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Nuclear News - 2/10/2004
RANSAC Nuclear News, February 10, 2004
Compiled By: Matthew Bouldin


A.  Nonproliferation Budget
    1. 7b Effort To Disarm Ex-Soviet WMDs Slows, Charlie Savage, Boston Globe (2/8/2004)
    2. Expert Calls Energy Department Nonproliferation Plans “Status Quo”, Global Security Newswire (2/5/2004)
B.  Plutonium Disposition
    1. U.S.-Russian Plan to Destroy Atom-Arms Plutonium Is Delayed, Matthew Wald, New York Times (2/9/2004)
    2. Dispute With Russia Delays Construction Of SRS Plant Until 2005, Associated Press (2/5/2004)
C.  Chemical Weapons Destruction
    1. New Non-Budgetary Funds are Needed for the Destruction of Chemical Weapons, Dmitry Litovkin, Izvestia (2/5/2004)
    2. Russia Forms United Ecological Monitoring System, ITAR-TASS (2/5/2004)
    3. No Dangerous Leakages Found At Chemical Weapon Disposal Plant, ITAR-TASS (2/4/2004)
    4. Russia Plans Chem Weapons Disposal Plants, Associated Press (2/4/2004)
D.  Counterproliferation
    1. Russian Joint Staff Inquires USA On Its WMD Initiative, RIA Novosti (2/10/2004)
    2. Russia Still Thinking About PSI, Radio Free Europe (2/5/2004)
E.  Nuclear Terrorism
    1. Joint Chief Says No Nuclear Weapons Were Left In Ukraine , RIA Novosti (2/10/2004)
    2. Ukraine Denies Sale of Nuclear Weapons, Simon Saradzhyan, Moscow Times (2/10/2004)
    3. Are Federal Security Service's Powers Insufficient For Combating Terrorism? , RIA Novosti (2/9/2004)
    4. Not A Single Nuclear Weapon Has Been Sold Or Stolen, Yoav Stern, Haaretz Daily (2/9/2004)
    5. Paper Says Al Qaeda Has Nukes, Reuters (2/8/2004)
    6. Russia Calls For Measures Excluding Terrorists' Access To WMD , ITAR-TASS (2/5/2004)
F.  Export Controls
    1. Boris Aleshin: There Are No Grounds To Accuse Russia Of Selling Forbidden Hi-Tech , RIA Novosti (2/10/2004)
    2. Putin Amends List Of Controlled-Export Nuclear Materials & Technologies, RIA Novosti (1/8/2004)
G.  Bioweapons
    1. Non-Proliferation Of Biological Weapons To Be Verified In Russia, ITAR-TASS (2/3/2004)
H.  Threat Reduction Expansion
    1. Interview with Ambassador Robert Oakley (excerpted), Robert Windrem, NBC News (2/9/2004)
    2. Pakistan's Nuclear Loopholes, Selig S. Harrison, Boston Globe (2/9/2004)
    3. U.S. Helps Pakistan Safeguard Nuclear Material , Carol Giacomo, Reuters (2/7/2004)
    4. U.S. Program To Protect Pakistan's Arsenal - Covert Operation Spends Millions To Safeguard Nuclear Weapons, Andrea Mitchell, NBC News (2/6/2004)
I.  Nuclear Diplomacy
    1. IAEA, Kazakhstan Sign Additional CSA Protocol , Interfax (2/10/2004)
    2. World Lacks Means To Keep Nuke Spread In Check. Russia's Defence Minister Reports Alarm, RIA Novosti (2/8/2004)
    3. Nuclear Technology Deliveries Cause Russia's Concern, Says Defense Minister, Aleksei Berezin, RIA Novosti (2/7/2004)
    4. Russian Defense Minister Concerned About Nuclear Security Around Pakistan, Aleksei Berezin, RIA Novosti (2/7/2004)
J.  NATO - Russia
    1. Russia, NATO Joint ABM Exercise , RIA Novosti (2/10/2004)
    2. Russia-NATO Exercise Scheduled For Spring , RIA Novosti (2/10/2004)
    3. NATO, Russia Can Achieve Progress In WMD Nonproliferation, Says Russian Defense Minister, Aleksei Berezin, RIA Novosti (2/7/2004)
K.  Russia - Korea
    1. It’s Inexpedient To Discuss N Korea Nuke Problem In UN SC, ITAR-TASS (2/4/2004)
    2. RF Plays Important Role For Resuming Six-Way N Korea Nuclear Talks , ITAR-TASS (2/4/2004)
L.  Russian Nuclear Forces
    1. Russian Exercises Over US Nukes, Associated Press (2/11/2004)
    2. Russia Does Not Plan To Target Strategic Nuclear Missiles At Poland, RIA Novosti (2/10/2004)
    3. Russia To Continue Training Launches Of Ballistic Missiles, RIA Novosti (2/10/2004)
    4. Strategic Staff Exercise of Russian Armed Forces, ITAR-TASS (2/10/2004)
    5. Russia Starts Eliminating Railway-Based Strategic Missiles , ITAR-TASS (2/6/2004)
    6. LDPR Deputy Claims U.S. Used Small Nukes In Iraq, Radio Free Europe (2/5/2004)
    7. Navy Development Plans Envision Construction Of Acft Carriers, ITAR-TASS (2/4/2004)
M.  Russian Nuclear Industry
    1. Russia Supplies First Low-Enriched Uranium Batch For Mexican NPP, ITAR-TASS (2/9/2004)
    2. Russia To Increase Export Of Nuclear Materials, Technologies 2004, ITAR-TASS (2/9/2004)
    3. Russian N-Plants Will Generate 230 Bln KWh a Year by 2020, ITAR-TASS (2/4/2004)
    4. Russia to Display Thermonuclear Reactor Model at EXPO-2005, ITAR-TASS (2/3/2004)
N.  Official Statements
    1. Daily Press Briefing (excerpted), Richard Boucher, Department of State (2/9/2004)
    2. Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexei Meshkov's Interview with the Newspaper Vremya Novostei, Published on February 6, 2004, Under the Heading "Russia Is by No Means a Supernumerary in the Big Eight" (excerpted), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin (2/6/2004)
    3. On Libya's Accession to Chemical Weapons Convention, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin (2/5/2004)
    4. U.S. Launches Effort to Detect Terrorist Shipments of Nuclear and Radioactive Material, National Nuclear Security Administration (2/5/2004)
    5. Alexander Yakovenko, the Spokesman of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Answers a Question from ITAR-TASS News Agency Regarding Agreement Reached to Hold Second Round of Six-Way Talks in Beijing , Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin (2/4/2004)
    6. Daily Press Briefing (excerpted), Richard Boucher, Department of State (2/4/2004)
O.  Links of Interest
    1. U.S. to Launch Effort to Detect Terrorist Shipments of Nuclear and Radiological Material - February 5th Lithuanian Airport Event to Introduce Program, National Nuclear Security Administration (2/3/2004)
    2. FY2005 Budget Overview, National Nuclear Security Administration (2/2/2004)
    3. Cooperation Threat Reduction Annual Report to Congress, Fiscal Year 2005, Department of Defense (1/1/2004)



A.  Nonproliferation Budget

1.
7b Effort To Disarm Ex-Soviet WMDs Slows
Charlie Savage
Boston Globe
2/8/2004
(for personal use only)


WASHINGTON -- Twelve years after the collapse of the Soviet Union left weapons of mass destruction scattered throughout Russia and its breakaway republics, most of the fallen empire's vast arsenal remains intact and dangerously underprotected, according to new military data compiled over the past year.

While the United States has spent more than $7 billion to remove all nuclear warheads from three former Soviet republics -- Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus -- and has destroyed hundreds of missiles, the task remains less than half done. Defense Department figures show that fewer than half of the 13,300 warheads slated for deactivation had been destroyed by the end of 2003, with prospects for finishing the task stretching out more than a decade.

On Jan. 27, Matthew Bunn of Harvard's Managing the Atom Project told the Senate that less than half of 600 metric tons of highly enriched uranium and plutonium is even minimally secure. The rest is protected by as little as a rusting fence and a guard, and it will take 13 years to secure it at the current pace, he said.

Almost none of the Soviet 40,000-ton chemical weapons stockpile, much in shells that could fit inside a suitcase, has been destroyed.

Security specialists say disposing of these weapons is the best chance to prevent a more catastrophic follow-up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. They are calling on the Bush administration to resolve serious bureaucratic delays in the United States and Russia that are hampering efforts to secure dangerous materials.

With Al Qaeda seeking nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, intelligence specialists believe that the risk that stray Soviet material could be used against US citizens has increased since the end of the Cold War -- yet political will to reduce the threat has stagnated.

Senator Richard Lugar, the Indiana Republican who co-sponsored the first program to bring the materials under control with then-Senator Sam Nunn, Democrat of Georgia, said President Bush was initially skeptical about keeping the program but has since "indicated his enthusiasm and commitment." Still, Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he would welcome a more urgent push from the White House.

"I would appreciate it if the president . . . mentioned the Nunn-Lugar program continuously," he said. "It does not have the same topicality of new initiatives that the president has come up with. It's a program that goes on, like a brook, and the dilemma really is to stimulate the rank-and-file in the Congress, many of whom were not there at the end of the Cold War and many of whom have not been involved in going to Russia."

Graham Allison, an assistant secretary of defense while Bill Clinton was president, said neither Clinton nor Bush gave these efforts the priority they deserve, though he faulted Bush in particular for neglecting the program at the same time he has stressed the danger of weapons of mass destruction falling into terrorist hands.

Allison cited a case of equipment purchased to upgrade nuclear storage facilities that sat in a warehouse for five years due to disputes over access and whether the United States or Russia would pay to install it.

"There are problems that have been allowed to fester for years," he said. "That doesn't happen if you're taking these things seriously -- which isn't to say that the people at the working level trying to get the job done aren't taking it seriously. There's only so much they can do without sustained leadership at the highest levels."

A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, disputed that characterization. The official noted that Bush asked G-8 nations to match $10 billion in planned US spending and won authorization to waive requirements delaying construction of a Siberian chemical weapons disposal plant.

"I think our record is a terrific one," the official said.

But security specialists say bureaucratic snags have gone unresolved while the White House focused on other matters.

"At this point I'm making my role literally each year and each month to try to work to find where the obstacles are -- on the authorization level, on the appropriation level, if someone in the administration may have had second thoughts on the second or third tier below the secretary -- and elevate that to the attention of the president," Lugar said.

Interviews with numerous nonproliferation specialists, including Laura Holgate of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, which is devoted to bringing the former Soviet arsenal under control, revealed five consistent problems:

Russian officials have blocked access to key sites -- a problem that might be resolved by emphatically bringing it to President Vladimir Putin's attention.

No single official is responsible for the success of the threat reduction effort, whose programs are dispersed between three departments and susceptible to turf wars.

Visa difficulties have delayed key meetings between US and Russian officials.

A dispute over whether Russia must completely shield the United States from liability in the unlikely event of sabotage by a US official has killed programs that dispose of plutonium and retrain nuclear technicians to keep them from selling their skills on the black market.

Members of the House Armed Services Committee have attached strings to certain provisions and delayed the release of funds for key programs.

In 2001, a task force cochaired by Howard Baker, former Republican senator from Tennessee, and Lloyd Cutler, counsel in the Clinton White House, found that an additional $30 billion was needed just to secure nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union.

"It really boggles my mind that there could be 40,000 nuclear weapons, or maybe 80,000 in the former Soviet Union, poorly controlled and poorly stored, and that the world is not in a near-state of hysteria about the danger," Baker told Congress at the time.

Still, the United States spends only about $1 billion a year to secure not just nuclear, but also chemical and biological, weapons inside the former Soviet Union. Last year, Congress authorized some of those funds to be spent outside the former Soviet Union without giving additional money. Other G-8 nations have pledged to match the US effort, but much of the money has yet to materialize.

In 1991, Lugar and Nunn got about $400 million to start the program in the Defense Department. A few years later, that was augmented by related programs in the Energy and State departments. Funding has stayed flat since.

"Because of political gridlock, that's been the number ever since, but there's no logic to it," said Ashton Carter, another former Clinton-era assistant secretary of defense. "There's a lot more we could do in Russia, and if we had a larger program on offer they might be more forthcoming."

If better funded, he added, the program could also secure Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and dismantle Libya's equipment.

In Bush's 2005 budget proposal, funding dipped slightly from 2004 levels, according to an analysis by the Russian-American Nuclear Security Advisory Council.

"This is a status quo budget," said the council's executive director, Kenneth Luongo. "It is not aggressive in attacking the real and mounting global nuclear threat. The Bush administration needs to focus on eliminating the impediments that are debilitating this agenda, preventing rapid progress, and impeding fresh and needed initiatives."

Democratic presidential candidates have used the issue to claim that the Bush administration has not done all it could prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, despite its rhetoric before the Iraq war.

Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts says "the Bush administration underfunds our efforts to secure and dismantle nuclear weapons." Senator John Edwards of North Carolina calls for "devoting the maximum amount of resources necessary." Retired General Wesley K. Clark promises to "greatly accelerate" efforts. Former Vermont governor Howard Dean would triple the funding.

Said Lugar: "To the extent that Democrats are able to do this successfully, I would say, `More power to you and I hope you will if you get the opportunity to govern.' "

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2.
Expert Calls Energy Department Nonproliferation Plans “Status Quo”
Global Security Newswire
2/5/2004
(for personal use only)


The U.S. Energy Department’s fiscal 2005 budget proposal for the most part maintains current funding levels for U.S. nuclear nonproliferation efforts, according to an analysis by the Russian American Nuclear Security Advisory Council released yesterday (see /GSN /, Feb. 3).

“This is a status quo budget,” said RANSAC Executive Director Kenneth Luongo in a statement. “It funds essential security programs but it is not aggressive in attacking the real and mounting global nuclear threat,” he added (RANSAC release , Feb. 4)

Among other items, the analysis highlights a $45 million request for “International Nuclear and Radiological Cleanout” programs, an effort to secure weapon-usable materials from around the globe. The effort includes programs to transfer Soviet-supplied research reactor fuel from poorly secured reactors back to Russia. The analysis reports that Energy Department officials said the budget would support fuel removal activities at a dozen vulnerable reactors this year “in countries like Egypt, Libya and Vietnam.”

The cleanout effort also encompasses existing programs to convert research reactors to use low-enriched uranium fuels and to secure materials that could be used for radiological weapons (RANSAC release II , Feb. 4)

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B.  Plutonium Disposition

1.
U.S.-Russian Plan to Destroy Atom-Arms Plutonium Is Delayed
Matthew Wald
New York Times
2/9/2004
(for personal use only)


WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 — A project to destroy the plutonium from thousands of retired Russian and American nuclear weapons has been delayed, and some experts say they fear that the work may never be done.

The plan was to have both countries build factories that could mix uranium with plutonium, the material at the heart of nuclear bombs, to be burned as fuel for civilian reactors. It was conceived in the mid-1990's at a time of intense concern over the security of weapons materials in the former Soviet Union; Russia agreed to it in 2000.

The point was to ensure that weapons being disassembled by mutual agreement would never be rebuilt, and that the weapons plutonium, the hardest part of a nuclear bomb to make, could not be sold or stolen.

But the Bush administration's budget plan for the Energy Department, released last week, said groundbreaking for a conversion factory planned for South Carolina had been delayed from July of this year until May 2005.

The immediate reason is that the United States and Russia are deadlocked on the liability rules for American workers and contractors that would help build the plant in Russia, and the United States will not break ground first. Each plant is to dispose of about 34 tons of weapons plutonium.

Administration officials want to use terms written for early nuclear agreements that protect American contractors from almost all liability in case of accidents involving the release of radioactive material; the Russians have refused those terms.

But another problem is that after years of effort, Western nations have not raised the approximately $2 billion that the Russians say they need to build and operate their conversion plant. The British said recently that they were withholding any pledge until the liability issue was resolved.

In 1997, when President Bill Clinton's energy secretary, Hazel R. O'Leary, announced that the United States would rid itself of weapons plutonium, she said burning it as fuel in civilian reactors might begin by 2002. But even before the delay made clear in the Bush budget, the American plant, estimated to cost nearly $4 billion, was expected to begin producing fuel only in 2008. The Energy Department's eventual plan is to pay the Duke Power company to use the plutonium in its reactors.

The issue is particularly delicate in South Carolina, because the Energy Department has already been shipping plutonium from its other weapons factories to its Savannah River Site, near Aiken.

In 2002, South Carolina sued the Energy Department in an unsuccessful effort to prevent shipments. The governor at the time, Jim Hodges, said he wanted a binding agreement that the weapons plutonium would be disposed of elsewhere if the plant was not built. The new delay, Mr. Hodges said, "leads me to believe there's no serious commitment from the Bush administration."

But administration officials say the plan is alive. "I'm absolutely confident we're going to resolve this," said Linton F. Brooks, the under secretary of energy for nuclear security. But he could not say when. "Nobody who tells you he can predict how long it will take is worth listening to," he said.

He described the impasse on liability as "a speed bump as opposed to a death blow." The money, he said, would follow quickly once an agreement on that issue was reached.

But a State Department official acknowledged that "between the liability and details of financing, there's a lot of things to iron out."

Some environmentalists oppose turning weapons plutonium into reactor fuel. Dr. Ed Lyman, a senior nuclear physicist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, has argued that a reactor accident would be more serious if the fuel was a plutonium mix rather than simply uranium, because the fuel's constituents are more dangerous if released.

A Greenpeace nuclear expert, Tom Clements, said the plan would leave Russia with a factory that — after the weapons plutonium is processed — could turn additional plutonium into reactor fuel, encouraging the creation and circulation of material that could be diverted into weapons production, or be stolen by a terrorist or militant group.

In Europe, some plutonium is recovered from spent fuel for reuse, and the Russians would like to do the same. In contrast, the Energy Department plans to bury American spent fuel, including the plutonium.

The plan for the South Carolina factory also faces its own hurdles.

The consortium of contractors the Energy Department chose to build it — an affiliate of the Duke Power company; the Stone and Webster engineering firm; and Cogema, a French nuclear company — proposed to meet the limits for radiation releases at the plant by pushing the measurement boundary about five miles from the factory.

The Energy Department insisted that the boundary be the factory site perimeter, requiring changes to the safety analysis the consortium must submit to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to win a license.

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2.
Dispute With Russia Delays Construction Of SRS Plant Until 2005
Associated Press
2/5/2004
(for personal use only)


COLUMBIA--A facility that would convert weapons-grade plutonium into fuel for commercial nuclear power plants won't begin construction in 2004 after all.

Disagreements between Russia and U.S. contractors have delayed the construction of the mixed-oxide facility until at least May 2005, a federal official said. The United States and Russia have committed to disposing of 68 metric tons of plutonium in parallel programs.

Construction of the MOX facility at Savannah River Site near Aiken was scheduled to begin as early as this spring.

"Because the Russian facility is delayed, so is the U.S. facility," said Bryan Wilkes, a spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration, a division of the Department of Energy. "I can't emphasize enough that this delay does not in any way diminish the U.S. commitment for proceeding with plutonium disposition."

The roughly $3.8 billion plant, expected to create about 500 jobs, has been criticized by anti-nuclear activists who favor encasing excess plutonium in glass and burying it in Nevada.

The delay didn't please former Gov. Jim Hodges, who had vowed to lie down in front of plutonium shipments headed to SRS because he feared the material would be stored there indefinitely. Hodges took the U.S. Energy Department to court to stop the shipments but ultimately lost.

"If these delays continue or, God forbid, they shelve the project, then SRS has moved into the status of a long-term storage facility for plutonium, which is dangerous," Hodges said recently.

Congress has been committed to spending money on the program, giving it about $400 million last year to start building the plant. President Bush has proposed $368 million for the plant next year.

There are penalties if the Energy Department fails to begin producing the fuel by 2011.

Sen. Lindsey Graham's spokes-man Kevin Bishop said a law approved in 2002 requires the government to finish the project, process the plutonium and ship it out of South Carolina. The plutonium-blended fuel will be burned in two Duke Energy power plants near Charlotte.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission also must approve a construction license for the MOX plant, but the license has been slowed because the DOE wants its chief contractor to move a radiation boundary closer to the plant's site.

Tom Clements with Greenpeace said the delay could make it harder for the Energy Department to get additional funding from Congress.

"They will have an extremely difficult time justifying to Congress why they need construction money for fiscal year 2005 when they were not able to spend all the money Congress gave them in 2004," Clements said.

The disagreement with Russia is over liability issues. U.S. contractors want legal protection in the event the American-designed Russian plant encounters problems.

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C.  Chemical Weapons Destruction

1.
New Non-Budgetary Funds are Needed for the Destruction of Chemical Weapons
Dmitry Litovkin
Izvestia
2/5/2004
(for personal use only)


Translated by RANSAC Staff

The aid of foreign countries in the destruction of Russian chemical weapons (CW) is insufficient – this was the conclusion of the State Commission on Chemical Disarmament. Six objects for the utilization of chemical weapons, which Russia is required to destroy in the framework of fulfilling the international Convention on the prohibition of the development, production, accumulation and use of CW, should be constructed by the end of 2006.

“For realizing the program of destruction of CW we should introduce into exploitation 2 objects in 2005 in the communities of Kambarka, Udmurtskoi Republic, and Shchuch’e, Kurganskoi region,” underlined the General Director of the Russian Munitions Agency Viktor Kholstov, “and 3 objects in 2006 in the community of Maradykobsky, Kirovskoi region, and in the cities of Pochel, Bryanskoi region, and Leonidovka, Penzenskoi region.”

It is with such a schedule of construction and exploitation of objects that Russia gave its claim to Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons on extending the deadline for fulfilling the convention (it was originally planned that Moscow would complete it by 2007). In agreement with the convention, 14 states give money to Russian for chemical disarmament. However, of the promised $1.9 billion, since 1992 little more than $268 million has been received (8 plus billion rubles). For the construction of the object at Kambarke alone, by the evaluation of experts, around 7 billion rubles are needed. The estimated cost of the object at Shchuch’e is more than 15.5 billion rubles. Thus, the Sate Commission decided to, by the 15th of March, analyze the rendering of financial aid in the destruction of CW and to choose measures that permit drawing extra non-budgetary means for chemical disarmament.

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2.
Russia Forms United Ecological Monitoring System
ITAR-TASS
2/5/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, February 5 (Itar-Tass) - Russia forms the united federal system of ecological monitoring in areas of storage and scrapping of chemical weapons, Russian president’s plenipotentiary representative in the Volga federal district Sergei Kiriyenko said on Thursday. He summed up the results of a meeting of the state commission for chemical disarmament of Russia.

Kiriyenko said this system incorporates mobile control means and regional information-analytical centres. The next step will be the establishment of an interdepartmental federal centre linked to information structures in regions and large centres of the country.

Chemical weapons arsenals are currently kept in the Bryansk, Penza, Saratov, Kirov and Kurgan regions and in the Russian republic of Udmurtia.

“Monitoring services are effectively operating at all the arsenals and at the chemical weapons scrapping facility in the Gorny settlement, Saratov region,” Kiriyenko said, adding that “sometimes poor public relations prevent timely and impartial familiarization of the local population with the ecological situation in the region.”

The united federal system of ecological monitoring will make it possible to show the safe elimination of chemical agents and work to implement conversion programs, the official said.

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3.
No Dangerous Leakages Found At Chemical Weapon Disposal Plant
ITAR-TASS
2/4/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, February 4 (Itar-Tass) -- The Russian Ministry of the Environment has not found dangerous leakages at the chemical weapon disposal plant in Gorny, Saratov region.

“It was established during the inspection that there are no such dangerous toxic substances as yperite, monoethanolamin, and lewisite in the ponds, and in their content in the atmosphere does not exceed half of the maximum permissible concentration,” the ministry told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

No hazardous substances were found in the underground water either. The condition of the flora and fauna in the area around the plant is normal and “has not changed since 2002”, the ministry said.

Ecological monitoring in the area was conducted by two laboratories accredited by the State Committee for Standardisation. The monitoring was conducted on the plant’s grounds and in the residential areas.

About 3 percent (1,160 tonnes) of Russia’s 40,000 tonnes of chemical weapons are stored at Gorny. At the end of last year, the plant destroyed all stocks of yperite and began scrapping lewisite. The plant hopes to finish the process before 2005. Russia has to destroy all of its chemical weapons by 2012.

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4.
Russia Plans Chem Weapons Disposal Plants
Associated Press
2/4/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW (AP)--All of Russia's facilities for disposing of the world's biggest chemical weapons stockpile should be ready for operation by the end of 2006, officials said Wednesday.

Viktor Kholtsov, general director of the Russian Agency on Ammunition, told Interfax two large-scale plants in the provinces of Udmurtia and Kurgan are planned to be built in 2005. The first such facility, in the Saratov region, started its work in 2002.

The Saratov and Udmurtia plants are intended to carry out a two-stage disposal of lewisite, while the Kurgan facility will do away with sarine, soman and VX, agency spokesman Dmitry Timashkov told The Associated Press.

Three smaller plants are to be erected in Kirov, Bryansk and Penza in 2006, Kholtsov said, acording to Interfax. The plants will dispose of the same chemicals in a single detoxication stage, making them non-military reagents, Timashkov said.

In 1997, Russia committed itself to destroying its stockpile of 44,000 tons of checmical weapons within 10 years. However, in 2001 the government changed its target date to 2012 because of a lack of funds.

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D.  Counterproliferation

1.
Russian Joint Staff Inquires USA On Its WMD Initiative
RIA Novosti
2/10/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, February 10, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Russian Joint Staff have several questions to the USA concerning the practical implementation of its initiative on the control on weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

In particular it goes for the interception of the third countries' air and sea vessels, which are suspected of carrying WMD, First Deputy Director of the Joint Staff Yury Baluevsky disclosed at the press-conference on Tuesday.

According to him, the Russian law on the state border protection does not permit in peacetime to destroy aircraft, especially with the use of anti-aircraft defense weapons. "It's still not clear what to do if a violating airplane does not respond on its authentication code and refuses to land upon the request of fighters, raised in the sky on alarm," Baluevsky noted.

The Russian General Staff believes that the decision on the affiliation of Russia to the American initiative on the control of weapons of mass destruction should be taken at the political level, he added.

"Russia can accept recent specifications made by US official representative in regard to strengthen the control on the weapons of mass destruction," Baluevsky stated.

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2.
Russia Still Thinking About PSI
Radio Free Europe
2/5/2004
(for personal use only)


An unnamed Defense Ministry source told ITAR-TASS on 3 February that Russia has not yet decided whether to join the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), the U.S.-proposed anti-WMD-proliferation program. Russia will make a decision in the next two or three months, the source said, adding that the decision will be based on the extent to which the PSI corresponds to Russia's national interests and international law, including the UN Charter, and the Geneva and Vienna conventions. Referring to recent talks in Moscow with U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton, the source said there are "a whole bunch of inconsistencies in the U.S. initiative," but the Russian side "managed to remove many of the disputed issues" after "verifying and correcting" the U.S. position. "We are currently studying the political and practical aspects of this initiative," the source added. All of the Group of Eight's members except for Russia have joined the PSI, which proposes the interception, seizure, and inspection of aircraft and ships suspected of transporting WMD components (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 30 January and 2 February 2004). JB

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E.  Nuclear Terrorism

1.
Joint Chief Says No Nuclear Weapons Were Left In Ukraine
RIA Novosti
2/10/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, February 10, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Every Soviet nuclear weapon was taken back from Ukraine to Russia, said Yuri Baluyevsky, the first deputy joint chief of staff.

"Everything is confirmed by reports or agreements," Mr. Baluyevsky said. "I do not know a case when nuclear warheads lost en route, and especially that they reached terrorists."

"All nuclear weapons are located on the spot. No weapons were sold to Al Qaeda or any similar organizations and none was stolen," emphasized Mr. Baluyevsky.

Earlier, the Western press reported that after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Al Qaeda allegedly purchased several portable nuclear weapons which were based in Ukraine.

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2.
Ukraine Denies Sale of Nuclear Weapons
Simon Saradzhyan
Moscow Times
2/10/2004
(for personal use only)


Ukrainian officials on Monday denied a report in an Arab newspaper that al-Qaida purchased tactical nuclear weapons from Ukrainian scientists and is storing them for possible use.

"The allegations of Ukrainian scientists giving away tactical weapons is another tall story," Alexander Kuzmyk, a former Ukrainian defense minister and a member of the parliament's security committee, told Interfax.

The London-based al-Hayat newspaper said Sunday that Ukrainian scientists traveled to the Afghan city of Kandahar in 1998 and struck a deal with the international terrorist network for the sale of an unspecified number of so-called nuclear "suitcase bombs."

The newspaper quoted sources close to al-Qaida as saying that al-Qaida would detonate the devices only in the United States or if it faced a "crushing blow" threatening its existence, such as the use of nuclear or chemical weapons against its fighters, according to Reuters.

Kuzmyk, who headed Ukraine's Defense Ministry from 1996 to 2001, said the newspaper's allegations "lie in the sphere of fiction" and are "groundless."

He noted that Ukraine had transferred its nuclear arsenal to Russia by 1996 and, as such, had no tactical nuclear weapons to sell in 1998.

Kuzmyk's remarks were echoed by the deputy head of Ukraine's arms export agency, Alexander Myakushko. He said Monday that Ukraine has not supplied weapons to Afghanistan since 1993 and none could have been smuggled there, Interfax reported.

Reports of al-Qaida seeking nuclear materials and of nuclear weapons going missing after the breakup of the Soviet Union are nothing new. The CIA, for one, has repeatedly said it has information indicating al-Qaida is trying to obtain nuclear material to build a so-called "dirty bomb." Former Soviet republics have frequently been named as likely sources for the material.

Questions about whether Ukraine might have lost warheads were raised in September 2002, when Ukrainian lawmaker Pyotr Simonenko said that the transfer of only 2,200 of the country's 2,400 warheads had been documented. "The fate of the other 200 warheads is unknown," Simonenko told reporters.

Kiev denied Simonenko's allegations at the time.

In May 1997, General Alexander Lebed, then the secretary of the Security Council, stirred up a storm in both Russia and the United States with an announcement that Moscow was unable to account for 80 small atomic demolition munitions, or ADMs, made in the Soviet Union.

Officials at the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the Security Service of Ukraine could not be reached for comment Monday. A search on the security service's web site found only one case in which a foreigner had tried to acquire nuclear warheads in Ukraine. In 1992, security officers arrested a 32-year-old Swedish citizen on charges of trying to acquire warheads to blackmail the Swedish government into giving a $2 billion loan to Ukraine.

Ivan Safranchuk, head of the Moscow office of the Washington-based Center for Defense Information, said Monday that al-Hayat's report probably reflected an attempt by al-Qaida to use "nuclear bluffing" in its "information warfare" against the United States. Such a bluff would indicate that al-Qaida is indeed making a serious effort to acquire nuclear weapons, he said

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3.
Are Federal Security Service's Powers Insufficient For Combating Terrorism?
RIA Novosti
2/9/2004
(for personal use only)


DOMODEDOVO (Moscow Region), February 9, 2004. (RIA Novosti ). The Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia deems it necessary that more powers be granted to security services in combating terrorism, Vyacheslav Ushakov, deputy head of the FSB, said on Monday.

Speaking before the deputies who were elected to the State Duma for the first time Ushakov said that primarily it is necessary to elaborate and adopt such laws which would allow to preclude and detect terrorist organizations at early stages of their development.

Ushakov noted that this year the number of terrorist acts in Russia, perhaps, would not diminish. In particular, he did not exclude the possibility that terrorist acts might be committed "on transport, the nuclear power plants and in the energy sector".

According to the FSB deputy head the intensification of terrorist activity not only in Chechnya but also outside it may testify to the fact that some countries are interested in "turning the republic into the center of world terrorism."

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4.
Not A Single Nuclear Weapon Has Been Sold Or Stolen
Yoav Stern
Haaretz Daily
2/9/2004
(for personal use only)


Report: Al-Qaida Has Obtained Tactical Nuclear Explosives

Al-Qaida have possessed tactical nuclear weapons for about six years, the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper reported Sunday.

The Arabic daily reported that sources close to Al-Qaida said Osama bin Laden's group bought the nuclear weapons from Ukrainian scientists who were visiting Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 1998.

The report has not been confirmed.

However, the sources said Al-Qaida doesn't intend to use the weapons against American forces in Muslim countries, "due to the serious damage" it could cause. But that decision is subject to change, the sources said, if Al-Qaida "is dealt a serious blow that won't leave it any room to maneuver."

The possibility of detonating the nuclear devices on American soil was also raised in the report, although no details were given.

The sources were quoted as saying that Al-Qaida actvists have hidden the weapons - each of which is about the size of a suitcase - in "a safe place."

Kandahar was the stronghold of the Taliban, which kept Afghanistan under tight religious restrictions until the United States attacked it in retaliation for the September 2001 attacks.

In the years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, serious concern arose in the West over the possibility that nuclear technology and weapons could spread to other groups, in part due to the difficult economic situation in the former communist lands. Several reports of the nuclear arsenal in the former Soviet Union in the 1990s indicated that a few dozen nuclear explosive devices had disappeared. One of the theories was that the devices disappeared in Ukraine, which claims that it handed over all its nuclear weapons to Russia.

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5.
Paper Says Al Qaeda Has Nukes
Reuters
2/8/2004
(for personal use only)


CAIRO (Reuters) - A pan-Arab newspaper says that the al Qaeda organisation led by Osama bin Laden bought tactical nuclear weapons from Ukraine in 1998 and is storing them in safe places for possible use.

There was no independent corroboration of the report, which appeared in the newspaper al-Hayat under an Islamabad dateline on Sunday and cited sources close to al Qaeda, which the United States blames for the attacks of September 11, 2001.

The newspaper said al Qaeda bought the weapons in suitcases in a deal arranged when Ukrainian scientists visited the Afghan city of Kandahar in 1998. The city was then a stronghold of the Taliban movement, which was allied with al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda would use the weapons only inside the United States or if the group faced a "crushing blow" which threatened its existence, such as the use of nuclear or chemical weapons against its fighters, the paper quoted its sources as saying.

Ukraine inherited nuclear weapons from the Soviet Union but in 1994 it agreed to send 1,900 nuclear warheads to Russia and sign up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

After the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, a former Russian National Security Adviser, Alexander Lebed, said that up to 100 portable suitcase-sized bombs were unaccounted for. Moscow has denied such weapons existed.

Lebed said each one was equivalent to 1,000 tons of TNT and could kill as many as 100,000 people.

Al-Hayat did not say how many weapons al Qaeda bought or say who exactly had provided them.

A Pakistani government official said U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell was expected to visit Islamabad soon to discuss nuclear proliferation, after a top scientist there admitted passing atomic programme secrets to third parties.

The United States has repeatedly said its worst fear is that a group like al Qaeda might obtain access to weapons of mass destruction and use them against the American people.

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6.
Russia Calls For Measures Excluding Terrorists' Access To WMD
ITAR-TASS
2/5/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, February 5 (Itar-Tass) - Moscow is calling upon the UN Security Council to take measures excluding terrorists' access to weapons of mass destruction.

"The danger of these weapons' getting into terrorists' hands is a real threat," Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

"The United Nations has an understanding that the necessary measures should be taken before it's too late," Fedotov said.

He explained that the state must take additional obligations excluding the possibility of weapons of mass destruction getting at the disposal of extremist organizations.

"In principle, countries are supposed to take such measures without prompting," Fedotov said, but in the present conditions it is necessary to reinforce these obligations.

In his view, "it can be done by enlisting the authority of the UN Security Council."

Consultations on this problem are underway at the UN Security Council. "Russia is hoping that it will be possible to coordinate, in the nearest future, a general policy aimed at eliminating this threat," Fedotov said.

"The relevant UN resolution is likely to appear, according to the deputy foreign minister.

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F.  Export Controls

1.
Boris Aleshin: There Are No Grounds To Accuse Russia Of Selling Forbidden Hi-Tech
RIA Novosti
2/10/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, February 10, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Aleshin said that it was groundless to accuse Russia of selling forbidden hi-tech and weapons to a number of countries.

Such accusations are "totally groundless," Boris Aleshin said at a Moscow press conference Tuesday.

The Russian deputy prime minister stressed that both weapons and hi-tech monitoring systems in Russia "were in no way inferior or superior to ones used in other countries".

"We have no ideas in our minds, which would break international treaties," Boris Aleshin said.

At the same time he expressed his concerns over illegal exploitation of Russian technologies and illegal production of some types of weapons abroad. "There is a certain hi-tech drain but it has never been initiated by the Russian state," the Russian deputy prime minister said.

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2.
Putin Amends List Of Controlled-Export Nuclear Materials & Technologies
RIA Novosti
1/8/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, JANUARY 8, RIA NOVOSTI - Russia's President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to amend a list of nuclear materials, equipment, special-purpose non-nuclear materials and related technologies for export control. The Kremlin press service is circulating the document.

The list, as approved by a federal presidential decree of February 14, 1996, will be amended as follows:

"Section 2, 'Equipment and Non-Nuclear Materials', Clauses 2.5, 2.5.1 and 2.5.2: the wording 'uranium isotopes' shall be replaced by 'isotopes of natural uranium, depleted uranium or special fission materials';

"The subsection on, 'General Criteria of Passing Technologies of Uranium Procession and Enrichment, and Heavy Water Production' shall be invalidated." The decree obliges the federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs to "forward to the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency a note in confirmation of Russian agreement to amendments made by the Zanger Committee in the basic list in conformity with the decision made by its session of September 24, 2002, in Vienna".

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G.  Bioweapons

1.
Non-Proliferation Of Biological Weapons To Be Verified In Russia
ITAR-TASS
2/3/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, February 3 (Itar-Tass) - The international independent commission on weapons of mass destruction presided over by Hans Blix will verify the conditions for non-proliferation of biological weapons in Russia, Alexei Arbatov, the head of the Centre of international security of the Institute of World Economics and International Relations, told reporters on Wednesday.

He said the commission was formed in December 2003 on the initiative of the Swedish government and of the former head of the mission of UN inspectors in Iraq, Hans Blix. The commission consists of representatives of a dozen of countries. Alexei Arbatov represents Russia. At the commission’s first meeting on January 28-29 in Stockholm, its participants expressed concern with the quest of new ways to control the non-proliferation of biological weapons.

Arbatov said biological weapons being created in the world are not affected by antibiotics, can destroy farmlands and affect selectively certain kinds of plants.

In view of specific effects of such weapons there is a need for new methods of control over them and the adaptation of appropriate international arrangements to non-proliferation of chemical and biological weapons, Arbatov said.

He said Russia had produced biological weapons in the past, and members of the commission are interested in visiting such countries. Arbatov believes the commission’s first report may be published in late 2005 - early 2006.

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H.  Threat Reduction Expansion

1.
Interview with Ambassador Robert Oakley (excerpted)
Robert Windrem
NBC News
2/9/2004
(for personal use only)


[...]

NBC:** The United States has begun to help Pakistan on a number of very sensitive issues. Helping with Musharraf's personal security. Even subsequent to the December assassination attempts. and also with nuclear weapon security. meetings between General Kidwai and the U.S. officials, over I guess going back to October 2001. How much of an investment are we making to this and is this, and how important is it for us to be doing this. I' mean particularly with the nuclear security.

**RO:** I think it's extremely important. The alternative, and I think the Indians have realized this also, there have been times when they've been tempted to say let's just dismember Pakistan or help Pakistan come apart. But then they sit back and think my goodness do we want to have Afghanistan, during the Taliban Al-Qaeda period, right next to us with nuclear weapons? How dangerous would that be? Not just the thought that a radical regime might acquire nuclear weapons, but a radical regime who already has nuclear weapons plus ballistic missiles, and what a threat that would be to the entire region as well as to the United States. I think there's good reason to want to help Musharraf. I think the greatest help we could provide him in addition to working on these sensitive areas, is to get the economy moving. He's laid a basis for that but it needs more of a boost. And maybe we could do something there which I think would be very, very welcome.

**NBC:** Do you think the Indians seeing that the U.S. may be trying to improve the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons in terms of authorization codes and in terms of physical security are going to look at this and say wait a minute this is just too much. Essentially, the U.S. is helping the Pakistani nuclear weapons program. because if you improve authorization codes for security purposes and the physical security, you're also improving their capability and readiness.

**RO:** On the other hand we're also encouraging the Indians to follow the Pakistani track. in this particular area the Indians are probably behind Pakistan in terms of security for their nuclear weapons, they need to catch up. But if you look at what we're doing with India we're saying, hey when you begin to catch up we're going to be giving you a lot more cooperation both in terms of technology, which you've always wanted, and even in terms of going out to space. So I think India feels that they are great beneficiaries from the cooperation of the United States. So I think they feel sufficiently trusting of us now when they didn't in the past. They think this is probably a plus for them rather than a minus. I think the whole thing is coming into focus and we've used our relationship with both countries which have never been as good as they are now to good avail encouraging them to begin to trust each other to begin to talk to each other. as well as to work with us. I think it is a plus for all three at the moment and I think it will continue to be that way.

**NBC:** So you're very optimistic then, aren't you?

**RO:** Well I would watch the Kidwai thing he's been working very quietly, very slowly with us. But that's why the president of the United States can speak with some confidence about the military side of the nuclear program and the fact that it is under control. And the chances of leakage are very, very slim and the chances of accidents are very slim. Whereas before, the chances of leakage or accident were greater than when they begin to work with us. Now we're not fully satisfied and they're suspicious of us still. But less suspicious than they were right after September the 11th when they felt we might come sweeping in to seize their nuclear weapons which would have produced a holocaust because we never would have gotten them. so I think that slowly, slowly there are points of contention. A lot of points of contention when it comes to things like missile defense or a-wax. The Pakistanis are very suspicious of India. they're suspicious of the United States. they're suspicious of Israel who they see as acting with U.S. permission. in these areas that they think might nullify their defensive capability against India. On the other hand, the net balance so far is pretty positive.

[...]

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2.
Pakistan's Nuclear Loopholes
Selig S. Harrison
Boston Globe
2/9/2004
(for personal use only)


DESPITE MULTIPLYING evidence that Iran, North Korea, and Libya have obtained their key nuclear technology from Pakistan, the United States continues to coddle General Pervez Musharraf, accepting his assurances that nuclear transfers occurred long before he took power and were perpetrated only by "corrupt individuals" in the nuclear program -- not by generals or political leaders. In a carefully stage-managed scenario, the father of the Pakistani nuclear program, Dr. A.Q. Khan, publicly confessed to amassing millions through illicit foreign nuclear sales and appealed for clemency. Musharraf promptly pardoned him to avoid a trial that might implicate leading military figures, including Musharraf himself. But even the sternest punishment of Khan and his cronies would only be the first step in a meaningful Pakistani effort to reassure the world that future nuclear transfers will not occur.

Islamabad has enough enriched uranium stockpiled for 52 more nuclear weapons in addition to the 48 it already deploys. To find out whether nuclear transfers have really stopped under Musharraf and whether adequate safeguards are in place to prevent the leakage of nuclear materials to terrorist groups, the United States should insist on three steps by Pakistan as a precondition for the $3 billion in new military and economic aid promised by President Bush last June.

The most urgent would be the installation of new protective measures in Pakistani nuclear laboratories, supervised by US scientists. Second, Pakistan would have to permit regular inspection access by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Finally, radically strengthened Pakistani export controls would be essential to restore Islamabad's nonproliferation bonafides.

A recent study by the University of Georgia shows that Pakistani export control machinery is riddled with loopholes that would make it easy for Al Qaeda sympathizers to smuggle out nuclear components and know-how.

The study emphasizes the need to reverse export control regulations, promulgated after Musharraf took over, that exempt the armed forces and Defense Ministry agencies from its scope. Since "nuclear weapons and missiles are directly controlled by the armed forces," the study declares, "unless these exemptions are clarified or withdrawn, unlicensed exports by defense agencies would legally not be violations of domestic export control laws." This glaring loophole would have enabled the A.Q. Khan Research Laboratories to continue providing nuclear technology to Iran and Libya during Musharraf's tenure in addition to the earlier transfers documented in October by the IAEA. It could also explain how Khan managed to make his latest suspected nuclear transfer to North Korea less than two years ago in payment for missiles.

According to the CIA, Pakistan used US-supplied C-130 transport planes to ship Nodong missiles from Pyongyang in July, 2002. This provoked the imposition of US trade sanctions against the Khan Laboratories and a North Korean company in March, 2003. But the State Department stressed that the sanctions related solely to missiles and did not reflect a formal US finding that North Korea had exported nuclear technology to Pyongyang.

The administration fears that a showdown with Musharraf over Pakistan's relations with North Korea might jeopardize his help in combating Al Qaeda. But there is little doubt that North Korea did get its uranium enrichment technology from Pakistan. When the administration accused Pyongyang of violating its 1994 nuclear freeze pledge by conducting the uranium program, it leaked two internal reports documenting the Islamabad-Pyongyang connection.

A transfer of North Korean missiles to Pakistan as late as 2002 raises the question of how Pakistan is paying for them. If Islamabad did not pay with nuclear technology, did it divert some of the aid money given by the United States since 9/11 to buy missiles from the North Koreans?

In the internal administration debate over how to handle Musharraf, the argument against a get-tough posture on the nuclear issue is not only that it would jeopardize his cooperation against Al Qaeda, but also that it could lead to his ouster by a more nationalistic general sympathetic to Al Qaeda. But these arguments ignore the fact that the unpopular military regime needs US economic and military aid for its survival. Moreover, Musharraf's principal potential challenger, General Mohammed Aziz, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is a hardline nationalist from Kashmir, not an Islamic fanatic. Aziz might take a tougher line with India than Musharraf, but would be ready, like Musharraf, to cooperate on nuclear controls if this is the price for US aid.

In return for nuclear inspections, the United States should be prepared to offer Pakistan compelling new incentives, including access to the US textile market, which the White House promised when Musharraf signed on as a US ally after 9/11.

Stepped-up textile exports to the huge US market would be an economic bonanza for Pakistan. President Bush has been reluctant to confront US protectionist interests opposed to letting in Pakistani imports, but he should be willing to spend some of his political capital on this issue. Stopping the proliferation of nuclear technology and the leakage of nuclear materials is a paramount US interest, no less important than combating Al Qaeda.

Selig S. Harrison is director of the Asia Program at the Center for International Policy in Washington.

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3.
U.S. Helps Pakistan Safeguard Nuclear Material
Carol Giacomo
Reuters
2/7/2004
(for personal use only)


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is working with Pakistan to protect its nuclear technology from falling into the hands of extremists, a senior U.S. official said on Friday.

"We have had discussions with Pakistan on the need for Pakistan to safeguard its technology and its nuclear material. We are confident they are taking the necessary steps," the official told Reuters.

He commented after NBC Television's "Nightly News" program reported that since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, American nuclear experts grouped as the "U.S. Liaison Committee" have spent millions of dollars to safeguard more than 40 weapons in Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

"Meeting every two months, they are helping Pakistan develop state of the art security, including secret authorization codes for the arsenal," the network reported.

But the U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that U.S. law and the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, a cornerstone of efforts to curb the spread of weapons, "prevent any direct involvement with (Pakistan's) nuclear weapons."

"So we've had discussions with them generally about how they safeguard nuclear material," he said.

"We don't want their materials to get into the wrong hands but won't go over the edge of our law and the NPT," he said.

The reports about the U.S. role in Pakistan came in the midst of revelations that the father of Pakistan's nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, sold nuclear secrets to Libya and two members of President George W. Bush's "axis of evil," North Korea and Iran.

After confessing on television to blackmarket nuclear technology dealings and absolving Pakistan's military and government of blame, Khan was pardoned by President Pervez Musharraf in an apparent effort to lay the controversy to rest.

The United States has strongly defended Musharraf's handling of the scandal, reflecting a balancing act between its usual aggressive stance on punishing proliferation and its firm support for the Pakistani leader, a key ally in the U.S. anti-terror war.

Pakistan, like South Asian rival India, tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

The United States and the other four members of the world nuclear club -- Russia, France, Britain and China -- in the past have expressed alarm at this development.

But most concern has focused on Pakistan because of fears that Islamic fundamentalists may overthrow Musharraf -- the target of two recent assassination attempts -- and gain control of the nuclear bomb.

Since the 1998 nuclear tests, U.S. officials and experts have debated the extent to which they can provide India and Pakistan advice about safeguarding their nuclear technology.

Neither country is a member of the NPT and hence is not entitled to any assistance that might advance their nuclear weapons capability.

The United States recently got around this with India by offering safety assistance to New Delhi's civilian nuclear program, which is aimed at power generation.

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4.
U.S. Program To Protect Pakistan's Arsenal - Covert Operation Spends Millions To Safeguard Nuclear Weapons
Andrea Mitchell
NBC News
2/6/2004
(for personal use only)


U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, at the United Nations on Friday, refused to join widespread criticism of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s pardon of nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan.

When asked to respond to charges that it seems as if the United States is sending the wrong signal to proliferators around the world with Khan as the biggest, Powell responded, saying: “The biggest is now gone. We don’t have to worry about proliferation from A.Q. Khan or his network.”

In fact, NBC News has learned, since 9/11, the United States has been working secretly with Pakistan to protect its nuclear weapons from getting in the hands of terrorists or rogue commanders, even as Khan was selling Pakistan’s nuclear secrets.

Last month, President hinted at the covert cooperation, “Yes, they are secure,... and that’s important.”

It’s called the U.S. Liaison Committee: American nuclear experts spending millions to safeguard Pakistan’s more than 40 nuclear weapons.

They meet at least every two months and are helping Pakistan develop state-of-the-art security — including secret authorization codes for the arsenal.

“The chances for leakage are very, very slim, and the chances for accidents are very, very slim,” according to former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Robert Oakley.

But there is a huge risk: Helping Pakistan get nuclear codes could make its leaders more willing to use them in a crisis.

“So, the assistance, if it’s not done very carefully, could end up actually increasing the risk of an accidental nuclear exchange,” said David Albright, former U.N. nuclear inspector.

Still, the United States feels President Musharraf, despite his flaws, is more reliable than the country’s Islamic radicals.

But Musharraf barely escaped two recent assassination attempts.

The big fear is that, even after protecting Pakistan’s weapons, its leader is so vulnerable that no one can be sure who will end up with those secret nuclear codes.

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I.  Nuclear Diplomacy

1.
IAEA, Kazakhstan Sign Additional CSA Protocol
Interfax
2/10/2004
(for personal use only)


Astana. (Interfax) - Kazakh representative in Vienna for international organizations Rakhat Aliyev and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei signed an additional protocol to the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

International Safeguard Agreements and their additional protocols are aimed at "assuring that nuclear materials that have been declared for peaceful purposes are not being used for military purposes instead," the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said.

"Kazakhstan's signing of this important international document once again shows the leadership's support for nuclear non-proliferation and the prevention of a further escalation of nuclear arms," the Foreign Ministry's statement says.

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2.
World Lacks Means To Keep Nuke Spread In Check. Russia's Defence Minister Reports Alarm
RIA Novosti
2/8/2004
(for personal use only)


MUNICH, February 8, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - The world has no practical arrangements to control nuclear arsenal proliferation - at any rate, such arrangements do not work. The situation greatly alarms Russia and NATO countries' leaders. Lobby talks at the Munich conference prove their worry, Sergei Ivanov, Russia's Defence Minister, said to a news conference.

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3.
Nuclear Technology Deliveries Cause Russia's Concern, Says Defense Minister
Aleksei Berezin
RIA Novosti
2/7/2004
(for personal use only)


MUNICH, February 7 (RIA Novosti corr. Alexei Berezin) - Deliveries of nuclear technologies cause Russia's concern and anxiety, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said.

"I agree with IAEA head El Baradei's wording that what the public learnt in Pakistan is the tip of the iceberg," he told a Munich press conference.

Earlier the minister said the possibility of reception from Pakistan of nuclear technologies and components by different countries and regimes who are eager to possess nuclear weapons, as well as by extremist and terrorist groups, has become very high recently.

On its part, Russia supports the efforts of the international community aimed at Pakistan's joining nonproliferation regimes, Ivanov stressed.

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4.
Russian Defense Minister Concerned About Nuclear Security Around Pakistan
Aleksei Berezin
RIA Novosti
2/7/2004
(for personal use only)


MUNICH, February 7 (RIA Novosti correspondent Alexei Berezin) - Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov delivered a report on international security in the context of Russia-NATO relations at the 40th Munich security conference. He expressed concern for the nuclear security around Pakistan.

We have always paid attention to the threat of nuclear proliferation existing in Pakistan, Sergei Ivanov said.

According to him, different countries and regimes, longing to possess nuclear weapons, and extremist and terrorist organizations aiming at the creation of the so-called 'dirty bomb' are likely to get nuclear materials and components from Pakistan.

"Russia supports international efforts on Pakistan's joining the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and other non-proliferation regimes as a non-nuclear country," Sergei Ivanov stressed.

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J.  NATO - Russia

1.
Russia, NATO Joint ABM Exercise
RIA Novosti
2/10/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti). Russia and NATO will hold a joint ABM exercise, first deputy chief of the Russian General Staff Yuri Baluyevsky told journalists today. The exercise will be held in a NATO country this year and in Russia in 2005.

However, joint exercises need a good legal foundation, said the general. "Particularly much is to be done within the framework of Russia-NATO interaction to ensure the compatibility of air and ballistic missile defence systems," said Baluyevsky. In his words, Russia stands for joint efforts in the creation of theatre missile defence systems and aircraft. "There should be a common interest without infringement on national interests."

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2.
Russia-NATO Exercise Scheduled For Spring
RIA Novosti
2/10/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti). A joint Russia-NATO exercise in nuclear weapons safety will be held in Northern Russia in April. "The goal is to train in safe storage of nuclear weapons, which the armies of Russia and other nuclear countries will maintain for a long time," first deputy chief of the Russian General Staff Yuri Baluyevsky told journalists.

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3.
NATO, Russia Can Achieve Progress In WMD Nonproliferation, Says Russian Defense Minister
Aleksei Berezin
RIA Novosti
2/7/2004
(for personal use only)


MUNICH, February 7 (RIA Novosti corr. Alexei Berezin) - "The mechanism of NATO-Russia interaction can become the tool that will make it possible to achieve substantial quality progress in the field of nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said at the 40th international Munich conference on security. He delivered a report called "Issues of international security in the context of Russia-NATO relations." "I believe it's important to start working on issues of interaction first on the military-political, and then on the military-technical level to prevent different components of WMDs from being used in terrorist acts or by mistakes or due to accidents and eliminate the consequences of such use," Ivanov said.

In his words, ultimately, the nature of the threat on the part of international terrorist organizations is such that it excludes efficient action against it within the framework of one nation or NATO.

Ivanov stressed that Russia and NATO should not substitute for the UN or the IAEA; however, now there exists an objective possibility to work out on the basis of the mechanism of the Twenty standards and technologies to react to such cases in the event of crises or preventively, he said.

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K.  Russia - Korea

1.
It’s Inexpedient To Discuss N Korea Nuke Problem In UN SC
ITAR-TASS
2/4/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, February 4 (Itar-Tass) - It is inexpedient to discuss North Korea’s nuclear problem in the U.N. Security Council, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov said.

In an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass on Wednesday, Fedotov said, “It’s better to find a solution to this problem in the present format. It’ s necessary to reach agreement with all participants in the talks on the whole complex of issues, including granting a nuclear-free status to the Korean peninsula, offering security guarantees and creating conditions for the economic development of all countries.”

Russia is taking part in the talks with the U.S., China, Japan and two Koreas. A new round of the six-sided talks will open in Beijing on February 25.

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2.
RF Plays Important Role For Resuming Six-Way N Korea Nuclear Talks
ITAR-TASS
2/4/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, February 4 (Itar-Tass) - Russia “played an important role for resuming six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear problem,” South Korean Ambassador in Moscow Chung Tae-ik told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

“Reaching the agreement on opening the second round of negotiations in Beijing on February 25 is a big step forward,” the diplomat emphasized. “The South Korean side acclaims achieving the accord,” he remarked. According to him, “Seoul highly estimates a big contribution of the Russian diplomacy in the Korean settlement.” “We voice the hope that Russia will continue active efforts in this direction,” the ambassador pointed out.

According to the South Korean diplomat, “it is important that in Beijing South Korea confirmed the readiness to abandon all nuclear programmes including the production of highly-enriched uranium.” “In this case it would be possible to discuss probable compensation and providing security guarantees to North Korea primarily by the United States already at the second round of talks.”

“The settlement on the Korean peninsula needs the solution of many questions that a special working group should consider,” Chung Tae-ik underlined. “It could be created at the upcoming round of talks in the Chinese capital,” he noted.

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L.  Russian Nuclear Forces

1.
Russian Exercises Over US Nukes
Associated Press
2/11/2004
(for personal use only)


A MASSIVE Russian military exercise that will involve numerous launches of ballistic missiles and flights of strategic bombers isn't aimed against the United States but reflects Moscow's concerns about US plans to develop new types of nuclear weapons, a top general said today.

The exercise, which has been under way since late January at the headquarters level, will involve launches of an unspecified number of sea- and ground-based ballistic missiles and take Russian strategic bombers to the air, said Colonel-General Yuri Baluyevsky, the first deputy chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.

Baluyevsky dismissed media reports that the planned exercise would closely resemble Soviet-era simulations of an all-out nuclear war with the United States, saying that it's not directed against any specific country.

"The enemy is imaginary," Baluyevsky said at a news conference.

"There is no hint whatsoever that the enemy is the United States, or any other country. The United States holds a similar exercise each year and no one is making a fuss about it."

At the same time, Baluyevsky said that the exercise was prompted in part by Russia's concern about the development of low-yield nuclear weapons in the United States, which he described as destabilising.

"They are trying to make nuclear weapons an instrument of solving military tasks, lower the threshold of nuclear weapons use," Baluyevsky said.

"Shouldn't we react to that, at least on the headquarters level? I'm sure that we should and we are doing that."

The manoeuvers will also help develop weapons systems "capable of providing an asymmetric answer to existing and prospective weapons systems, including missile defence", Baluyevsky said.

Moscow informed the US government in advance of the exercise, in keeping with its arms control treaty obligations, Baluyevsky said. He added that Russia wasn't trying to scare anyone.

"It's not saber-rattling. It's not aimed at scaring our strategic partners, the United States and NATO," Baluyevsky said.

"We are doing what the military is intended for: getting ready for solving tasks in any possible conflict."

He dismissed media reports that Russian strategic bombers would test-fire missiles over the north Atlantic as part of the exercise, but refused to disclose their flight routes.

During the Cold War, Soviet bombers routinely flew over the northern Atlantic on training missions that imitated a nuclear attack on the United States. Russia last sent its bombers there in 1999, after its relations with the United States had worsened sharply over the NATO air campaign against the former Yugoslavia.

US-Russian ties have been bolstered by President Vladimir Putin's support for Washington after the September 11 2001 terror attacks, but soured again lately over Moscow's opposition to the war in Iraq and US concerns about Kremlin backsliding on democracy and its pressure against other ex-Soviet nations.

Baluyevsky dismissed media claims that the exercise was a political show aimed at bolstering President Vladimir Putin's popularity in the run-up to the March 14 presidential election, which he is expected to win easily.

"This is neither the opening of the election campaign nor a demonstration of our nuclear fist to the entire world," Baluyevsky said.

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2.
Russia Does Not Plan To Target Strategic Nuclear Missiles At Poland
RIA Novosti
2/10/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti). Russia does not plan to target its strategic nuclear missiles at any country, said Yuri Baluyevsky, first chief of the Russian General Staff. "We have no intention or goal to target strategic missiles at Poland in connection with the potential appearance of NATO bases in its territory," said the general.

"Moreover, today Russian and US strategic missiles have no flight tasks" and "we have no intention to feed new flight tasks into them. ...Besides, the technical characteristics of ballistic missiles are not suited for a strike at Poland, as only a missile that will circle the Globe can do it and there are no such missiles yet."

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3.
Russia To Continue Training Launches Of Ballistic Missiles
RIA Novosti
2/10/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti). The Russian army cannot discontinue training launches of ballistic missiles, though this is an expensive undertaking, first deputy chief of the Russian General Staff Yuri Baluyevsky told journalists today. "Exercises with training missile launches cost quite a lot: 300-600 million roubles per launch," said the general ($1 is approximately 30 roubles). "But Russia cannot stop doing this, as each launch is a vital element of crew combat training and entails R&D experiments in the creation and use of prospective strategic weapons for national security purposes," said Baluyevsky.

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4.
Strategic Staff Exercise of Russian Armed Forces
ITAR-TASS
2/10/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, February 10 (Itar-Tass) - A strategic staff exercise began in the Russian Armed Forces on Tuesday. First Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff Colonel-General Yuri Baluyevski told a press conference here that the purpose of the exercise was to provide practical training to the commanding structures of the strategic nuclear forces and to general-purpose units. A minimum number of forces are to be enlisted in the exercise, he added.

The Russian military command is planning to polish off during the exercise some elements of the concept of how the Russian Armed Forces should be developed, which was published in 2003. Checked during the exercise also will be the capability of general-purpose forces to airlift troops and armaments to great distances with the subsequent fulfilment of combat exercise tasks. Moreover, it is planned to master new forms and methods of using the strategic nuclear forces and general-purpose units to counter military menaces and challenges to the national security of Russia.

The exercise, which began on Tuesday, is a planned action and its concept was drawn up and approved back in 2003, General Baluyevski stressed. Chief of the Russian General Staff General Anatoly Kvashnin is personally directing the exercise and Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov is supervising it.

As earlier reported, besides general-purpose units, all the component parts of the Russian nuclear triad and the space troops are expected to take part in the exercise.

Itar-Tass has learned from trustworthy sources that strategic Tu-160 and Tu-95MS bombers would be used during the exercise. They are to perform some combat exercise tasks with the launching of cruise missiles. The strategic missile forces will carry out several combat exercise launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles. In turn, strategic submarines of the Russian Northern Fleet are to fire some naval ballistic missiles underwater positions. The launched missiles will be traced by the Russian missile attack warning system, which is part and parcel of the Russian Space Forces. The latter are to launch from the Plesetsk cosmodrome on February 18 a “Molniya-M” rocket with a Cosmos-series military sputnik on board.

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5.
Russia Starts Eliminating Railway-Based Strategic Missiles
ITAR-TASS
2/6/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, February 6 (Itar-Tass) -- Russian strategic missile forces said Thursday they began eliminating railway-based intercontinental ballistic missiles that used to be deployed near Krasnoyarsk in Siberia.

The press service of the forces said the railway complexes are being eliminated as they have exhausted their service life.

The elimination concerns railway-based mobile launchers used for transportation, storage and launch of three-stage hard-fuel intercontinental ballistic missiles RS-22V with multiple warheads (up to ten charges on each missile). The warheads and carriers will be eliminated at four enterprises in the city of Perm capable of eliminating up to 15 ballistic missiles annually.

The launchers will be eliminated at an enterprise in Bryansk and this year six launchers will be eliminated.

The Russian strategic missile forces have been armed with 36 RS-22V missiles since 1989. A regiment armed with them possessed a train with three engines and 17 railway cars, including three launchers.

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6.
LDPR Deputy Claims U.S. Used Small Nukes In Iraq
Radio Free Europe
2/5/2004
(for personal use only)


State Duma Deputy Aleksei Mitrofanov (Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, or LDPR) claimed on 4 February that the United States used low-yield nuclear weapons during last year's war in Iraq, citing "information received from my sources, among them Iraqi sources," Interfax reported on 4 February. According to Mitrofanov, small nuclear weapons were used at Baghdad's international airport, as a result of which "people were evaporated, turned into shadows, and the airport's buildings destroyed." Afterward, the airport was sealed off, Mitrofanov alleged. Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, he said, should be invited to the Duma to be asked whether the United States used such weapons in Iraq and what Russia is doing "to create appropriate combat effectiveness." State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev (Unified Russia), however, said Ivanov should not be asked to appear before the Duma, given that Mitrofanov's Iraqi sources "look insufficiently convincing." LDPR leader and Duma Deputy Speaker Vladimir Zhirinovskii backed Mitrofanov's assertions, claiming that the United States has been using low-yield nuclear weapons for 10 years. Only 114 deputies voted to invite Ivanov, well short of the 226 needed. JB

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7.
Navy Development Plans Envision Construction Of Acft Carriers
ITAR-TASS
2/4/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, February 4 (Itar-Tass) - Plans for the development of the Russian Navy envision the construction of aircraft carriers, Lieutenant-General Yuri Antipov, Chief of the Navy's Air Force and Air Defence, has said in an interview with the Aerospace Defence journal.

Russian naval experts are of the opinion that the Navy must have at least four carrier groups (two in the Northern Fleet and another two in the Pacific Fleet). This is the necessary minimum ensuring both the alert of aircraft carrier forces and the training process and preventive maintenance.

Meanwhile, the Navy now has only one heavy air-capable cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov, which is in service with the Northern Fleet. Russia sold another aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov to the Indian Navy at the end of last year.

The lack of a full-fledged logistics base for the training of deck-based aircraft pilots is one of main problems connected with Russia's only remaining aircraft carrier. The ground-based test and training complex (NITKA), created way back in Soviet times, remained behind on the territory of Ukraine.

The sale of the Admiral Gorshkov and contractual obligations to the Indian side prompted the Russian defence sector to take more energetic actions in this respect. In 18-24 months' time Russia will get its own complex for the training of deck-based aircraft pilots, Colonel-General Vyacheslav Meleshko, Deputy General Director of the MiG Aircraft-manufacturing Corporation, has told Itar-Tass.

A Russian analogue of the NITKA will be created at a new production complex in the town of Lukhovitsy outside Moscow. It will incorporate the latest achievements of national high technologies and will be used for the training of both Russian and foreign military pilots, including those to be trained within the framework of the contract with India, since the Admiral Gorshkov will be provided with deck-based planes Mig-29K.

Admiral of the Fleet Vladimir Kuroyedov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, announced in St Petersburg recently that the question of building Russian aircraft carriers "may be considered within the next decade".

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M.  Russian Nuclear Industry

1.
Russia Supplies First Low-Enriched Uranium Batch For Mexican NPP
ITAR-TASS
2/9/2004
(for personal use only)


MEXICO, February 9 (Itar-Tass) - Russia has supplied the first batch of low-enriched uranium for the Laguna Verde Mexican nuclear power plant, Director General of the Tekhsnabexport company Vladimir Smirnov told Itar-Tass.

He pointed out the shipment was carried out under a joint contract of the Russian company with Germany’s RWE Nukem Group.

“The contract was concluded by the results of Mexico’s first tender for the nuclear fuel supplies envisaging four reloads of Laguna Verde’s two reactors within three years,” the Russian official said. The total cost of the contract is about 60 million dollars, Smirnov said. Mexico used to purchase nuclear fuel invariably from the United States earlier, he added.

The Russian side jointly with its traditional partner RWE Nukem intends to take part in new tenders for the supplies of fuel for Mexican nuclear power plants, the Tekhsnabexport chief said.

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2.
Russia To Increase Export Of Nuclear Materials, Technologies 2004
ITAR-TASS
2/9/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, February 9 (Itar-Tass) -- Russia plans to increase the export of nuclear materials and technologies in 2004, sources at the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry said.

“The export of Russian nuclear materials and technologies has been steady on the rise over the years to reach 3 billion dollars in 2003.”

At a meeting with journalists early this year Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said “there is an outlook for increasing the Russian export of nuclear materials and technologies this year.”

“Russia in 2003 gained a strong foothold in the international market of nuclear materials and technologies. At the same time it imported not a single gram of foreign spent nuclear fuel,” he said.

“Russia provides isotopes, radioactive isotopes and fuel for nuclear power plants, low-enriched uranium and plutonium-238 to the United States, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Mexico and most European countries,” sources at the Atomic Energy Ministry said.

Alongside this “there has been noticeable growth in commercial contracts by companies and enterprises with partners in other CIS member-states.”

Construction of nuclear power plant units in China, India and Iran constitutes a considerable share of export by the Atomic Energy Ministry.

The ministry’s concerns Rosenergoatom, TVEL and Tekhsnabexport carry out export supplies.

Tekhsnabexport has confirmed that in cooperation with the German firm RWE Nukem it provided the first consignment of low-enriched uranium for the Laguna Verde nuclear power plant in Mexico early this year.

The 60-million-dollar contract provides for four refuelings of the Mexican nuclear power plant, Tekhsnabexport’s General Director Vladimir Smirnov has told Tass.

He recalled that earlier Mexico had purchased nuclear fuel from the United States on an uncontested basis.

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3.
Russian N-Plants Will Generate 230 Bln KWh a Year by 2020
ITAR-TASS
2/4/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, February 4 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian nuclear power plants are expected to generate 230 billion KWh a year by 2020, Director-General of Rosenergoatom Concern Oleg Sarayev told a news conference at Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

“We can reach these targets by completing the construction of a number of new power-generating units, operating the plants at 80 percent of their design capacity and extending the life circle of the first-generation units at the Russian nuclear plants, he said.

“After 2010, we shall begin to construct new power-generating units equipped with VVER-1000 and VVER-1500 reactors at the Leningrad nuclear plant,” Sarayev said. “We also plan to build a fast breeder reactor with a capacity of no less than 1000 MW," said he.

Thus “The concern has technical capacities capable of raising the production target from 230 billion KWh to 300 billion KWh a year after 2020,” said he.

In 2003, the Rosenergoatom nuclear plants generated 148.6 KWh of electrical energy,” Sarayev added.

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4.
Russia to Display Thermonuclear Reactor Model at EXPO-2005
ITAR-TASS
2/3/2004
(for personal use only)


MOSCOW, February 3 (Itar-Tass) -- Russia will display a model of the future thermonuclear reactor at the EXPO-2005 in Nagoya, Japan, Russian Academician Yevgeny Velikhov told Itar-Tass on Tuesday. “The site for building the first international experimental thermonuclear reactor will be chosen this year,” he said.

“France and Japan are the most probable sites of the construction project,” Velikhov said. “Russia prefers the construction site in Europe, but it may agree to a compromise, in which the reactor will be placed in France and the control and data processing center will be based in Japan. This is possible from the technological point of view, now that America, Japan, Europe and Russia have a global network e-communication and scientific data processing.”

“A final political decision about the project launch will be made by heads of atomic energy departments of member countries,” the academician said. “The atomic energy ministers of six main participants of the project – Russia, the United States, Japan, the European Union, China and South Korea – may be held in Vienna on February 20-21,” sources in the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry told Itar-Tass.

The total cost of the project nears $5 billion. Russia’s share is 10%. It will contribute to the project with the supply of high-tech components of the thermonuclear reactor.

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N.  Official Statements

1.
Daily Press Briefing (excerpted)
Richard Boucher
Department of State
2/9/2004
(for personal use only)


[…]

QUESTION: Has there been any indication that any of the former Soviet republics or Russian republics are entering into this, such as the Ukraine and/or –

MR. BOUCHER: Are what?

QUESTION: Such as the Ukraine or –

MR. BOUCHER: Yeah, but what are they supposedly doing?

QUESTION: Entering into this black market, black –

MR. BOUCHER: I don't know. As you know, most of those countries got rid of their nuclear weapons and the nuclear facilities in the 1990s. That was a major step forward for nonproliferation. And we also worked with them to help them achieve those goals that they set for themselves.

So whether there are, you know, remnants, scientists that might have been involved in this network, I don't know at this point. I think that'll depend on finding the whole network and getting the information out.

The United States has had programs to try to make sure these people don't enter into an illicit trade in nuclear technology.

Ma'am.

QUESTION: Russia.

QUESTION: Sorry, on Pakistan still.

MR. BOUCHER: On Pakistan.

QUESTION: Yeah, regarding a loose nuke case and the -- some report
weekend United States providing some aid to a Pakistan authority to
secure their nukes. And can you say, can you confirm this story, first?

MR. BOUCHER: No.

QUESTION: And do you have any --

MR. BOUCHER: The -- what we have had with Pakistan is some discussions about safety of nuclear materials. But we are prevented by law and the Nonproliferation Treaty, for that matter, from getting involved in the safety of nuclear weapons, questions involving nuclear weapons.

QUESTION: So no financial aid to Pakistan on this issue, specifically?

MR. BOUCHER: No. We've had discussions with them about safety of nuclear materials and technology, of course, just being another example of why it's important to safeguard all that expertise and materials.

[…]

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2.
Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexei Meshkov's Interview with the Newspaper Vremya Novostei, Published on February 6, 2004, Under the Heading "Russia Is by No Means a Supernumerary in the Big Eight" (excerpted)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin
2/6/2004
(for personal use only)


QUESTION: In the US Congress, calls are being made for Russia to be dropped from the Big Eight (G8) of developed states.

ANSWER: Russia is by no means a supernumerary in the Big Eight, an informal, but important forum at which global problems are discussed. In 2006 Russia will hold the G8 presidency, which imposes on us some extra responsibilities and requires serious preparation. Dozens of meetings at the ministerial level and sessions of working groups are held during a one-year presidency.

All of this is prepared by the presiding country. Against the present, complex background of international relations Russia looks quite well and is only strengthening its positions in the G8. The dynamic evolution of our economy is also beginning to influence the pace of development of a large group of states, in particular in the CIS.

QUESTION: The talk to have Russia out arises also because the image of Russia has somewhat paled abroad in connection with the latest events in our country.

ANSWER: It is obvious that Russia firmly standing on its feet and upholding its national interests is not to everybody's liking. There are forces in the world that still live in Cold War stereotypes and try to present Russia in a negative light.

QUESTION: It is a task of the Foreign Ministry to show the world an objective image of Russia, isn't it?

ANSWER: To accomplish this task, set for us by the President, we use both traditional instruments and the newest technologies. In particular, Internet resources. Today our Foreign Ministry's Web site, working in real time and in five languages, is one of the most visited. Such openness allows for realistically assessing the development vector of Russia and of our foreign policy thought. Our embassies also have Web sites in most countries of the world. The diplomats are working with local public opinion: holding lectures, participating in seminars, publishing articles. And not by imposing a cheap popular image of Russia, but giving an objective idea of its development along the road of market reforms. Yes, there are problems too.

But who doesn't have them? It is the task of diplomacy to help the creation of a fabric of interstate exchanges which would allow these problems to be removed as well.

QUESTION: And what is the strategic aim of Russia's foreign policy?

ANSWER: It is the formation of a world order corresponding to the interests of the Russian state and each Russian. Not a single regional organization, not a single state, however strong, can solve world problems alone. The teamwork of all the players is needed. And this is possible only on the basis of multilateral, universal institutions, primarily the UN.

QUESTION: Did anything change in the Russian foreign policy strategy in 2004? Russian political observers are suggesting that Moscow tie its priorities to the events in Iraq and to NATO's eastward expansion?

ANSWER: The foreign policy year does not begin with the new calendar year, but with the President's annual address, which was delivered last summer. It sums up the work for the past year and determines movement guidelines for the future. And the strategic line is reflected in the foreign policy concept, approved by the President in 2000. Its key elements: the protection of our national interests and those of every citizen of Russia; and the development of multilateral diplomacy. The foreign policy priorities of Russia are not reduced to any particular organizations or crises, we have a multivector foreign policy. Of course, we do have a keen interest in the speediest overcoming of the Iraq crisis, to be accomplished on the basis of international law, with the active participation of the United Nations.

Our relations with the same NATO are dynamically evolving, but our interests in Europe are significantly wider than the military-political field. An important priority is the development of relations with the European Union. After the upcoming enlargement of the EU it will account for more than 50 percent of Russian trade.

[…]

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3.
On Libya's Accession to Chemical Weapons Convention
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin
2/5/2004
(for personal use only)


The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) took effect for the Libyan Jamahiriya on February 5. Moscow has received news of this event with satisfaction and regards it as a weighty confirmation of Tripoli's recent statements of its renunciation of developing and manufacturing weapons of mass destruction (WMD), including chemical weapons.

Libya's accession to the CWC is an important practical step on the road of prohibiting chemical weapons internationally and strengthening the WMD nonproliferation regime in the Middle East and on the African continent. Russia expects Tripoli's participation in the Convention to serve as a positive example for all the countries who have not yet become its members.

February 5, 2004

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4.
U.S. Launches Effort to Detect Terrorist Shipments of Nuclear and Radioactive Material
National Nuclear Security Administration
2/5/2004
(for personal use only)


Equipment Will Help Stop Attempts to Smuggle Components for Nuclear Weapons and "Dirty Bombs"

VILNIUS, LITHUANIA -- The U.S. and Lithuanian governments today announced the two countries will work together in the war on terrorism by installing special equipment at the Vilnius Airport to detect hidden shipments of nuclear and other radioactive material.

This is part of a new effort to extend to international airports the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) successful "Megaports" program that installs sophisticated detection equipment at many of the world's seaports. The Megaports program was announced by Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham last August in Rotterdam

NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Paul Longsworth, U.S. Ambassador Stephen D. Mull, Lithuanian ministers and other senior officials today commissioned the radiation detection program. For the past two years, U.S. technical experts have worked with Lithuania, Vilnius Airport staff, and Lithuanian private industry to install radiation detection systems that will assist in detection, deterrence, and interdiction of illicitly- trafficked nuclear and other radioactive materials.

"We are continuing to address terrorist threats around the globe. Through this program at airports such as Vilnius, and through other NNSA nonproliferation programs, we are helping to stop terrorists and criminals from smuggling nuclear and radiological material," NNSA Administrator Linton F. Brooks said. "Lithuania is a close partner in the important global war on terrorism and proliferation and I look forward to continuing to work with them."

NNSA's Office of the Second Line of Defense (SLD) provides these detection systems worldwide in order to minimize the risk of nuclear proliferation and terrorism through detection and deterrence of illicit trafficking at international borders. SLD installs radiation detection equipment at strategic locations, and provides training in detection, identification, and interdiction of nuclear and radiological materials, as well as training in the operations and maintenance of the equipment.

The specialized radiation-detection technology is part of the overall U.S. nuclear security program to guard against proliferation of weapons materials. It directly supports the Bush Administration's priorities of combating terrorism and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency of the Department of Energy. It enhances U.S. national security through the military application of nuclear energy, maintains the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, promotes international nuclear nonproliferation and safety, reduces global danger from weapons of mass destruction, provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion, and oversees its national laboratories to maintain U.S. leadership in science and technology.

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5.
Alexander Yakovenko, the Spokesman of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Answers a Question from ITAR-TASS News Agency Regarding Agreement Reached to Hold Second Round of Six-Way Talks in Beijing
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin
2/4/2004
(for personal use only)


QUESTION: Please comment on the reports that agreement has been reached to hold a second round of talks on the DPRK nuclear problem in Beijing.

ANSWER: Moscow has received with satisfaction news of the agreement reached on the beginning of a second round of six-way talks on the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula in Beijing on February 25, 2004.

This decision is the result of the considerable preparatory work done by all the participants in the talks, including the active efforts of Russian diplomacy.

We are convinced that a settlement of the problem by politico-diplomatic methods is the only acceptable one and we are ready to help advance the negotiating process successfully, based on ensuring the nuclear-free status of the Korean Peninsula and providing security guarantees for all the states located there.

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6.
Daily Press Briefing (excerpted)
Richard Boucher
Department of State
2/4/2004
(for personal use only)


[...]

QUESTION: Richard, you've focused a lot of efforts on nonproliferation methods, the PSI, things like that. But traditionally, it's been kind of country-to-country, and this revelation of Mr. Khan's activities, supposedly outside the purview of the government, kind of sheds a light on a lot more of a black market -- a lot more black market operations.

Are you giving any thought to new initiatives or new ways to try and deal with the whole issue of the black market, especially considering Libya also said it didn't explore --

MR. BOUCHER: I mean, I guess I'd have to differ with the premise. It hasn't just been country-to-country. For years --

QUESTION: I said it's primarily been focused on that.

MR. BOUCHER: For years, a major focus of the nonproliferation efforts has been private sales, transfer of equipment from companies, transfer of expertise. We've had massive programs in the former Soviet Union to try to make sure that scientists there that had nuclear expertise were not recruited and didn't go elsewhere.

So we have, indeed, focused on these problems of equipment being made and sold and transferred, or of scientists with expertise lending their expertise to places it shouldn't go. That, obviously, is an effort that needs to be broadened, and that we have sought to enlist other governments in broadening; and so you have a number of initiatives the United States has taken to improve the kind of controls that are applied in various countries.

The President, last year, announced that we would be seeking a UN resolution to try to get more cooperation by countries in themselves policing or controlling potential sources of proliferation, and we have the Proliferation Security Initiative that says that wherever we know that things are being shipped, whether if by governments or individuals or others, that we should have the legal and other tools to interdict that.

So yes, it does require more effort, but it's not -- it's not a brand new aspect of the problem.

[...]

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O.  Links of Interest

1.
U.S. to Launch Effort to Detect Terrorist Shipments of Nuclear and Radiological Material - February 5th Lithuanian Airport Event to Introduce Program
National Nuclear Security Administration
2/3/2004
(for personal use only)
http://www.nnsa.doe.gov/docs/MA_NA-04-02_Lithiuanian_airport_media_advisory_..


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2.
FY2005 Budget Overview
National Nuclear Security Administration
2/2/2004
(for personal use only)
http://www.nnsa.doe.gov/docs/PR_NNSA_PP_to_Word_FY2005_Budget_Request12_(2-0..


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3.
Cooperation Threat Reduction Annual Report to Congress, Fiscal Year 2005
Department of Defense
1/1/2004
(for personal use only)
http://armedservices.house.gov/issues/FY05CTR.pdf


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