Partnership for Global Security: Leading the World to a Safer Future
Home Projects Publications Issues Official Documents About RANSAC Nuclear News 4/15/13
Location: Home / Projects & Publications / News
Sitemap Contact
Search
Google www PGS
 
Nuclear News - 7/30/2004
RANSAC Nuclear News, July 30, 2004
Compiled By: Samantha Mikol


A.  Announcements
    1. Note from the editorial staff, RANSAC (7/30/2004)
B.  Suitcase Nukes
    1. No Way of Nuclear Suitcases Disappearing from Russia, RIA Novosti (7/30/2004)
C.  Chemical Weapons Destruction
    1. Russia, U.S. must team up, Bernard Marcus and Charles G. Boyd, Atlanta Journal and Constitution (7/30/2004)
D.  Nuclear Terrorism
    1. President Vladimir Putin signed a law introducing life sentence as punishment for terrorism, ITAR-TASS (7/27/2004)
E.  US-Russia
    1. Beth Jones to discuss bilateral, world problems in Moscow, ITAR-TASS (7/28/2004)
    2. The Real Danger is Nukes, not Iraq, Jack Shanahan, Minuteman Media (7/28/2004)
    3. Are US Sanctions Against Russia's Altai a Competitive Tools? (sic), Andrei Kislyakov, RIA Novosti, RIA Novosti (7/27/2004)
    4. Kerry Treads in Bush's Russian Footsteps , Vladimir Simonov, RIA Novosti (7/27/2004)
F.  Nonproliferation Diplomacy
    1. Delegates from CIS Foreign Ministries to Discuss Nuclear Non-Proliferation, RIA Novosti (7/29/2004)
G.  Russia-Iran
    1. Iran seeks nuke bomb "booster" from Russia - report, Louis Charbonneau , Reuters (7/28/2004)
    2. Russia Denies Nuclear Negotiations with Iran, Voice of America (7/28/2004)
H.  Nuclear Safety
    1. Kyrgyzstan Receives Aid to Secure Nuclear Waste, Ecolinks News Service (7/29/2004)
I.  Official Statements
    1. Interview given by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the magazine Diplomat №8, August 2004, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin (7/30/2004)
    2. Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Kislyak Meets with US Assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth Jones, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin (7/30/2004)
    3. Kazakhstan to Build Network of Laboratories to Track Dangerous Infections and Protect Population from Bioweapons, Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan News Bulletin (7/29/2004)
    4. Commentary by the Russian Foreign Ministry Information and Press Department in Connection with the Question from the Russian Media Regarding Reports Released in Vienna That Iranian Agents Are Negotiating the Purchase of Heavy Hydrogen from a Russian Company, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin (7/28/2004)
    5. Nuclear Security: GTRI Conference of Key Partners Set for September, International Atomic Energy Agency (7/28/2004)
J.  Links of Interest
    1. Fact Sheet: The Nuclear Suppliers Group, Bureau of Nonproliferation, Department of State (7/29/2004)
    2. Fact Sheet: The Zangger Committee, Bureau of Nonproliferation, Department of State (7/29/2004)
    3. Foreign Policy Aspects of the War against Terrorism � Seventh Report of Session 2003�04 (see fifth chapter on Russia), Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons (7/21/2004)
    4. Bureau of Nonproliferation Organization Chart, Department of State (7/7/2004)
    5. Globalizing Cooperative Threat Reduction: A Survey of Options, Sharon Squassoni, Congressional Research Service (7/2/2004)



A.  Announcements

1.
Note from the editorial staff
RANSAC
7/30/2004
(for personal use only)


It has been my distinct pleasure to oversee publication of the RANSAC Nuclear News over the past three years, and I want to say a short goodbye to our subscribers as I end my tenure at RANSAC in preparation for further studies.

The News has grown in its scope since RANSAC first began publishing it, and we hope that it continues to be the useful resource that many tell us it has been. In the months to come, we hope that subscribers will let the organization know if there are any changes in the content of the News that you appreciate or dislike, and we will work our hardest to continue producing a publication that will be useful in your work and for your edification.

Best wishes,

Michael Roston


Return to Menu


B.  Suitcase Nukes

1.
No Way of Nuclear Suitcases Disappearing from Russia
RIA Novosti
7/30/2004
(for personal use only)


In his book "Osama's Revenge" recently published in the United States, the foremost writer Paul Williams claims that Al-Qaeda has laid hands on ten "nuclear suitcases" stolen from Russia. Colonel-General Viktor Yesin, first vice-president of the Academy for security, defense, law and order, says from the pages of the Nezavisimaya Gazeta that nuclear devices to be used by Al-Qaeda will anyway be of non-Russian origin.

Viktor Yesin was one of those who checked the safety of "nuclear suitcases" and who personally counted their number. He asserts with full responsibility that suitcase-sized nuclear devices could not disappear from Russia (such a mine's nuclear charge with a capacity of up to one ton can completely devastate an area of 1,200-1,600 meters in diameter).

It was at the initiative of George Bush, Sr., and Mikhail Gorbachev, says the colonel-general, that all mini nuclear weapons were to be eliminated. They were destroyed in the United States, according to certain data, at the end of 1991 and, according to other information, in 1992. Russia declared about the elimination of all nuclear mines at the conference on progress in implementing the nuclear non-proliferation treaty in the April of 2000.

In the opinion of the expert, other countries, apart from Russia and the U.S., that are in a position to posses suitcase-sized nuclear weapons are China and Israel since they are supposed to have nuclear artillery shells which are close to nuclear mines in construction.

Experts report, however, about the existence of so-called nuclear "dirty bombs" which can be hand-made. The explosion of such a container is not accompanied with a nuclear blast but radiation affecting people does spread.

There are more than a hundred states capable of manufacturing fissionable materials for making "dirty bombs".

A draft international agreement placing all the production of fissile nuclear materials under IAEA control was compiled more than five years ago but has still failed to be adopted in Geneva because of the apprehensions by some countries that the agreement will undermine their nuclear engineering for peaceful purposes. Mr. Yesin is confident that this agreement is the only way of removing the threat of acts of terrorism with the use of nuclear explosives.

Return to Menu


C.  Chemical Weapons Destruction

1.
Russia, U.S. must team up
Bernard Marcus and Charles G. Boyd
Atlanta Journal and Constitution
7/30/2004
(for personal use only)


As Democrats and Republicans gather for their national conventions in Boston and New York, security officials are on alert against a terrorist attack. But American cities should be the last line of defense against terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction. One of the first � and most effective � lines of defense begins 5,000 miles away in the Russian town of Shchuchye.

Deep in the Ural Mountains, Shchuchye holds perhaps the most dangerous and vulnerable stockpile of weapons of mass destruction in the world � nearly 2 million poorly guarded Soviet-era shells containing 5,400 metric tons of deadly VX and sarin gas. Just one, hidden in a suitcase, could kill 85,000 people if unleashed inside a stadium.

Since 1992, the Cooperative Threat Reduction program, created by former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) and U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), has worked to end such threats. The program has deactivated or destroyed more than 7,000 Russian nuclear warheads, missiles, bombers and submarines.

Yet � thanks as much to congressional restrictions as to Russian resistance � construction of a chemical weapons destruction facility at Shchuchye has proceeded in fits and starts and even now is threatened annually by arcane bureaucratic obstacles.

Congress now has a fresh opportunity to strengthen U.S. nonproliferation efforts. As leaders of an organization devoted to bringing the best business practices to national security, we recommend a number of business-style reforms to enhance these critical programs.

� Ensuring continuity. Russia has so far met four of six congressional conditions on U.S. funding for chemical weapons destruction. In the meantime, that money remains contingent on an annual presidential waiver that expires Sept. 30. Past failures to extend waivers have caused work at Shchuchye to grind to a halt for months at a time.

Rather than subject Shchuchye to the annual vagaries of the legislative process, Congress should grant permanent waiver authority to keep operations running smoothly year-to-year while still holding Russia to its obligations.

� Invest where it counts. Investing our defense dollars in programs such as CTR makes both common sense and business sense. CTR's $409 million in funding is less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the total $447 billion defense budget. Eliminating all the weapons at Shchuchye will cost each American roughly the same as a large latte.

Likewise, the Energy Department's proposed Global Threat Reduction Initiative will be a bargain by any measure. At a cost of $450 million over the next decade, the initiative will secure at-risk fissile and radiological materials worldwide, depriving terrorists of the building blocks of atomic and "dirty" bombs that could devastate a major metropolitan area. Congress needs to do its part by passing legislation now under consideration to jump-start the initiative.

� Leadership at the top. Finally, the direct involvement of a CEO can mean the difference between success and failure. In this case, a triad of access, tax and liability issues � including the Russian Duma's failure to ratify a broad umbrella agreement governing CTR � has stalled disarmament projects.

Destroying Russia's stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction before they can be stolen by or sold to terrorists is too important a task to flounder over these technicalities. Repeated entreaties by senior administration officials have been rebuffed by Moscow. The time has come for President Bush to engage directly with President Vladimir Putin to break the political logjam over these critical programs.

Nuclear materials, deadly germs and nearly 2 million Russian chemical weapons are at risk of theft or diversion. The race is on between Americans and Russians who want to destroy them and terrorists who would use them against both our nations. This is a race we know how to win. The consequences of failure are unthinkable.

Bernard Marcus is co-founder of the Home Depot Inc. and a board member of Business Executives for National Security. Charles G. Boyd, a retired Air Force general, is president and chief executive officer of BENS.


Return to Menu


D.  Nuclear Terrorism

1.
President Vladimir Putin signed a law introducing life sentence as punishment for terrorism
ITAR-TASS
7/27/2004
(for personal use only)


Russian President Vladimir Putin signed Monday a law amending the Criminal Code and introducing a life sentence as punishment for terrorism.

The legislation introduces life imprisonment for acts of terror staged by an organized group or that led to wrongful deaths or other grave consequences, or those connected with attacks on nuclear facilities or involving nuclear or radioactive materials.

Previously the maximum sentence for terrorism was 20 years and life sentence was only a replacement for a death penalty. The new legislation introduces a life sentence not as an alternative to the death penalty, but as punishment for extremely grave crimes against the life of the people and against public safety.


Return to Menu


E.  US-Russia

1.
Beth Jones to discuss bilateral, world problems in Moscow
ITAR-TASS
7/28/2004
(for personal use only)


US Deputy Secretary of State Elizabeth Jones arrives here on Wednesday for a two-day working trip for consultations on bilateral and world problems, She is expected to meet with the officials of the Foreign Ministry and the Security Council of the Russian Federation, a US Embassy official has told Itar-Tass.

At the State Department, Ms. Jones is in charge of Europe and Eurasia. Her opinion is that Moscow and Washington have done an immense amount of work aimed at developing strategic bilateral relations. Ms. Jones believes that Russia is a reliable ally in the global war on terrorism as well as in the tackling of the task of ensuring non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Ms. Jones said Moscow also plays a highly productive role in the multilateral negotiating process, which is intended to normalise the situation on the Korean Peninsula. The high-ranking American diplomat also highly appreciated interaction with Russia in the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan. She pointed out that a rather good partnership had been established between Russia and NATO and that the US holds consultations with Moscow on regroupment of US troops abroad.


Return to Menu


2.
The Real Danger is Nukes, not Iraq
Jack Shanahan
Minuteman Media
7/28/2004
(for personal use only)


The saying goes that if you repeat something often enough people will start to believe it. In his effort to convince us that the his �war on terror� has been a success, President Bush keeps telling us that we are safer today than we were prior to the Iraq invasion. In one recent 35-minute speech in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Bush reminded us seven times that "the American people are safer.�

In truth, the invasion of Iraq succeeded only in diverting our efforts in the real war against world-wide terrorism�which should focus on al-Qaeda and the like. The Iraq war has brought the U.S. Army close to the breaking point, alienated friends and allies and helped to create the largest annual deficit in our history.

So you can't blame those of us who are skeptical over whether the Iraq war made us safer.

The irony of the President's speech at Oak Ridge was that Bush was speaking at a nuclear weapons lab, and the President did not utter a word about the dangers of our current nuclear weapons policy.

In fact, we could well be sitting on the brink of nuclear annihilation. Here�s why: The Energy Department, which produces and maintains the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, advised the Congress recently that the U.S. plans to reduce substantially its nuclear weapons arsenal by the year 2012.

But why wait until 2012, and will the reductions truly be substantial? The U.S. and Russia currently possess 96% of total world's inventory of 30,000 nuclear weapons. The U.S. existing operational inventory of nuclear warheads is 10,650. A two thirds reduction would leave us with 3,550, more than enough to deal with the �Axis of Evil.�

But there's the rub. While the U.S. and Russia have agreed not to target each other, the Pentagon's Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) foolishly considers Russia and China as the real enemies. So, since re-targeting is easy, we could easily aim our bombs at Russia and China again.

And our weapons on are still on hair-trigger alert, called our nuclear "Launch on Warning" (LOW) policy. We could start using our nukes before other nations� nuclear weapons hit us.

And we�ve got plenty of fire power at the ready: We maintain land based Minuteman III missiles on alert and, at a minimum, two Trident ballistic missile submarines on patrol in the Atlantic and two in the Pacific. It is safe to assume that Russia also maintains ICBM's on similar alert. Both nations rely on space and land-based sensors to provide attack warning. The intelligence provided by these sensors can be miss-read, leading to an accidental or inadvertent launch on warning followed by nuclear retaliation.

If, as is the current case in Russia, the command, control and warning systems deteriorate, in an atmosphere of tension and mistrust, the danger of an unauthorized launch could reach the point of no return.

The U.S. and Russia should take their nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert and jointly begin a serious effort to reduce their respective nuclear arsenals to as close to zero as possible. Such bilateral action would truly make the American people and the rest of the world safer�and I, for one, would tip my hat to any President, Republican or Democrat, who insists that this policy is implemented.

Jack Shanahan, a former commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, heads the Military Advisory Committee of TrueMajorityACTION.org -- a project of Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities.


Return to Menu


3.
Are US Sanctions Against Russia's Altai a Competitive Tools? (sic)
Andrei Kislyakov, RIA Novosti
RIA Novosti
7/27/2004
(for personal use only)


Sanctions against the Altai Federal Research and Production Centre imposed under a resolution signed by Susan Burk, US assistant secretary of state for non-proliferation of missile technologies, came into force on July 22. The United States did not explain the reasons behind the decision.

According to Altai Deputy Director Viktor Maryash, the United States has not filed any complaints whatsoever against the centre. Staff members only learnt about the sanctions on the Internet. The centre produces and sells apparatus, composite materials, ultra fine diamonds and other hi-tech products that are in great demand on the world market. Altai maintains co-operation in the sphere of civilian hi-tech developments with companies based in the United States, Germany, Japan, Turkey, and the Netherlands. "Altai only signs contracts after a thorough expert evaluation and in strict compliance with Russian legislation," Mr Maryash says. "Altai's projects with foreign partners have the relevant bodies' approval and we always obey the rules."

"With respect to these and other sanctions, we would like to emphasise that it is up to the United States to restrict its own contacts with Russia's leading defence complex enterprises," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement. "This is the USA's choice."

It would seem that this is the end to the matter.

The US State Department has made a mistake that will affect American companies. However, the problem is not that simple as the United States is not trying to limit solely its own contacts with Russia's research community relying on its authority of a staunch supporter of the non-proliferation regimes. It is no secret that the world, especially Europe, China, and South-East Asia, have been increasingly interested in Russia's hi-tech achievements.

Russia's leading enterprises in this sphere are well known. They are the Baltic State Technological University, the Moscow Aviation Institute, the Mendeleyev Chemical-Technological Institute, the Tula Instrument Engineering Design Office, and Omsk's Baranov Engine Works. These enterprises have apparently been included on America's black list for Russia.

Since pragmatism and economic efficiency determine the character of modern inter-state relations, what was the point in imposing restrictions on profitable economic relations? The point is that Russia's major partners on the high technology market, for example European and Chinese aerospace companies, do not see any threat whatsoever emanating from co-operation with Russia. Companies are even urging their governments to step up such co-operation, which undoubtedly is not in America's interests.


Return to Menu


4.
Kerry Treads in Bush's Russian Footsteps
Vladimir Simonov
RIA Novosti
7/27/2004
(for personal use only)


One of the main objectives of the Democratic convention, which opened in Boston on Monday, is to show US voters the real John Kerry. The people of America do not know the Democrat candidate-elect well enough. Some Western analysts even claim that Kerry is a big blank spot, except for the striking detail that he volunteered to fight in Vietnam.

Russians, including those who take a great interest in international politics, do not seem to know much about Kerry either. Naturally, they would like to learn more about this man, who could be the next president of the United States, a country that was once the Soviet Union's main enemy and is now Russia's strategic partner. Many Russians now read foreign newspapers and surf the Internet to learn John Kerry's opinion of their country and his possible strategy for developing US-Russian relations should he win the White House.

Russian political scientists, as well as ordinary Russians, are inclined to think that Moscow traditionally maintains better relations with Republican, rather than Democratic, administrations. However, Bill Clinton managed to charm Boris Yeltsin to such a great extent that he did not object to the US withdrawal from the 1972 ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) Treaty, which shook up this stereotype a great deal.

Mr Kerry's campaign statements enable one to draw the following conclusion: this Democratic leader comprehends Russia's significance in the system of US foreign-policy priorities and would like to assure Moscow of his goodwill.

Among other things, Mr Kerry praises Russia's successes in forging an open and free society, market economics and democratic rule over the last few years. Kerry believes Russia's commitment to these values is "admirable" and he has promised to help the people of Russia strengthen the foundations of democratic society and the primacy of law. Grateful Russian citizens can only welcome this.

Of course, Mr Kerry would not be a Democratic contender, if he did not believe that his Republican rivals are pursuing an incorrect policy.

In the "Russia" section of the Democratic campaign headquarters' official document dedicated to European security, Mr Kerry and his running mate John Edwards resolutely insist that America's Russian policy "must consist of more than just words." The document reads, "Russia deserves a real agenda for co-operation, opportunities for engagement, and candid communications."

Any more or less bright reader may suppose that the Republican administration's Russian policy had, until now, consisted of mere words. But how does the Democrat ticket intend to fill the alleged vacuum, if they make it to the White House?

The Democratic candidate is sending out a clear-cut message on this score. Kerry repeatedly mentions Russia as a new source of energy resources along with Canada and Africa's non-OPEC countries. In his opinion, Russia could thus rid the United States of its dangerous dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

Kerry should admit for the sake of justice that, instead of merely filling in a possible vacuum, this highlights an intention to follow in the Republican administration's wake.

The point is that Russian and US business circles, with Washington's most active participation, have been conducting an intense commercial energy dialogue for the last two years. It promises to become a key element in bilateral economic relations, with the US Chamber of Commerce and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Businessmen acting as co-chairs.

It is public knowledge that US gas prices have soared 100% over the last 12 months, while 95% of all US power plants use natural gas. The most conservative estimates claim that nationwide gas demand will double within the next 20 years. In its search for new gas resources, the US business community turned its gaze to Russia a long time ago. Although the bulk of Russia's supplies now go to Europe, Russia could become America's biggest gas supplier.

For instance, a group of US businessmen would like to build a liquefied-gas factory on the Yamal Peninsula to ensure deliveries for the US East Coast. Moreover, four major Russian companies intend to lay a pipeline from Western Siberia to Murmansk. Once overhauled, the Murmansk seaport would supply crude oil to the US at Middle Eastern prices. Analysts on the global oil market are positive that proven Russian oil deposits will mean Russia's share in the US oil imports will rise to 15% or even 20%.

Therefore, by singling out Russia as an important energy source, Mr Kerry, although he is entirely correct, is not saying anything new. Indeed, the Republicans have taken some specific measures in this sphere.

Mr Kerry's Russian-policy statements also highlight his intention to ensure the security of Russia's weapon-grade nuclear materials as soon as possible. The Democratic candidate's experts believe that it will take 13 years to prevent rogue states and prospective terrorists from laying their hands on former Soviet nuclear materials. "We cannot wait that long," Mr Kerry said in a recent speech entitled New Strategies To Meet New Threats. "I will ensure that we remove this material entirely from sites that can't adequately be secured during my first term."

RIA Novosti's military sources claim that Kerry, who voices good intentions, does not comprehend the scale of this problem clearly enough. It is impossible to guarantee the security of nuclear materials all over post-Soviet territory in one go and to remove them elsewhere during in just four years.

Still it should be mentioned for the sake of justice that Kerry is also treading in Bush's footsteps here. The Republican Administration is doing a great deal to help Moscow scrap its obsolete nuclear weapons and ensure the security of fissionable nuclear materials. Among other things, the G8 summit in Kananaskis endorsed the Global Partnership Program with Washington's blessing and on its initiative; the program aims to accomplish a Herculean objective. The United States undertakes to provide $10 billion within the next ten years, with other G8 members contributing another $10 billion.

Russia and other CIS countries are quite grateful for this aid. However, this sense is not so heartfelt when it comes to politically motivated strings, such as inspections at military bases and top-secret R&D agencies, because this affects national security.

On the whole, one can draw the following curious conclusion: John Kerry's Russian policy differs little from George Bush's. Benevolent co-operation with Russia is turning into a bipartisan category. The Democrats are merely vying with the Republicans in terms of their ambitious plans. And this can only be welcomed, because such policies will facilitate enduring and long-term Russian-US co-operation.


Return to Menu


F.  Nonproliferation Diplomacy

1.
Delegates from CIS Foreign Ministries to Discuss Nuclear Non-Proliferation
RIA Novosti
7/29/2004
(for personal use only)


The consultations of the foreign ministries of the CIS countries on preparations for the 2005 NPT Review Conference will be held in Moscow today.

"We expect the CIS foreign ministries to be represented by heads of structural divisions and directors of departments on disarmament and security," said Leonid Radkevich, counsellor of the department of political co-operation and peacekeeping of the CIS Executive Committee.

The delegates will discuss the non-proliferation situation and the results of the 3rd New York session for preparations for the 2005 Review Conference held in April-May this year. They will ponder the draft agenda of the conference and possible actions of the CIS countries during preparations for the conference.

The issue of preparations of the CIS countries for the NPT review conference will be on the agenda of the session of the Council of the CIS Foreign Ministers, to be held in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, on September 15.


Return to Menu


G.  Russia-Iran

1.
Iran seeks nuke bomb "booster" from Russia - report
Louis Charbonneau
Reuters
7/28/2004
(for personal use only)


Iranian agents are negotiating with a Russian company to buy a substance that can boost nuclear explosions in atomic weapons, according to an intelligence agency report being circulated by diplomats.

The two-page report cited "knowledgeable Russian sources" for the information, which Washington will likely point to as more proof that Tehran wants to acquire nuclear weaponry.

"Iranian middlemen ... are in the advanced stages of negotiations in Russia to buy deuterium gas," the report said.

Iran denies wanting atomic arms and says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes. Deuterium is used as a tracer molecule in medicine and biochemistry and is used in heavy water reactors of the type Iran is building.

But it can also be combined with tritium and used as a "booster" in nuclear fusion bombs of the implosion type.

Envoys linked to the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said buying deuterium alone was not evidence of intent to acquire a weapons capability.

They cautioned that the report appeared designed to persuade nations who are not convinced Iran wants the bomb.

The United States and others are pushing the IAEA to report Iran to the Security Council for possible punishment with economic sanctions for allegedly seeking nuclear weapons in defiance of its treaty obligations.

"Iran needs to know that they will suffer deeply if they get nuclear weapons," said the diplomat who provided the report.

France, Germany and Britain have been negotiating with Iran to persuade it to cooperate fully with IAEA inspections to allay Western doubts and are resisting referring Tehran to the UN. A further high-level meeting is expected in Paris on Thursday.

It is not illegal for Iran to purchase deuterium but it should be reported to the IAEA.

Diplomats say the suspicions surrounding Iran's nuclear programme are so great that it would be wise for Tehran to exercise maximum transparency on all such "dual-use" purchases and declare them ahead of time to the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

"Iran has not declared this to the IAEA. Their cover story is that they want it for civilian purposes," said the diplomat who gave Reuters the report.

The report did not name the Russian firm. Moscow has been criticised by Washington for building the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran, despite U.S. concerns that it is a cover for Iran to acquire know-how and import items that can be used for bombs.

The report said purchase talks were in the final stages. It added that Iran had tried to produce deuterium-tritium gas -- with the help of Russian scientists -- but had so far failed.

The IAEA declined to comment, Iran's ambassador to the U.N. in Vienna did not return phone calls from Reuters and officials at Iran's embassy in Moscow also made no comment.

An official at Russia's Atomic Energy Agency said he had heard nothing about attempts to buy deuterium. A spokesman for Russia's nuclear watchdog, GosAtomNadzor, said the same.

"We are not aware of any such negotiations or shipments taking place," said the Russian agency official. "I am puzzled. All shipments of sensitive and dangerous gases like deuterium must be carried out with a proper licence."

The U.N. has been investigating Iran's nuclear programme for nearly two years to determine whether allegations that it has a secret atomic weapons programme are false, as Tehran insists.

While it has found many instances where Iran concealed potentially weapons-related activities, the IAEA says it has no clear evidence that Tehran is trying to build the bomb. The United States and its allies say there is sufficient evidence and the agency is being too cautious.


Return to Menu


2.
Russia Denies Nuclear Negotiations with Iran
Voice of America
7/28/2004
(for personal use only)


Russia has denied reports a Russian firm is negotiating with Iran over the sale of a dual-use substance that can be used to boost the power of nuclear explosions.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday it will not deliver such supplies. Diplomats linked to the International Atomic Energy Agency are circulating a report saying Iran is trying to buy deuterium gas, which can be used in medical research as well as weapons-making.

IAEA officials say such purchases do not violate international treaties but should be reported to the agency.

A spokesman for the U.S. State Department, Adam Ereli, says such negotiations amount to a direct challenge to the call for Iran to suspend nuclear activities.

Tuesday, Western diplomats said Iran has broken the seals recently placed on its uranium enrichment centrifuges by U.N. inspectors.

Washington accuses Tehran of working to develop a nuclear arsenal, while Iran insists its nuclear research is for peaceful purposes.


Return to Menu


H.  Nuclear Safety

1.
Kyrgyzstan Receives Aid to Secure Nuclear Waste
Ecolinks News Service
7/29/2004
(for personal use only)


Kyrgyzstan will receive monetary aid from the United States and Russia to secure radioactive waste sites left from the Soviet era.

The countries have pledged a total of $560,000. Russia's Nuclear Energy Agency pledged $160,000 and the U.S. State Department offered $400,000. The money will be used to secure and rehabilitate uranium waste sites in Kaji-Say, which is 155 miles east of the capital.

The project, which is due to start in August, will focus on the waste sites containing 170,000 cubic meters (6,002,824 cubic feet) of radioactive uranium waste, Kyrgyz Emergencies Ministry spokesman Emil Akmatov said. Russia will carry out an assessment and the U.S. State Department will finance work to secure the waste sites and move waste to safer areas.


Return to Menu


I.  Official Statements

1.
Interview given by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the magazine Diplomat №8, August 2004
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin
7/30/2004
(for personal use only)


Sergey Viktorovich, how will the results of the recent parliamentary and presidential elections affect Russia's foreign policy?

The outcome of the elections suggests that President Vladimir Putin's foreign policy is largely supported by Russian society. This is fully explainable since a significant strengthening of Russia's international position is one of the generally recognized results of Vladimir Putin's first term in office.

Of course, this is largely attributable to this country's political stability and its improved economic situation. What also counts is the fact that these past few years a foreign policy concept based on a clear understanding of our long-term national interests was formulated and consistently implemented. Our foreign policy efforts should help create a favorable environment for this country's sustained socio-economic development and the protection of the people's rights and interests. The correctness of such an approach has been borne out by all of Russia's historical experience.

Furthermore, following a multi-vector, pragmatic and constructive foreign policy and defending this country's interests by peaceful means, through dialogue and cooperation rather than through confrontation, has fully justified itself. All these fundamental principles of our foreign policy will remain immutable.

At the same time, the scope of the tasks facing this country, as President Vladimir Putin emphasized in his recent Message to the Federal Assembly, has considerably changed today. We need there-fore to make our foreign policy adequate to the goals and possibilities of this new stage of development. It is a matter of coupling it to a greater extent with addressing nationwide goals, such as doubling the GDP, enhancing competitiveness of the Russian economy, its integration into the world economic system, and higher living standards. It is precisely this criterion that will be the basis of practical activities of Russian diplomacy in the years ahead.

What does "the division of labor" between Smolenskaya Square and the Kremlin in formulating and implementing this country's foreign policy look like?

Under the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the president is responsible for this country's foreign policy. As to the Foreign Ministry, it is responsible for its practical implementation. Moreover, our Ministry provides the country's leadership with foreign policy information and prepares appropriate recommendations. However, major decisions are made in the Kremlin.

Since Igor Ivanov's appointment as secretary of the Security Council, the role of this body in coordinating the efforts to settle a wide spectrum of security issues and their conjunction with our diplomatic activities has been increasing. The Foreign Ministry will assist the Security Council in this work in every possible way.

Furthermore, our Ministry closely interacts with the President's Administration, the Federal Assembly and other Russian ministries and agencies. A large variety of state and public organizations, research centers, and Russian Federation entities are likewise involved in elaborating and implementing foreign policy initiatives. It is crucial that they all act in a coordinated way and with-in the framework of a single national policy. This is why the Foreign Ministry has been entrusted with performing the key coordinating functions in this area.

I expect that we will be able to streamline the mechanism of formulating and implementing our foreign policy and enhance its effectiveness as we carry out the administrative reform in this country.

Sergey Viktorovich, what international issues and which regions of the world do you consider to be priorities?

As I have mentioned, our foreign policy has many vectors. This implies the need to constantly maintain good relations with neighboring states, primarily within the framework of the CIS, to boost cooperation with countries in the West and East, and to secure our presence wherever it can practically benefit our economic and other interests.

We are also interested in getting more involved in addressing both global and regional problems that impact the interests of the world community as a whole. I mean above all the collective efforts to fight new threats and challenges, such as international terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, organized crime, drug trafficking, and much more. Russia will continue making a constructive contribution to resolving local conflicts and crises, including those in Iraq, the Middle East, North Korea, and so on.

The ultimate goal of these efforts is to promote the' forming of a safer and more just world order where all problems could be addressed within the frame-work of international law and multilateral cooperation under the UN auspices. We are convinced that such an order would correspond in the best possible way to the nature and scale of the problems mankind is con-fronted with in the 21st century and would at the same time serve as a reliable guarantee of Russia's security and ensure it a decent place in the world.


Return to Menu


2.
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Kislyak Meets with US Assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth Jones
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin
7/30/2004
(for personal use only)


On July 29 Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Kislyak had a meeting in Moscow with US Assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth Jones.

In the course of their conversation the sides discussed topical problems of Russian-US relations in the context of implementation of top-level accords, including joint actions in the sphere of strategic stability, nonproliferation, settlement of regional conflicts and development of trade and economic relations.

Return to Menu


3.
Kazakhstan to Build Network of Laboratories to Track Dangerous Infections and Protect Population from Bioweapons
Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan News Bulletin
7/29/2004
(for personal use only)


Anatoliy Belonog, Deputy Minister of Healthcare, announced Kazakhstan is planning to build a central laboratory to track the most virulent infections which could threaten the peoples of Kazakhstan. Twelve regional labs will be equipped with the necessary tools to protect the populace.

Speaking at a nationwide conference of healthcare professionals in Astana on July 29, Deputy Minister Belonog said �this year, as part of a program to counter the spread of bacteriological weapons, we are holding negotiations on building a central reference laboratory and equipping regional labs and epidemiological stations with appropriate tools in 12 regions of Kazakhstan.�

He noted �biological security of our country is an integral element of Kazakhstan�s national security,� and it is the job of ministries of healthcare and agriculture �to strengthen and improve the system of epidemiological oversight over most dangerous infections.�

The ministries seek to solve many problems they face in this area through international cooperation. Belonog added his ministry had established �close ties with research institutes in Russia, United States� Centers for Disease Control, and health ministries of the Central Asian region.�

Several of Kazakhstan�s regions have areas of naturally occurring biological diseases, including anthrax, brucellosis and others. During Soviet times, Kazakhstan was home to the world�s largest anthrax production and weaponization facility at Stepnogorsk. It has since been destroyed with the cooperation of the U.S. under the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program.


Return to Menu


4.
Commentary by the Russian Foreign Ministry Information and Press Department in Connection with the Question from the Russian Media Regarding Reports Released in Vienna That Iranian Agents Are Negotiating the Purchase of Heavy Hydrogen from a Russian Company
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Daily News Bulletin
7/28/2004
(for personal use only)


Question: Please, comment on reports published in Vienna that Iranian agents are negotiating the purchase of heavy hydrogen from a Russian company.

Commentary: Russia is cooperating with Iran in peaceful use of atomic energy under the relevant intergovernmental agreements which do not envisage the supply of heavy water to Teheran by our country.. The Russian side is not planning such deliveries.


Return to Menu


5.
Nuclear Security: GTRI Conference of Key Partners Set for September
International Atomic Energy Agency
7/28/2004
(for personal use only)


Key partners of a US global initiative to upgrade nuclear security are meeting at an international conference in Vienna this September, preceding the annual IAEA General Conference. Called "The Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) International Partners Conference", the meeting convenes at the Austria Center in Vienna 18-19 September 2004.

US Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced the GTRI in a speech at the IAEA in May 2004. He described it as a comprehensive global initiative to secure and/or remove high-risk nuclear and other radioactive material worldwide that pose a threat to the international community. The initiative targets vulnerable nuclear and other radioactive material worldwide, building upon existing and long-standing threat reduction efforts.

The USA, the Russian Federation, and the IAEA are already working together on several major programmes that are important components of the GTRI. They include the Russian Research Reactor Fuel Return Programme, the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors Programme, and the Tripartite Initiative to secure high-risk radioactive sources.

More information about the GTRI Conference is on the IAEA Meetings pages or from the US Department of Energy, Office of Global Threat Reduction, in Washington, DC.


Return to Menu


J.  Links of Interest

1.
Fact Sheet: The Nuclear Suppliers Group
Bureau of Nonproliferation
Department of State
7/29/2004
(for personal use only)
http://www.state.gov/t/np/rls/fs/34729.htm


Return to Menu


2.
Fact Sheet: The Zangger Committee
Bureau of Nonproliferation
Department of State
7/29/2004
(for personal use only)
http://www.state.gov/t/np/rls/fs/34766.htm


Return to Menu


3.
Foreign Policy Aspects of the War against Terrorism � Seventh Report of Session 2003�04 (see fifth chapter on Russia)
Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons
7/21/2004
(for personal use only)
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmselect/cmfaff/441/441.pdf


Return to Menu


4.
Bureau of Nonproliferation Organization Chart
Department of State
7/7/2004
(for personal use only)
http://www.state.gov/t/np/rls/other/32896.htm


Return to Menu


5.
Globalizing Cooperative Threat Reduction: A Survey of Options
Sharon Squassoni
Congressional Research Service
7/2/2004
(for personal use only)
http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/crs/RL32359.pdf


Return to Menu


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

If you have questions/comments/concerns, please reply to news@216.119.87.134



Section Menu:
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999


© 2007 Partnership for Global Security. All rights reserved. Privacy Statement.