1. First Annual Chemical Science and Commercialization Conference
Department of State
(for personal use only)
First Annual Chemical Science and Commercialization Conference On September 27-29, 2004 in Moscow
The U.S. Department of State Bio-Chem Redirect Program is sponsoring a first-ever Chemical Science and Commercialization Conference which will take place in Moscow on September 27-29, 2004. The conference will occur at the Renaissance Hotel and is being organized locally by the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC). The goal of the conference is to introduce select chemical research and production institutes in Russia and Eurasia to potential Western industrial partners, investors and collaborators. Russian and Eurasian participants will include key institutes specializing in organic and inorganic chemistry, polymer chemistry and catalysis, synthetic chemistry, analytical chemistry, chemical production, toxicology testing, occupational risk assessment, and environmental testing.
During the conference, selected chemical institutes will present an overview of their technical capabilities, collaborative interests and promising research to a Western audience. Oral presentations will be given for papers during panel discussions on the following: drug discovery, development and toxicology testing; environmental remediation and monitoring technologies; and organic and inorganic synthesis. Poster displays of other promising research results will be available, and leading scientists will be available continuously for informal discussions with interested parties. The conference will also address challenges to commercialization in Russia and Eurasia and successful strategies to overcome them.
The organizers are seeking broad participation from industry, academia, national laboratories, and other potential collaborators and investors from the U.S., Europe, Canada and elsewhere. For more information, interested parties should visit the conference website at http://biistate.net/chemconference/. Alternately, please contact ISTC Senior Project Manager Michael Valentine at (Tel: 7-095-797-4543, Fax:7-095-797-6021, firstname.lastname@example.org) or ISTC Project Officer Evgeniy Osipov at (Tel: 7-095-797-6018, Fax: 7-095-797-6021, email@example.com). The preliminary conference agenda and a list of Russian and Eurasian participants will be available upon request after May 15, 2004.
Russia is expected to join the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), an international program to stamp out proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including ballistic missiles, possibly before a Group of Eight summit meeting scheduled for June in Sea Island, Ga., a government source said Thursday.
The PSI currently comprises 14 countries including Australia, Britain, Japan and the United States. The members currently are coordinating over whether to formally admit Moscow to the PSI at a meeting to mark the first anniversary of the group's founding in late May, according to the source.
Russia would be the last country among the G-8 nations to join the PSI. Moscow's participation is likely to further strengthen global efforts to prevent proliferation of WMD by countries such as North Korea.
Russia is likely to attend the two-day commemorative assembly that is scheduled to be held from May 31 in Krakow, Poland, the city where U.S. President George W. Bush proposed the initiative in May last year.
The 14 member states and several associate members including Turkey meet to discuss proliferation and conduct joint military exercises.
The 14 basically have agreed on Russia's participation in the PSI, the source said.
Since Russia, the world's second-largest nuclear power, has great influence over neighboring countries, its participation in the PSI is expected to enhance enforcement of joint activities such as inspections of ships and airplanes to block the illegal transportation of WMD and the transfer of related technologies. The three-day G-8 summit meeting scheduled to begin in Georgia on June 8 is expected to make strengthening the framework for the prevention of proliferation one of its top priorities.
The United States has been calling for Russia to join the PSI ahead of the summit meeting to expand and strengthen the group.
1. Russian Prosecutor-General's Office Speaks Out Against Politicization Of K-159 Submarine Case
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MOSCOW, April 28 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Prosecutor-General's Office has spoken out against the politicization of legal proceedings in connection with the death of the K-159 submarine's crew.
"We are perfectly aware that the work of a defense lawyer is meticulous and hard, so we don't think it appropriate to comment on the decision of the attorney who has refused to defend the interests of the victims-the families of the dead submariners, that is-at the final stage of the trial on the K-159 case," a spokesperson for the Prosecutor-General's Office said in a comment.
"We deem it necessary to point out, however, that this is not the first time the lawyer [Boris Kuznetsov] has attempted to present as politically-motivated the decisions made strictly within the framework of the penal and criminal procedure legislation," the source said. Kuznetsov is now being sued by an investigator of the Military Prosecutor's Office for similar attempts with regards to the Kursk submarine's demise.
Kuznetsov has confirmed reports about his planned withdrawal from the K-159-related proceedings. "This decision arises from a clash between my stance and that of the defendants. They put all the blame on the Northern Fleet Commander, Admiral Suchkov. I don't share this view, but believe that Suchkov's guilt has not been proved," Kuznetsov told RIA in a telephone interview Wednesday.
"It is impossible to talk about the causes of the submarine's demise before it is brought up from the seabed-this would be mere speculation. Besides, I don't think there is a cause-effect link between the death of the crew and Suckhov's decision not to send a helicopter to the site of the demise," he added.
"There's politicking going on around demise of the Kursk and the K-159 submarines. And while in one case they have decided, for political concerns, not to bring anyone to justice, in the K-159's case, they have chosen, for those same political reasons, to try the Admiral," Kuznetsov contends.
Igor Kudrin, Chair of the St. Petersburg Submariners Club, told RIA Tuesday, quoting a source in the Northern Fleet Court-Martial, about Kuznetsov's plans to withdraw from the K-159 case. The court-martial began hearings on the case on January 12.
Earlier, Colonel of Justice Igor Murashkin, representing the Prosecution, requested the court that it sentence Suchkov to four years of imprisonment.
The nuclear-powered K-159 submarine sank in the Barents Sea on August 30, 2003, as it was being trawled to a repair plant for scrapping. Her nuclear reactor was reportedly dampened down when it sank. Nine members of the tenong crew were killed in the accident, one was rescued.
1. Russia Continues Program Of Chemical Weapons Disposal
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MOSCOW, April 30 (Itar-Tass) - Forty-one tonnes of the war gas lewisite have been neutralized at the Gorny plant in a Volga region.
The whole arsenal of chemical weapons will be destroyed in the settlement of Gorny by 2005 as is stipulated by Russiaï¿½s international obligations.
A spokesman at the regional information and analysis centre for safeguarding and destruction of chemical weapons told Itar-Tass on Friday that the Gorny plant would continue operation during the May holidays, as ï¿½technology for liquidation of lewisite does not envisage even brief stops of equipmentï¿½.
ï¿½The whole technological cycle is under control of international inspectors who together with Russian specialists also work on the weekend and holiday says.ï¿½
More than 1,000 tonnes of yperite, lewisite and their blends, which is 2.9 percent of Russiaï¿½s 40,000 tonne arsenal of war gases, was stored at Gorny.
All yperite was destroyed last year, and a only a line for lewisite disposal operates at present.
THIS WEEK marks the seventh anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention, a landmark international treaty that requires member states to destroy their stocks of chemical weapons and renounce their future production. Despite impressive achievements, much remains to be done to rid the world of these heinous weapons.
So far, 162 countries -- more than three-quarters of the world's nations -- have signed and ratified the treaty. Six member states (the United States, Russia, India, South Korea, Albania, and now Libya) have declared chemical weapons stockpiles that are being destroyed under the watchful eyes of inspectors from the treaty-implementing agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Nevertheless, of the 72,000 metric tons of chemical weapons declared to the organization, only about 9,000 tons (12.5 percent) have been destroyed. Russia and the United States, which account for about 40,000 metric tons and 31,000 metric tons respectively, have lagged behind the destruction schedule specified in the treaty. Already, both countries are planning for a one-time, five-year extension, pushing the deadline back from 2007 to 2012 -- and even this date may be optimistic.
Meanwhile, the chemical weapons stockpiles in the United States, which are at Army depots in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Utah, and Washington state, are potentially vulnerable to terrorist theft, diversion, or attack.
Despite the security threat associated with these deteriorating and dangerous weapons, the Bush administration has requested cuts in funding for chemical demilitarization in the 2005 federal budget.
This money must be restored. Eliminating the remaining US chemical weapons stocks in a prompt yet safe and environmentally sound manner should be a key element of our homeland security policy.
It is also vital that the United States and other countries provide greater financial assistance to Russia's effort to destroy the vast chemical arsenal it inherited from the Soviet Union. The Pentagon should deliver on all of the funding promised under the Cooperative Threat Reduction program for construction of a nerve agent destruction facility near the Russian town of Shchuch'ye in Siberia.
Congress should also pass a multiyear waiver to lift restrictions on the release of previously appropriated Threat Reduction funds. In addition, the Global Partnership Initiative by the Group of Eight industrialized nations and others should make chemical weapons destruction in Russia a top priority.
Beyond adequate funding, efforts to destroy chemical weapons require transparency, community outreach, and involvement as well as emergency preparedness measures to ensure the safety of local populations. Although these "outside the fence" measures are crucial to project success, they are all too often neglected by defense and foreign ministry officials.
Another weakness of the treaty is that five key countries in the Middle East -- Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, and Syria -- remain outside of it, even though some of them are believed to possess large stocks of chemical weapons.
In February, Libya took the far-sighted step of joining the treaty and pledging to destroy its stockpile (consisting of 23 metric tons of mustard gas) and its former chemical weapons production facility at Rabta.
Taking advantage of the Libyan example, the United States and its allies should offer financial, trade, and security benefits to all holdout countries that agree to join the treaty. Eliminating chemical weapons from the Middle East would be a major step forward for the war on terrorism, US nonproliferation policy, and the search for peace and security in a troubled region.
Over the past seven years, the Chemical Weapons Convention has shown that it can make a valuable contribution to ridding the world of these weapons. Now the United States, Russia, and other nations must devote the political attention and financial resources needed to finish the job.
Jonathan B. Tucker is a senior researcher at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies of the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Paul F. Walker is the director of the Legacy Program at Global Green USA.
1. Russia: WMDs Abound In Russia, But International Interest Fades
Radio Free Europe
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Two years ago, the G-8 states announced an ambitious new partnership to prevent the spread of nuclear, chemical, and biological materials amid increased fears of terrorism. The countries pledged to spend an unprecedented $20 billion over the next decade, mostly in Russia, to help Moscow destroy some of its weapons stockpiles and upgrade security at facilities retaining dangerous materials. But so far, according to experts, results on the ground have yet to match the political promises.
Prague, 28 April 2004 (RFE/RL) -- When they met for their annual summit in 2002 -- amid much fanfare -- leaders of the world's top industrialized nations announced what they called a new "global partnership against the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction."
Unlike previous declarations, this plan was to be backed by real money. The world had witnessed the horror of the 11 September attacks the previous year. The need to prevent Al-Qaeda or any other terrorist group from acquiring nuclear or biological weapons was uppermost in politicians' minds.
Accordingly, the leaders of the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada, Britain, France, Italy and Germany pledged to spend $20 billion over the next 10 years to secure "loose" nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) as an important component of the war against terrorism.
Russia was assigned priority focus as the world's largest storehouse of potentially unsecured WMD materials. Since 1992, the United States had spent hundreds of millions of dollars to assist Russia in weapons-decommissioning projects and to fund Russian scientists with military knowledge to discourage them from emigrating to rogue states where their expertise could be used to develop illicit weapons programs.
Those bilateral efforts would now be broadened, with countries like Japan and France pledging hundreds of millions of dollars. Russia itself, as a member of the Group of Eight (G-8), pledged $2 billion to fund new projects.
This week, independent experts and government officials met in Moscow to assess the progress made after two years. Their conclusion? Mostly disappointment. Only a fraction of the money pledged by the G-8 states had materialized so far. Of the $750 million it promised, France has so far given nothing. Japan, out of $200 million pledged, has provided only $2 million.
Security and weapons expert Laura Holgate attended the Moscow meeting as a representative of the U.S.-based Nuclear Threat Initiative, a private think tank dedicated to raising public awareness about WMD.
Holgate used to manage the U.S. Defense Department's Cooperative Threat Reduction program, which focuses on disarmament projects in the Commonwealth of Independent States. She shared with RFE/RL her assessment of where things now stand.
"My overall reaction would be: some good progress but lots of work yet to be done and unfortunately, no visible sense of urgency to the pace of work, either by the U.S. or its partners in the global partnership," Holgate said. "And that is my biggest concern. It's not whether or not we're taking steps in the right direction, it's whether we're moving fast enough. Because we know these threats are real, we know there are people out there who are pursuing these weapons and these capabilities and will not hesitate to use them. And I only hope and pray that we can be swift and smart and creative enough to address these threats before they become reality."
Stories of Russia's "loose nukes" periodically appear in the media. Earlier this year, Russian newspapers reported on Al-Qaeda operatives allegedly shopping for so-called "nuclear suitcases" -- small, powerful nuclear bombs.
Those reports were vehemently denied by the Russian Defense Ministry, whose head, Sergei Ivanov, has noted there has never been a proven case of military WMD material being smuggled out of Russia.
That might be true, but quantities of nuclear material from non-military industrial or research sites abound in Russia and the CIS. Repeated attempts to smuggle radioactive material have indeed been registered, and according to Holgate there is evidence terrorists might have their eyes on more ambitious targets. "For example," Holgate said, "there were reports from the Russian military itself that some of the transport trains carrying nuclear weapons had been surveilled by terrorists. And, in fact, there were press reports that the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow, which houses significant nuclear infrastructure and materials, had been surveilled by the terrorists that ultimately attacked the [Dubrovka] theater in Moscow [in October 2002]. Fortunately, what they found when they surveilled the nuclear institute was significant security that had been provided based on several years of U.S.-Russian cooperation, and so I guess they decided that the theater was a softer target."
Compared to the other G-8 countries, the United States has contributed the most to secure WMD in Russia, with $1 billion slated to be spent next year.
But Derek Averre, a British security expert at the University of Birmingham's Centre for Russian and East European Studies, argues even this is far too little compared to what Washington spends on security at home or to fund the war in Iraq, where no WMD have been found.
"The U.S. continues to spend huge amounts on homeland security when even a fraction of this would boost Cooperative Threat Reduction funds," Averre said.
But money is not the only issue. Bureaucratic obstacles are also an impediment, as Holgate explained.
"There's a trinity of obstacles that gets referred to routinely: access, liability, and taxes," Holgate said. "The access question has to do with how much on-site presence is possible for foreigners involved in these assistance programs at very sensitive sites in Russia -- whether they be a weapons base, or a manufacturing facility, or a fissile-material storage site. Those sites have, for good reasons, security rules about who can visit them. But most people involved in assistance programs perceive that these security rules are being abused in order to keep out Americans and others based on false concerns about spying."
Averre said all the talk about fissile materials should not distract attention from Russia's remaining stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons, as well as the thousands of scientists formerly involved in the country's biotechnology armaments industry, who need to be gainfully employed.
"There are other urgent tasks, and one of those is bio-safety and bio-security. Incidents in recent years have obviously pushed that up the agenda," Averre said. "And I think that there is a broad approach needed, specifically in that area -- not only to look after stockpiles of pathogens in Russian institutes, but also to establish a civilian-related commercial biotechnology industry, so that there will be less concern about goods and materials leaking out."
When G-8 leaders meet again in June, this time in the United States, experts hope they will follow up on their commitments -- with more than just rhetoric.
2. U.S. Wants $1.3 Bil. From Japan To Help Russia Dismantle Weapons
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WASHINGTON, April 14, Kyodo - The United States wants Japan to contribute an additional $1.3 billion to an international fund created by the Group of Eight (G-8) countries to help Russia dismantle its weapons of mass destruction, a senior U.S. official said Tuesday.
''We would like that to happen,'' the official told Kyodo News on condition of anonymity. ''We've talked to the government of Japan about this but we don't know what their reaction would be.''
Japan has pledged $200 million for the fund, but the official said Japan needs to make contributions that match the size of its economy.
A Japanese government source said it would be very difficult for Japan to donate another $1.3 billion considering the state of Japan's economy.
The G-8 countries -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the U.S. -- launched the Global Partnership Fund at a summit in Kananaskis, Canada, in 2002.
The U.S. has pledged half of the $20 billion target of the fund and other G-8 members have so far pledged an additional $7 billion to be used over 10 years.
The U.S. official also said the U.S. is seeking to use the fund not only for Russia but other countries, including former Soviet republics such as Ukraine and Kazakstan.
''We're hoping to get agreement from the Russians by the time of the Sea Island summit,'' the official said.
The U.S. will host this year's G-8 summit at Sea Island, Georgia, in early June.
The Japanese source said Japan supports the idea of using the fund for countries other than Russia.
The U.S. official, meanwhile, voiced concerns that scientists involved in weapons of mass destruction programs in Iraq and Libya may be employed by foreign countries.
''We don't want them going to Iran or North Korea,'' the official said. ''We think there is a very strong argument to take the benefit of the Global Partnership experience and use it even outside the former (Soviet Union) and that will be discussed at Sea Island.''
When the United States withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in 2002, all sorts of charges and counter charges flew. Supporters of the treaty argued that if the system worked, an outcome of which they had no doubt, it would lead to a situation where defenses dominate against offenses. This would especially be true because Russia and America had just signed the Strategic Offensive Arms Reduction Treaty (SORT). This treaty formally terminated the state of hostility between the two states in nuclear affairs and let them build whatever mix of offenses or defenses they wanted to have within the numerical ceilings of the treaty. Absent mutual suspicion, the American defense system and any Russian system would not constitute a threat to each other.
Opponents of the withdrawal predicted that a new nuclear arms race would start because China would feel threatened by the new missile defense system which, whatever its proponents stated, was designed against it, as well as terrorists or North Korea and Iran. Consequently, China would build many hundreds of missiles, as the Central Intelligence Agency had predicted in 2000-01, to beat the system. That in turn would lead other Asian states, including Russia and India, to build more missiles and defenses against China, touching off what they called an Asian chain reaction.
However, as the US has begun to build its system of defenses, the consequences of the withdrawal from the ABM Treaty are manifesting themselves, and typically they are contradicting both camps. At the same time, the US has also just unveiled its own experimental hypersonic missile that could defy any other power's defenses, and it is seriously considering low-yield so-called "bunker-buster" nuclear weapons that could precisely target heavily reinforced and underground bunkers or hideouts, thus giving US targets like Osama bin Laden even fewer alternatives to hide from an attack. Thus, even as it builds defenses, the US is still seeking to ensure that its offensive nuclear capabilities could perform if need be in war time.
As proclaimed, the US missile defense system cannot really threaten Russia, which has some 7,000 warheads, although it can obviously threaten North Korea. Indeed, if one does a simple cost analysis of what it would take for China to overcome it, those costs are not at all onerous, so there is little reason to believe this system could prevent a Chinese nuclear attack on the continental United States, especially as China is turning out ever larger numbers of ballistic and cruise missiles. More importantly, the intended missile defense system is a monument to the idea that genuinely effective defenses, with a reasonable possibility of successfully countering missile threats, can be built.
Such an occurrence would mark the first time any reliably successful missile defense has been built and that achievement would represent a turn of the endlessly revolving strategic wheel between offensive and defensive innovation toward the defense's advantage, at least in regard to ballistic nuclear missiles.
However, the Russian side's continued belief that it cannot let the US possess a missile defense system that gives it the freedom to launch offensive missiles secure in the knowledge that its defenses could successfully deal with any intended retaliation from Russia drove Moscow to try to imitate American policy. In this respect, the Russian military is not just acting out its suspicions of the US that go back decades. It also is doing what any prudent strategist would recommend, despite the fact that there are no conceivable grounds for war with Russia. Possession of nuclear weapons mandates that a government and its armed forces act to safeguard the ability to use them, find military utility in using nuclear weapons and extract the maximum strategic benefits that can be garnered from merely having nuclear weapons.
Just as Washington has sought to build both defenses and hypersonic missiles that could overcome missile defenses, Russia has done so too. Russia apparently seeks to counter the missile defense system, as critics warned, by building more missiles or missiles that could overcome the system. Indeed, it is doing both. At the same time, a second, less advertised reason for Moscow's policies, in spite of the fact that nobody believes a war with America is anywhere on the horizon or desirable, or even likely at some future date, is Moscow's growing concern about rising Chinese power.
Given present indices of economic and military power and the depopulation of Asiatic Russia, Russian fears of rising Chinese economic and military power have become ever more palpable. This rising concern takes place even though Russia proclaims China as its strategic partner. Indeed, it is precisely because Russia cannot afford to antagonize China that it makes this statement of partnership and refrains from proclaiming that its exercises are not only intended for anti-American, but also possibly for anti-Chinese missions and operations. The same holds true for nuclear weapons, with the added point that Moscow's glaring conventional weaknesses which could well increase relative to China's conventional military power enhances the role of its nuclear deterrent vis-a-vis Beijing and makes the development of survivable (ie mobile as well as hypersonic) missiles and reliable defenses even more important. Therefore, Moscow must develop both its offenses and defenses to guard against potential, even if unlikely, US and/or Chinese threats.
Accordingly, in February and April, Moscow successfully tested hypersonic missiles that could carry a nuclear warhead along with its ground-based mobile TOPOL-M ICBM. If further tests of the TOPOL-M are successful, it will be deployed later this year and the same principle applies to the hypersonic missile. Moscow has proclaimed that the hypersonic missile could overcome any missile defense and that the recent experiments it undertook during the war games in February that featured the test of the missile "affect the whole philosophy of militaryategic interaction". Such far-reaching claims cannot be made here, however if these claims about the hypersonic missile's ability to evade missile defense are, in fact, true, then that test and the successful American test of its own hypersonic missile will soon give the wheel of strategic innovation another turn and create a weapon against which there is no existing defense. In effect, that development could and probably will stimulate someone to find a new way for the offense to trump the defense, and so on. Here again the critics have a point in that it appears that the cycle of offense and defense each seeking to trump each other is taking place rather than a transition to a defense dominated world.
Certainly Russia's claims would seem to confirm that point. Moscow coyly refrains from stating that this "hypersonic flying vehicle" is actually a ballistic or cruise missile but does state that it can maneuver between space and the earth's atmosphere, making it harder to even conceive of ways to defend against it. Certainly, this claim, if it is true, can also further stimulate the ongoing weaponization of space. Meanwhile, Russia is also adding three warheads per TOPOL rather than the one warhead per missile it had originally deployed. By putting multiple warheads on this mobile and hence more survivable missile, it hopes to ensure the preservation of a robust offensive capability to counter any other government's potential missile defenses and it thus recreates the Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs) that were so prominent a feature of the strategic landscape after 1970.
Since the SORT treaty allows Russia to build whatever it likes within the numerical parameters of the treaty, this procedure saves it a lot of money which it can ill afford to spend. Similarly, it is also outfitting these missiles with a so-called unique "gliding" warhead that allows a missile to change its trajectory at the last moment to elude detection and interception. Thus Moscow, in spite of the fact that it professes a desire to cooperate with Washington on missile defense, will stage a missile defense exercise with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 2005, and as it does not allege a nuclear threat from Washington, it has perhaps already trumped the American missile defense plan and put the restoration of offensive primacy in the nuclear sphere back on the agenda as the new and emerging status quo.
The China factor
Furthermore, China, too, is not resting on its laurels, despite its public silence about the end of the ABM treaty and the US missile defense program. After all, it, too, has a vital interest in Russian strategic developments and its cooperation with the Russian military across a host of systems and technologies probably gives it a good idea of Russian strategic thinking and programs. As both Moscow and Washington well know, China is also working on ways to counter the US program which will obviously have an impact on its strategic posture vis-a-vis Russia. As many analysts have stated, China is building many more missiles of all kinds of provenance, short, medium and long-range and both ballistic and cruise missiles. It will not be difficult for Beijing to place nuclear warheads on those missiles to target all of its potential adversaries, including Russia.
But China also has accelerated its own space program and plans for the military use of space, perhaps even in a firstike or preemptive mode to knock out US satellites and leave the missile defense system blind. Thus while it follows Russia's suit by building more missiles, it also is apparently aiming to undermine the US system's command, control, and communications capabilities that link it to terrestrial sensors. China has also recently launched two nano-satellites into space. As a result analysts like Richard Fisher of the Center for Security Policy in Washington argue that "China will use micro and nano-satellites for a range of missions, surveillance, reconnaissance, communication, and for destroying enemy satellites. Their size makes them difficult, if not impossible, to detect and either avoid or shoot down."
Thus none of the main players in the nuclear arena are resting content with the idea of a defense-dominated world, even as Washington and Moscow, if not Beijing, are building missile defenses. While Washington explores low-yield and supposedly more precise nuclear weapons that could also serve as "bunker busters" and hypersonic missiles, Moscow also is building its defenses and hypersonic, missiles along with more mobile and multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles (MIRVs) on its TOPOL-M missiles. China is building more missiles and also appears to be focusing on depriving either side's defenses from finding its missiles and thus concentrates on attacking their command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities (C4ISR in military parlance) while also moving to join the other two governments in weaponizing space. Meanwhile, the full extent of its own offensive nuclear programs and of any missile defenses that it is building remains unclear. China has also shut down public discussions of its military collaboration with the Russian armed forces, which almost certainly includes issues pertaining to missile defenses and missiles.
Whatever one wants to make of these facts, it cannot be said that they reliably and certainly are ushering in an era of incontestable defense dominance. Innovations in strategy and technology have not stopped and probably never will. Arms controllers and many others may not like these prospects even though they warned about them. But in fact the new missiles will replace, not add to, existing capabilities and if it is assumed that policy is in some measure a rational response to existing conditions, the supporters of missile defense have a strong argument.
Deterrence today is clearly not feasible as a merely two-sided game, as was the case during the Cold War. Observers on all sides recognize this. The distinguished Indian defense expert Brahma Chellaney wrote: "In the evolving situation, the existing premises of arms control, like the traditional principles of deterrence, are unlikely to hold. It is no accident that the process of arms control has ground to a halt in this state of fluidity. The proposed elimination of multiple-warhead ICBM's under START II was designed to encourage a shift from launch-on-warning to a launch-under-attack posture. But Moscow has made it clear that it intends to stick to a launch-on-warning posture (which is indistinguishable from the capability to preempt) and may not even eliminate its multiple-warhead ICBMs if Washington begins to deploy NMD. In a complex world marked by conflicting trends, it is apparent that each deterrent relationship will be different from the other, premised on principles at variance with classical deterrence theory. The concept of mutually assured destruction is losing relevance. Deterrence will be constructed on principles radically different from notions of qualitative or quantitative parity."
Although he was wrong about Russia's reaction, because Moscow cannot afford more than what is contained in the SORT, he certainly is right that deterrence will have to be built on new principles as multiple actors are deterring each other, not to mention terrorists who might yet gain control of nuclear weapons and use them. Thus a defense-dominated world has yet to arrive, but that does not undermine the arguments of those who who supported missile defense. Russia and China's pubic reactions to the US withdrawal form the ABM treaty were much less strident than what those governments had earlier promised. Although the first reactions to that withdrawal are now appearing, they were in act policy decisions long before the withdrawal was announced. In other words, they would have been taken for good reasons regardless of Washington's decision. Moscow has to cut missiles and China clearly felt impelled to build many and diverse types of new ones. Though defense domination is nonexistent, mutual hostility and suspicion among the great nuclear powers is at its lowest ebb in years, making nuclear Armageddon scenarios more remote than they ever have been, except for those threatened by rogue states and terrorists. While the critics might be right about states' reactions, they failed to grasp the changing context of deterrence and strategy that supporters of missile defense had glimpsed even in the 1990s.
Thus the quest for defending state interests, for finding good uses for nuclear weapons to safeguard state interests, and for crafting the appropriate force structures and strategy continues, as does the search for offensive and then defensive invention that will restore primacy to one or the other process. As long as governments and militaries are charged with protecting their peoples and these technologies cannot be disinvented, the quest for strategic superiority, self-defense and usable weapons will continue unless checked by policy and non-threatening relationships among the nuclear powers. Similarly, the quest for strategic innovations to ensure the reliable protection of state interests will also continue unabated, absent major changes in international affairs. Arguably those are the lessons of the Cold War, and despite the saliency of terrorism and other forms of unconventional conflict in our time, they may turn out to be a lesson for our time as well.
Stephen Blank is an independent analyst of international affairs living in Harrisburg PA
1. Safe Jobs Sought For Libya's Weapons Scientists
Roula Khalaf and Stephen Fidler
(for personal use only)
The US and Britain want international assistance to be directed to Libya and Iraq to ensure their weapons scientists pursue peaceful activities and are not lured to help other countries pursue clandestine weapons programmes.
According to a senior Bush administration official, Washington and London are pushing for an announcement at the Group of Eight summit in June that some of the programmes of the G8's global partnership against the spread of weapons of mass destruction should be used to redirect Libyan and Iraqi scientists.
The global partnership initiative, agreed in 2002, is designed to finance and develop co-operation projects aimed at curbing the spread of nuclear and toxic materials and weapons expertise from the countries of the former Soviet Union and elsewhere. It was based on a programme launched by the US to support projects in former Soviet Union countries.
"It's not so much a question of [giving them] money as it is about what to do with the scientists," said the US official, referring to Libya. "There are enough of them on the nuclear side to worry about: would Iran or another country try to lure them? So it's important to provide them with some activity."
The fate of scientists has become a priority for the US and UK as they consider long-term ways of verifying and monitoring Libyan compliance with its promise to remain free of weapons of mass destruction.
By signing the additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Libya will allow short-notice inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. But the official expected US and British disarmament experts to do their own verification in Libya.
Since Libya announced in December that it would get rid of banned weapons, most equipment has been dismantled and taken out of the country. But the intellectual knowledge gathered by Libyan scientists could allow a resumption of research.
Discussions with Libya over the fate of the weapons experts is only just beginning. "We want to have access to the scientists and see who they're talking to . . . so we have confidence over time," said the administration official.
The continuing talks with Libya will also cover the conversion of Libya's Scud missiles so they comply with the Missile Technology Control regime, which would limit the missiles to a 300km range with a 500kg payload.
The initiative is one of a number the US wants announced at the G8 summit at Sea Island, Georgia, on June 8-10.
1. Fourth Power Unit At Novovoronezhskaya N-Plant Fully Shut Down
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NOVOVORONEZH, Voronezh Region, May 2 (Itar-Tass) - The fourth unit at the Novovoronezhskaya nuclear power station was fully shut down and put to reserve, its chief Anatoly Fedorov said here on Sunday.
According to the station head, this action was taken at the initiative of the forwarding service of the Unified Energy Systems of Russia in connection with a decrease in the load in the systems on the holidays. The setï¿½s shutdown will be used to carry out preventive routine repairs. It will be restarted overnight from May 4 to 5, Fedorov added.
The fourth unit of the Novovoronezhskaya nuclear power station had been put into operation in December 1972. Following the expiration of the 30-year planned period of work in 2002, a decision was taken on continuing its operation for another 15 years.
Two sets with a total capacity of 1,420,000 kWt are now in operation at the Novovoronezhskaya station. The radiation situation on the stationï¿½s grounds and nearby territory is normal.
2. Former Minatom Collects Money To Build Nuclear Spent Fuel Reprocessing Plant In Siberia
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The representatives of the Zheleznogorsk Chemical Combine announced this fact at the meeting of the Commission on Natural Resources of the Krasnoyarsk Legislative Assembly in March.
According to the Press-Line agency, the plant construction was suspended for 20 years. However, the money earned for spent nuclear fuel storage at the Zheleznogorsk Chemical Combine is transferred to a special account. Some part of the money is used to support the operation of the plant, while another part is assigned for the construction of the reprocessing plant.
3. France's COGEMA To Invest 90 Million Dollars In Kazakh Uranium Mine
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ALMATY (AFP) Apr 29, 2004 France's COGEMA will invest 90 million dollarsmillion euros) in a Kazakh uranium mine under a deal it signed with the Kazakh state's atomic energy company Kazatomprom on Thursday, the Kazakh company said.
The two sides working at southern Kazakhstan's Moinkum uranium deposit expect "first product output at the end of 2005, to be followed by a progressive increase of production capacity to 1,500 tonnes per year," Kazatomprom said in a written statement.
The investment is the first by a Western firm in the uranium sector of Kazakhstan, which is home to the world's second largest uranium reserves after Australia.
The French and Kazakh firms are working in a joint venture named KATKO and estimate Moinkum's reserves at 43,700 tonnes of uranium, the statement said.
The deal follows a three-year pilot project and lengthy negotiations in which COGEMA increased its stake in KATKO from 45 percent to 51 percent.
The mine is already producing 100 tonnes of uranium annually, COGEMA said earlier.
This former Soviet republic's plentiful mineral resources, including Caspian Sea oil and natural gas reserves, are seen as a key to its hopes of economic development.
MOSCOW, April 29 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will supply nuclear fuel to Hungary's Paks power plant, and have depleted fuel back for storage and procession, says a protocol to an available bilateral agreement on Paks plant construction. Victor Khristenko, Russia's Industry and Energy Minister, and Ferenc Kontry, Hungarian Ambassador to Russia, signed the protocol in Moscow on Thursday.
The protocol will come as a firm legal basis for related Russian-Hungarian partnership, the Industry and Energy Ministry says in a press release.
Bilateral nuclear industrial partnership started in 1966 as the two governments signed a Paks plant construction agreement. It made good progress with the plant commissioned as Russia was steadily supplying Paks fuel and spare parts. The agreement does not precisely specify the terms of depleted fuel return to Russia, so there were only occasional Russian governmental decrees to regulate it, the release goes on.
Mr. Khristenko pointed out a tremendous importance of the protocol, as quoted in the release. It offers hope to ward off tentative cessation of nuclear industrial partnership with Russia even on available contracts for East European countries now in the European Union. There are seventeen such contracts for nuclear fuel manufacture and supply, and related services. They concern Russian-designed nuclear plants in Hungary, Czechia, Slovakia and Lithuania. Long Russian negotiations with the European Commission brought an understanding on the procedure of acting supply contract confirmation.
RBC, 27.04.2004, Moscow 18:15:08.The affective agreements on nuclear fuel supplies to the 10 new EU members from Russia will be effective until the agreed date of their expiration. But the new EU members should notify the European Commission on these supplies, according to the Russia-EU declaration on the EU enlargement signed today in Luxembourg. The Russia-EU protocol on the expansion was also signed today in Luxembourg. Russia has also agreed with the Euratom Supply Agency on starting negotiations on selling and buying nuclear fuel.
Russian 100 percent state-owned corporation TVEL supplies nuclear fuel to the Eastern Europe. But the common practice of the EU is to sign similar agreements with European companies. However, Russia is a partner of the EU in uranium enrichment projects.
1. World Has No Feasible Project Yet To Liquidate Nuclear Waste
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MOSCOW, May 2 (Itar-Tass) - The world has no new feasible projects so far to liquidate stockpiled waste of nuclear production facilities and industrial nuclear power stations. This opinion was expressed on Sunday by president of the Russian research center ï¿½Kurchatovsky Instituteï¿½ academician Yevgeny Velikhov in an interview with Tass.
According to the prominent scientist, versions of freeing the world from ï¿½the nuclear heritageï¿½, suggested now by researchers and experts in various countries, ï¿½are technically realizable, but need huge expenses and provoke many questions among the world communityï¿½.
Velikhov noted that ï¿½out of 14 versions of liquidating nuclear waste in some countries, suggested by researchers now, only three can be examined dead serious and even in this case with a great share of doubt and in the most distant futureï¿½.
Radioactive waste can be shipped to the sun by space freight ferries, to put into pits of the Antarctic ice cap and to place it into the earthï¿½s crust at great depths so that it can melt in the plasma of the earth later. However, even these three versions ï¿½put a lot of insoluble questions before mankind,ï¿½ the academician added.
The version of dispatching nuclear waste to the sun is bad over a premise that ï¿½a possible breakdown of a cargo tug at a lift-off stage is fraught with a radiation disasterï¿½, Velikhov claimed. Underwater dumping or placement of waste in the Antarctic ï¿½are banned and cannot be materialized, since the continent should be free, according to deep conviction of the world public, of nuclear materials,ï¿½ Velikhov explained.
Russian nuclear specialists contend, the scientist went on to say, that ï¿½the keeping of waste at land concrete storages in countries where it was producedï¿½ is, for the time being, the most reasonable solution of the problem. According to Russian specialists, ï¿½the question of storing nuclear waste is not so pressing for Russia, as for some European countries or Japan where there are virtually no sparsely populated areasï¿½.
Velikhov also noted that according to international experts, this problem is most burning for Britain which ï¿½will soon stockpile 500,000 tonnes of highly active nuclear waste even if the country does not build not a single new nuclear power plantï¿½.
1. Modernization and Extension of the Operating Lifespan of Power Units at First Generation NPPs
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Translated by RANSAC Staff
The Program for the Development of Atomic Energy of the Russian Federation in the Years 1998-2005 and the Period till 2010, approved by the Government of the Russian Federation, calls for fulfilling the complex of work with the goal of validating the possibility of extending the operation of the power units of first generation NPPs after the completion of the 30-year service period.
The realization of the complex of modernization work with the goal of increasing the security, multipurpose surveys and validation of equipment life, and a deepened estimation of security permits the extension of the secure operation of power units and ensures the retention of the production of electricity and resources for the further construction of power units.
The organizations that have developed the projects for NPPs and reactor installations, materials science organizations, enterprises that prepared basic equipment, and scientific-research organizations are involved in the specified works.
In the period from 1999 to 2003 the programs of work for the extension of the operational lifespan of the No.3 and No.4 power units of the Novovoronezhsky NPP and power unit No.1 of the Kola NPP were realized in full. As a result of the completion of these works the possibility of safely extending the operation of these power units for a 15-year additional period was proved and Gosatomnadzor of Russia licenses have been received in accordance with established procedure for their further operation.
In December of 2003 and January of 2004 the complex of works for preparing for the extension of the operational lifespan of power unit No.1 of the Leningrad NPP and power unit No.1 of the Bilibinsk NPP were completed. The complexes of analogous works for the preparation for the extension of the operation lifespan are currently underway at 7 first generation power units. In the course of a year the complex of work for the preparation for the extension of the operation lifespan will be completed at power unit No.2 of the Kola NPP and the completion of the large-scale modernization of power unit No.2 of the Kursk NPP.
Realization of the best developments by scientists and design engineers for the modernization of power units permits Russian NPPs to be in accordance with the contemporary requirement of the normative documents and recommendations of the IAEA, and to support a high level of security of operation.
2. On Upcoming Meeting of Working Group at Six-Party Talks to Solve Nuclear Problem on Korean Peninsula
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin
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The first meeting of the working group at the six-party (Russia, DPRK, US, China, Republic of Korea, and Japan) talks to solve the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula will meet in Beijing on May 12 in accordance with the agreement reached.
The Russian side hopes that the upcoming meeting will help the search of ways to solve this problem in the interest of ensuring a nuclear weapon-free status of the Korean Peninsula and peace and security in Northeast Asia and will facilitate preparations for a third round of talks within the previously-set timeframe.
3. Statement by A.N.Antonov, Head of the Delegation of the Russian Federation On the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for the Review Conference of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin
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Ladies and gentlemen,
Russia, as one of the initiators of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and one of its depositaries, is committed to strengthening and universalization of the Treaty. It is our choice and our strategic position.
Despite all the changes happening in the world, the NPT remains a major pillar of the international security system. While its goals and objectives were formulated in a totally different international environment, time has only proved their universal significance.
Recently some negative trends have been accumulating in the non-proliferation area. This manifested itself in North Koreaï¿½s statement on withdrawal from the NPT; reluctance of the countries remaining outside the NPT legal field to accede to the Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon states; the well-known NPT non-compliance cases; emergence of non-state, mostly terrorist, structures, whose restraint was not envisaged by the then existing agreements and international legal rules; proliferation incentives resulting from simmering regional crises; the weakness or absence of national export control measures in many countries, as well as other factors.
We are concerned over the situation with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which, in our view, is an important non-proliferation and nuclear weapon limitation measure. We hope that the CTBT that, as you know, was long ago ratified by Russia will be joined by the countries whose ratification instruments are required for the Treatyï¿½s entry into force.
We are increasingly faced with fundamentally new challenges. Now we have to counter different, although no less important dangers, terrorism being the greatest. President V.Putin has repeatedly declared Russiaï¿½s commitment to the goal of preventing terrorists and those that harbor them from gaining access to the weapons of mass destruction and related materials, equipment and technologies.
Special attention should be given to the problem of the ï¿½black WMD marketsï¿½. This is the most dangerous market. Terrorists are smart and resourceful and are willing to go any length to get hold of the WMD production components in order to strike at innocent people.
At this time we are actively discussing in the UN Security Council draft resolution on non-proliferation that should motivate states to prevent falling of the WMD or proliferation-sensitive materials into the hands of non-state actors, first of all for terrorist purposes. Development of multilateral cooperation is essential for fighting this phenomenon. And of course, this work should be based on international law and national legislation and not impede legitimate peaceful cooperation.
This year has been marked by a number of initiatives seeking to bridge the ï¿½gapsï¿½ in the non-proliferation regime. There are some rational points in them. All of these proposals should be thoroughly discussed. If we reach a consensus on them, we should decide which actions should be taken by, for example, the IAEA, the Nuclear Suppliers Group or other fora. Most importantly, these initiatives should really strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime without affecting the NPT integrity or permitting loose interpretations of its articles.
What matters most is finding a systemic, comprehensive approach to the entire set of nuclear non-proliferation issues. It requires painstaking political and diplomatic efforts whereas attempts at solving the problems by force appear to be dangerous.
The positive pattern that has been established in the non-proliferation area over the past decades has to be sustained and enhanced as the basis for continued constructive and effective dialogue with a view to strengthening the NPT and the nuclear non-proliferation regime as a whole.
The principal objective of the current session of the PrepCom is to prepare recommendations for the 2005 Review Conference. The Russian delegation is ready for such work. It is important that these recommendations aim at strengthening and implementing the Treaty objectives and promote the goals of peace, security and progress.
We are to review all issues pertaining to the scope of the NPT. We are to discuss what we have been able to accomplish over the recent years, understand the causes of the problems and decide what should be done in the future.
We stand for a balanced approach to the PrepCom work. We would not like to see undue focus on some issues, although quite important, at the expense of others. After all, the review process is about reviewing the NPT in the sum total of its provisions.
Despite all the difficulties and growing skepticism, we should not slacken our efforts toward making the NPT truly universal. We must engage in a joint search for ways and means of bringing the states remaining outside of the Treaty scope in the nuclear non-proliferation regime. I am referring, in particular, to expanding the IAEA verification activity in those statesï¿½ territories, strengthening national legislations in the field of accounting, verification and physical protection of the nuclear materials, as well as export control measures. We expect the governments of those states to realize the great responsibility they bear for the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
The practical steps that Russia is taking demonstrate its continued commitment to strict compliance with its nuclear disarmament obligations, particularly those contained in Article VI of the Treaty.
Another significant step forward in this direction was our countryï¿½s ratification of the Russian-US Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions calling for reciprocal cuts in the aggregate number of strategic nuclear weapons by each side down to 1700-2200 before December 31, 2012. In other words, these weapons will be reduced approximately threefold against the level envisaged under the START 1 Treaty.
To date, Russia has eliminated 1250 ICBM and SLBM launchers, 2580 ICBM and SLBM delivery vehicles, 43 strategic nuclear-powered submarines and 65 heavy bombers. As of January 1, 2004, Russia possessed 1031 deployed strategic offensive delivery vehicles and 4978 weapons accountable under the START 1 Treaty.
We have practically completed our initiatives concerning nonategic nuclear weapons reductions, except for eliminating the Armyï¿½s nuclear weapons. Elimination of nuclear warheads for land-based tactical missiles, nuclear artillery shells and nuclear mines is pursued on the basis of technological capabilities of the nuclear weapon complex and actual financing.
Let me stress that all our nuclear weapons are stationed within the territory of the Russian Federation. We expect reciprocity. It is essential that nuclear weapons should be pulled back to national territories of the nuclear powers. This could be a major step toward enhancing international stability and providing additional favorable conditions for further nuclear arms reductions.
Let me also make some other important points. In our view, general and complete nuclear disarmament is a goal to which we should move in a phased manner, on the basis of a comprehensive approach and without putting forward unrealistic goals or targets. Nuclear disarmament, including nonategic nuclear arms reductions, may not be pursued in isolation from other types of weapons or outside of the overall political situation in the world and Europe, in particular, the present situation with international stability and evolution of the existing military ï¿½ political alliances and their enlargement, etc.
All actions in this area must be based on the principles of equal security, joint responsibility of all states and cooperation among them. I believe that the relevant provision of the Final Document of the previous Review Conference is worth mentioning, namely, that nuclear disarmament steps should be pursued ï¿½in a way that promotes international stability and based on the principle of undiminished security for allï¿½.
I wish to reiterate our position regarding the earliest possible beginning, within the framework of the Conference on Disarmament (CD), negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and effective internationally verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. We also support establishing an Ad Hoc Committee within the CD framework to deal with the issues of nuclear disarmament. It is indeed regrettable that these two recommendations by the 2000 Review Conference have not as yet been implemented.
One of the key issues of strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime is that of enhancing the effectiveness of the IAEA verification activity. We believe that the Additional Protocol to the IAEA Safeguards Agreement is a reliable instrument of ensuring transparency of national nuclear programs. What is important is that more and more countries are engaged in the process of acceding to this document. What matters most is not the mere fact of its signature, but a start of practical application of the procedures provided for by the Protocol. For its part, Russia expects an early ratification of the Additional Protocol.
Active work of the IAEA, in cooperation with the NPT member states, has made it possible to largely remove the doubts occurring in connection with the safeguards agreement compliance by some states. Russia will continue to provide every possible assistance to the Agency in this effort.
Thus, to prevent the risk of leaks of dangerous nuclear materials, Russia and the United States, together with the IAEA, have removed highly enriched nuclear fuel from the research reactors in Bulgaria, Libya, Romania and Serbia and Montenegro. The Initiative on safety and security of radioactive sources is being implemented in the same format. Over the past year 15 missions have been carried out in the CIS countries for the purpose of the sources inventory.
Allow me to make several comments concerning regional issues. Despite continued tensions around the North Koreaï¿½s nuclear problem, we are convinced that this situation can be resolved solely by political and diplomatic means. We continue to believe that North Koreaï¿½s return to the NPT is not only necessary but realistically possible.
Of course, we are seriously concerned over the very fact of Libyaï¿½s violation of its NPT obligations. In this context, we positively assess Tripoliï¿½s renunciation of its WMD programs and the measures taken by Libya together with some states and the IAEA to terminate its work in this area.
The situation with the Iranian nuclear program is not an easy one, although some progress is in evidence. We hope that more active cooperation between Iran and the IAEA, as well as the signing by Iran of the Additional Protocol and acting in accordance with its provisions, will make it possible to close the ï¿½Iranian fileï¿½ in the nearest future and put it on a more routine track.
Today, as never before, the issue of close interrelationship and balance between the commitments and the rights of the NPT member states is becoming all-important. This is fully true as to expanding international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Pursuant to the NPT provisions, Russia is taking an active part in relevant technical assistance and cooperation programs.
I would like to call once again your attention to the initiative proposed by President V.Putin at the Millennium Summit to develop nuclear technologies resistant to proliferation. The first phase of this project has already been successfully implemented within the INPRO project under the IAEA auspices. We urge all the interested countries to join this project. We believe that joint efforts within the framework of the INPRO and other similar projects, above all the ï¿½International Forum ï¿½ Generation IVï¿½ will help achieve an agreed vision of the nuclear energy prospects.
Establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones is an effective measure of strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime. The states engaged in creating such zones thus help to enhance regional and international security, increasing the level of mutual trust and agreement.
We are concerned over the lack of progress in establishing such a zone in the Middle East. Yet we hope that recent adjustments in the positions of some countries of that region in non-proliferation matters will help change the situation.
We are pleased to note that the work to create a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia is close to completion and that little remains to be done to bring this project to fruition.
We support non-nuclear NPT member countriesï¿½ desire to obtain legally binding security assurances. Russia has already provided such assurances to more than 100 states that joined the relevant nuclear-weapon-free zones agreements. We are also in favor of developing a global negative security assurances agreement provided it contains reservations concerning cases in which nuclear weapons may be used. It is time to restore the Ad Hoc Committee on negative security assurances within the CD framework with a negotiating mandate.
Preventing an arms race in outer space is also essential in the NPT context. Russia continues to believe that preserving outer space free of weapons of any kind is an important guarantee of sustained international stability. Furthermore, we believe that placing weapons in space could be an incentive to potential proliferators of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. As President V.Putin stated in his address to the 58th GA session, ï¿½we stand for preparing a comprehensive agreement on this problem and invite all countries possessing space potential to join this initiative of oursï¿½.
I would like to assure you that the Russian delegation looks forward to constructive work at this session and stands ready to cooperate on the basis of equality and partnership in order to contribute toward strengthening the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the entire nuclear non-proliferation regime.
4. Deputy Secretary Of State Richard L. Armitage U.S.-Kazakhstan Business Association Conference (excerpted)
Department of State
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President Nazarbayev started that journey ten years ago when he decided to give up Kazakhstan's nuclear capability. There is no question that Kazakhstan and all of Central Asia are both safer and more stable for that tremendous decision. Indeed, President Nazarbayev's choice continues to resonate today, at a time when nations such as Iran and North Korea continue to pursue nuclear weapons at the expense of their people, and at the expense of regional and global stability and when rogue operators are looking to buy and sell these dangerous technologies. Yet we have also seen in recent days that a nation such as Libya can decide to follow in Kazakhstan's footsteps.
Kazakhstan not only serves as a leader in the global nonproliferation effort, the country has taken a stand for regional and international stability on other key fronts -- as a nation that has long participated in NATO's Partnership for Peace, as well as being a key player in the international effort to defeat terrorism -- as are other Central Asian nations, including Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. In particular, Kazakhstan is actively participating in coalition operations in both Afghanistan and Iraq. And indeed, Kazakhstani peacekeeping troops in Iraq have done a remarkable job disposing of more than a half-million landmines and pieces of unexploded ordnance.
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