Colonel General Viktor Yesin: The Russian military did have compact nuclear devices, but dismantled and disposed of all of them
Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir told the world recently that terrorists had bought nuclear mines in CIS for "acts of vengeance on a major scale." The United States submitted to the UN a draft resolution aimed to prevent weapons of mass destruction from ending up in the hands of terrorists.
Here is an interview with Colonel General Viktor Ivanovich Yesin, former chief-of-staff of the Strategic Missile Forces, former head of a directorate at the Security Council staff. Yasin is currently senior vice president of the Russian Academy of Security, Defense, and Law and Order.
Question: These nuclear suitcases - are they a myth or a reality?
Viktor Yesin: Let's start by noting that "nuclear suitcase" is a term coined by journalists. Journalistic parlance, if you wish. The matter concerns special compact nuclear devices of knapsack type. Igor Valynkin, commander of the 12th Main Directorate of the Defense Ministry responsible for nuclear ordnance storage, was absolutely honest when he was saying in an interview with Nezavisimaya Gazeta in 1997 that "There have never been any nuclear suitcases, grips, handbags, or other carryalls."
As for special compact nuclear devices, the Americans were the first to assemble them. They were called Special Atomic Demolition Munitions (SADM). As of 1964, the US Army and Marine Corps had two models of SADM at their disposal - M-129 and M-159. Each SADM measured 87 x 65 x 67 centimeters. A container with the backpack weighed 70 kilograms. There were about 300 SADMs in all. The foreign media reported that all these devices were dismantled and disposed of within the framework of the unilateral disarmament initiatives declared by the first President Bush in late 1991 and early 1992.
The Soviet Union initiated production of special compact nuclear devices in 1967. These munitions were called special mines. There were fewer models of them in the Soviet Union than in the United States. All of these munitions were to be dismantled before 2000 in accordance with the Russian and American commitments concerning reduction of tactical nuclear weapons dated 1991 (when the Soviet Union collapsed, Yeltsin reiterated the commitment in January 1992).
Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said at the conference on the Nuclear Weapons Nonproliferation Treaty in April 2000 that Russia had practically completed dismantling "nuclear mines." It means that Russia kept the promise Yeltsin once made to the international community.
According to what information is available at this point, these days only four countries (Russia, the United States, China, and Israel) have the technological capacities to produce compact nuclear weapons. According to the Stockholm International Institute (its 2001 almanac), China possesses nuclear landmines and Israel nuclear devices. There is no information concerning the size, weight, or power.
Question: But if the Soviet Union had munitions of this type, they probably could be stolen?
Viktor Yesin: Yes, Russian and foreign newspapers report from time to time that someone bought a Soviet or Russian so-called nuclear suitcase from someone else. In the middle of the 1997. Aleksei Yablokov of the Russian Academy of Sciences initiated a campaign abroad in which Russia was blamed for insecure storage of nuclear weapons and even loss of a dozen or more "nuclear suitcases." Ex-secretary of the Security Council Alexander Lebed contributed to the campaign too.
The Defense Ministry and Nuclear Energy Ministry set up a joint commission on Yeltsin's order. The commission checked availability of all nuclear weapons in all structures of the Armed Forces and at objects of the Nuclear Energy Ministry. In December 1997, the commission announced that the system of storage, control, and accounting existing in Russia ensured their security. Permanent control and regular checks indicated that all Russian nuclear weapons were present, that there have never been any episodes or loss or theft. It may be added as well that even in the Soviet Union no state structure had access to nuclear weapons but the omnipotent KGB. Only the Soviet Armed Forces had nuclear weapons.
In spring 1998, the West mounted yet another campaign of blaming Russia for the compact nuclear devices that had allegedly been unaccounted for. Missing, in other words. Reports appeared that Soviet/Russian so-called nuclear suitcases ended up in the hands of all sorts of gangs and illegal armed formations. President Boris Yeltsin instructed Andrei Kokoshin, then-secretary of the Security Council, to investigate. By mid-1998 a special expert commission of the Security Council cross-checked all data on production, disposal, and availability of special mines in Defense Ministry arsenals and at enterprises of the Nuclear Energy Ministry, and determined that there had never been any incidents of loss or theft. Recommendations were developed on how security could be tightened. The recommendations were immediately implemented.
Question: Is it possible, in principle, for Soviet or Russian special compact nuclear devices to be "lost"?
Viktor Yesin: I assure you it is impossible. I'm certain of that, because of the existing system of nuclear ordnance security. Besides, both in the former Soviet Union and in Russia nowadays all nuclear ordnance is stored at only one arsenal of the Defense Ministry. In fact, there were many nuclear arsenals, but nuclear ordnance is always kept in one place. Fortunately, it is situated on the territory of the Russian Federation. Special mines have never been issued to the troops from the arsenal in question. Every now and then they have been shipped back to the producer for tests and examination, then returned to the arsenal again. That is why the so- called nuclear suitcases could not surface anywhere in other CIS countries after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
When specialists in the Armed Forces were trained in the use of special mines, they always used simulators and dummy weapons. Needless to say, the latter looked like the real thing - the same size and weight, the same control panel. Instead of nuclear materials, however, they contained sand. Sure, some of these dummy nuclear devices might have disappeared when the Soviet Union collapsed. I do not rule out this possibility, though I cannot say for a fact that it ever happened. I'd say that a dummy device like that might have been what Lebed once referred to. By the way, Lebed never visited the arsenal of the Defense Ministry where nuclear ordnance was stored.
It is because of all this that I maintain that we should not take seriously the reports appearing every now and then that someone has bought Soviet/Russian compact nuclear devices somewhere.
Question: Does it mean that nuclear weapons cannot end up in terrorists' hands, in principle?
Viktor Yesin: There is the problem of the so-called "dirty nuclear devices." This is where the danger is great, indeed. Terrorists and extremists could assemble them on their own once the necessary fissionable materials have been procured on the nuclear black market. Unfortunately, such a market does exist. A dirty nuclear device is not much more complicated to produce than a suicide bomber's belt of explosives. It would not result in a nuclear explosion, of course, but considerable contamination of some territory is guaranteed. By the way, the international community recently discovered who was running this nuclear black market. Not anyone from the so-called rogue states, no. It was Doctor Abdul Kadir Khan, architect of Pakistan's nuclear bomb. President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan benevolently forgave him for the "prank." This specialist in the sphere of nuclear weapons was a businessman at the same time.
Question: Is it possible in principle to make a compact nuclear device that fits into a suitcase?
Viktor Yesin: In fact, the latest achievements in this sphere do permit construction of nuclear devices weighing 15-20 kilograms. But enriched uranium or plutonium will not do: such a device requires the use of trans-plutonium elements. They have a small critical mass and a short half-life. There are prerequisites for this, however: the need to develop modern weapons technologies, establish new production capacities working with trans-plutonium elements (and they are expensive, even compared to other existing materials). It also implies the need for a series of nuclear tests. Such a "nuclear suitcase" would be so expensive that no country in the world could afford one. Moreover, they would be extremely short- lived (no more than three or four months) because of the short half- life. Along with everything else, elements with a short half-life are more difficult to handle from the point of view of the radiation they emit. The personnel handling these devices would be affected. All this would make use of compact nuclear devices extremely difficult. It is not worth the effort.
1. Russian Scientists Develop New Smallpox Vaccine
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MOSCOW, APRIL 1. /RIA NOVOSTI / -- Russian scientists from the Novosibirsk-based scientific centre Vektor have developed a new modified version of the anti-smallpox vaccine, said Sergei Netesov, deputy director of the Vektor Centre of Virology and Biotechnology.
"The centre has, so far, produced a laboratory version of the vaccine on the basis of the smallpox virus cell culture", he specified. The new vaccine version can protect man simultaneously from smallpox and hepatitis B, Netesov said. "Russia is already protected from smallpox: in case of an epidemic it has a sufficient reserve of the anti-smallpox vaccine. But, sometimes it causes unhealthy reactions up to terminal cases", he said.
"What we have developed is not a radically new anti-smallpox vaccine, but it is less dangerous and causes much less side-effects on the body", he continued. Now the vaccine will be tested on animals in the Tarasevich State Control Institute and then undergo clinical tests for harmlessness and tolerance on humans. Scientists believe that its parameters are fit for immunisation.
In order to create a new anti-smallpox vaccine of a basically new generation scientists have to repeat the technological chain, which will take much more finance and time, Netesov said. The United States and Germany are already working on the new-generation of the anti-smallpox vaccine. Work in the United States is done virtually along the same lines as in Russia, the scientist from Novosibirsk said.
1. Russian Lawmakers to Discuss Disposal Progress Today
Global Security Newswire
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The board of the upper house of the Russian Parliament, the Federation Council, is scheduled today to discuss the progress made in disposing of Russiaï¿½s vast stockpile of chemical weapons and on implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, according to ITAR-Tass (see GSN, March 17; Lyudmila Yermakova, ITAR-Tass, April 6).
Meanwhile, Russian officials are criticizing delays in international funding to aid Russiaï¿½s chemical weapons disposal efforts, according to Izvestia.
While countries promised to provide Russia with $1.3 billion in chemical weapons disposal aid between 1992 and 2003, the actual sum provided was $268 million, Munitions Agency Director Viktor Kholstov said.
Sources in the Munitions Agency said that while Russia lacked adequate funding of its own to destroy its chemical weapons when it ratified the convention in 1997, it now can provide about $200 million annually for such efforts.
ï¿½We will accomplish the task with the Western assistance or without it,ï¿½ said Munitions Agency Deputy Director General Vyacheslav Kulebyakin. ï¿½With it, however, we will accomplish it much faster,ï¿½ Kulebyakin added (Dmitry Litovkin, Izvestia/What the Papers Say, April 6).
2. U.S., Russian Officials to Discuss Weapons Disposal
Global Security Newswire
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Russian Audit Chamber head Sergei Stepashin is to discuss cooperation on eliminating Russiaï¿½s chemical weapons stockpile with U.S. General Accounting Office head David Walker during talks beginning today in Washington, according to ITAR-Tass (see GSN, March 17).
During the talks, to be held through Wednesday, Stepashin and Walker will also discuss antiterrorism cooperation and other issues, ITAR-Tass reported (ITAR-Tass, April 4).
Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev threatened Tuesday to stage chemical attacks across Russia in retaliation the killing of former rebel leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev in Qatar and abuses against Chechen civilians.
"We will bomb, blow up, poison, sent on fire, stage gas explosions and fires whenever possible on everything else on the territory of [Russia]," Basayev said in a statement posted on the rebel web site Kavkaz Center. "Combat chemical agents, toxins and different poisons are being used against us. Therefore we reserve the right to use chemical and poisonous substances this year."
Basayev said his Riyadus-Salikhin martyrs' brigade would not use biological or nuclear materials in attacks in Russian cities and would not target mosques, synagogues, children's facilities and mental hospitals.
He said his fighters would attack Russians abroad to avenge the death of Yandarbiyev in a car bomb explosion in February -- an attack he blamed on Russian security services.
Qatar has detained two Russian officials on suspicion of involvement in the attack. Moscow says they are innocent and should be freed.
Basayev offered in his statement to suspend attacks against civilians if federal troops in Chechnya stopped abusing the local population.
Basayev has repeatedly threatened to attack Russian cities and strategic facilities, including nuclear power plants, in the past. Among the attacks he has claimed responsibility for in Moscow are the Dubrovka theater siege in October 2002, which left 129 dead, and the metro bombing in February, which killed 40.
Lev Fyodorov, head of the Union for Chemical Security and a renowned expert on chemical arms, said Basayev would not be able to seize chemical weapons from Russia's two, well-guarded storage facilities.
However, Fyodorov said, there are some 300 sites across the country where chemical arms have been buried, burned or otherwise disposed of between the 1920s and 1990s. Some arms were buried as recently as 1989 and could pose a "serious threat" if retrieved by Basayev, he said
First in the history of the shipyard its dock chamber accommodated two 949 project nuclear submarines Granite.
Two nuclear submarines ï¿½ K-206 Murmansk and K-525 Arkhangelsk were placed at the Zvezdochkaï¿½s dock chamber for dismantling, Regnum reported. In the end of January Arkhangelsk was divided in two parts, then the bow was transferred under the roof of workshop no.15, while the afterbody remained in the dock chamber. Such a separation operation of the gigantic submarine hull has never been done before by any company in the world, Dvina-inform reported.
Arkhangelsk (order 605) was built at the Sevmash plant in Severodvinsk, Arkhangelsk region, and joined the Russian navy in October 1981. K-525 went 70 thousand miles during 800 operational days. The submarine reached the maximum depth 600m in 1983. Arkhangelsk regularly ï¿½watchedï¿½ the NATO navy exercises during the cold war, although today a NATO member, Great Britain, pays for K-525 and K-206 scrapping in the frames of the G8 program "Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destructionï¿½.
1. RF, NATO To Conduct Exercises On Kola Peninsula In Summer
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NORFOLK, April 5 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said Russia and NATO would conduct joint exercises on the Kola Peninsula at the end of summer.
The major goal of the exercises will be to determine components of weapons of mass destruction, Ivanov said at the third international conference dedicated to the militaryï¿½s role in the fight against terrorism currently under way in Norfolk, Virginia.
ï¿½These exercises will be indirectly linked to the fight against terrorism,ï¿½ Ivanov stressed.
He said military forces were involved in the fight against terrorism when ï¿½the situation becomes dangerous and when armed forces should be used to destroy bandit formations. We can watch this in Chechnya and Afghanistan.ï¿½
Ivanov noted that Russia was exchanging information both with the U.S. and NATO. ï¿½We briefed our partners on the operation conducted by our special units in Dagestan last December as a result of which about 35 bandits were destroyed,ï¿½ Ivanov said.
2. Russia To Revise Military Reform Plans If NATO Approaches Its Borders
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OSLO. April 4 (Interfax) - Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said that Russia will revise its military reform plans if NATO's infrastructure approaches the country's borders.
"Four NATO airplanes presently on a patrol mission over the Baltic nations do not change the situation dramatically. But if the alliance continues to build its infrastructure near our border, Russia will likely have to revise its military reform plans which are being implemented now," Ivanov told journalists in Oslo on Sunday.
"NATO's infrastructure coming closer to the Russian borders cannot be explained by international terrorism threats. This is ridiculous," the defense minister said.
"Russia's army group stationed in the northwestern area and the Kaliningrad region has been downsized by more than 40% over the past few years," he added.
Russia's attitude to this wave of NATO's enlargement is "calmly negative."
"To protect its airspace is a sovereign right of any state. However, it is necessary to take into consideration that the territory of the Baltic nations is not large, airplanes fly at a high speed and the border with Russia is winding. The possibility of NATO airplanes violating Russia's airspace is growing. I hope this will not happen," the defense minister said.
1. Russian Plant Receives No Official Information on US Sanctions
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Baranov motor building plant in the Central Siberian city of Omsk has not received any official information from US on economic sanctions, its director general Yuri Spivakov told MosNews on Monday.
He said that the only information on sanctions he got was the report of ITAR-TASS news agency. Spivakov said he was surprised by this.
The plant had trade contacts with Iran but they were within the limits set by the law, director general told MosNews. Now the investigations of possible violations are held on the plant, he said.
Omsk plant was one of the two companies US imposed sanctions on, Russian media reported. The other companyï¿½s name was not unveiled. A Russian citizen named in US blacklist was Vadim Vorobei, a professor of technical science working in Moscow Institute of Aviation. He was cooperating with energy ministry of Iran in 1996-2000, first within the frameworks of institute activity, then with his own company.
Russia criticized the United States Saturday for slapping sanctions on two Russian companies accused of assisting Iran in its alleged nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs. The Russian Foreign Ministry in a statement swiped at Washington for the unilateral measures and said that Russia strictly abided by its international commitments in fighting non-proliferation.
The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on 13 companies and individuals from seven countries: five Chinese, two Macedonian and two Russian companies as well as one firm each from Belarus, North Korea, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.
ï¿½Russia opposes the imposition of sanctions by one state against structures in other countries,ï¿½ the Foreign Ministry said.
ï¿½As far as non-proliferation is concerned, in Russia there are strict laws on export controls that conform to international standards and which allow us to prevent any illegal activity linked to trade in sensitive materials,ï¿½ it added.
US officials said it had uncovered much of the foreign companiesï¿½ illegal trade from the unraveling of Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khanï¿½s illicit nuclear proliferation network.
The targeted companies will be banned from exporting goods to or receiving contracts or assistance from the United States and US firms will be barred from trading with them for two years.
WASHINGTON, APRIL 3, 2004. (RIA NOVOSTI) - Congressman Tom Lantos (Ca.), who co-authored a recent House resolution on suspending Russia's G8 membership, is to arrive in Moscow on April 12.
Talking to RIA Novosti, Mr. Lantos noted that he intended to meet Russian politicians in Moscow, explaining his position on Russia's G8 membership.
Previously, Mr. Lantos said he was not satisfied with Russian-Iranian cooperation in the nuclear field; nor is he very happy about the fact that Russian federal authorities allegedly control electronic mass media bodies.
Tom Lantos is to complete his Moscow visit on April 14, his spokesperson said.
The House committee on international affairs passed its resolution No. 336, which suggests suspending Russia's G8 membership, on Wednesday, March 31.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on April 1 that the proposal of House members to expel Russia from the G8 amounted to election campaign games. I don't think all this is very serious, Mr. Lavrov noted. This is largely linked with home-policy games during the election campaign, he added.
Talking to RIA Novosti, Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the Federation Council's foreign-affairs committee, noted that the idea of expelling Russia from the G8 was something far-fetched. The afore-said resolution is akin to grumbling; and it's an open secret that grumblers heed no arguments, Mr. Margelov stressed. Still it would be appropriate to note that Russia became a G8 member because that club would be incomplete without it, and not because someone wanted this to happen, Mr. Margelov added.
Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the State Duma's foreign-affairs committee, referred to resolution No. 336 as a Cold War relic.
3. U.S. State Department Revokes Sanctions Against Russia
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MOSCOW, APRIL 2, (RIA Novosti) - The US Department of State has abrogated sanctions against a number of Russian companies and individual researchers. Sergei Rogov, Director of the Moscow-based Institute of US and Canadian Studies under the Russian Academy of Sciences, is enthusiastic about the move.
Certain Americans want their country to make political pressure on Russia. The federal Administration does not follow their bidding, as the repeal has proved. The George W. Bush Administration regards Russia, just as before, among its key allies in the anti-terror cause and nonproliferation efforts, he said to Novosti.
Whatever suspicions the USA might have of particular Russian research institutes, industrial companies and private persons were groundless. That is quite clear now, pointed out the prominent political expert.
A pre-election campaign is now preoccupying the United States, so foreign policies have receded into the background. Most previous election years were to the detriment of US-Russian contacts. Now, repealed sanctions have come as a public move aimed to prove that bilateral partnership lives on, and to give it up is the last thing the Administration intends to do, election or no election, our interviewee emphatically remarked.
John Wolfe, US Assistant Secretary of State, abolished sanctions, yesterday, against Russia's Academician Anatoli Kuntsevich, introduced for suspected trespasses of the chemical arms nonproliferation regime.
Sanctions and limitations are gone for Russia's Central Research Institute of Precision Engineering, or TsNIITOCHMACH and the Volsk Mechanical Works, also previously assumed to violate nonproliferation arrangements. The abolition also concerns Russia's Europalace 2000 Co., the Research Institute of Graphite-Based Construction Materials, or NIIGRAPHITE, MOSO Co., and the R&D Institute of Power Industrial Technologies, or NIIKIET. Sanctions against the latter were introduced as long ago as 1999.
The abolition promotes US foreign political interests and national security, the US Federal Register says in a statement.
1. Russian, Iranian Foreign Ministers Discuss Cooperation In Nuclear Power Engineering
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MOSCOW, April 6 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian and Iranian foreign ministers discussed bilateral cooperation in nuclear power engineering, Russian foreign minister Sergei Ivanov told a press conference held at the end of a bilateral meeting with his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharrazi.
"During the bilateral meeting with my Iranian counterpart, we discussed, apart from the fight against terrorism, Russian-Iranian cooperation in nuclear power engineering, as well as Iran-IAEA cooperation," said Lavrov.
During the talks, the sides touched on all the main directions of Russian-Iranian cooperation both in trade-economic relations and in the field of cooperation between the two countries' foreign ministries, in particular, in settling regional conflicts in the areas adjoining Iran and Russia.
On all issues discussed at the bilateral meeting, the sides reached understanding and confirmed their intention to act jointly, stressed the Russian minister.
2. Russia Will Continue Cooperating With Iran In Nuclear Sphere
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Russia will continue its cooperation with Iran in the nuclear sphere, according to the head of the Russian Atomic Energy Agency, Aleksandr Rumiantsev. As reported by a Rosbalt correspondent, Rumiantsev told an agency colloquium Wednesday that 'Iran is our strategic partner, and our cooperation with it will continue.'
According to Rumiantsev, there is no evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. He said that 'Iran has demonstrated peaceful intentions in the nuclear sphere.' He added that the atomic energy station Russia is building at Bushehr would 'become operational according to plan in mid-2005.'
At the same time, Rumiantsev noted that the United States 'is not very happy about the developing relationship between Russia and Iran.' He added that 'our country has fulfilled all of the obligations undertaken by us concerning bilateral cooperation between Russia and the United States.'
1. Russian Space Troops Warning System Had No False Alarms
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KRASNOZNAMENSK (Moscow region), April 3, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Space Troops warning system has had no false alarms for the time of its use, Lt.-Gen. Vladimir Popovkin, the Commander of the Russian Space Troops, reported to Russian and French Presidents Vladimir Putin and Jacques Chirac.
He also said the outer space monitoring system used by Russia "monitors the state of domestic and foreign spacecraft, because it's necessary to know the whole situation in outer space." The commander said the existing system makes it possible to receive "objective and full information" on space objects, define the trajectory of their flight and establish what state they belong to.
Lt.-Gen. Popovkin said about 100 Russian space apparatuses work in different orbits.
2. Russian, French Presidents Visit Space Troops Test Center
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KRASNOZNAMENSK (Moscow region), April 3, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Russian and French Presidents Vladimir Putin and Jacques Chirac are visiting the Gherman Titov Main Center for Testing and Controlling Spacecraft, located 40 kilometers from Moscow in the town of Krasnoznamensk.
This center is part of the Russian Defense Ministry Space Troops. The center controls Russia's both military and civil space orbital groups and conducts work on the International Space Station.
Vladimir Putin arrived at the center a few minutes earlier than Mr. Chirac. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, head of the Federal Space Agency Anatoly Perminov and Space Troops Commander Vladimir Popovkin met the Russian head of state.
Then the Russian president went to meet his French counterpart. Cordially welcoming each other, the presidents went to the main hall of the test center to hear the report of the center's head, Lt.-Gen. Nikolai Kolesnikov.
The French president is the first foreign leader to visit the Center.
Before entering the hall, the leaders of the two countries examined two models of Earth artificial satellites. Mr. Putin told Mr. Chirac about them in English.
The Russian president drew his French counterpart's attention to the fact that both the big and the small satellites fulfill similar functions.
The creation of the Gherman Titov Main Center for Testing and Controlling Spacecraft is connected with the history of Russian rocket production, space science and technology, whose rapid development started after World War II. Now the Center is a unique complex of various multifunctional radio technical means and radio electronic equipment with a high degree of automation and exceptional accuracy of measurements, with the distance of actions reaching from several thousand to several hundred million kilometers.
The center solves the task to ensure launches of spacecraft while reinforcing orbital groups of space systems and complexes, launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles, landings of descended apparatuses, reconnaissance and topographic provision.
The center also fulfills work on creating and using space reconnaissance and missile attack warning means.
Besides, the center's tasks include the use of a system of universal time and standard clock "Tsel" (Target), and time-and-frequency provision of the Russian Defense Ministry. The center also participates in holding flight tests and practicing the use of specimens of promising military and dual-purpose space means, as well as those launched in line with the Russian federal space program, international cooperation and commercial programs.
The center controls separate space apparatuses and the orbital group of social-economic and scientific purpose and space apparatuses launched in line with international cooperation and commercial programs.
Since the moment of establishment of the command-measuring complex, its experts have ensured the launch of and control over three thousand spacecraft. The center took part in the implementation of all joint international manned projects and projects of fundamental research of deep space, as well as national security-related space programs. In cooperation with representatives of over 150 organizations, scientific-research institutes, research and design bureaus and space centers, flight tests of over 250 types of military and social-economic purpose space apparatuses were held.
For its history, the command-measuring complex, later renamed as the Main Testing Center, carried out over 7,000,000 sessions of controlling spacecraft. The center is an association that ensures the control over 80% of Russian military, dual social-economic, and scientific purpose space apparatuses.
Since 2001, Lt.-Gen. Nikolai Kolesnikov has headed the Main Center.
3. Successful Missile Launch From Tochka-U Complex In Trans-Baikalia
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NOVOSIBIRSK, April 2, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - In Transbaikalia the Land Forces successfully launched a missile from a Tochka-U complex.
The head of the Siberian Military District press service, Colonel Valery Shcheblanin told RIA Novosti that the missile was launched during the Command Post Exercises in the Siberian Military District.
According to Col. Shcheblanin, a missile unit marched to a predetermined region, carried out a tactical exercise and at a predetermined time, launched a missile which hit the enemy's theoretical command post.
The unit has already made 60 successful combat launches. It was awarded a pendant of the Defense Minister, in 2003 was recognized as the best missile and artillery unit of the Siberian Military District and many of its officers have been awarded state awards.
Russian State Duma has passed a new law Wednesday regarding NATO expansion.
305 delegates voted for it, while 41 were against, two abstained. The bill was prepared by three Duma's committees (committee of international affairs, committee of defense and committee of security).
The law enables Russia to reconsider expediency of its involvement in International negotiations concerning regular armament and strengthen its nuclear potential in case NATO disregards Russia's position concerning the organization's expansion.
State Duma considers that further relations between Russia and NATO have to be based on the following foundation. ?The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has to take into account those concerns of our country regarding the expansion as well as organization's specific moves of strengthening international security and total control of the regime of armed forces in Europe,ï¿½ reports the document.
Otherwise, State Duma will advise the President and the government to take all the necessary precautions to assure Russia's safety.
In the document State Duma also asks the government to hold a meeting of Defense Counsel ?to discuss establishment of additional defense facilities on the territory of the Russian Federation that borders with those countries of NATO,ï¿½ reports ?Interfaxï¿½.
States-members of NATO ?continue to purposely delayï¿½ ratification of the OSCE agreement signed in November of 1999 in Istanbul. Delegates notice that this delay could have been caused by the fact that supposedly Russia does not fulfill its promises.
?State Duma accuses such actions of NATO and regards them as an attempt to create illusionary obstacles thus preventing adoption of a crucial control mechanism of regular armamentï¿½, reads the document.
The document also emphasizes the fact that a certain number of new NATO newcomers including three Baltic States, have nothing to do with OSCE. As a result ?the so-called -gray-zone- has emerged in Europe where internationally acclaimed restrictions on particular location of foreign armed forces have no effect.
The nuclear-powered flagship of the Northern Fleet, the Pyotr Veliky, "could explode at any moment." At least that's what the commander of the Russian Navy, Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, said last week.
In fact, nothing is amiss in the engine room of the Pyotr Veliky, something you can't say about many other Navy ships. The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov has spent three weeks at sea in the last five years. It sailed out of port at breakneck speed -- two knots, like an old lady with a cane. But Kuroyedov doesn't dress down the commander of the Kuznetsov. He saved his wrath for a ship that spends most of its time on active duty.
In Murmansk there is a thriving black market in mother boards stolen from the Navy. Thieves ruined the missile installation at the Polyarninsk Garrison by making off with microchips worth all of 16,000 rubles ($560). All the filters have been stolen from the submarine Kazan. Nothing has been stolen from the Pyotr Veliky, yet Kuroyedov singled this ship out for major repair work.
The Navy chief ordered the Pyotr Veliky docked for three weeks after inspecting the ship personally and uncovering serious problems. Specifically, he was alarmed that pictures in the ship's living quarters were hung on one hook rather than two. When the ship rolls, the admiral pointed out, the pictures will swing.
On the basis of swinging pictures Kuroyedov concluded that the ship was set to blow and ordered it back to port. Of course, when a ship powered by two nuclear reactors is in danger of exploding, you might not want to dock it at Severomorsk (population: 50,000).
It was the former sailor and current writer Alexander Pokrovsky who gave Kuroyedov the nickname Ashtray. According to a story now making the rounds in the Navy, Kuroyedov once asked for an ashtray while touring a submarine. Seems the admiral wanted to have a smoke. People who go looking for ashtrays on submarines are the same ones who look for crooked pictures on warships.
Kuroyedov's decision to inspect the Pyotr Veliky is easily explained. The ship's commander, Vladimir Kasatonov, is the nephew of retired Admiral Igor Kasatonov, who recently testified in a closed-door hearing on the sinking of the decommissioned submarine, K-159, last year en route to the scrap yard. The prosecution blames the commander of the Northern Fleet, Gennady Suchkov, for the incident which took nine crew members' lives. Suchkov is charged with failing to follow Kuroyedov's directive on transporting decommissioned vessels.
In fact, Suchkov followed Kuroyedov's instructions to the letter. The problem is that the directive prescribes manning disused vessels with a docking crew while they are towed to the scrap yard. Stuck on a sub with no power, the crew aboard the K-159 had no hope of keeping the vessel afloat once it began to take on water. Admiral Kasatonov made this point in court to Kuroyedov, a witness for the prosecution. Shortly thereafter the Navy chief arrived to inspect the Pyotr Veliky.
There is such a thing as protecting the honor of the fleet and there is also a rule: Don't air your dirty laundry in public. During strategic nuclear exercises last month attended by President Vladimir Putin, Northern Fleet submarines twice failed to successfully launch ballistic missiles. The Navy hadn't endured such a disgrace since the Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War. Kuroyedov announced that only simulated launches had been planned. He probably didn't want to air the Navy's dirty laundry. And likewise, when the Kursk went down.
But after his inspection of the Pyotr Veliky, Kuroyedov couldn't hold back. This was not some nuclear submarine on the bottom of the ocean or a failed missile launch. Pictures in the sailors' living quarters are hanging on a single hook! A man can only put up with so much.
It's worth nothing that all this time Igor and Vladimir Kasatonov haven't said a word to the press. They have limited their remarks to the closed court room. This probably has something to do with the honor of the fleet and the airing of dirty laundry.
Last week the commander of the Russian Navy, Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, made waves worldwide when he told journalists that the nuclear-powered flagship of the Northern Fleet, the Pyotr Veliky, was in such bad shape that it could explode "at any moment." Kuroyedov added that the ship's two nuclear reactors were at risk.
Kuroyedov announced that after personally inspecting the Pyotr Veliky he had ordered the ship docked for three weeks for repairs. The ship's crew took a 30 percent pay cut and the ship was removed from the list of Russia's "battle-ready" warships, the admiral said.
In Russia, the news aroused only limited interest. Too many nuclear submarines, important public buildings, schools and the like have sunk, burned or exploded in recent years, often with catastrophic loss of life.
In Russian, such disasters are referred to as "technogenic catastrophes," a politically correct phrase that most often masks the real cause: negligence, mismanagement, greed or corruption. Such catastrophes are so frequent these days that even when the head of the Navy says that a 19,000-ton warship could blow up at any moment, the public is not overly concerned. If the ship were to explode, we would probably be horrified. But the mere possibility of disaster is not enough to create panic.
If the German or Swedish brass, for example, were to inspect most any Russian warship or submarine, they would almost surely find that it didn't pass muster. The current Russian Navy was built up in a great rush in the 1970s and 1980s to take on NATO and the United States in an all-out nuclear war. The notion was that all of our surface ships would be knocked out within 15 minutes to one hour of the start of hostilities.
Our warships were therefore built to be used once. Their decks were covered with enormous tubes housing nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, but no adequate reloading facilities were built in since reloading wasn't regarded as a feasible option. A mighty fleet was built for a single task: to fire a single volley and sink to the bottom as heroes.
The Third World War never happened, however, and now we are stuck with a huge inventory of low-quality warships that are supposed to serve the needs of a peacetime Navy. Onshore naval infrastructure is inadequate and maintenance is often nonexistent. Ships' crews are poorly trained -- not just the conscripts, but the officers as well.
Rather than receiving professional training, most sailors merely struggle to survive in hostile conditions. After more than a decade of utter neglect, many of the officers who remain on active duty are simply those who can't get a better job anywhere else or who are marking time until they finally get a free apartment from the government.
The Pyotr Veliky, by all accounts, is a cut above the average. Navy insiders reckon that Kuroyedov singled out the Northern Fleet flagship to settle a score with retired Admiral Igor Kasatonov, whose nephew Vladimir Kasatonov just happens to be the ship's commander.
Beyond Russia few realized that Kuroyedov was exaggerating the hazard posed by the Pyotr Veliky. In the West, when the head of the Navy announces that his largest warship could explode, this usually signals immediate danger. Britain and Scandinavia were particularly upset, probably bracing themselves for a sky full of nuclear fallout.
When Kuroyedov realized what a commotion he had created, he began to back off his original statement. The Navy announced that the admiral's remarks were off the record, that the ship's reactors were in good shape and that the only mess on the Pyotr Veliky was in the sailors' living quarters. Kuroyedov told journalists of the explosion threat in a restroom at the Defense Ministry that doubles as a smoking lounge during high-level meetings. He apparently did not realize the impact his words would have.
Kuroyedov has been caught telling tales to the press in the past. After the Kursk sank in 2000, the admiral told reporters that the Navy had proof that a U.S. submarine had sunk the vessel. In the end it was established that Russian negligence, not a U.S. submarine, had sunk the Kursk.
In 2001 a number of admirals were fired because of the Kursk disaster, but not Kuroyedov. President Vladimir Putin seems to have a soft spot for the admiral and chooses not to call him to account for his public misstatements.
This is one of the biggest problems in Putin's Russia. As long as an official is loyal to the president, he can lie and steal without fear of retribution.
Pavel Felgenhauer is an independent defense analyst
1. Science And Education Minister Sees Space, Nuclear And Biological Technologies As Priority For Russia
(for personal use only)
MOSCOW, APRIL 6 (RIA NOVOSTI) - Of priority importance for Russia is the development of space, nuclear and biological technologies, the power engineering industry and research instrument making, Russian Science and Education Minister Andrei Fursenko told journalists on Tuesday. He was speaking after the conference Competitiveness and Modernization of Economy.
The Science and Education Ministry will further develop the innovation infrastructure, for instance centers of transfer technologies and venture fairs, Fursenko said.
He links special hopes to the creation of technoparks, technology-introduction and innovatory zones within special economic zones. The law on creating special economic zones is now in discussion by the cabinet.
According to the minister, the state is obliged to say what sectors will be in need of specialists in five to ten years to come.
"The state's foremost goal is a trustworthy forecast of what will be in demand on the market. The market and market expectations are to be built up. It is to be said who will be in demand and with what material security in five to ten years to come," Fursenko said. In his opinion, his ministry will be the customer of such an analysis. Big business will also become part of such work, he is sure.
"Your people are to know what economic sector will boom after five to ten years. This will influence their choice," Fursenko believes.
2. Russian Nuclear Agency Presented Its Annual Report For 2003
(for personal use only)
Former Minatomï¿½s chief Alexander Rumyantsev reported about last year achievements in the Russian nuclear industry at the press-conference on March 31st.
He informed about 12% gain in industrial production and 4.5% increase of the annual capacity factor what is equal to one 1000 MW reactorï¿½s operation during one year.
Rumyantsev promised to reorganize accurately Minatom into the Federal agency during two months, and reduce the staff for 100 employees in the Moscow office. As a result of the administrative reform the Federal Atomic Agency will remain the state client in the field of nuclear arms. ï¿½Do not doubt about our nuclear force and the strength of the companies designing nuclear weapons and ammunitionï¿½ the head of the Atomic Agency assured. All the international agreements and contracts with all the countries about cooperation ï¿½remain in force and are not a subject for revisionï¿½. However, the Russian Ministry of Industry and Energy will sign all such agreements in the future, but the Nuclear Agency will fulfill them.
Regarding international cooperation the Minatom received $688m from the USA according to the HEU-LEU agreement. The sales of fresh nuclear fuel increased for 24.8% in comparison with 2002. The contracts for fuel deliveries were signed and renewed with Slovakia, Hungary, India, and Ukraine. Rumyantsev confirmed the intention to continue and develop cooperation with ï¿½strategic partnerï¿½ Iran as the latter ï¿½shows peaceful intentions in the nuclear fieldï¿½. The export growth was $400m and reached $3 billion in 2003.
Minatom continued to participate in dismantling of the nuclear submarines: unloaded nuclear fuel from 12 retired submarines and scrapped 13 submarines. Minatom spent total $71.8m from the Russian federal budget and $21m of the foreign aid in 2003 for the nuclear submarinesï¿½ dismantling. The nuclear plants generated 148.6 billion KW/h (6.3% increase) what is 16% higher then maximum production of the Russian nuclear plants in the Soviet time.
ï¿½We are ready to fulfill any task assigned by the President and the governmentï¿½ assured the head of the Atomic Agency, Alexander Rumyantsev, at the press-conference.
YUZHNO SAKHALINSK, March 31 (Itar-Tass) -- A highly radioactive instrument has been seized at the seaport of Korsakov in Sakhalin, the Russian Far East.
The level of radiation emitted by the instrument exceeded the natural level by 100 times. The instrument arrived from South Korea supposedly for use in the construction of a gas pipeline in Sakhalin. No documents for the import of the instrument, which works on strontium and caesium, were presented, Sakhalin region deputy governor Lyubov Shubina told a press conference on Wednesday.
She and other specialists spoke about violations of Russian health care and sanitary laws by Russian and foreign firms that are extracting oil and building the gas pipeline in Sakhalin.
They said radioisotope instruments were used in Sakhalin at 156 facilities for Roentgen defectoscopy. Very often the instruments are used in violation of operating procedures, which may expose people to radiation.
The hazardous instrument brought into Korsakov will be taken out of Sakhalin.
1. Russian MFA Information and Press Department Commentary Regarding a Russian Media Question Concerning the Ratification by US Congress of the Additional Protocol to the IAEA Safeguards Agreement
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin
(for personal use only)
Question: Please comment on the ratification by US Congress of the Additional Protocol to the IAEA Safeguards Agreement.
Commentary: Moscow has received with satisfaction news of the ratification by the United States Congress Senate of the Additional Protocol to the IAEA Safeguards Agreement. The value of this document lies in the fact that it ensures a heightened transparency of national nuclear programs, thus helping to strengthen the nuclear weapons nonproliferation regime.
Russia has consistently stood up in favor of universalizing the Additional Protocol and has been carrying out work with other countries to reach this objective as soon as possible.
In our country preparations are under way for its submission for ratification to the State Duma.
2. Russian MFA Information and Press Department Commentary Regarding Press Reports About the Imposition by the United States of Sanctions Against Two Russian Enterprises
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin
(for personal use only)
Question: Please comment on the information that has appeared in the media on Washington's imposition of sanctions against two Russian companies accused by the American side of "violating the nonproliferation regime in Iran."
Commentary: It has been from the press that we have received the information that the United States is imposing sanctions against two Russian companies alleged to be cooperating with Iran in violation of the existing norms and rules of nonproliferation of weapons mass destruction. No official submissions by the American side came in to us on that score.
From the principled vantage point, our position regarding the American practice of arbitrarily imposing unilateral sanctions with reference to internal laws of the United States is well known.
Russia rejects the very principle of the imposition by one state of sanctions on some structures of other states. As far as genuinely nonproliferation aspects of such matters are concerned, we want to emphasize that Russia has a strict internal export-control legislation conforming to high international standards that enables effectively cutting short any unapproved activities involving the trade in sensitive materials.
3. Transcript of Press Conference by Russian First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Trubnikov for Russian Media, Washington, April 1, 2004 (excerpted)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin
(for personal use only)
Question: Recently in an interview with a Spanish newspaper a fairly well-known journalist asserted that it was possible to buy nuclear charges on the "black market" in Uzbekistan or even in Russia for only... 30 million dollars. How likely is this, in your opinion? Or is this but a PR of Al-Qaeda? Why is so much attention being paid to the work of the WMD subgroup?
Answer: The fact is that vulnerable targets, such as nuclear power plants, institutes concerned with nuclear problems as well as with biological problems may become a leak source of some or other dangerous material. Well, we need to face the truth. Both the Americans and we presume that, first, it is necessary to intensify the guarding of such targets. Second, to constantly try to figure out what means terrorists may have today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow. Therefore it cannot be ruled out that the danger exists of terrorists gaining access to materials which can be used for the development and production of weapons of mass destruction.
Question: And what WMD can terrorists make use of?
Answer: As of now, it's biological preparations, "dirty bombs" with the employment of fissile materials and isotopes. The question is not, of course, that a genuine nuclear bomb could be used, but the threat of the use of "dirty bombs" does really exist.
Question: What is the stand of Russia on the US initiative for toughening control over international freight traffic so as to prevent WMD contraband?
Answer: We are actively discussing this initiative both with the Americans and with the other core participants of the initiative, because for us it is still not fully clear, not fully understandable. In theory, of course, such proliferants must be fought. But as of now it is not quite understandable how this fits into the framework of international law. Nor is it clear on whose sanction it is possible to intercept ships, on the basis of what information? Who will bear legal, material accountability for a wrong arrest of a ship, for the financial and economic losses of the owner of the ship and the merchandise and of the country of destination? These are very not simple questions. And the most important thing is that they within the framework of this initiative have not yet been elaborated. How will we look at the already existing export control regimes? What, will we go beyond their bounds? Or will we act within their bounds? This makes them ponder, both the initiators of this idea and those who are already participating in it. That is, there goes, I would say, the constructive discussion of how the initiative itself may be formalized in the field of existing international law and its operative rules. Our questions induce the initiators and its other participants to ponder. The idea is not well developed. It is raw.
In essence, we are also interested that no one would bring anything into Chechnya. But by just what rules are we going to regulate this process?
New Russian armaments, including strategic armaments, are not being developed for aggression, said President Vladimir Putin at a press conference on the results of a meeting with French President Jacques Chirac at the Main Centre for space tests and control.
In Russia, like all countries with nuclear weapons, is not just developing a new strategic weapon. Russia believes that it is possible to become acquainted with promising developments by French colleagues, Vladimir Putin announced.
This shows Russiaï¿½s transparency and openness in security issues.
QUESTION: Back on the sanctions. While the governments themselves aren't necessarily affected by them, can you confirm that the U.S. has spoken with, at least, governments in Russia and China, urging them to put more controls, to have more surveillance of these companies, before you decided to put sanctions?
MR. ERELI: Sure. The issue of these companies and their activity is something that we have been regularly engaged with the governments involved on. And I would note that, you know, in many cases, the governments have, you know, taken action.
There is always, I think, more that we can all do, in terms of enforcement of regulations and making the regulatory environment more strict and implementing export control, existing export control mechanisms. But it is, to put it simply, an important subject of ongoing discussion with the host countries, and it's something that we really engage on very, very consistently.
QUESTION: Would you say that you've spoken to all of these governments except, perhaps, North Korea, about these companies?
MR. ERELI: I really wouldn't want to give you a sweeping statement like that. I think what's safe to say is that, I mean, we've certainly talked to the Chinese and the Russians. I'm not sure how much detail we've gone in with the other governments. If you'd like, I can try and get you an answer to that question.
QUESTION: I do. It's interesting.
QUESTION: There are reports from Moscow that two Russian companies have been -- have had their sanctions lifted.
MR. ERELI: Actually, there were -- there were six Russian entities that have had their nonproliferation penalties removed. That was done on March 23rd. The penalties were removed because we had determined that there was no evidence that the entities were continuing the activity for which they were originally sanctioned.
The removal of the penalties was announced in the Federal Register and took effect on April 1st. In fact, I'm surprised our Federal Register watcher didn't bring it to our attention.
QUESTION: Is that also Iran-related?
MR. ERELI: Yes.
QUESTION: Adam, one question.
QUESTION: Can you generalize about the kind of economic ties that these companies had with the U.S., which might be affected? Is it -- I don't know whether you can generalize or not, since there are so many of them.
MR. ERELI: I mean, I can tell you what -- I can tell you what the penalties are.
QUESTION: All right.
MR. ERELI: But I don't have the kind of details of, you know, on each company what their other commercial activity is related to the United States that would be affected by these penalties.
QUESTION: Maybe that's a blessing.
MR. ERELI: But let me -- the penalties are: no department or agency of the U.S. Government may procure or enter into any contract for the procurement of any goods, services or technology from these entities; no department or agency of the U.S. Government may provide any assistance to these entities, and these entities shall not be eligible to participate in any assistance program of the U.S. Government; U.S. Government sales of an item on the U.S. munitions list to any of these entities are prohibited, and new licenses are to be denied and existing licenses suspended for transfers to these entities of items controlled under the Export Administration Act of 1979 or Export Administration Regulations.
QUESTION: Is there a time limit, or did you say?
MR. ERELI: No, these sanctions are -- have to be renewed every year. Actually, I take that back. I'm not sure. I know that -- I'll have to check and see what's the duration of the sanctions, whether they have to be renewed every year, or whether they stay in effect until they're explicitly removed. And I'll check and get back to you on that.
QUESTION: Same issue. So I've never heard the Iranian developing a cruise missile. Can you specify more? I mean, what kind of a cruise missile, launching ï¿½
MR. ERELI: The law specifies -- I'm not saying that Iran is developing a cruise missile, but the law specifies that if a company is found to be exporting to Iran or providing Iran with equipment and technology that has the potential to contribute to a cruise missile system, that's according to law, then that entity is sanctionable.
Obviously, I think, Iran has an active missile program, but I'm not saying that these entities were involved in providing equipment for that program. It's just what the law says.
QUESTION: Also -- sorry. In the case of the North Korean company, this is the, a state-run company. It's possible to give the name of the company?
MR. ERELI: The North Korean company is the Changgwang Sinyong Corporation. And I would note that it had been previously sanctioned under the Act in January and June of 2001 and June of 2003.
6. Joing Press Statement On the Results of the Meeting of the Russia-US Working Group on Counterterrorism, Washington, March 30-31, 2004
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin
(for personal use only)
The Russia-US Working Group on Counterterrorism met March 30-31 in Washington. First Deputy Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Trubnikov and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage co-chaired the meeting.
The Working Group co-chairs strongly condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Madrid and Uzbekistan. Pointing to these tragic events and others around the world, including recent attacks in Moscow and Istanbul, the delegations emphasized the urgent need for continued and improved cooperation to combat all forms of terrorism. The sides expressed reinforced determination to defeat this global threat through concrete and timely action.
The delegations exchanged military and intelligence briefings, and discussed specific areas of cooperation including effective information sharing, preventing terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction, engaging with the international community to combat terrorist financing, and counternarcotics. The sides also reviewed recent developments in key regions including Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Southeast Asia. The delegations reviewed the results of a successful academic conference on Islam held in February 2004 under the auspices of the Working Group, and discussed the possibility of future exchanges.
The sides discussed collaborative approaches to counteract the possible terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction and radiological materials, including through scientific, research, and health cooperation. In order to establish mechanisms for effective bilateral cooperation on keeping nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists, Russian and US experts will intensify their efforts to establish a contract to analyze nuclear material from smuggling cases.
The delegations conferred on ways to strengthen cooperation to suppress the financing of international terrorism. Both sides discussed their domestic approaches to combat terrorist finance, as well as ongoing bilateral and multilateral cooperation, including support for the anti-money laundering work of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), United Nations sanctions against individuals and groups associated with al Qaeda, and United Nations measures against all terrorists.
The sides support and further explored the initiative to establish a FATF-style regional body for Central Asia.
Both sides agreed that continued cultivation of opium poppy and trafficking in narcotics poses a serious threat to security, political stability and economic development in many regions. Both sides agree that drug funding also flows to terrorist organizations of serious concern. They acknowledged the importance of coordinated cooperation on counternarcotics and security sector reform to enhance regional stability.
The two sides agreed to meet again in Moscow in October 2004.
8. U.S., Russian Nuclear Risk Watch Officers Begin Exchange Program
(for personal use only)
Washington -- It has been almost 17 years since the United States and the then-Soviet Union agreed to establish centers in each country that would regularly exchange information aimed at reducing the risk of nuclear war.
On March 22, more than information was exchanged, as two watch officers from the Russian Federation Nuclear Risk Reduction Center in Moscow began a visit with their American counterparts in Washington.
The exchange of officers "is part of the U.S. commitment to enhance transparency in our relationship with Russia," according to the State Department. American watch officers will be going to Moscow in April.
An agreement signed in 1987 affirmed the desire of the United States and the Soviet Union "to reduce and ultimately eliminate the risk of outbreak of nuclear war, in particular, as a result of misinterpretation, miscalculation, or accident." It also stated their belief that measures to reduce the risk of nuclear war strengthened international peace and security.
The Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers in Washington and Moscow became operational in 1988. The American center is located at the Department of State, while the Russian center is in Russia's Ministry of Defense. Equivalent centers have opened in Kiev, Ukraine; Minsk, Belarus; and Almaty, Kazakhstan.
These facilities contain high-speed systems for transmitting information and notifications required under various arms control treaties and other security agreements, such as notifications of inspections, compliance, and ballistic missile launches. They also transmit messages relating to the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty and the Open Skies Treaty.
The Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers supplement other channels of communication between the United States and Russia and are similar to, but separate from, the so-called "hot line" between the White House and the Kremlin. Watch officers are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to receive, translate and disseminate notifications and other information.
The first exchange of watch officers is expected to improve the Centers' working relationship and the effectiveness of their operations.
Representing the Russian Federation in Washington March 22-26 were Captain First Rank Vladimir Viktorovich Akimov and Colonel Vadim Viktorovich Topol'tsev. Representing the United States in Moscow the week of April 26 will be Elizabeth Thompson and Alden Greene of the Department of State.
(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
9. Statement by HE Ambassador Carlo Trezza, Permanent Representative of Italy to the Conference on Disarmament. Geneva, January 20, 2004
Conference on Disarmament
(for personal use only)
Madame President, Let me first congratulate your country, Kenya, and you personally for the important and challenging task of chairing the Conference on disarmament at this very delicate juncture. Your experience in multilateral affairs, your background and reputation, so as your commitment to the resumption of negotiations in the CD make you the ideal person to give an impulse to this Conference. Let me also acknowledge the important work and consultations that you undertook in the past weeks ï¿½ which I have personally witnessed - in preparation of this meeting and of your Presidency. This is also the moment to pay tribute to your predecessor, Ambassador Inoguchi of Japan, for her tireless efforts to give an impulse to the CD and for the constructive results of her presidency. I also wish to welcome the new colleagues who have recently been appointed to the Conference on Disarmament and wish them a successful mission in Geneva. Our resumed work takes place ï¿½ as you have mentioned - at a time in which we register some significant and positive developments in the fields disarmament and non-proliferation: since we met last time in the CD, Iran signed the IAEA Additional Protocol to its Safeguards Agreement; a few weeks later Libya ratified the CTBT and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Other meaningful events, mentioned by you and by the Secretary General of the UN in his message to the CD, have taken place.
Madame President, I would like to take the opportunity of this first meeting of the CD in 2004 to bring to the attention of member states an issue which is of growing relevance in the field of disarmament and non- proliferation and which is pertinent to our debates in the Conference on Disarmament.
The significant reductions of weapons of mass destruction that have taken place through multilateral, plurilateral, bilateral and unilateral disarmament and arms control treaties and processes in the past decades have brought to the attention of the international community the enormous technical and financial problems connected with the actual destruction of military arsenals. In some cases the costs and efforts to eliminate them have been higher than the costs of their production. These problems have come to the surface as a new co-operative approach to disarmament and non-proliferation, which currently goes under the name of the ï¿½Co-operative threat reductionï¿½, was being developed. We believe that this issue deserves to be presented to the Conference on Disarmament since -in the opinion of the Italian Government- it is a relevant part of the disarmament process.
In the past decade, the United States, Russia, the European Union, Japan, Canada and other countries have worked together to secure and dismantle nuclear, biological and chemical weapons materials, carriers and infrastructure. The culminating moment of this initiative took place in Kananaskis, Canada in June 2002 when the leaders of the Group of the 8 most industrialised countries announced a ï¿½ Global Partnershipï¿½ against the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Participants at the Summit pledged to raise up to 20 billion US dollars over the following ten years to address these WMD threats and in particular to ï¿½ prevent terrorists, or those who harbour them, from acquiring or developing nuclear, chemical radiological and biological weapons; missile and related materials equipment and technologiesï¿½. In addition to these important financial pledges, the G8 leaders also agreed on a comprehensive set of non-proliferation principles as well as on guidelines designed to remove obstacles that had hindered the realisation of similar projects in the past. In the ï¿½Guidelines for new or expanded co-operation projectsï¿½ it is stated that the G8 will work in partnership, bilaterally and multilaterally, to develop, co-ordinate implement and finance, according to their respective means, new or expanded cooperation projects. The main purpose was to address non-proliferation, disarmament, counter-terrorism and nuclear safety (including environmental) issues, with a view to enhancing strategic stability, consonant with the international security objectives and in support of the multilateral non-proliferation regimes. Each country had the primary responsibility for implementing its non-proliferation, disarmament, counter-terrorism and nuclear safety obligations and requirements and committed its full co-operation with the partnership. The priority concerns were the destruction of chemical weapons, the dismantlement of decommissioned nuclear submarines, the disposition of fissile materials and the employment of former weapons scientists. Other countries that were prepared to adopt the principles and the guidelines were invited to enter into discussion on participating in and contributing to this initiative. The G8 would be willing to enter into negotiations with any other recipient countries, including those of the Former Soviet Union, prepared to adopt the guidelines, for inclusion in the Partnership.
Madame President, much had already been done in the previous ten years: Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus had joined the NPT as non nuclear weapons states and all nuclear weapons had been eliminated from their territories. According to the Defence Threat reduction Agency, by November 2002 the following reductions had taken place within the framework of the US/Russian cooperation just in the field of disarmament of nuclear weapons and delivery means: 6020 warheads deactivated, 486 ICBMs destroyed, 438 ICBM silos eliminated, 1 ICBM mobile launcher destroyed, 97 bombers eliminated, 483 Nuclear ASMs destroyed, 396 SLBM launchers eliminated, 347 SLBMs eliminated, 24 SSBNs destroyed, 194 nuclear test tunnels/holes sealed.
Although it is not Italyï¿½s intention to seek credits for other countriesï¿½ remarkable achievements in this field, let me just mention that at an Inter-Parliamentary Conference on the Global Partnership organised last November, during Italyï¿½s Presidency of the EU, by the European Commission at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, some additional figures were divulged. The US stated that between 1992 and 2003 it provided over 8 billion dollars on chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and materials and is now spending one billion dollars per year. According to last yearï¿½s French G8 Presidency, a number of programs had moved ï¿½ after Kananaskis - into the implementation phase in the chemical area, almost 190 nuclear submarines had been dismantled, contracts under the G8 partnership had risen to 700 million $. Others were likely to be announced in the following months.
Madame President, the co-operative threat reduction has become one of the important components of the new European strategy against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. As stated by the representative of the European Commission at the Inter Parliamentary Conference, the EU (Community and member states) has committed around 600 million Euro for WMD non- proliferation and disarmament over the last 10 years. In 1999 a Joint action, which commits some 5 million Euro yearly for focused projects, was launched to support co-operative WMD non- proliferation and disarmament programs and has been extended until mid 2004.The total sum of 1 billion Euro was committed by the European Community at Kananaskis. The newly appointed Personal Representative for WMD of the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy highlighted at the Strasbourg Conference some of the elements of EU strategy in countering WMD proliferation. In the document on the EU strategy subsequently adopted in Brussels on December 13 2003 by the European Council of Heads of State and Government it is stated that reinforcing the EU cooperative threat reduction programmes with other countries, targeted at support for disarmament, control and security of sensitive materials, facilities and expertise, is one of the main instruments foreseen by the EU to prevent, deter, halt and if possible eliminate proliferation programmes. Prolonging the EU programme, increasing co-operative threat reduction funding beyond 2006, setting up a programme of assistance are among the major instruments to promote a stable international and regional environment.
Madame President, Italy became involved in the co-operative threat reduction at an early stage. A first bilateral agreement to enhance nuclear safety and radiological protection in the Russian nuclear destruction facilities was signed in 1993. A second agreement regarding the construction of a gas pipeline for a chemical weapons destruction facility in Russia was signed in 2000; a third agreement on the completion of the pipeline was signed in 2003. But the most conspicuous effort was the one made at Kananaskis where an Italian pledge for projects amounting to up to 1 billion Euro over ten years was undertaken by the Italian Prime Minister. As a result of this pledge Italy has become the second EU and fourth overall contributor to the Kananaskis Global Partnership. These engagements are already becoming operational. On November 5 2003, on the occasion of President Putinï¿½s State visit to Italy, two important agreements were signed. As a result of these agreements Italy will take the lead in the construction of the chemical weapons destruction facility of Pochep and will co-operate in dismantling nuclear submarines. An overall sum of 720 million Euro will be allocated by Italy for those two projects.
Madame President, if Italy, together with other like-minded countries, have decided to allocate such important resources to the Co-operative Threat Reduction initiative at a time of great budgetary difficulties, it is because they are convinced that this initiative will enhance international security and safety. At a time in which the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and of their delivery means is a growing threat to international peace and security and the risk that terrorists will acquire such weapons and delivery means adds a new critical dimension to this threat, the Co-operative Threat Reduction has become a concrete way to address the problems of proliferation of WMD trough effective measures of disarmament.
It is the most comprehensive and ambitious multilateral effort to eliminate weapons of mass destruction ever devised. It has a strong conceptual and operational basis, represented by the principles and the guidelines, which have been adopted. It also has an unprecedented political backing since all the G8 countries, through their leaders, have adopted this program and the EU and other members of the international community have already joined this initiative. The CTR plays a key role in the fight against terrorism since the weapons which it deals with ï¿½ those which are waiting to be dismantled and which no longer play a strategic role ï¿½ tend to be less protected and are therefore more vulnerable to WMD terrorism.
Through the Global Partnership, disarmament becomes not only a question of arms reduction and verification but also a matter of multilateral cooperation. Global partnership accelerated the arms reduction process and facilitated the accession to the NPT by a number of countries thus strengthening the non-proliferation regime. It also enhanced the international confidence-building process and transparency. It deals with highly sensitive materials and equipment which traditionally have been held secretly by national administrations which in the past have been confronting each other.
To conclude, Madame President, while at the CD we are discussing our future program of work and the best possible ways to enhance international disarmament, Italy wishes to draw the attention of the Conference on this reality which is relevant to the current international security environment: the Co-operative Threat reduction. Disarmament would be meaningless if states were not in the condition of effectively eliminating ï¿½ through the CTR ï¿½ the weapons of mass destruction they have decided to reduce. We believe that time has come for this initiative to be better known, understood, endorsed and welcomed by the International Community.
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