Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of Belgium
(for personal use only)
An announcement will be made today at the G8 Summit in Sea Island, USA, confirming that several countries ¿ including Belgium ¿ are joining the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. In addition to the G-8 members themselves (Germany, Canada, United States, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Japan and Russia), the following countries will belong to the partnership: Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Czech Republic, South Korea, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Global Partnership was launched at the G8 Summit in Kananaskis (Canada) in June 2002. Its aim is to strengthen international cooperation with a view to preventing weapons of mass destruction and other sensitive material from falling into the hands of terrorists.
The Global Partnership hopes to raise $20 billion over the next ten years in order to meet this aim. These resources will be used to finance specific projects in various areas: securing the reduction of stocks of sensitive nuclear material, destruction of chemical weapons reserves, decommissioning of nuclear submarines, redeployment of scientists who used to work on programmes studying weapons of mass destruction, and so forth.
Belgium fully supports the objectives of the Global Partnership and, via its active participation, hopes to express Belgium's keen interest in a credible and strong non-proliferation policy. The proliferation of WMDs, particularly in combination with terrorist acts, poses a serious threat to global security and peace. The UN Security Council specifically mentions this in its Resolution 1540, which was unanimously adopted on 28 April. The European Union is also making this a priority.
Belgian involvement in the Global Partnership and its recent decision to support the Proliferation Security Initiative (interception of the illegal transfer of WMDs) illustrate Belgium's desire to contribute effectively to the international fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
At Evian, we recognized the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, together with international terrorism, as the pre-eminent threat to international peace and security. This challenge requires a long-term strategy and multi-faceted approaches.
Determined to prevent, contain, and roll back proliferation, today, at Sea Island, we announce an action plan to reinforce the global nonproliferation regime. We will work together with other concerned states to realize this plan.
All states must fulfill their arms control, disarmament, and nonproliferation commitments, which we reaffirm, and we strongly support universal adherence to and compliance with these commitments under the relevant multilateral treaties. We will help and encourage states in effectively implementing their obligations under the multilateral treaty regimes, in particular implementing domestically their obligations under such treaties, building law enforcement capacity, and establishing effective export controls. We call on all states that have not already done so to subscribe to the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation.
We strongly support UN Security Council Resolution 1540, calling on all states to establish effective national export controls, to adopt and enforce effective laws to criminalize proliferation, to take cooperative action to prevent non-state actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, and to end illicit trafficking in such weapons, their means of delivery, and related materials. We call on all states to implement this resolution promptly and fully, and we are prepared to assist them in so doing, thereby helping to fight the nexus between terrorism and proliferation, and black markets in these weapons and related materials.
1. Nuclear Nonproliferation
The trafficking and indiscriminate spread of sensitive nuclear materials, equipment, and technology that may be used for weapons purposes are a threat to us all. Some states seek uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing capabilities for weapons programs contrary to their commitments under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). We reaffirm our commitment to the NPT and to the declarations made at Kananaskis and Evian, and we will work to prevent the illicit diversion of nuclear materials and technology. We announce the following new actions to reduce the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation and the acquisition of nuclear materials and technology by terrorists, while allowing the world to enjoy safely the benefits of peaceful nuclear technology.
-- To allow the world to safely enjoy the benefits of peaceful nuclear energy without adding to the danger of weapons proliferation, we have agreed to work to establish new measures so that sensitive nuclear items with proliferation potential will not be exported to states that may seek to use them for weapons purposes, or allow them to fall into terrorist hands. The export of such items should only occur pursuant to criteria consistent with global nonproliferation norms and to states rigorously committed to those norms. We shall work to amend appropriately the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) guidelines, and to gain the widest possible support for such measures in the future. We aim to have appropriate measures in place by the next G-8 Summit. In aid of this process, for the intervening year, we agree that it would be prudent not to inaugurate new initiatives involving transfer of enrichment and reprocessing equipment and technologies to additional states. We call on all states to adopt this strategy of prudence. We will also develop new measures to ensure reliable access to nuclear materials, equipment, and technology, including nuclear fuel and related services, at market conditions, for all states, consistent with maintaining nonproliferation commitments and standards.
-- We seek universal adherence to IAEA comprehensive safeguards and the Additional Protocol and urge all states to ratify and implement these agreements promptly. We are actively engaged in outreach efforts toward this goal, and ready to offer necessary support.
-- The Additional Protocol must become an essential new standard in the field of nuclear supply arrangements. We will work to strengthen NSG guidelines accordingly. We aim to achieve this by the end of 2005.
-- We support the suspension of nuclear fuel cycle cooperation with states that violate their nuclear nonproliferation and safeguards obligations, recognizing that the responsibility and authority for such decisions rests with national governments or the Security Council.
-- To enhance the IAEA's integrity and effectiveness, and strengthen its ability to ensure that nations comply with their NPT obligations and safeguards agreements, we will work together to establish a new Special Committee of the IAEA Board of Governors. This committee would be responsible for preparing a comprehensive plan for strengthened safeguards and verification. We believe this committee should be made up of member states in compliance with their NPT and IAEA commitments.
-- Likewise, we believe that countries under investigation for non-technical violations of their nuclear nonproliferation and safeguards obligations should elect not to participate in decisions by the IAEA Board of Governors or the Special Committee regarding their own cases.
2. Proliferation Security Initiative
We reiterate our strong commitment to and support for the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and the Statement of Interdiction Principles, which is a global response to a global problem. We will continue our efforts to build effective PSI partnerships to interdict trafficking in weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, and related materials. We also will prevent those that facilitate proliferation from engaging in such trafficking and work to broaden and strengthen domestic and international laws supporting PSI. We welcome the increasing level of support worldwide for PSI, which now includes all G-8 members. The Krakow meeting commemorating PSI's first anniversary, attended by 62 countries, evidences growing global support.
We will further cooperate to defeat proliferation networks and coordinate, where appropriate, enforcement efforts, including by stopping illicit financial flows and shutting down illicit plants, laboratories, and brokers, in accordance with national legal authorities and legislation and consistent with international law. Several of us are already developing mechanisms to deny access to our ports and airports for companies and impose visa bans on individuals involved in illicit trade.
We encourage all states to strengthen and expand national and international measures to respond to clandestine procurement activities. Directly, and through the relevant international mechanisms, we will work actively with states requiring assistance in improving their national capabilities to meet international norms.
3. The Global Partnership Against Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction
Since its launch by G-8 Leaders two years ago at Kananaskis, the Global Partnership has become a significant force worldwide to enhance international safety and security. Global Partnership member states, including the six new donors that joined at Evian, have in the past year launched new cooperative projects in Russia and accelerated progress on those already underway. While much has been accomplished, significant challenges remain. We recommit ourselves to our Kananaskis Statement, Principles, and Guidelines as the basis for Global Partnership cooperation.
-- We recommit ourselves to raising up to $20 billion for the Global Partnership through 2012.
-- Expanding the Partnership to include additional donor countries is essential to raise the necessary resources and to ensure the effort is truly global. Today we welcome the decisions of Australia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, the Republic of Korea, and New Zealand to join.
-- We will continue to work with other former Soviet states to discuss their participation in the Partnership. We reaffirm that Partnership states will participate in projects according to their national interests and resources.
-- We reaffirm that we will address proliferation challenges worldwide. We will, for example, pursue the retraining of Iraqi and Libyan scientists involved in past WMD programs. We also support projects to eliminate over time the use of highly-enriched uranium fuel in research reactors worldwide, secure and remove fresh and spent HEU fuel, control and secure radiation sources, strengthen export control and border security, and reinforce biosecurity. We will use the Global Partnership to coordinate our efforts in these areas.
4. Nonproliferation Challenges
-- The DPRK's announced withdrawal from the NPT, which is unprecedented; its continued pursuit of nuclear weapons, including through both its plutonium reprocessing and its uranium enrichment programs, in violation of its international obligations; and its established history of missile proliferation are serious concerns to us all. We strongly support the Six-Party Process, and strongly urge the DPRK to dismantle all of its nuclear weapons-related programs in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner, a fundamental step to facilitate a comprehensive and peaceful solution.
-- We remain united in our determination to see the proliferation implications of Iran's advanced nuclear program resolved. Iran must be in full compliance with its NPT obligations and safeguards agreement. To this end, we reaffirm our support for the IAEA Board of Governors' three Iran resolutions. We note that since Evian, Iran has signed the Additional Protocol and has committed itself to cooperate with the Agency, and to suspend its enrichment and reprocessing related activities. While we acknowledge the areas of progress reported by the Director General, we are, however, deeply concerned that Iran's suspension of enrichment-related activity is not yet comprehensive. We deplore Iran's delays, deficiencies in cooperation, and inadequate disclosures, as detailed in IAEA Director General reports. We therefore urge Iran promptly and fully to comply with its commitments and all IAEA Board requirements, including ratification and full implementation of the Additional Protocol, leading to resolution of all outstanding issues related to its nuclear program.
-- We welcome Libya's strategic decision to rid itself of its weapons of mass destruction and longer-range missiles, to fully comply with the NPT, the Additional Protocol, the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC), and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and to commit not to possess missiles subject to the Missile Technology Control Regime. We note Libya has cooperated in the removal of nuclear equipment and materials and taken steps to eliminate chemical weapons. We call on Libya to continue to cooperate fully with the IAEA and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
5. Defending Against Bioterrorism
Bioterrorism poses unique, grave threats to the security of all nations, and could endanger public health and disrupt economies. We commit to concrete national and international steps to: expand or, where necessary, initiate new biosurveillance capabilities to detect bioterror attacks against humans, animals, and crops; improve our prevention and response capabilities; increase protection of the global food supply; and respond to, investigate, and mitigate the effects of alleged uses of biological weapons or suspicious outbreaks of disease. In this context, we seek concrete realization of our commitments at the fifth Review Conference of the BWC. The BWC is a critical foundation against biological weapons' proliferation, including to terrorists. Its prohibitions should be fully implemented, including enactment of penal legislation. We strongly urge all non-parties to join the BWC promptly.
6. Chemical Weapons Proliferation
We support full implementation of the CWC, including its nonproliferation aspects. We strongly urge all non-parties to join the CWC promptly, and will work with them to this end. We also urge CWC States Parties to undertake national legislative and administrative measures for its full implementation. We support the use of all fact-finding, verification, and compliance measures, including, if necessary, challenge inspections, as provided in the CWC.
7. Implementation of the Evian Initiative on Radioactive Source Security
At Evian we agreed to improve controls on radioactive sources to prevent their use by terrorists, and we have made substantial progress toward that goal. We are pleased that the IAEA approved a revised Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources in September 2003. We urge all states to implement the Code and recognize it as a global standard.
We have agreed to export and import control guidance for high-risk radioactive sources, which should only be supplied to authorized end-users in states that can control them. States should ensure that no sources are diverted for illicit use. We seek prompt IAEA approval of this guidance to ensure that effective controls are operational by the end of 2005 and applied in a harmonized and consistent manner. We support the IAEA's program for assistance to ensure that all countries can meet the new standards.
8. Nuclear Safety and Security
Since the horrific 1986 accident at Chornobyl, we have worked with Ukraine to improve the safety and security of the site. We have already made a large financial contribution to build a safe confinement over the remnants of the Chornobyl reactor. We are grateful for the participation and contributions made by 21 other states in this effort. Today, we endorse international efforts to raise the remaining funds necessary to complete the project. We urge Ukraine to support and work closely with us to complete the confinement's construction by 2008 in a way that contributes to radiological safety, in particular in Ukraine and neighboring regions.
An effective, efficient nuclear regulatory system is essential for our safety and security. We affirm the importance for national regulators to have sufficient authority, independence, and competence.
3. On the Signing of an Agreement with Canada on Cooperation in the Destruction of Chemical Weapons, the Disposition of Decommissioned Nuclear Submarines and the Accounting, Control and Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials and Radioactive Substances
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin
(for personal use only)
On June 9, in the framework of the first personal meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin on the eve of the Group of Eight Summit at Sea Island, USA, a Russian-Canadian intergovernmental agreement was signed on cooperation in the destruction of chemical weapons, the disposition of decommissioned nuclear submarines, and the accounting, control and physical protection of nuclear materials and radioactive substances. Ottawa is planning to allocate up to 1 billion Canadian dollars for the realization of the Global Partnership initiative. Canada stood at the sources of, and supported this initiative, which is being carried out in accordance with the agreement of the G8 leaders, reached by them at Kananaskis, Canada, in June 2002.
The agreement provides a legal basis for the launching of full-format cooperation in the Global Partnership priority areas of destroying chemical weapons and disposing of nuclear submarines. This new accord between Moscow and Canada is one more step in the development and strengthening of Russian-Canadian interstate relations, as provided by the Treaty on Concord and Cooperation, concluded by our countries in 1992.
It is borne in mind that in the course of the implementation of the agreement Canada will take part in the construction of a plant for the destruction of chemical weapons at Shchuchye, Kurgan Region, and in the disposition of nuclear submarines at ship-repair facilities in the Arkhangelsk and Murmansk Regions.
It will be possible to start work there without loss of time. Russian specialists from the federal agencies for atomic energy and industry carried out beforehand with the Canadian partners the thorough preparation of the specific projects.
The scope of the tasks to be tackled calls for high dynamics of interaction at all stages, for which the Russian side is ready and expects that already next year it will be possible to demonstrate the first practical results of Russian-Canadian cooperation in the Global Partnership implementation.
4. Press Briefing by Jim Wilkinson, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Communications, and Barry Bennett, Deputy of Communications, G8 Summit Planning Organization (excerpted)
The White House
(for personal use only)
Q Can I ask you one other question, too? I want to make sure there's no back-pedaling on the plan to agree on nonproliferation. Yesterday you said you thought you'd reach it by Thursday, but some of the briefers yesterday seemed to leave the door open and said, we expect to do this, we expect to do that. I just want to be sure that's still one hundred percent on track.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: It is.
Q Can you give us a little more detail on the counter- proliferation, where that stands? Yesterday, you said, very soon. What happened yesterday and in the interim?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Bob Joseph will be here today. And, by the way, anyone -- he's a fantastic resource if anyone wants to sit down one-on-one with him and walk through these. There's nothing holding it up that is of note. I think it's just, as these things go, putting the final touches on it. But Bob will be here, and happy to get you guys together.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Good afternoon. Let me just start off with a few words, and then I'd be happy to answer your questions. The G8 leaders will be issuing an action plan on nonproliferation tomorrow. This will be the most significant statement on weapons of mass destruction that the G8 leaders have issued. It follows from the first extended discussion of weapons of mass destruction at the Kananaskis Summit, when the G8 leaders created the global partnership against the spread of WMD and WMD-related materials.
Last year at Evian the leaders issued the first statement on nonproliferation as such, including some significant comments on North Korea and Iran. This year, the action plan will ratify a substantial amount of progress on a number of initiatives that President Bush announced in his February speech to the National Defense University. We expect that the leaders will confirm the expansion of the activities of the Proliferation Security Initiative, which was launched by President Bush in May of last year.
Just last week in Krakow, Poland, the PSI countries agreed that Russia should join the core group. This is a very substantial addition to the PSI core group. With Canada's earlier addition, it now means that all eight G8 countries are part of the core group. And at the Krakow meeting, hosted by the Polish government, 62 countries were present to endorse PSI and the statement of interdiction principles.
In addition, we expect that the leaders will endorse the continued expansion of the global partnership that was created at Kananaskis. You may recall this was originally known as 10 plus 10 over 10, reflecting $10 billion from the United States over a 10-year period, plus $10 billion from other countries to secure or eliminate weapons of mass destruction and related materials in the states of the former Soviet Union.
Tomorrow the leaders will announce that seven new countries have joined the global partnership, those being Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland and the Czech Republic. And they will announce that the global partnership will coordinate activities in other states where there have been programs of weapons of mass destruction, such as the critically important programs to retrain WMD scientists and technicians in Libya and Iraq, the point of that being you don't want a nuclear weapons scientist to be hired off by Iran or North Korea, you want to find gainful employment for him in his home country.
The leaders will welcome the fact that the Security Council recently unanimously adopted resolution 1540, which President Bush had called for in his September speech to the General Assembly. This is a resolution that calls on states to make WMD activity criminal under their national laws, and to improve export control systems, as well as providing support for PSIs. It encourages U.N. members to take collective action against the international trafficking of weapons of mass destruction.
And finally, we expect and hope that the leaders will endorse substantial progress toward the objective that President Bush set in the February speech of closing loopholes in the Nuclear Nonproliferation regime. One of the things that we've seen is that under the guise of peaceful -- so-called peaceful nuclear programs, many states around the world have acquired very sensitive technologies that permit them, together with a clandestine weapons program, to draw very close to having a nuclear weapons capability without ever apparently violating the treaty. So one of the things that President Bush called for -- it's a very significant step, very controversial, has a lot of political and economic implications -- is to cut off the transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technology to any states that don't currently have it.
And we expect what the G8 leaders will endorse tomorrow is a one-year freeze on inaugurating any new initiatives to transfer such technology to additional states, and set a one-year target to the next G8 summit in the United Kingdom for the countries to come together on deciding what the final rules will be. Now, that's not quite to the point that the President had proposed, but it represents enormous movement in the direction of very substantial tightening on transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technology. It reflects, I think, the overwhelming agreement of the G8 leaders, that the loopholes that currently exist in the nonproliferation treat regime have to be closed.
So we're very encouraged by this, as we are by the companion step of the G8 leaders agreeing that tightening of the IAEA safeguards agreements through the implementation, what we call the additional protocol, now has to be a condition before all kinds of nuclear technologies can be imported, even for a legitimate civil nuclear power programs. This gives the IAEA and, therefore, all of its members more visibility in the nuclear programs. It's something we think is very significant. And that is -- hopefully will be endorsed by the leaders tomorrow.
And then, finally, the leaders, we hope, will endorse the President's suggestion to create a special committee of the IAEA to consider even further measures to tighten verification and safeguards measures, and a group, we hope, will endorse the idea that countries under investigation for violating their Nonproliferation Treaty commitments should recuse themselves from any decisions by the IAEA board in their own cases.
Finally, the -- and we've got a little chart here, I guess, I don't know, I suppose a chart can be on background, too -- but it's a comparison, a point-by-point comparison of the seven suggestions in the President's February speech with how we hope and expect the leaders will come out tomorrow, that I think will help show the very substantial progress towards the President's goals that we will have made.
In addition, the leaders will carry on as they did at Evian, talking about North Korea and Iran. We expect they will also talk about Libya, which is a very important success story for the Proliferation Security Initiative and for the idea that we're not simply trying to contain the spread of weapons of mass destruction, we're trying to roll back the spread of weapons of mass destruction. And I don't doubt that they will talk about other issues, such as the A.Q. Khan network, and some very important initiatives we have in the area of bioterrorism, to take more concrete steps at the national and international level to make all of our countries more secure against bioterrorism attacks.
So why don't I stop there, and I'd be pleased to answer any questions you have. And if you could identify yourselves, I'd sure appreciate it.
Yes, sir, right here.
Q I just have two quick questions on the plans for the global partnership. One is, I might be mistaken, but I thought the Czech Republic was already a member as a donor country. And I know that there had been discussion or proposals to expand the recipient countries to other former soviet states besides Russia. Will there be any talk or decision on that?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The Czech Republic is a new country this year. Six joined last year -- Sweden, Finland, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. And the seven countries I name are seven new ones, so there's a total of 21.
In terms of recipient countries, no additional countries are formally admitted this year, but the United States and several other G8 members have long had programs in many of the other states of the former Soviet Union, and, in fact, it was agreed at Kananaskis that our programs in those countries count toward the $20 billion target. So that won't be -- it won't be affected. In fact, if anything, I think more countries are looking to expand their programs in the other states of the former Soviet Union.
Q Thank you. Could you be more elaborate on what
-- especially the United States, expects from Russia's participation in PSI? And don't you see contradiction, while the U.S. has arduous talks with the Russians over Iran and suspects Russian entities of proliferation, at the same time you invite Russia to join into this initiative? Thank you.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I think on what we expect from Russia, as with all core group countries, we expect strong political support for the initiative. And I think that was, in part, already reflected in Russian support for Security Council Resolution 1540. We'd like additional operational support from Russia in terms of intelligence cooperation and cooperation among our militaries and law enforcement assets and the actual interdiction of WMD shipments.
And I think, as well, the decision by the Russian Federation to join the core group will send major political signals in other capitals that have not yet signaled their support for the statement of interdiction principles. Just geographically, Russia's joining cuts off major land, air, and sea routes between proliferators in the Far East and the Middle East, and I think that's extremely significant.
In terms of your second question, I think that, as we're seeing in New York, hopefully, in a couple of hours, in terms of the adoption of this resolution on Iraq, I think the issues that have divided many of the G8 countries on Iraq are fast being left in the past. And I think one of the things that was encouraging all the while, is that it did not interfere in our cooperation on nonproliferation policy. I think now with Iraq more and more a question of the past, we can enhance our cooperation further.
But one thing that I think we've seen over the past three years is the countries of European Union, Russia, Japan, and others have already been drawing closer to the very strong views that President Bush has articulated about the importance of stemming the proliferation of WMD. And I think the leaders will reaffirm what they said at Evian, that WMD proliferation, together with terrorism, is the preeminent threat to the national security of us all.
Q -- Iran, not Iraq.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I'm sorry, the -- I think the leaders will -- I think that the leader statement tomorrow, hopefully, will show that, in fact, they are united, unmistakably united in their determination that Iran not achieve nuclear weapons. Now, there have been a variety of disagreements about tactically how to achieve that, and that's no secret to anybody. But what is unmistakably clear is that there is no division among the G8 that a nuclear weapons-equipped Iran would be unacceptable.
Yes, sir, down here.
Q On Iraq and the search for WMD, while this is somewhat of an old story, would you comment on where that search remains? We are always apprised that it continues. Do you still expect that something will be found? And has the lack of finding affected the G8 nonproliferation talks? And could you comment on that, please, sir?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I don't think that the -- well, number one, the work of the Iraq Survey Group continues. I really don't have anything to add at this point, but their are forensic investigation, their interviews, their reviews of files continues at apace. I don't think the dispute has affected the gradual convergence of positions, I believe legitimately, towards that of the United States on proliferation issues. And, in fact, Iraq -- the current circumstances in Iraq show, I think very graphically, something that's come home to us in a significant way as part of our experiences growing out of the Soviet Union, that part of the problem of proliferation, a significant part, in fact, the hardest part, is not tubes for centrifuges or plastic jugs of chemical agent; it's the problem of intellectual capital. It's the knowledge that scientists and technicians have about how to put a WMD program together.
And Iraq is a very good example. For years, Saddam kept together a group of 1,000 nuclear weapons scientists and technicians that he called his nuclear Mujahadeen. These were the people who had the intellectual capability, with money, and free from U.N. sanctions, which is what Saddam's objective was, to recreate his nuclear weapons program. We've identified already 500 -- 400 to 500 of these scientists that we want to try and retrain and redirect, so that they can find legitimate work in Iraq, and not be hired off by another WMD aspirant. And that really signals to us why this problem is so difficult to resolve, because the intellectual capacity is something that's a lot harder to restrict and detract than the physical evidence of weapons programs.
Q On North Korea, I was wondering if there was an appraisal by the G8 of how they feel the six-party talks are going. The progress has been very slow. Is there any idea if in the next round there's not any progress, might we be looking at sending it to the United Nations or trying to send it to the United Nations?
And then, also on the PSI, is there more of an initiative to try to contain states like North Korea, with the PSI? There's been fairly good success so far. Was there any talk on how to take a step further with that?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I think on Korea, I don't think there's going to be any disagreement among the G8 that we continue to believe there has to be complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear weapons programs. I think that's significant. I think that continues to show important unity that North Korea is not going to be able to break, despite one effort or another.
The Proliferation Security Initiative I think has played a major role and will continue to play a major role, given North Korea's long history of proliferation activities. It is the largest proliferator of ballistic missile technology in the world, and we fear very much that a country that depends on the hard currency it earns from the sales of weapons of mass destruction, drugs, illegal gambling activities in Japan, would be prepared to sell weapons grade uranium or plutonium or complete weapons, if it could, to other rogue states or to terrorist groups to earn additional hard currency.
So PSI we think has been playing and should continue to play a major role in not only in stopping North Korea from acquiring the critical materials and technology it needs to advance its own nuclear weapons program, but from financing that program through the sales of other things, like ballistic missiles and other weapons systems.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, they're going to be discussing it tomorrow, and I think that's been a view that we've had for quite some time, that if the six-party talks don't make progress, the Security Council is obviously the body charged with threats to international peace and security, the IAEA has already referred it there. For the moment, we're continuing to pursue, as the President has directed, the six-party talks. And the next round will take place in Beijing at the end of the month. We'll see how it goes.
Q I'm astonished on the argument that you used about the scientists in Iraq. You said that Saddam Hussein put together hundreds of scientists that are capable to build a weapon of mass destruction. Which country in the world has not this accumulation of scientists, because any country can be a threat?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I think the issue is not whether a country has a lot of nuclear physicists, the country is whether a country has scientists and technicians who know how to build uranium enrichment systems, who know how to reprocess plutonium, who have the technical capabilities to go from raw uranium to weapons grade uranium or plutonium. And thankfully, not all countries have that capability. And what we want to try and do through a variety of means, such as those President Bush has proposed, is make sure that that number doesn't get any larger.
Q Following up on the question about North Korea, Prime Minister Koizumi the other day said that he has an understanding with the great leader that he will give up his weapons of mass destruction. Do you all see that as any change, any breakthrough? Is so, will that figure into the talks this week here?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, certainly we remain hopeful that North Korea will accept that it has to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. That's the absolute bottom line for us, for Japan and for our other partners in the negotiation. And so far, North Korea in the negotiations has not shown the slightest willingness to do that. Now it's possible in the meetings at the end of the month that we'll see a changed position. We're prepared to take advantage of that, to move these negotiations ahead. The President has been very clear he wants to see a peaceful diplomatic resolution to the outcome, and that's why we're prepared for the six-party talks to proceed at the end of the month.
Q There's no change in our position vis-a-vis what Mr. Koizumi said the other day?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I think certainly the President will receive this information. It's important, it's important that we hear from the Prime Minister on the outcome of his trip. But the North Koreans themselves, if what the dear leader has said is accurate, now we need for them to follow up in the six-party talks, and we'll see the answer to that in a couple of weeks.
Q You mentioned that Australia was now a member of the new global partnership on nonproliferation. What specific contribution do you see countries like Australia making? Is it intelligence capability, is it retraining, or is it providing scientific experts?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, on the global partnership, what we're really looking for are two things: one, additional resources to bring to bear in a prudent and effective manner in the states of the Soviet Union, but also the growing political commitment that the enlargement of the global partnership represents. And I would expect that Australia and some of the other new members will probably start with relatively modest contributions. We understand that, that they won't want to duplicate work that's already been done. And we, and I know the other G8 members, are fully prepared to work with them. We've had informal meetings with many of these new members already.
But their participation, I think is very important in showing to the states of the former Soviet Union we are determined that these WMD materials are either going to be destroyed or secured, and that the growing number of countries participating I think underlines how important that we see this work. And I think it underlines the potential for these sorts of programs in other countries -- as I mentioned, Libya and Iraq -- that are also prepared to give up the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.
Q Of the $20 billion pledged at Kananaskis, how much has actually been spent on concrete projects, besides the bilateral American-Russian project which are underway? And it is also correct your report already said in April that of the $20 billion, you're still missing $3 billion to $4 billion?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We have posted on the global partnership website, and I think on the Sea Island website the report to the G8 leaders from the global partnership working group that has a lot of specifics on a country by country basis as to what's actually being spent and how the programs are proceeding. Some of the countries that have just begun new programs, of course have not yet begun to spend very much. But we expect today or tomorrow, for example, Canada and Russia will announce they've signed their bilateral agreement, their framework agreement that allows the very substantial Canadian pledge of roughly equivalent to $750 million American dollars to begin to be expended.
And I think that that is a -- that is something that -- the commitments occur at the beginning, and the expenditures of the money flow a little bit later. In terms of the current amount toward the 10 plus 10 -- the original 10 plus 10 target of $20 billion, depending on what today's exchange rate turns out to be, we're somewhere just a little bit short of $17 billion U.S.
So there are some of the G7 -- the original G7 partners -- we're looking for additional contributions from. The European Commission has indicated it's going to have a very substantial addition by the end of this year. They're not quite ready to announce it, so I don't want to preempt them, but we're looking forward to that. And we are drawing closer to that target. That remains, for us, a very important part of the goal.
Q You mentioned that more or less the G8 are unified regarding Iran, at certain point. What is their attitude toward Syria and Libya. And in related to this question, the second part of the question, how Middle Eastern countries are cooperative, and if they are cooperative with the PSI regarding this Khan network and others?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, on Libya, I think there will be a recognition that Libya's decision to foreswear weapons of mass destruction is an important step forward. We've believed for some time it was an important victory for the Proliferation Security Initiative because the interdiction of the ship, the BBC China, which was carrying uranium centrifuge equipment to Libya, and was diverted to Italy, when that happened, we think that the government of Libya came to the realization that we knew a lot more about their nuclear weapons program than they thought, and that at that point, there wasn't any further utility in trying to conceal it. And so that -- that is exactly the kind of paradigm of a deterrent impact of an interdiction having that we think PSI can provide.
I think in terms of other cooperation with PSI activities, that we've had very good discussions with a number of countries in the Middle Eastern region, the broader Middle Eastern region, and we have also appealed to some of those countries over the past year that have had -- have purchased military equipment from North Korea in the past, not to do so in the future, to supply their legitimate defense needs from other sources so that they're not providing North Korea with that hard currency that I mentioned before that's so critical to the North Koreans' ability to continue their nuclear weapons program.
The leaders are going to be discussing a variety of regional issues, and, you know, Syria -- it is entirely possible that would come up.
Q Thank you. You said a little while ago that so far, North Korean leadership has shown not the slightest willingness to change its aspirations on nuclear -- nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Koizumi apparently saw some change between September and May, his two visits to Pyongyang, saw some movement, at least some perceived movement on the part of the North Korean leadership. And we were told earlier that he shared that view with the President in the bilat today.
Do you think the Prime Minister is misreading the signals out of Pyongyang?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No, I'm sure he's accurately reporting what he saw. What I said a moment ago in response to an earlier question was now we have to see whether the North Koreans follow through on that in Beijing in the next round of six-party talks.
North Korea is a very successful propagandist, and it -- it has shifted its position on critical issues in this matter before. It, for example, admitted at one point that it had a uranium enrichment program, and then denied it. So tracking the North Koreans and the consistency of their statements over time is something that tells you a lot about the way they bargain and the way they behave.
We're prepared to go ahead with these talks. We want a peaceful diplomatic solution. We're going to pursue it vigorously. The ball is in North Korea's court. On that, there is no question, either.
1. Russia, Canada Sign Agreement On Weapons Disposal
(for personal use only)
Russia and Canada signed an agreement on cooperation in the destruction of chemical weapons and the disposal of old Russian nuclear submarines. The agreement also entails counting, controlling and protecting nuclear materials and radioactive substances.
Sergei Kislyak and James Wright, the deputy foreign ministers of Russia and Canada, signed the agreement.
The agreement is the legal basis for implementing large-scale Russian-Canadian cooperation within a global partnership program endorsed by G8 leaders two years ago at the summit in Kananaskis, Canada.
In Kananaskis, the G8 leaders agreed that the initial stage of the global partnership should focus on disarmament projects in Russia.
President Putin said that the destruction of chemical weapons and disposal of nuclear submarines was a priority for Russia.
Canada said that it would give $650,000 to the global partnership.
Canada plans to use the bulk of the money to assist Russia in destroying chemical weapons and disposing of nuclear submarines. The agreement signed in Sea Island covers these issues.
Russia's Atomic Energy Agency will be responsible for implementing the disposal of old nuclear submarines aspect of the agreement and the Federal Agency for Industry will supervise the destruction of chemical weapons.
Russian experts and their Canadian counterparts have jointly worked on preliminarily measures for these projects.
Work to construct facilities in Shchuchye in the Kurgan Region (the Urals) to destroy chemical weapons and facilities in the Arkhangelsk region (the White Sea) dispose of nuclear submarine must begin very soon.
2. G-8 leaders planning to adopt dozen of documents (excerpted)
(for personal use only)
The G-8 leaders intend to adopt an action plan on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and radioactive materials. A discussion is underway on the black list of countries which have no right to handle these materials, according to the official.
Russia and Germany will present a report to the G-8 on implementing the global partnership program adopted two years ago at the summit in Kananaskis.
It envisions an allocation of 20 billion dollars to Russia during a decade for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction and its delivery vehicles.
However, Russia only received 7 percent of the sum which was to have been transferred as of now, the Kremlin official emphasized.
Russia prepared the report together with Germany, which had been the most active among G-8 countries, according to the official.
3. Kuchma criticises G7 for not funding nuclear power plants construction
(for personal use only)
KIEV, June 9 (Itar-Tass) - Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma criticised the seven major industrialised nations for failing to fulfil their promises to finance the construction of the Khmelnitsky and Rovno nuclear power plants to make good for electricity losses to result from the upcoming closure of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Addressing a news conference in Kiev on Wednesday, the president said: “G7 have failed to fulfil their obligations. Do you call this normal in international relations?” “I was too late to realise this, otherwise the reactors would be working,” Kuchma said. He said Ukraine would complete these power projects on its own.
When the power generating sets of the Khmelnitsky and Rovno nuclear power plants go into operation Ukraine will be able to export surplus electricity, Kuchma said. The reactor of the Khmelnitsky nps is to go into operation in August and of the Rovno nps in October.
4. N. Korea seen as candidate for anti-WMD framework
Takao Hishinuma, Yomiuri Shimbun
(for personal use only)
Leaders of the Group of Eight countries attending a summit meeting on Sea Island, Ga., are expected to agree to apply the Global Partnership, a framework aimed at preventing terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction produced by the former Soviet Union, to Libya and Iraq, a senior U.S. government official said Wednesday.
The official also said the U.S. government is studying a plan to expand the list of nations subject to the framework to include North Korea, if the country agrees to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
The framework was established at the G-8 summit meeting held in Kananaskis, Canada, in 2002 to prevent WMD and related materials from Russia and the former Soviet states from falling into the hands of terrorists.
The members of the framework, which is supported by funds mainly raised by G-8 countries, have conducted several programs, including disposing of fissionable materials, scrapping chemical weapons, demolishing decommissioned nuclear submarines and employing scientists who worked on the development of weapons.
The official said the G-8 countries will continue to focus on Russia and the former Soviet republics, and that what has been learned through the framework could be used in Libya and Iraq.
The official also said if Pyongyang dismantles its nuclear programs completely, verifiably and irreversibly, the framework also may be applied to North Korea.
5. Nonproliferation Effort Likely to Expand Beyond Russia by End of Year, Bolton Says (excerpted)
Global Security Newswire
(for personal use only)
An effort by the Group of Eight global economic powers to help fund nonproliferation projects within the former Soviet Union is likely to expand by the end of the year to include projects in countries other than Russia, U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton told Global Security Newswire today (see related GSN story, today).
In 2002, the G-8 nations — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States — launched the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. They agreed to pledge $20 billion over 10 years to help fund nonproliferation projects. Since its inception, a number of non-G-8 countries have joined the effort as donor countries, and seven new donors are set to be announced today during the G-8 summit at Sea Island, Ga.
Prior to this year’s summit, U.S. officials indicated that the Global Partnership would also be formally expanded at the summit to include several new recipient countries, possibly including Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. A senior Bush administration official announced yesterday, however, that there were no plans to formally announce new Global Partnership recipients at this week’s summit. Russian officials and independent nonproliferation experts have expressed concerns over the possible expansion, noting delays in obtaining funding pledged through the effort.
In an interview on the sidelines of the summit, though, Bolton told GSN that he was “reasonably confident” that at least one new partnership recipient from the former Soviet Union would be announced this year. Noting that all G-8 decisions are made by consensus, Bolton said that “a couple of states” had questions about expanding the partnership at this time. Even so, a majority of G-8 members support the partnership’s formal expansion to include projects outside of Russia, Bolton said.
Bolton today also praised the progress made to date by the Global Partnership, noting an increase in Russian cooperation with nonproliferation projects since the effort was launched. The “main accomplishment” of the effort, Bolton said, was to double the amount the United States would spend over 10 years to help fund nonproliferation projects in the former Soviet Union. He also said that Japan is soon set to increase its pledged funding to the Global Partnership, which stands at $200 million.
6. Russia Hopes that Other Global Partnership Program Signatories will Translate Promises into Action
(for personal use only)
There is still a gap between what Russia's partners promised in Kananaskis as the Global Partnership Program was launched, and their real action, a Moscow diplomatic source told RIA Novosti.
He said that the main challenge this program faced was "translation of political agreements into practical cooperation, first of all concerning Russia's priorities: scrapping of chemical weapons and disposal of decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines."
He also pointed out that there should be a legal framework for cooperation with partners.
Some partners "are trying to involve us into action in fields we do not regard as priorities and to cover some projects that failed to get a priority status in Kananaskis by the 'umbrella' of global partnership (safety of civilian nuclear reactors, biological security, etc.)," the source said. He named France and the European Union among such partners.
"Some partners try to avoid engaging in new projects. This is France in the first place, the European Union, and most donor countries that have joined the Global Partnership recently," he said. However, he described Norway and Switzerland as exceptions.
The two years that the program has been on the agenda "have seen great progress towards a legal-contractual basis of global partnership," he said.
"Partners have confirmed their financial commitments worth all in all over 18 billion dollars (2 billion dollars of them Russia's), and more donor countries have joined global partnership," the source went on.
The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden, and Finland officially joined the program in 2003.
The implementation of the Global Partnership Program is expected to be at the top of the agenda of the G-8 Sea Island summit.
1. Kambarka Wargas Destruction Plant to be Commissioned in December 2005 - Kirienko
(for personal use only)
The chemical weapons (phosphorous-based organic compounds) destruction plant in the settlement of Kambarka, Udmurtia, is due to commission in December 2005, presidential plenipotentiary in the Volga federal district Sergei Kirienko, chairman of the State Chemical Disarmament Commission, told journalists on Thursday.
He said that Germany, according to the agreements reached, provides the new facility with equipment. Work is now proceeding as scheduled but, the lack of financing may put off the completion date, Kirienko said.
"Work on the project is now only 40 to 50 percent financed. This cannot go on like that", he added. He noted that Germany is abiding by its obligations, while only 30 percent of the sums allocated by the United States are reaching Russia. The other 70 percent remain with the American companies hired for consultations.
A way out of this situation is to increase the amount allocated for the purpose from the Russian budget, believes the State Commission chairman.
Kirienko said that the wargas-destruction plant in Gorny in the Saratov region is also facing a problem: the matter of utilisation of the reaction mass produced from the destruction of wargases is still unsettled.
"Reaction mass poses no danger. But its being stockpiled is not good. The design has not yet been coordinated between the agencies and ecologists", the plenipotentiary explained.
By now, the Gorny plant has eliminated 60 tonnes of lewisite. On April 26, 2003 the first stage of elimination of poisonous agents of the 1st degree of danger was over at the plant - 1 percent of Russia's wargas reserves (400,651.1 kilogrammes of yperite) had been destroyed.
Russia ratified the international convention on the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling, use and spread of chemical weapons in 1997. Under the convention, the Russian Federation has undertaken international obligations to destroy all the chemical weapons reserves left over from the USSR.
Under the convention, the destruction of wargases is four-stage. First, elimination of 1 percent of the reserves; second, 20 percent; third, 45 percent; fourth, 100 percent of the chemical weapons.
In 2002 the volume of international aid was 14 million dollars, in 2003 60 million, in 2004 310 million dollars is expected.
The total amount of wargases (chemical agents) reserves is 40,000 tonnes. They are kept in seven arsenals - Gorny (2.9 percent), Kambarka (15.9 percent), Kizner in the Udmurt republic (14.2 percent), Maradykovski in the Kirov region (17.4 percent), Pochep in the Bryansk region (18.8 percent), Leonidovka in the Penza region (17.2 percent), Schuchye in the Kurgan region (13.6 percent).
2. No traces of chemical weapons found in Gulf of Finland
(for personal use only)
An expedition organized by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry found no evidence that chemical weapons were dumped in the Gulf of Finland.
"Currently, there is no data that indicates chemical weapons were submerged in the Gulf of Finland," ministry representative Maxim Vladimirov told a briefing on the preliminary results of the expedition to inspect potentially dangerous underwater objects in the waterway.
The aim of the expedition was to search for, plot, and identify potentially dangerous objects submerged in the Gulf of Finland.
Expedition chief Vladimir Pak said that "this year, the expedition focused on investigating sunken vessels."
In 2005, the expedition will continue its work near Kaliningrad, and it will return to the Gulf of Finland in 2006. <>
1. Putin, Bush discuss whole range of bilateral issues
(for personal use only)
UNITED NATIONS, June 9 (Itar-Tass) - "Russian-U.S. relations develop in all directions, including such a sensitive sphere as military cooperation," Putin noted at his meeting with U.S. leader George Bush on Sea Island.
He thanked the U.S. president for "the invitation to this beautiful place" -- Sea Island in the state of Georgia.
"I congratulate the U.S. president on positive changes in the U.S. economy. It's his achievement, despite the excessive fuel price hikes," Putin said.
"We are all interested in this positive process; the world's economy, including the Russia's, depends to a considerable extent on the U.S. economy," Putin said.
The time of the bilateral meeting was planned in advance - three weeks ago. Symbolically, it coincided with the adoption of a resolution on Iraq by the UN Security Council, according to presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko.
"The Russian president underlined a really cooperative and constructive approach of the United States to the work on the UN Security Council resolution on Iraq," Prikhodko said.
"A majority of our recommendations, including the calling of an international conference, were taken into account by the co-authors of the resolution -- the United States and Great Britain," he noted.
When discussing the situation around North Korea, "Moscow reiterated its position on the necessity to resolve North Korea's nuclear problem through talks."
It is necessary to respond to the international community's concerns, but also take into account North Korea's interests, the aide said.
The parties, on U.S. initiative, discussed the Iranian issue. Moscow reiterated "its principled position" that "it cooperated and will continue to cooperate with Iran in nuclear power generation."
The scope of such cooperation with Iran is determined by Iran's work with the International Atomic Energy Agency. In addition, the development of cooperation also depends on the solution of the issue of returning the spent nuclear fuel from the Bushehr nuclear plant to Russia.
Russia does not transfer its uranium enrichment technologies to anyone nor does it intend to do so, Prikhodko said.
In the course of their meeting, the Russian and U.S. presidents discussed Russia's WTO talks with USA, according to Prikhodko.
"It was explicitly stated that the political leadership of the United States supports Russia's joining the World Trade Organization and calls for the soonest completion of this process," he underlined.
However, there are practical issues requiring a solution, such as the protection of intellectual property rights. The Russian president offered explanations on this issue to Bush, and the U.S. leader took them in. "Russia is interested in setting the issue; the U.S. position is unequivocally justified here; they are right," Prikhodko noted.
Putin and Bush discussed cooperation in high-tech industries.
"Russian specialists will continue the stock-taking of various projects in which Russia intends to cooperate with the United States, although no specific accords have been reached yet," Prikhodko said.
At the present meeting, the presidents were informed on progress in this work.
In addition, Russia informed the United States on the work under the Global Partnership program, adopted at the G-8 summit in Kananaskis two years ago.
It envisions an allocation of 20 billion dollars to Russia for eliminating weapons of mass destruction and delivery vehicles.
Prikhodko said the United States had invited Russia to take part in NATO exercises in northern Atlantic this autumn and that Moscow accepted the invitation.
"We've been invited; we'll be taking part; the defense ministers of the two countries will determine the parameters and character of our participation," Prikhodko said.
Putin and Bush discussed, among other issues, military cooperation, he added.
The two leaders did not discuss their next meetings, the U.S. greater Middle East initiative or the development of democratic institutions in Russia.
The aide emphasized that the talks had been "very sincere and friendly." They were held in an informal atmosphere. The meeting, attended by three closest presidential aides on each side, lasted more than an hour.
The Russian president is planning some ten bilateral meetings at the G-8 summit. He is expected to hold talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, King Abdallah II of Jordan and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.
Other meetings are also possible; their schedule is flexible. A meeting may be canceled, but only on technical grounds, there is no politics behind it, Prikhodko said.
President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation and President George Bush Jr. of the United States negotiated in an informal setting on Sea Island, Georgia, discussing the situation around Iranian nuclear programs, a source inside the Russian delegation told correspondents.
We have cooperated and will continue to cooperate with Iran; the scale of such cooperation will be determined by Iran's fulfillment of its IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) commitments, RIA Novosti's interlocutor added.
According to the source, the decision on activating the Bushehr nuclear power plant will be made, after both countries reach their final accord on returning spent nuclear fuel to Russia. Moscow undertakes to deliver such fuel to the Iranian NPP.
The Presidents of Russia and the United States also discussed the situation around North Korea.
This issue wasn't discussed rather intensively, Vladimir Putin's aide Sergei Prikhodko noted, also stressing that the North Korean problem had to be solved in line with the positions of all parties, that of North Korea included.
George Bush thanked Vladimir Putin for helping pass the UN Security Council's resolution on Iraq.
I avail myself of this very good opportunity to thank Vladimir Putin for helping settle this highly important issue, i.e. the approval of the UNSC resolution today, the President of the United States told a press conference, after meeting the Russian head of state.
The people of Iraq have benefited greatly from today's UN vote; the Iraqis will profit greatly from the latest UN vote, George Bush noted.
A free Iraqi society is essential; we are very grateful to Vladimir Putin for helping attain this victory today, the President of the United States went on to say.
President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation believes the approval of the UNSC resolution on Iraq is a great step forward.
It won't be an exaggerationto say that the approval of the UNSC resolution is a great step forward, Vladimir Putin noted. I think I'll express the opinion of all UNSC member-countries, if I say that the UNSC dialogue had developed rather constructively over the last few days, Vladimir Putin stressed.
Surely enough, it will take a lot of time to change the Iraqi situation in real earnest after the approval of this document. Still this is a serious document, which shows that time is ripe for making this decision. I'd like to congratulate the President of the United States and to voice hope to the effect that the Iraqi situation will be changing for the better, Vladimir Putin went on to say.
The approval of the UNSC resolution on Iraq facilitates qualitative changes in the Iraqi situation, Vladimir Putin also said, after meeting George Bush.
In Putin's words, the United States was mostly responsible for Iraqi developments prior to this resolution's approval. Right now, the Iraqi society itself is receiving the entire range of rights; for its own part, the international community will be able to influence the national situation.
It always pleases me greatly to talk to my good friend Vladimir Putin. He is a powerful leader, who loves his people, his country, and who comprehends all issues now facing us perfectly well, the President of the United States said, after meeting the Russian head of state.
We discussed quite a few important issues for a long time today, George Bush stressed.
I'm extremely satisfied to work with him and to attain tremendous progress in Russian-US relations, he said.
We discussed all aspects of Russian-US interaction in great detail, the Russian leader noted.
Our relations continue to develop in every sphere, including such a sensitive aspect as military cooperation, Vladimir Putin noted.
Russia will take part in a NATO naval exercise in the North Atlantic this fall. This accord was reached by the Presidents of Russia and the United States, Vladimir Putin's aide Sergei Prikhodko told correspondents.
Russia was invited to take part in this exercise; and we accepted this invitation, he noted. According to Prikhodko, national defense ministers will chart specific exercise parameters and interaction aspects.
Vladimir Putin believes that positive US economic changes are George Bush's merit.
I congratulate George Bush on those positive US economic changes; this is his merit, Vladimir Putin told reporters at a press conference, after meeting the President of the United States.
These economic changes are taking place despite exorbitant fuel-and-energy price hikes, Putin stressed.
All of us are interested in this positive process (US economic growth) because the modern world, Russia included, perceives the US economy as something important, the Russian head of state noted.
Talking to reporters a Russian-delegation member, who attended the talks, noted that the US President's dog, i.e. Scottish terrier Barney, entered the negotiating room several times. Those taking part in the meeting joked that the dog was eavesdropping.
Vladimir Putin drove off in a small electromobile, after meeting George Bush.
Delegation members, i.e. an interpreter and two body guards, rode the four-seat car, which was painted in the Russian flag's colors.
The Presidents of Russia and the United States met each other at Dunbar House. The President of the United States holds face-to-face talks with his guests, who have to attend the G-8 summit on Sea Island, at this Latin American style mansion.
1. Russia to continue nuclear cooperation with Iran
(for personal use only)
Russia will continue peaceful nuclear cooperation with Iran.
A source with the Russian delegation at the G8 summit on Sea Island told Interfax on Wednesday that this statement was made at a meeting between Russian and U.S. Presidents Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush.
"We confirmed our underlying position: we have cooperated and will cooperate with Iran, but the scale of this cooperation will be determined by the way Iran interacts with the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency]," the source said.
The construction of the nuclear power plant in Bushehr "will be continued once all questions have been dealt with," he said.
2. Russia Qualifies Its Nuclear Cooperation with Iran
(for personal use only)
Russia on Tuesday refused to halt plans to build a nuclear reactor for Iran but, in the face of U.S. pressure, said Tehran must meet international calls for openness about its nuclear program.
The thorny issue of Russia's plans to construct a $800- million reactor at Bushehr was raised with Russia's Vladimir Putin by President Bush who has branded Iran part of the so-called "axis of evil."
"We have cooperated with Iran and will continue to cooperate with Iran in nuclear power generation," Sergei Prikhodko, a senior Putin aide, told reporters after talks between the two leaders at the Group of Eight summit of industrial countries.
"This is conditional on Iran fulfilling the International Atomic Energy Agency's conditions and the extent to which we can, bilaterally, solve all remaining technical problems concerning construction of the Bushehr power plant," he added.
The issue of Iran's atomic program, which the United States says is a front for developing nuclear weapons, cropped up too in discussions between Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder -- indicating Washington's desire to forge a common view among the G8 of the threat it sees posed by Iran.
"I would say Schroeder and Bush share a degree of skepticism about Iran's intentions," a senior U.S. administration official said, adding that Washington was lobbying other of the European G8 members -- Britain, France and Italy -- on the issue.
Tehran says its atomic program is peaceful and denies U.S. charges that it is trying to develop a nuclear weapon covertly. It says it needs nuclear energy to meet booming demand for electricity and keep oil and gas reserves for export.
Earlier on Tuesday, France, Britain and Germany, in a draft resolution, called for a sharp rebuke of Iran by the IAEA, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog.
The text, seen by Reuters, calls for IAEA inspections to continue and urges "Iran to take all the necessary steps on an urgent basis to resolve all outstanding questions" on its atomic program, which Washington says is a front for developing arms.
It was not clear, however, if the G8 leaders meeting on Sea Island, Georgia would succeed in reaching anything more than a generalized statement on Iran.
"I think that the leaders' statement tomorrow, hopefully, will show that, in fact, they are united, unmistakably united, in their determination that Iran not achieve nuclear weapons ... there is no division among the G8 that a nuclear weapons-equipped Iran would be unacceptable," another senior administration official told reporters.
MOSCOW UNDER PRESSURE
The United States has been pressing Moscow hard to think twice about building the Bushehr reactor, saying it fears the Islamic republic may use the project as a cover for the transfer of other sensitive nuclear technology.
Russia says Iran could not produce a nuclear bomb, even using Moscow's nuclear technology, but all the same has told Tehran it must agree to a deal to return spent fuel from the reactor to Moscow.
Such a deal could help alleviate U.S. concerns that Iranian scientists could extract plutonium from spent fuel and potentially use it in warheads.
A Kremlin official, who did not wish to be named, said however that the Iranians were trying to wring concessions from the Russian side over the deal.
He did not elaborate but said: "They are trying as usual to pull the blanket toward them. But we will only start work on the plant only when contractual problems are solved."
In theory, once this deal has been signed -- possibly in summer -- the 1,000-megawatt reactor could go on stream in 2005. The plant was originally supposed to start up in 2003.
1. . Russia Never Tried to Hamper Six-Sided Talks on Korean Nuclear Problem, Lavrov Says
(for personal use only)
Russia has never tried to hamper the third round of the six-sided talks on the Korean nuclear problem, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists in Moscow.
"We haven't changed our position on the Korean nuclear settlement. We come out for the full-scale use of the six-sided talks. We took an active part in the working group preparing the third round of the talks and introduced practical proposals to find the solution," Mr. Lavrov said.
The United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and North Korea are involved in the six-sided talks. In May 2004 the working group confirmed that the third round of the six-sided talks should be held by the end of June. The exact date should be coordinated later.
However, six-sided talks on the North Korean nuclear crisis can be postponed till July, RIA Novosti's correspondent reported from Tokyo.
A high-ranking official of the Japanese Foreign Ministry was skeptical about the possibility to hold the talks before the end of June, Kyodo Tsushin said.
"The talks are likely to be postponed till July," the official noted.
Moreover, China also doubts this because of serious differences in Washington and Pyongyang's positions, he added.
According to him, the approximate date will be fixed on Thursday.
Meanwhile, South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Pan Ki-mun said on Wednesday that the talks will start on June 23 in Beijing and will last for four days. The source in the Japanese Foreign Ministry did not confirm this information, Kyodo Tsushin said.
1. Iraq could eventually have civilian nuclear power: US official
(for personal use only)
The United States, which has said oil-rich Iran has no legitimate use for a civilian nuclear program, would not raise the same objections in a transformed Iraq, a senior US official said Tuesday.
"That's a ways down the road," US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton said in an interview with AFP on the sidelines of the annual summit of seven major industrialized nations plus Russia, the G8.
But "when the day comes when there is a representative government, and the (UN) Security Council says that, in fact, Iraq is free of weapons of mass destruction, a really transformed Iraq, there's no reason, it seems to me, unlike some other countries, there's no reason why you couldn't contemplate a civilian nuclear power program," he said.
Bolton's comments came as he explained that the United States is in "a race against time" to find new jobs for some 400-500 weapons scientists left idle by Saddam Hussein's ouster in the US-led March 2003 invasion.
"People are going to have to be creative to make sure that these people have something to do," the diplomat said.
Although US-led troops have not found any of the weapons of mass destruction at the core of the case for war, Washington worries that Iraqi scientists who once worked on Iraq's chemical, biological and nuclear programs might be hired off by terrorists or so-called rogue states.
MOSCOW, June 10 (RIA Novosti) - On its fourth attempt, a Zenit-2 rocket successfully lifted off from the Baikonur launch site (Kazakhstan) at 05:42 a.m., Moscow time, and put a Russian Defense Ministry satellite into a calculated orbit.
The satellite is a Cosmos military satellite, an official spokesman for the Russian Space Forces told RIA Novosti Tuesday. Stable telemetric communication has been established and is being maintained with the satellite. According to Space Forces' main control center, the satellite's onboard systems are functioning normally.
The launch of the Zenit-2 rocket was postponed several times for technical reasons. Initially, the rocket was scheduled to lift off on April 25, but the launch was postponed for several hours because of malfunctions in the launch site's fuel supply system. The launch was then postponed for a day. However, on April 26, the launch did not occur because of a launch systems failure.
The Yuzhnoye Design Bureau in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine produced the Zenit-2, a medium-lift two-stage rocket. The rocket can carry up to 12 metric tons to a circular orbit and up to 3 metric tons to a high elliptical orbit.
Zenit's engines use non-toxic fuel components - kerosene and liquid oxygen. The fully automated pre-launch sequence ensures that a minimum amount of time is spent on preparations for the launch, that the personnel are safe and that the launch is not dependent on weather conditions.
The rocket was initially developed for the rapid deployment and replenishment of Russian satellite group and manned spaceships. After further development, the rocket's first stage was used as a booster for the Energia rocket carrier and successfully functioned in two launches.
The Zenit-2 was first launched on April 13, 1985. Presently, the rocket is periodically used to launch satellites for Russia and Ukraine.
In 2004, the Space Troops plan to launch a Zenit-2 and a Dnieper-1 rocket from Baikonur.
Three launch complexes will be modernised at Baikonur cosmodrome and another one will be built to launch new generation booster rocket Angara, said Anatoly Perminov, the head of the Federal Space Agency (FSA), summing up the results of his two-day inspection visit to Baikonur.
“I get convinced that all the facilities are in a good working order and ensure the fulfilment of tasks for launchings of spacecraft under the federal space programme, programmes of international cooperation and commercial projects, as well as launchings in the interests of the Russian Defence Ministry,” he said.
However, several facilities need to be modernised to suit new tasks, Perminov said. This applies, above all, to the launch complex for Zenit booster rockets that will be used in the international ground launch programme.
Zenit booster rockets will put spacecraft with mass of no less than 3.5 tonnes to a geo-transfer orbit and spacecraft with mass of up to 15 tonnes to law-altitude orbits, Vyacheslav Davidenko, FSA spokesman, told Tass. The ground launch programme can ensure the launchings of commercial satellites, as well as the country’s spacecraft for civilian and duel purposes.
Perminov also said it is necessary to complete the equipment of launch complexes for Soyuz and Cyclone-2 booster rockets. One of the two launch complexes meant for Soyuz will be modernised for the new booster rocket Soyuz-2.
A launch complex for Proton rockets will be used for creating the Russo-Kazakh Baiterek complex from which new generation booster rockets Angara will be launched.
3. Zenit-2 Carrying Military Satellite to Blast Off from Baikonur on June 10
(for personal use only)
Launch of the Zenit-2 booster carrying a military satellite, delayed many times for technical reasons, will be made from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan (Russia has leased it for 49 years) on Thursday, June 10, at 05:28, Moscow time, RIA Novosti quotes an official spokesman for the Russian Space Troops as saying on Wednesday.
Initially, the blast-off was slated for April 25. A power supply fault in the launch system delayed it for 24 hours. Nor did it happen on April 26, now for a fault in another overland system: again automatics worked.
The middle-class two-stage Zenit-2 was developed and is manufactured by the Yuzhnoe design office in Dnepropetrovsk in Ukraine. The booster puts into circular orbit spacecraft weighing up to 12 tonnes, and into elliptical orbit up to 3.5 tonnes.
Its engines fire a non-toxic kerosene-liquid oxygen mixture. The fully automatic pre-launch sequence ensures minimal preparations, 100-percent security for the personnel, independence from the weather.
In the beginning, the missile was intended for rapid deployment, replenishing of Russia's satellite group and for manned spaceships. Its updated first-stage units were used as lateral in the Energia carrier rocket and proved their worth in two launches.
The first launch of Zenit-2 was made on April 13, 1985. Now, it is periodically used to orbit satellites to state orders from Russia and Ukraine.
In 2004 the Space Troops plan making two blast-offs from Baikonur, one Zenit-2 and one Dnepr-1.
FAIRFIELD - Not too long ago, the very idea of a Russian military aircraft flying with impunity across American airspace would have brought guffaws of disbelief from U.S. Air Force brass.
But that was then, and this is now. On Monday, a specially equipped Russian TU-154 jet observation plane landed at Travis Air Force Base to launch Russia's first Open Skies Treaty flyover in the United States.
Signed in 1992, the treaty went into effect in 2002 and allows Russian and American aircraft to fly over each other's territory as part of a reciprocal weapons monitoring program. It's designed to promote confidence and security between participating nations when dealing with military arms control issues.
Thirty-two other countries have signed the treaty, including Canada, Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
According to Defense Threat Reduction Agency spokesman Clemens W. Gaines, the current mission involves a 24-member Russian monitoring team accompanied by a 10-member U.S. Air Force contingent.
"We sit side by side with the Russians. Everything is reciprocal," Gaines explained. "What they do here, we do in Russia. They can go anyplace. They can overfly anyplace in the United States, as we can overfly any place in Russia."
Russian team commander Col. Sergey Sukharev said the United States has conducted 11 flyovers of Russia since 2002, but this is the first operational flight by a Russian crew over the United States.
Two trial flights, Sukharev added, were conducted by Russia in 1997 and 2000.
"Our Open Skies Treaty is really some kind of revolutionary break in the sphere of arms control," Sukharev said through an interpreter during a press conference Tuesday afternoon at Travis.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. John Taylor, who has participated in two Open Skies observation flights over Russia this year, said he experienced strong cooperation between Russia and the United States.
"We had a great deal of cooperation, and we walked away with a much greater appreciation of each other's nations," Taylor said. "We are not that much different."
The specially modified TU-154 Russian observation aircraft from the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center will probably remain at Travis for another day or two and then fly to Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska to begin its actual monitoring mission.
Col. Sukharev confirmed that the initial observation flight will be limited to the state of Alaska.
Under the terms of the treaty, this mission must be completed within 96 hours.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Mikhail Rogov, the development director of Rosenergoatom, said that Rosenergoatom's investment program for 2004 was about 27 billion rubles ($0.9 billion).
"There are practically no budgetary funds in our investment program," he noted.
He said that the concern did not have enough investments because "the only source of funding is itself."
According to him, the company would definitely like to receive additional investments through long-term loans. "Many banks and companies have come to us with offers, however, we cannot accept them," he said.
Approximately half of the funds from the investment program will go to the completion of blocks that are already close to completion. The other half of the funds will go toward the renovation and modernization of power units to increase safety and prolong their service lives. He also said that "somewhere 800 million rubles would go to increase capacity."
The company's investment program for 2003 stipulated capital investments of more than 25 billion rubles, only 120 million rubles of which were from the federal budget. According to the company, 99% of investments have been recouped.
1. Armenia has no money to close nuclear power plant
(for personal use only)
The Armenian Nuclear Power Plant will work until alternative sources of energy are found, Armenian Prime Minister Andranik Markarian told reporters today. According to him, a lot of money is required for closing the nuclear power plant. "Unfortunately, we do not have such a sum," the Prime Minister added. Markarian underlined that the international community did not provide Armenia with adequate financing. "An amount of EUR100m is being considered, but this sum is insufficient for closing the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant and developing alternative sources of energy," the Prime Minister pointed out.
According to Markarian, Armenian energy experts are studying every possible source of energy. Additionally, they are developing programs of reconstruction of the existing thermoelectric and hydroelectric power plants to support Armenia's independence in the energy sector, the ARKA news agency reported.
As reported earlier, the EU plans to provide EUR100m for Armenia for the development of alternative sources of energy, after an exact date is set for closing the nuclear power plant, which was put in use in 1980. The power plant was stopped in 1989 and was put back in operation in 1995. The power plant generates about 40 percent of all electrical power in Armenia on average. Experts reckon the nuclear power plant can remain in operation until 2018.
The Armenian Nuclear Power Plant will have a program ready to mothball the station by the end of 2004, the country's Trade and Economic Development Minister Karen Jshmartain said at a press conference on Tuesday.
The topic was discussed during the fifth meeting of the EU-Armenia Cooperation Committee in Brussels on June 4, he said.
The meeting decided to set up a working group of power engineers on closing the nuclear power plant. The working group should review all the financial and technical aspects of mothballing the station and present their own program, Jshmartain said.
The European Union has not set any concrete timeframe for closing the NPP without replacing its capacity with other sources. A project to build an Iran-Armenia gas pipeline was discussed as an alternative to the NPP, but the volume of gas would not be enough to replace the energy capacity of the NPP, Jshmartain said.
The committee also discussed a project put forth by Armenia to build a new NPP in Armenia to replace the old one.
The EU confirmed that it is ready to extend Armenia 100 million euros to close the NPP and replace its capacity, although Armenian specialists think that at least $1 billion is needed for this.
The Armenian Nuclear Power Plant, which has two reactors with a total capacity of 815 megawatts, was closed in 1988 due to political and economic reasons. The NPP's second reactor was restarted at a capacity of 407.5 megawatts in 1995.
ZAO Inter RAO EES, a subsidiary of Russia's Unified Energy System, and Armenia signed a contract in September 2003 to hand over trust management of the NPP to Inter RAO EES.
The Armenian NPP generated 1.9 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2003, or 36% of the total generation of electricity in Armenia.
The first meeting of the EU-Armenia Cooperation Committee took place in 2000 in Brussels. The committee was set up by a partnership agreement signed on April 22, 1996.
3. EU to give 1M euros to convert icebreaker Lenin into museum
(for personal use only)
An agreement has been reached that the European Union will transfer 1.3 million euros to convert the first Russian atomic-powered icebreaker, the Lenin, into a museum, the Murmansk regional administration told Interfax.
The Lenin should reach the place of its future permanent display near the Murmansk seaport before the end of 2005. This decision was made in Murmansk at a session of the oversight council and the founders of the fund to support the icebreaker. Murmansk regional Governor Yury Yevdokimov served as chairman at the session.
It is planned that a small hotel with a restaurant and conference hall will be constructed inside the icebreaker, as well as museum exhibits. In addition, an information center will be opened that will distribute information on issues related to nuclear and radiation safety.
Over its 30-year service period in the Arctic region, the Lenin cruised 654,400 thousand nautical miles - 560,600 through ice - and escorted 3741 vessels. No malfunctions occurred on the icebreaker or its atomic reactor. <>
1. Energy Secretary Abraham to Speak on Nuclear Nonproliferation Efforts; Will Counter Critics of Administration Accomplishments
Department of Energy
(for personal use only)
On Monday, June 14, Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham will deliver a major policy speech to the Eisenhower Institute where he will outline non-proliferation accomplishments and opportunities posed by the evolving threats of the 21st century.
Two weeks ago in Vienna, Austria, Secretary Abraham announced the Department of Energy's Global Threat Reduction Initiative, a comprehensive global initiative to secure and remove high-risk nuclear and radiological materials that continue to pose a threat to the United States and the international community.
Monday's speech will discuss the Department of Energy's actions to respond to the evolving threat posed by under-secured nuclear and radiological materials and will address the challenges of implementing and advancing the department's nonproliferation programs.
In his speech, Secretary Abraham will answer criticisms of administration efforts in this area that were recently raised in a published opinion pieces in the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.
There will be a media availability with Secretary Abraham following his speech.
WHO: U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham
WHAT: Speech to the Eisenhower Institute
WHEN: Monday, June 14, 2004 at 2 p.m.
WHERE: The National Press Club (Holeman Room), 529 14th Street NW, 13th Floor, Washington, D.C.
2. Russian MFA Information and Press Department Commentary Regarding a Question from Interfax News Agency About Russian Side's Position Concerning Timeframe for Holding Third Round of Six-Party Talks to Resolve Nuclear Problem on Korean Peninsula
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin
(for personal use only)
Question: Please comment on the media reports about Russia's intention to have the timeframe for the third round of six-party talks in Beijing postponed.
Commentary: The Russian side strictly adheres to the agreement reached in February in the course of the second round and presumes that the next round of six-party talks will be convened within the agreed time, that is before the end of the first half of this year. As to specific dates, they are now being intensively arranged between the parties and will soon be officially announced.
We believe it is necessary to focus not so much on the concrete timeframe for the third round at present as on its content and the issues which are to be discussed in the course of plenary meetings and in the working group.
The Russian delegation is ready for constructive participation in the third round of six-party talks at a date convenient for all the parties and will do everything possible to achieve the main aim, that of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
DISCLAIMER: Nuclear News is presented for informational purposes only. Views presented in any given article are those of the individual author or source and not of RANSAC. RANSAC takes no responsibility for the technical accuracy of information contained in any article presented in Nuclear News.
RANSAC's Nuclear News is compiled two to three times weekly. To be automatically removed from our mailing list, click on the following link: Remove Me From The List