secretary of State of the United States of America, during which we discussed the entire spectrum of bilateral Russian-American relations and international issues. And earlier today in the morning, we had also three-hour-long negotiations between each other.
As to the Russian-American relations, we have a very common opinion that, thanks to intensive joint work recently, we have managed to reach substantial progress in Russian-American relations. This includes such issues, cooperation on such issues as: strategic stability, common actions to combat terrorism and to prevent weapons of mass destruction, and as we turn to bilateral (inaudible) here, I would like to point out the development of our trade [and] economic relations and cooperation in space.
We have reviewed with the Secretary of State the implementation process of the agreements that were reached during the September summit meeting of our Presidents in Camp David last September. And we have noted with satisfaction that most of these agreements are being successfully implemented, or are in the implementation stage. So, I would like to state we can state with satisfaction that the Russian-American relations now rely on a solid foundation, which allows us to successfully overcome the differences that we might have in approaches to different issues.
We have also reviewed in detail the situation in the Middle East and in Iraq. We have analyzed the progress that has being made on nuclear issues, including the nuclear situation with respect to the Korean peninsula. We have also exchanged views on the situation in Georgia, including the situation in Abkhazia, and the issue of military bases there. We also discussed the situation in (Moldova), the relations between Russia and NATO basically, it all means that we have covered the entire spectrum of international issues.
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much, Mr. Minister. Let me also help dispel the gloomy attitude in some parts of the press this morning. We had very good, thorough and comprehensive discussions for three plus hours with the Minister, his colleagues, and then almost two hours with President Putin. The openness, strength and comprehensive nature of these discussions reflect the solid foundation upon which U.S.-Russian relations rest. We had a major disagreement over Iraq last year as the Minister noted, but now we are working together, as is evident with the unanimous passage, with specific Russian help, of Resolution 1511, which has brought the international community back together to help the people of Iraq build a democratic nation for themselves. And I thank the Minister and the President for their support of that Resolution and of our efforts.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, in your meetings this morning in your meetings with President Putin and with Foreign Minister Ivanov did you make the case to them directly that you made in Izvestiya this morning? Did they give any assurances that they would address your concerns on democracy, freedom of the press, rule of law, dealings with their neighbors?
Foreign Minister Ivanov, how do you regard Secretary Powell's comments in Izvestiya this morning? Do they strike you as, in any way, suggesting an effort to interfere in Russia's internal dealings?
SECRETARY POWELL: We discussed all of those areas. I discussed them with the Minister and we discussed them with the President. And it was in no way -- the Minister can speak for himself -- but, as far as I'm concerned, it wasn't in any way an attempt on our part to interfere in internal dynamics of Russian political life. It was one friend speaking to another on matters that, before the world, are being talked about. And it was in the spirit of friendship that I discussed all these issues. It is the very strength of the relationship that allows us to talk about issues which people might consider controversial.
FOREIGN MINISTER IVANOV: As I have already said, our negotiations are always conducted in a very candid and trusting (inaudible) atmosphere and simply not such a topic on the agenda which we would try to avoid discussing. Moreover, we are very much interested to ensure that if doubts or questions arise, the United States leadership, the United States government, always should have a clear understanding of the position of Russia's leadership. And I think that during our talks earlier today and during the meeting between Secretary Powell's meeting with the Russian President that has just finished, the Secretary of State had a good opportunity to get a full and clear understanding of Russia's position on many issues from the first hand.
As Mr. Secretary of State has said, he is going to inform the President of the United States immediately about the assessments that were given by the President of Russia on all those issues. And I do very much hope that many doubts that might have arisen with respect to some of these issues will be dispersed as a result.
QUESTION: The question is for the Secretary of State: Would you please tell us in more detail what was discussed during the negotiations, with respect to Iraq, and in particular, on the issue for the search of weapons of mass destruction in this country? Earlier, there were reports in the press that the United States was withdrawing part of its military personnel from Iraq, and exactly this part includes exactly the military personnel which were supposed to be searching for weapons of mass destruction. Does this not mean that the United States got frustrated in its attempts to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the initial doubts that such weapons do not exist in the country got materialized?
SECRETARY POWELL: We had a good discussion on Iraq. Most of the discussion centered around how to move forward: reconstruction efforts, putting in place a democratic system of government and how the international community could come together to assist the Iraqi people. We also talked about debt reduction of Iraqi debt. And so, it was a forward-looking conversation. Frankly, we did not get into weapons of mass destruction.
It is my understanding, with respect to the American personnel who were working on the program in Iraq, some of them were shifted to other programs when their part of the work was finished. Our intelligence assessment last year is an assessment that was also held by the previous administration and by a number of intelligence agencies throughout the world, was that Saddam Hussein had the intention of having weapons of mass destruction, had weapons of mass destruction programs, had weapons which he had used in the past, and we believe he had every possibility of having such weapons in the present. And it was a danger that the world should not be facing after 12 years of UN resolutions telling him to get rid of such weapons. The work of the inspectors, the U.S. inspectors, working with our military forces, continues. And we have a new head of that effort, Mr. Duelfer. I'm looking forward to him getting in the region, continuing the work and then making a final report.
QUESTION: A question for Mr. Ivanov, also about weapons of mass destruction. Has the failure to find weapons damaged the credibility of the United States or its intelligence agencies, in your eyes or in the eyes of the world, in your estimation? And secondly, has it complicated or made more difficult in the efforts on non-proliferation and nuclear weapons with Iran and North Korea? And, Secretary Powell, if you care to comment (inaudible).
FOREIGN MINISTER IVANOV: First of all, I would like to stress that both Russia and the United States have a strong interest in putting a reliable barrier in the way of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This is our common position. As to Iraq, both our countries and the entire international community are certainly interested in obtaining a clear answer to the simple question whether there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or not. In this light, this question so far cannot be considered as closed. Work should be continued, both by the inspectors in the country in Iraq and by the appropriate United Nations. This question is not related, has nothing to do with the issue of credibility or lack of credibility to the United States, but to the need to get an answer to a very important question for the international community.
As to our cooperation with the United States on the issue of combating terrorism or on the issue of proliferation, we are open and we are ready for as close cooperation between our countries as (inaudible) possible. And the (inaudible) agenda of this cooperation includes all issues, including situation on the Korean peninsula and other important issues, simply because it's our common strong interest to ensure that we live in a safe world.
SECRETARY: I would only comment on the last point the Minister made about how important it is for us to cooperate as closely as possible on our counter-terrorism and counter-proliferation efforts.
5. Speech at a meeting with United States Secretary of State Colin Powell
(for personal use only)
President Vladimir Putin:
Good afternoon, dear colleagues, esteemed Mr Secretary of State,
It gives me great pleasure to see you again and to have this opportunity to exchange views on bilateral and international questions.
We have seen positive developments in our bilateral relations since our talks at Camp David. At any rate, what we noted then as the priority steps to take, and the list of issues that President Bush and I considered of primary importance, are now receiving constant attention from our specialists and we are working towards fulfilling the plans we mapped out.
We are also making progress in the area of strategic stability and on cooperation in such sensitive areas as space. Talking of which, my colleagues and I would like to congratulate you on your successes in studying Mars. It was with interest that we learned about President Bushï¿½s ambitious plans to explore Mars. I think that there is plenty we could work on together in this area.
Our trade and economic ties are also developing quite well. We are intensifying our cooperation on the fight against terrorism. We have been working together quite closely in Afghanistan. Discussion continues on regulating the situation in Iraq. Like you, we think that the United Nations should return to Iraq. As you know, talks took place in Moscow with the head of the Interim Governing Council of Iraq. We think that this meeting in itself was a sign of our moral and political support for the Interim Council. We are discussing the question of writing off Iraqï¿½s debts and we have agreed that this discussion will take place within the framework of the Paris Club.
Overall, I must say that we in Russia consider the development of Russian-American relations to be a considerable achievement reached through both the efforts of Russian foreign policy and through the steps the Bush administration has taken over recent years.
So we are happy to see you here and we are sure that this visit will be useful.
Thank you very much, Mr President,
George Bush also sends you his best wishes and shares your view that our relations have made considerable progress over the last three years. The President is also very interested in the control list that was drawn up at Camp David. We discussed this list with Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov at our meeting today. As you noted, our cooperation is going well in a good number of areas, including on Iraq and Afghanistan. We had a good discussion today on Georgia and Moldova. I am also pleased to see all the potential opportunities we have for cooperation in space exploration. We are also satisfied with how our strategic framework relations are taking shape, in particular the Moscow Treaty, and Minister Ivanov and I discussed today how to give a new impetus to this area.
The trade situation has improved considerably of late.
Overall, I would say that our relations are rich in content and that many changes are taking place. We have good bilateral relations. I would like to say that President Bush is happy with the way our relations are developing. And the strength of our relations enables us to discuss the issues on which we do have disagreements or differences of opinion in a frank and honest fashion.
Thank you very much, Mr Secretary of State.
I agree with your assessment. Russian-American relations are built on a solid foundation, and though we have some tactical differences regarding shaping international relations and protecting national interests, the foundation of our relations is solid enough to help us overcome such problems. We intend to continue acting in this spirit. I would like to assure you that Russian society shares precisely this view, and we know what the State Duma and the executive branch think. On this question, we are all unanimous in our opinion, and Russiaï¿½s policy in this area, that of its leadership, will be stable and predictable.
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