1. Czech Republic to Continue Removing Nuclear Materials
CTK National News Wire
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The Czech Republic will continue ridding itself of dangerous radioactive materials taking advantage of the U.S.-Russian programme that is aimed at lowering the risk of nuclear materials being made to build a bomb, head of the Nuclear Research Institute Frantisek Pazdera told CTK today.
Further transports will follow the first shipment of enriched uranium undertaken in December, but these shipments will be of used nuclear fuel from the test reactor in Rez, near Prague. Most of the costs of the programme will be covered by the United States.
According to Pazdera, the goal of the programme is to prevent the material from ending up in the hands of terrorists or groups that could use the material to build an atomic bomb.
The United states and Russia built test reactors in over 40 countries in the past and Russia by itself has over 105 such facilities. There are only two in the Czech Republic, one in Rez and the other at the Prague Technical University.
Six kilogrammes of fresh highly enriched uranium were transported from the Czech Republic to Russia in December. There was no use for the material, so it was sent to Dimitrovgrad to be diluted.
The next phase of the programme will deal with spent fuel which could be used to build a dirty bomb.
Pazdera said that the United States is trying to have the materials removed from 17 countries, including the Czech Republic, Belarus, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Libya, Kazakhstan, China and North Korea.
If the Czech Republic completes the transports, then it could help other countries with the transports, Pazdera said, adding that the country would be given as an example to others.
Czech firm Skoda JS developed ten special containers for transporting the fuel, paid for by the United States and these could then be lent to other countries.
The programme focuses on experimental and teaching reactors because usually the facilities they are located in do not have the funding for property security measures. Pazdera said that he estimates that the United States has spent about 250 million crowns on the programme thus far.
1. EU, US To Help Armenian Nuclear Plant Step Up Security
Arminfo News Agency
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The Armenian Nuclear Power Plant will be suspended for planned repairs and refuelling on 15 September 2005, the general director of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant closed-type joint-stock company, Gagik Markosyan, has told Arminfo.
The plant will stay idle for 45 days, he said. The European Union will allocate 4 million euros for a project on enhancing security at the plant. The funds will be used to set up the first ever automated system of chemical control at the plant and on some other measures. Significant work will also be carried out in cooperation with the US Energy Department towards stepping up security at the plant, while Russia has undertaken to provide it with the necessary volumes of fuel.
In 2004, the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant increased power generation by 26 percent and its output totalled 2.4 billion kWh. Power production at the plant is planned to be 2.528 billion kWh in 2005, which will be possible by reducing the time of the plant's suspension from the routine 65 days to 45 days. The Armenian nuclear plant consists of two energy units with the 400 MW capacity each.
1. Foreign Aid for Russian Nuclear Submarines Dismantling Reached Highest Level in 2004
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The total share of the Global Partnership program members in the Russian submarine dismantling became equal to the sum provided by the Russian state budget for this purpose in 2004.
Sergey Antipov said that to the Interfax agency in March. Before 2004, Russia allocated more money for the submarinesï¿½ dismantling, but last year the shares became equal. Russia did not reduce financing and continues to allocate about $72m annually, while the foreign partners have significantly increased financial assistance. He said it had taken three years for the paper work and now more and more contracts are being signed what shows the results. All the retired nuclear submarines should be scrapped by 2010. Today 84 nuclear submarines have to be decommissioned.
The G8 "Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction [WMD]" issued by the world's eight leading industrial nations ï¿½ Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russia Federation, the UK and the USï¿½at the G8 Summit on 27 June 2002, is an initiative aimed at accounting, securing and clearing up Russia's nuclear legacy.
1. Five Chemical Weapons Disposal Plants to be Built in Russia in Next Two Years
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Five chemical weapons disposal plants will be built in Russia in the next two years, director of the Federal Special Construction Agency Gen. Nikolai Abroskin said on Wednesday.
ï¿½We are building simultaneously five chemical weapons disposal plants. They will be commissioned in 2005-2006,ï¿½ the general said in an interview with the weekly Military Industrial Courier.
ï¿½The Federal Special Construction Agency is a general contractor in the presidential programme for the disposal of chemical weapons and is building the main facilities. All chemical weapons stocks will have been fully disposed by 2012 after disposal plants had been commissioned,ï¿½ Abroskin emphasized.
According to the general, ï¿½the first world chemical weapons disposal plant has been built in the Saratov region.ï¿½ More than 400 tonnes of mustard have been disposed at the plant in 2003 that allowed Russia to fulfill its commitments for the world community within the set terms. At present the disposal plant is completing the disposal of lewisite.
1. New DHS Office to Have Some Authority Over Threat Reduction, Export Controls, Says Acting Head
Global Security Newswire
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A new U.S. Homeland Security Department office will be responsible for coordinating and assessing other agenciesï¿½ work in a wide range of programs, from locking down Russian nuclear materials to improving radiation detection equipment used in the United States, the officeï¿½s acting director said yesterday (see GSN, April 19).
Earlier this week, proliferation experts and lawmakers expressed concern at a House of Representatives hearing that the creation of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office could signify insufficient attention by the Bush administration to securing and intercepting nuclear materials abroad, before they could be used in an attack.
In a related hearing yesterday, acting head Vayl Oxford staked out an international role for the office that appeared to belie its name. Oxford detailed an ambitious agenda for the new bureau, which he said would drive the strategy, technology development and assessment processes behind a global U.S. program to prevent a nuclear terrorist attack.
The office ï¿½recognizes the great strides that have already been madeï¿½ by programs in the Energy, Defense and State departments to secure dangerous nuclear materials, reduce existing quantities of the materials and prevent them from being transported or transferred, Oxford told the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Prevention of Nuclear and Biological Attack.
ï¿½The DNDO,ï¿½ he said, ï¿½is now responsible for developing an overall global architecture that assesses and links these programs in an effort to ensure that the nation proceeds with a single, comprehensive prevention and detection strategy.ï¿½
ï¿½This detection architecture must be a multilayered in nature. It must start with an understanding of the international programs and agreements that help secure all weapons-usable materials overseas and continue with layers of nuclear detection capabilities at international borders and ports of departure overseas, domestic ports of entry and the nationï¿½s borders and, finally, within the nation and around high-risk or high-value locations,ï¿½ Oxford said.
Oxford also responded to concerns that current detection technology is inadequate, a problem some scientists say is insurmountable because of the physics involved.
The office will maintain two research and development offices, he said: an ï¿½evolutionaryï¿½ program for quick improvements in technologies that are already deployed and a ï¿½transformationalï¿½ program to seek fundamentally better approaches to detection.
ï¿½The first of these efforts provides near-term ï¿½ five years or less ï¿½ improvements in deployed capabilities, directly meeting requirements of operational users,ï¿½ Oxford said. The program will focus on ï¿½threat materials of greatest concern,ï¿½ he said.
The second, ï¿½transformationalï¿½ program, he said, ï¿½will not be driven directly by operational requirements. Rather, these improvements are intended to provide new capabilities that could potentially be so great as to provide new operational concepts for current system components.ï¿½
The Bush administrationï¿½s fiscal 2006 budget request includes at least $359 million for the new entity.
2. Riceï¿½s Plan to Inspect Russian Nuclear Sites Lost in Translation
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During her meetings with top Russian officials Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made several sensational statements but her interlocutors appeared either to misunderstand or to ignore them, the Kommersant Daily wrote Thursday.
Condoleezza Rice effectively admitted that the U.S. was set to inspect Russiaï¿½s nuclear facilities, and unequivocally demanded that Putin resign in 2008 after his second term in office expires. She also hinted that Belarus would soon see an ï¿½Orange Revolutionï¿½. Her Russian interlocutors pretended stubbornly that they didnï¿½t hear anything, the Russian daily writes.
If Riceï¿½s 24-hour visit here made anything clear, it was the complexities of dealing with a Cold War foe become ally in the war on terror and a major oil supplier in a fuel-hungry world. Rice described President Vladimir Putinï¿½s centralization of power and clampdown on independent broadcast media as ï¿½very worryingï¿½ and said ï¿½the trends have not been positive on the democracy sideï¿½.
She criticized the judiciary, warned Putin against illegally seeking a third term and cautioned that the world was watching to see how state moves against the oil giant Yukos and its jailed chairman play out, the AFP news agency reported.
A bomb scare prevented the U.S Secretary of State from checking into her hotel immediately upon arrival. Instead, she had a dinner with Russiaï¿½s Defense Minister Ivanov.
Following that dinner, on Wednesday morning, Rice told the Ekho Moskvy radio station of the United Statesï¿½ intention to inspect Russian nuclear facilities.
Responding to those who consider American access to the Russian nuclear facilities as infringing on Russian sovereignty, Rice answered ï¿½I do not consider the inspections that have to be done as a question of sovereignty. Nobody wants nuclear materials or weapons to get into the hands of the bad guys. As well as the U.S., Russia also confronts very unpleasant incidents connected with terrorism. We know what is going to happen if terrorists have access to such weapons.ï¿½
However, Ivanov said Wednesday the issue of such inspections were never raised at the Tuesday dinner. He not only refuted Riceï¿½s words but also he let it be understood that the issue of U.S. inspections is not on the agenda at all. ï¿½The question of American experts visiting Russian nuclear facilities was not examined. And nobodyï¿½s talking about it,ï¿½ he told journalists Wednesday.
The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov was more cautious. He recalled that in February the presidents of Russian and the United States, during their meeting in Bratislava, ï¿½brought complete clarity into this issue. They gave specific orders to the organizations of both countries to cooperate in the sphere of security provision for nuclear materials and nuclear facilities.ï¿½ Lavrov said that he had not taken part in the Rice-Ivanov meeting and ï¿½had not heard anything about any new agreementsï¿½ concerning U.S. inspections of Russian nuclear facilities.
However, the content of the ï¿½oldï¿½ agreements reached in Bratislava and mentioned by Lavrov is not clear.
As Kommersant wrote on Feb. 28 of this year, right after that summit of both presidents two versions of the joint declaration about nuclear security were publicized. In the text that appeared on the Kremlin Web site was an extra paragraph that was not in the White House text. This paragraph said that ï¿½until July 1, 2005, the Ministry of Defense of Russia will specify the rest of the objects where it is necessary to improve security measures.ï¿½
And the ï¿½visits to the facilities of Rosatom and the 12th Main Department of the Defense Ministry of RF (supervising all Russian nuclear arsenals) will start before December 2005. It meant in reality that it is reasonable to expect inspection of the Russian civil and military nuclear facilities by U.S. inspectors before the end of this year.
3. New Storage Facility for Spent Nuclear Fuel Opened at Zvezdochka Shipyard
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The Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk, Arkhangelsk region, has finished construction of the new storage facility for spent nuclear fuel.
The facility sponsored by the US CTR program, will significantly strengthen the company's capability to handle and store the spent nuclear fuel from the Northern Fleet nuclear submarines. Press spokeswoman from Zvezdochka, Nadezhda Scherbinina, says the facilities will begin operation in May this year. She also said the new site would double the company's storage capacity. The spent nuclear fuel will be stored in containers.
4. Press Conference on 2005 Alan Cranston Peace Award
UN News Centre
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Speaking at a Headquarters press conference this afternoon prior to an awards ceremony at which he was to receive the 2005 Alan Cranston Peace Award, businessman and philanthropist Ted Turner called the huge nuclear arsenals of the United States and Russia ï¿½the most important threat we faceï¿½ and cited the urgent need to get rid of all nuclear weapons as soon as possible.
The Award, sponsored by the Global Security Institute, honoured world leaders who demonstrated a commitment to global security and nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. It would be presented by the former President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, who called Mr. Turner ï¿½one of my heroesï¿½, a comrade and a humanist, and added that Mr. Turner knew not only how to make money, but how to spend it, as well.
Jonathan Branoff, President of the Institute, said Mr. Turner merited the Award due to his courageous leadership in business, the environment and arms control, including creating the United Nations Foundation and the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Joining him and Mr. Gorbachev were Kim Campbell, the former Prime Minister of Canada, and Jane Goodall, United Nations Messenger of Peace.
Mr. Turner, who was inspired by the late United States Senator Cranstonï¿½s work for nuclear disarmament, said, ï¿½it was hypocrisy, in my opinion, for us with our 30,000 nuclear weapons to tell smaller countries about theirsï¿½. All nuclear Powers, when they signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, agreed to substantially reduce -- heading towards zero -- the nuclear arsenals. ï¿½We havenï¿½t lived up to the obligations we took on.ï¿½ It was easy to understand why other countries felt that, if the United States, Russia, China, Israel, Pakistan, India and France could have nuclear weapons, then why couldnï¿½t they. ï¿½Either we all have them or nobody has them.ï¿½
ï¿½Assuming we can get rid of nuclear weapons, we have to preserve our environmentï¿½, he said. Time magazine was off when it picked Einstein as man of the century, he added, saying ï¿½my man of the century is right hereï¿½. Mr. Gorbachev, he felt, more than anyone else was responsible for the peaceful end of the cold war and the peaceful reorganizing of the Soviet Union. Never had such a huge transformation taken place so peacefully as under Mr. Gorbachevï¿½s leadership.
Jane Goodall, United Nations Messenger of Peace, said it was desperately important to make peace with environment and better use of the planetï¿½s non-renewable natural resources. Mr. Turner had been instrumental in helping people, particularly youth, to understand environmental problems.
Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister of Canada, who would preside over the awards ceremony, also made a brief statement, stressing Mr. Turnerï¿½s remarkable faith in the United Nations as the worldï¿½s most important multilateral institution.
During the question-and-answer period, Mr. Turner was asked, in light of the NPT Review Conference next month, what could be done to take those thousands of weapons off hair-trigger alert. He responded that time was running out. ï¿½Weï¿½ve been lucky that something hasnï¿½t gone wrong. We need to get rid of the weapons before they get rid of us.ï¿½ He felt there hadnï¿½t been nearly enough preparation for the upcoming review conference as there needed to be.
Mr. Gorbachev agreed with the need to get rid of nuclear weapons, noting that the speed at which that was being done had slowed down recently. It was necessary, he said, to review and change military doctrine, including with respect to first use and preventive use of such weapons. The United States and Russia must continue what they started, he added. What was needed for that was trust and cooperation. Russia was ready to cooperate, he stated.
As for whether the United States, the only remaining super-Power, was ready to do that, he said he didnï¿½t think it was, adding ï¿½The United States is sick. It suffers from the sickness, the disease of being the victor. And it has to cure itself of this disease.ï¿½
Asked how leaders could be motivated to work towards sustainable development, Mr. Gorbachev said action could not be postponed on security, poverty and the environment. He called poverty ï¿½a slow fuse bombï¿½, saying that it was not possible to deal with anything else unless that was dealt with first.
Before concluding, Mr. Branoff urged leaders to de-alert the weapons; achieve a fissile material cut-off treaty; make sure that the Moscow Treaty was in compliance with the NPT by being verifiable and irreversible; and get serious about stopping proliferation and obtain a comprehensive test-ban treaty. ï¿½These are the threat-reducing steps that will bring us to a safer world.ï¿½
1. Yushchenko Arms Sales to China, Iran Claim Unfounded: Intelligence
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An opposition deputy's claim that Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko played a role in the illegal sale of nuclear-capable cruise missiles to China and Iran is unfounded, the head of the country's domestic secret service told AFP here on Monday.
"This claim simply isn't serious and its only motive is a political one," said Olexander Turtshinov, head of the SBU domestic security and intelligence service.
"The enquiry into the missiles sale has been carried out by the SBU and we found Yushchenko shouldered no responsibility in the matter," insisted Turtshinov.
"We are prosecuting all the people involved and we shall bring all of them to court," he said.
Member of parliament Taras Chornovil said Saturday that a deal in 2001 "took place when Yushchenko was prime minister," and "the transaction could only take on such dimensions after arrangements with the prime minister who knew" about it.
Yushchenko headed the Ukrainian government between December 1999 and April 2001 before joining the opposition to then president Leonid Kuchma and becoming president late last year.
He has admitted that nuclear-capable cruise missiles were sold illegally to China and Iran under Kiev's previous regime but said the X-55 missiles were exported under a forged contract that had Russia as the country of destination.
No nuclear warheads were sold with the missiles, made in 1987, which have a range roughly of 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) and were poorly maintained, according to a Ukrainian source familiar with the investigation.
According to Ukrainian public prosecutors the sales were illegal and could not be considered Ukrainian exports.
Six missiles were sold to Iran in 2001 and six to China, they have said.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Moscow today for discussions on issues including securing former Soviet nuclear materials and the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea, the New York Sun reported today (see GSN, April 6).
Russian officials expect Rice to press for more access for U.S. inspectors to Russian nuclear sites, according to one source.
ï¿½The Americans want to have a look at those storage facilities, to assess the danger of nuclear materials being sold illegally,ï¿½ said the source.
The Bush administration has made efforts to safeguard Russiaï¿½s nuclear stockpile a greater priority in the new presidential term, according to Carnegie Moscow Center Director Andrew Kuchins.
While modest progress on the issue can be expected, no ï¿½headline-grabbingï¿½ announcements are anticipated, he said.
Rice is also expected to discuss Iran and North Korea in meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other officials, the Sun reported (Michael Mainville, New York Sun, April 19).
1. U.S. and Russian Militaries Conduct Missile and Nuclear Terrorism Exercises
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Speaking at a cabinet meeting on 18 April, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov announced that 75 U.S. military officers are in Russia to conduct joint missile defense exercises, "Komsomolskaya pravda" reported. Meanwhile, 10 Russian generals responsible within the Russian Defense Ministry for nuclear weapons arrived in the U.S. for nuclear terrorism exercises at secret U.S. nuclear warhead storage facilities, "Izvestiya" reported 18 April.
Iran's deputy security chief said Tuesday that Moscow was pressing Tehran to "develop a feeling of trust" with the rest of the world concerning its nuclear ambitions and that the Islamic state planned to follow suit.
Supreme National Security Council deputy head Hussein Musavian said after crisis talks with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Iran was keeping to its right to enrich uranium despite global fears that this would see it develop nuclear arms.
But he stressed that Iran had no plans to build nuclear weapons -- and that it could have done so some 20 years ago but chose against an atomic weapon at the time.
"Russia is pressing us to develop a feeling of trust with the rest of the world and this is what we plan to do," Musavian told reporters.
Russia is in a sensitive position concerning Iran's atomic program since it is building the Islamic state's first nuclear reactor in the town of Bushehr despite protests from Israel and the United States.
Iran's moratorium on the enrichment of uranium expires in June and Musavian hinted strongly that Tehran would soon resume the program.
"Iran is prepared to give its agreement not to develop nuclear weapons to the whole world, so that the whole world has no worries about our nuclear program.
"At the same time, Iran has a right to the peaceful use of nuclear technology, and we have no intention of ceding this right.
"The enrichment of uranium is a given right of any nation."
Russian media earlier characterized such a position as against Russia's line and one that would complicate Moscow's effort to lobby on behalf of Tehran.
"Russia is prepared to offer Iran help" in its negotiations with Europe over its nuclear program, the Kommersant business daily wrote in its Tuesday editions.
"But it will do so only under the condition that it will not enrich uranium," said the paper.
"Russia wants to win exclusive rights to deliver uranium to Iran. That is why Russia's main goal is to convince Iran to sign an additional protocol with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) stating that Iran will not breach a moratorium on uranium enrichment."
Musavian's visit to Russia came only days after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned US President George W. Bush that Iran was approaching a "point of no return" concerning its nuclear program.
He called such charges a "gross mistake" and said that Iran could have developed nuclear weapons in the 1980s when the German industry giant Siemens started to build the Bushehr plant before dropping the project under US pressure.
"This is a very gross mistake," he said in reference to Sharon's comments.
"This has never been a part of our military plans. Back in the 1980s, Iran had the option of acquiring these technologies. But Iran did not do this."
He also said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was planning his first trip to Iran in the near future but that a final date has not yet been set.
"We have agreed that a visit will come in the near future ... but we have to prepare well for this visit first so that we have a full agenda."
An Iranian MP on Monday conferred with Russian Federation's ambassador to Tehran, Alexander Maryasov, expressing hope that the two country's nuclear cooperation would further accelerate.
The Iranian Head of Iran-Russia parliamentary friendship group MP Kazem Jalali emphasizing the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programmes, pointed out the signing of very comprehensive agreements between the two countries expressing hope that they would facilitate ster implementation of the two sides' vowed commitments.
Jalali said, implementing the comprehensive agreements between the two countries based an agreed time schedule can increase the level of confident between the two governments, improve the public opinion of the two nations regarding the other country, and improve the relations between the political circles in Russia and Iran.
He specified " Completion of Bushehr project based upon the achieved agreements is a big step towards promotion and strengthening of the mutual ties".
Alexander Maryasov, too, for his part, expressed Moscow's desire to expand ties with Tehran in all fields, saying, "Russia attaches great significance to the promotion of bilateral ties with Iran".
Yesterday, Hussein Mussavian, deputy Secretary of National Security of Iran, arrived in Moscow for a one-day visit to participate in nuclear negotiations. Russian-Iranian consultations were held a day before US Secretary of State Condoleezza Riceï¿½s visit, which starts today. Itï¿½s expected that Rice would try to persuade President Putin not to get involved in case of military-political escalation in Iran.
During his one day visit to Moscow, Mussavian met with the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Sergey Lavrov, and Sergey Kislyakov, Deputy Foreign Minister on Non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Then Iranian envoy went to meet with Igor Ivanov, head of Security Council of RF. According to Interfax news agency, during the Russian-Iranian consultations the sides discussed the nuclear issue in Iran and Tehranï¿½s cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The parties started preparation to sign a list of documents since Lavrovï¿½s visit last year in Tehran. The main document on the list has become an agreement about mutual protection of secret information and protection of intellectual property, exchanged within the frame of military-technical cooperation (See Kommersant from November 11 2004). It is possible that discussion of the agreement continued during yesterdayï¿½s consultations. The signing of such documents usually means a transfer of some hi-tech weapon. If the parties were really able to achieve progress in working out the agreement details, it means the Russian-Iranian relationship reached a new plateau. That is especially important for Tehran, which is making itself ready for armed conflict with the USA. This conflict is becoming more and more possible and thus Iran has increased its search for new weapon systems and technologies abroad.
The main guarantors of diplomatic solutions in the US-Iran conflict are Germany, France and Great Britain. However, Tehran has the opinion that because of the U.S. pressure, the negotiations with the ï¿½European Trioï¿½ do not bring concrete results. Yesterday, right before another session of Iran-EU Working Group in Geneva, an Iranian delegation representative, Sirus Naserei, made a statement that Iran will leave EU negotiations if there will be no progress achieved in the nearest time. ï¿½We donï¿½t have much time to work out the ways of the Iranian nuclear programs solution,ï¿½ said Naserei. For that matter, it is really important right now for Iran to get Russian support for continuation of its program of ï¿½peaceful atom.ï¿½
Russia is ready to provide Iran some assistance, but with conditions that Tehran will refuse to enrich uranium by itself. Russia wants to receive exclusive rights supply Iran for nuclear power plants, and then to remove spent fuel. That is why the main goal of Moscow in yesterdayï¿½s negotiations with Mussavian was to persuade Iranians of the necessity to sign additional protocol about guarantees for IAEA and thus not letting Iran to leave the uranium enrichment moratorium. If Iran will agree to this concession, then Russia would agree to protect Iranï¿½s right for ï¿½peaceful atom.ï¿½
It is evident that the visit of deputy secretary of National Security of Iran was especially timed right before the Moscow trip of the U.S. secretary of state. Formally, Rice arrives to the Russian capital just for preparation and discussion of the negotiations agenda between Putin and President Bush on May 9, during celebration of the 60th anniversary of victory in World War II. But it is clear that the presidentï¿½s dialogue will not be festive, but tense enough, and the Iranian subject will most likely take one of the leading places on the agenda.
It looks like the U.S. will try to make Russia agree to act more forcefully on the Iranian problem. Riceï¿½s task to persuade Moscow that todayï¿½s close relationship with Iran could lead to negative consequences. Rice has several arguments that she could use in her criticism of the Kremlin. For instance, she can remind about recent confessions of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushenko that the previous Ukrainian authorities transferred to Iran several cruise missiles X-55. According to information from Ukrainian sources, Russia was playing a middle link in this deal.
But the USA can start a military campaign against Iran without approval from Russia, as it did in Iraq. Besides, Tehran constantly provokes Washington. Yesterday, during a military parade in Tehran, Iranian President Mohhamad Khatami stated that countryï¿½s army is ready to face an external aggression and that the ï¿½Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to pay any price to fight off a foreign military invasion.ï¿½ And in the end of last week, Khamid Reza Assefi, the Iranian Foreign Ministry Special Envoy, commenting on a recent Rice statement that the US will give Iran and EU only until the end of the summer to resolve the ï¿½nuclear dossierï¿½ issue, said: ï¿½The best solution for Washington would be observing the negotiation process from outside.ï¿½ Assefi also underlined that the ï¿½USA is not in a position to recommend to any of the states to have or not to have nuclear weapons.ï¿½
According to Israeli and American intelligence, Iran already successfully solved the problem of nuclear warheads delivery in the long distance, and in 2006 it will have nuclear weapons. In that case, it would be much more difficult for Washington to pressure Tehran. That is why, Washington, which claims to be a partisan of diplomatic solutions of the conflict, does not exclude the possibility of military invasion in Iran, if the Islamic republic will not refuse from its nuclear program.
After analysis of the latest steps taken by the Americans, it is evident that the preparation of the Iranian campaign is at full scale. A few days ago, the Department of State for the first time in 25 years announced about its readiness to provide financial support to democracy development in Iran. Iranian non-profit organizations, which fight for human rights and promote the main democratical principles, would be eligible to receive a $3 million grant.
Finally, in the end of last week, the head of the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld, made a quite interesting tour in Asia. Within two days he visited Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan. All these countries, visited by the architect of the Iraqi military campaign are loyal to Washington. Also, the four out of the five countries are located around Iran. So, in fact, the Pentagonï¿½s chief flew around the Iranian borders.
The observers noticed that in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan Rumsfeld very actively was researching a political atmosphere and security situation. Besides, the Pentagon chief visited all U.S. military bases located in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan. Analysts especially noticed the fact that after the Azerbaijan visit Rumsfeld did not stop by ï¿½for the balanceï¿½ neither in Yerevan nor Tbilisi. Observers even suggested that Americans chose Azerbaijan as a launching pad for an Iranian invasion because other U.S. allies in the region like Georgia and Kyrgyzstan do not have a border with Iran. Others, like Iraq and Afghanistan have unstable internal security situations.
But the possibility that the U.S. will attempt to start an operation against Iran this year is pretty small. This summer, the presidential elections will be held in Iran and that will unavoidably increase confrontation within the country between conservatives and partisans of liberal reforms. The conservatives will do everything not allow anyone to take away their power. That means that Washington would have a chance to have supporters inside Iran and if the military operation is planned for the late fall, then the Azerbaijani parliament election will become an obstacle for that. So that means, that the operations against Iran will not start earlier than 2006.
The new Russian missiles Bulava-30 will be tested in the White Sea In June-July 2005, said a deputy navy chief commander, the head of the navy shipbuilding, arms and operation department vice-admiral Anatoly Smolyak to the media.
He said the developing of the new missile never stopped. The new submarines, which are under construction now in Severodvinsk, should be armed with the new missiles. The solid-fuelled ballistic missile Bulava-30 is a part of the D-19M complex to be delivered to the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine. The submarine is under repairs in Severodvinsk now.
1. Interview With James Rosen of Fox News (excerpted)
U.S. Department of State
(for personal use only)
QUESTION: What percentage of Russian nuclear materials does the United States consider to be securely under lock and key?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, Iï¿½m not able to go into numbers here. Letï¿½s just say that we have worked hard since the collapse of the Soviet Union to secure as much Russian nuclear material as possible. We --
QUESTION: Is even 50 percent?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, James, Iï¿½m not going to go into numbers. I will say that we have been working as hard as possible and as quickly as possible and accelerated the timeline in the Energy Department programs to secure nuclear materials, not just in Russia but in general in the space that was created by the former Soviet Union. We have very active programs to do that. And we and the Russians have been working on this problem, but I donï¿½t want to go into specific numbers.
QUESTION: So you canï¿½t even assure me that even half of the nuclear arsenal of that country is under lock and key?
SECRETARY RICE: James, Iï¿½m not going to get into numbers. I donï¿½t think that people should believe that we have a huge problem with a lack of security of nuclear material. We do have concerns that in the post-Soviet period and up till now that are being met through the programs that we have for trying to secure those materials.
2. Interview With Aleksey Venediktov of Ekho Moskvy Radio (excerpted)
U.S. Department of State
(for personal use only)
QUESTION: (in Russian) Do you think, Dr. Rice, that yesterday's dinner with the Minister of Defense was a success?
SECRETARY RICE: It was a very good dinner with Minister Ivanov. We have had a very good and long relationship. I believe that our military-to-military cooperation is perhaps the best that it has ever been. We have had joint exercises with the Russian military, something that I think would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. We have had excellent opportunities to share our burdens, for instance, in working together in the Tsunami relief. We have a very effective and, active now, NATO-Russia Council. So the military-to-military cooperation is really very good and the Minister and I did talk about the need to continue and deepen our cooperation on nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, a very dangerous set of developments if these technologies get into the hands of terrorists.
QUESTION: (in Russian) In this connection with Russia, there is the opinion that after the meeting of President Bush and Putin in Bratislava that the United States wants to introduce control into the territory of Russia over Russian nuclear storage facilities to carry out inspections and they believe this is an infringement on our sovereignty. What response do you give?
SECRETARY RICE: Some of our most important work is the work that, for both of us, needs to be concerned about the control and verification of -- I would call it dismantling the legacy of the Cold War arsenals. We have a very good set of programs under the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. We do not consider, in any way, the inspections that need to take place, issues of sovereignty. These are issues of cooperation, because we all need to be concerned about what happens as we dismantle the old nuclear weapons arsenals. No one wants the materials or the weapons to fall into the hands of bad people. Both the United States and Russia have a history, a very unfortunate history with terrorism. We know what it would be like if the terrorists had, somehow, access to these weapons. And so, our goal is to cooperate together in a spirit of friendship and working on a very difficult but important problem.
QUESTION: (in Russian) Have you received a satisfactory answer from Mr. Ivanov? Did he agree to the plans?
SECRETARY RICE: We have, I think, made improvements in our access to these sites. We have work to do still. We have work to do on certain liability issues. And I do hope that at the time of the meeting of President Bush and President Putin, we could have even made more progress on these matters.
QUESTION: (in Russian) Why did the United States -- our listeners are asking, I have so many questions through the internet that Iï¿½m confused already -- why there is such interest towards Russian storage facilities? Why the same question is not raised, vis-ï¿½-vis storage facilities in India and Pakistan?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, the United States and Russia are both major powers in international politics and we have concerns about all issues of international politics. Russia has very good relations with India. We have very good relations with India and with Pakistan. We are concerned about both their relationship and that it gets better. We are concerned about control of materials, nonproliferation issues with India and Pakistan. I had good discussions with Defense Minister Ivanov about India and Pakistan.
One thing that I would like the Russian people to understand is that Pakistan has come a long way as a country in the difficulties of trying to root out extremism. After the wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan has had problems with terrorism being carried out from its territory into Afghanistan. And so, this is difficult. But I would hope that the Russian people would understand how much progress Pakistan has made.
QUESTION: (in Russian) Through the internet, we got a question from our listener -- and an interesting one, I believe. What do you think -- how many years can yet another country can appear which -- from the point of view of the United Statesï¿½
SECRETARY RICE: Have the right to.
QUESTION: (in Russian) ï¿½have the right to obtain nuclear weapons, right that you would recognize to possess nuclear weapons? How that might beï¿½
SECRETARY RICE: I don't think so. (Laughter.) Look, this is a long process. Why don't we concentrate on what can be done here? And I think we and Russia have worked very well on these issues, but I don't think so within several years, no.
QUESTION: (in Russian) It is known that there are countries that either possess nuclear weapons already or have a potential, a great potential for that: India, Brazil, Israel, Pakistan. And maybe neither Russia nor the United States can hold this process. Maybe nonproliferation doesn't work at all, it's just impossible.
SECRETARY RICE: I know that the potential for nuclear weapons development exists in a lot of places. You have named some of them. We and Russia are both parties to the nonproliferation regime, which is a very good thing. And I think we are beginning to carry out our obligations under the nonproliferation regime to try to reduce the levels of nuclear weapons that we, the United States and Russia, have. I would remind people -- it's sometimes now forgotten -- the Moscow Treaty cut American and Russian nuclear weapons quite substantially and we are now carrying that process out through 2012.
What we must do is to convince others that nuclear weapons are not necessary. I think we are working together rather well in some of these matters. I don't worry, for instance, that Brazil will seek a nuclear weapon; Brazil is seeking civilian nuclear power. In fact, we are probably going to have to find ways for countries to seek civilian nuclear power while making sure that they are not trying to build nuclear weapons.
QUESTION: (In Russian) Brazil, yes. Iran, no.
SECRETARY RICE: That's right. Because Iran has been hiding its activities. The Iranians say they want civilian nuclear power. They say that this is about peaceful uses of nuclear power. But then we learn that there are undeclared activities at the reactor at Natanz. We learn that the Iranians have been probably involved in activities with A.Q. Khan, who was carrying out this black market activity. And it does not inspire confidence in the international system about the Iranians.
On the other hand, countries like South Africa, Brazil -- South Africa having actually given up nuclear weapons at one point -- there is no reason that they should not have access to civilian nuclear energy.
Now, one of the problems is that as long as you have enrichment and reprocessing capability, there is the possibility of building nuclear weapons. And the President made a proposal at the National Defense University that there would be no reprocessing and enrichment capability, but that countries would have a reliable fuel supply for their civilian nuclear reactors. This is in some ways what Russia has done with Iran at Bushehr. So, there are ways to deal with this problem.
QUESTION: (in Russian) Did I understand you correctly that the United States and you personally agree what is now in Iran, in terms of a nuclear weapons program?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, we made clear our views about the Iranian program. I think we have good cooperation with Russia on Iran right now and with the EU-3. Our concern -- this is not against Iran. This is because Iran is a country that is not living up to its international obligations -- that is the point. And we and Russia are working together.
QUESTION: (in Russian) Are you satisfied with what the Russian government is doing in Iran?
SECRETARY RICE: We think that what the Russians have done with Bushehr is helpful from a proliferation point of view.
3. Interview With Alexsey Pivovarov of NTV (excerpted)
U.S. Department of State
(for personal use only)
MR. PIVOVAROV: It's widely announced that you are going to discuss security cooperation issues here in Moscow. What issues in particular will be under discussion?
SECRETARY RICE: We've had very good security cooperation concerning the war on terrorism, intelligence sharing, law enforcement activities together. We, of course, need to continue our progress on the nonproliferation issues. I mean, everyone is very concerned that the weapons of mass destruction and the technologies associated with them would not fall into the hands of terrorists or others who might use them to harm us. And Russia, of course, as well as the United States, has a sad history with terrorist incidents.
We have recently signed -- Defense Minister Ivanov and I signed an agreement on MANPADS because this is a very dangerous kind of weapon that can be used by terrorists to try and bring down aircraft and the like, so we have that cooperation. And I think you will see us try to continue to make progress on the terrorism agenda and also on the nonproliferation agenda.
Finally, we have very good military-to-military cooperation. We've had joint exercises. I think the NATO-Russia Council has been very active. So on the security side, we're doing very well.
MR. PIVOVAROV: Do you still consider Iranian-Russian nuclear cooperation in Bushehr an issue that spoils Russian-U.S. relations, or it is somehow resolved?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, we have had concerns about the Bushehr nuclear reactor. But we've also noted that Russia has taken proliferation concerns into consideration when it has done the agreement with Iran. And some of the provisions are really very useful. For instance, the decision that there should be delivery of fuel to Iran and then a fuel take-back, which does help to minimize the proliferation risk.
We all need to be united in dealing with the Iranians because the Iranians have an obligation to show the world that they intend to live up to their international obligations not to try to get civilian nuclear power -- to get a nuclear weapon under the cover of civilian nuclear power.
I think that we, Russia, the Europeans have been pretty united in this view because no one wants to see an Iranian nuclear weapon, particularly in the Middle East, which is already a terribly troubled region.
4. Interview With Wyatt Andrews of CBS (excerpted)
U.S. Department of State
(for personal use only)
MR. ANDREWS: I think we're down to our last 30 seconds; Emily is giving me that sign. But Iran. Russia's sale of reactor technology to Iran, big issue, small issue?
SECRETARY RICE: Iran is a big issue for the international community because everybody knows that you cannot have a nuclear weapon in Iran, in the Middle East, which is already a terribly troubled region. I think the Russians understand that too. The Bushere reactor, we have had concerns about (inaudible) built in Iran. I would note that the Russians have gone a long way to try and put in place proliferation safeguards, including a fuel provision and then fuel take-back provision which, while it doesn't resolve completely the proliferation concern, it does mean that the Russians recognize that the Iranians should not enrich and reprocess, which would really be a proliferation risk of considerable weight.
We have good discussions with the Russians on this. We've had a lot of progress, I think, over the last couple of years in our sense that the Russians fully understand this obligation.
5. Remarks to the Press En Route to Vilnius (excerpted)
U.S. Department of State
(for personal use only)
SECRETARY RICE: Well, we've just completed, I think, very useful meetings in Moscow. I had a very good dinner last night with Minister of Defense Sergei Ivanov, where we talked about what really is a very -- currently, very useful and growing military-to-military relationship and has resulted in joint exercises, is resulting in real substance in the NATO-Russia Council. We have good counterterrorism cooperation. We had a number of discussions also about what more we might do to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction and the technologies associated with them, including going through some of the issues that we've had about the way the cooperative threat reduction program is going, but I think we've been doing relatively well on those issues.
QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary. Can you see me all the way in the back here? Can you see me? All right. Or you can hear me? What progress did you make in your meetings on access to Russian nuclear sites? And if I might also raise an unrelated subject, what do you make of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote to delay the nomination of John Bolton? Why do you think that happened?
SECRETARY RICE: In terms of access, we did talk about the need to make these programs work. You know, we will see what the next round brings, but we've been making some progress on it. We continue to make a little bit of progress on it. The liability issue that is associated with certain of the programs, we've also been in negotiations with the Russians and we brought some new ideas to try to stimulate -- that the resolution of that issue.
6. Alexander Yakovenko, Spokesman, Answers Questions Regarding the Visit of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Moscow (excerpted)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
(for personal use only)
Question: A working visit of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Moscow is being conducted on April 19-20. What is the program of the visit? Is this her first arrival in Moscow?
Answer: The program envisages the reception of the head of the American foreign affairs agency by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov and a meeting with Minister of Defense Sergey Ivanov.
This is the first arrival of Condoleezza Rice in Moscow since her appointment as US Secretary of State. Earlier she visited Moscow several times, including in the capacity of the US President's National Security Adviser in George Bush's first Administration. Rice already met with Lavrov in Ankara on February 5 of this year as part of the preparations for the meeting of the Russian and US presidents in Bratislava.
Question: What is the peculiarity of the present visit? What are the priorities of the bilateral dialogue?
Answer: The visit is given particular significance by the fact that it precedes the next summit contact as part of George Bush's arrival in Moscow to attend the 60th anniversary of Victory celebration. Therefore in the course of the talks with the US Secretary of State it is borne in mind to consider the entire topical agenda of bilateral relations. Attention will be focused primarily on the progress in the implementation of the accords that are under the presidents' personal control. This priority agenda encompasses such key areas as military-political issues, the fight against terrorism and other new challenges, nuclear security, regional problems, questions of science and technology, trade-and-economic issues, humanitarian questions and people-to-people contact. The presidents have given specific directions to promote mutual engagement in all these fields.
Question: Will new threats and challenges be discussed?
Answer: Considering that Russia and the United States are closely cooperating in the area of counteraction against new threats and challenges, such, for example, as international terrorism, transfrontier organized crime, and the threat of drugs, it is only natural that this sector will also figure prominently in the discussions. In particular, it is borne in mind to soon continue the work of the Russian-US Working Group on Counterterrorism.
Question: What are the themes of the international agenda?
Answer: Undoubtedly, the questions in international politics on which Russia and the US cooperate in a bilateral and a multilateral format will occupy an important position. Traditionally the Russian-American agenda includes a broad range of pressing international problems. As of now they are, in particular, the cooperation of Russia and the US in the OSCE and the Russia-NATO Council, the situation in the Middle East, the range of tasks relating to Middle East settlement, including those being tackled in the multilateral format of the Quartet of international mediators, Iraq, Afghanistan, and crisis situations in other regions. Much attention will be devoted to questions of further deepening of mutual engagement in the nonproliferation sector, of the promotion of international security and strategic stability, of the improvement of mutual coordination in international organizations and other issues.
QUESTION: Thank you very much. First, are you willing to use American prestige and power to improve my seat on this plane? (Laughter.) You can get back to me on that, if you want.
Has American access to Russian nuclear facilities improved since your last visit here, or shall I say since February? And is the security of Russian nuclear material something that should keep us lying awake at night?
SECRETARY RICE: As you know, we have a number of programs for cooperative threat reduction and those continue. We have undoubtedly had some difficulties. We've had some liability issues that we're trying to resolve on the plutonium disposition program. We have some concerns about the ability to go to some places. I think generally the atmosphere has improved; generally the atmosphere is somewhat better.
Look, we should all worry about nuclear safety and we should all worry about nuclear security and there's no doubt that Russia, which underwent a lot of change in a very rapid period of time, needs to pay particular attention to this problem. But since nobody wants to have loose nuclear material, or loose nukes even worse, I have to assume that the Russian Government puts this among its highest priorities too, and I actually think that is the case.
I think we're working fairly well cooperatively but we do have some issues of access and we have some issues of liability that we have to resolve.
Thank you. It is a pleasure and honor to be here tonight. The Nuclear Threat Initiative makes an important contribution in raising public awareness about the threats posed by the proliferation of nuclear materials, technology, and expertise. But NTI does more than raise awareness; it takes concrete action. The Department of Energy is proud of our relationship with NTI and looks forward to continued cooperation in the future.
I thought it would be useful for me to come here tonight not just to get to know all of you, but to provide a sense of the Administrationï¿½s overall direction on nonproliferation matters. When the President asked me to serve in this position, he made clear that he expected his Energy Secretary to have no higher priority than the safety and security of the American people, particularly with regard to our nuclear responsibilities. He stressed the need to work closely with Russia and other nations to secure nuclear and radiological materials, both in this country and around the world.
These are responsibilities I firmly embrace.
Among the first things I did after being sworn in as Secretary of Energy was lead an interagency team to a meeting in Paris with a Russian interagency team. The President asked that I undertake this mission to discuss new security initiatives in preparation for the Bratislava summit. I was particularly anxious to do so because the leader of the Russian team was Director Alexsander Rumyantsev of the Federal Agency for Atomic Energy, or Rosatom. Developing a solid working relationship with him, I thought, would be critical to our nationsï¿½ shared efforts to curtail the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The key word in that sentence is ï¿½shared,ï¿½ because nonproliferation is not merely an American concern. Nor, for that matter, is it only to be shared by Russia and the U.S. ï¿½ though our two nations certainly bear unique responsibilities in these areas.
The simple fact is that preventing and countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, dangerous materials, and nuclear expertise is the shared objective of every member of the civilized world community. And that is because the central challenge of our age is to stop terrorists and rogue states from acquiring the materials to sow death and destruction on an unimaginable scale.
As horrific as 9/11 was, there can be no doubt that the ambitions of terrorists run deeper than crashing planes into buildings. Our challenge is to stop those who want nothing less than to destroy entire cities ï¿½entire nations ï¿½ indeed, to destroy civilization itself.
That challenge is ever more complicated with the atomic genie out of the bottle, so to speak. Nuclear know-how isnï¿½t confined to just the experts at Los Alamos or Russiaï¿½s nuclear labs. Information to make the most rudimentary nuclear weapon is widely available. Because of this, our defense against nuclear terrorism depends on keeping fissionable materials out of the hands of terrorists. No materials, no bomb ï¿½ itï¿½s that simple.
Unfortunately, the universe of available materials around the globe that could be used in a nuclear weapon is not as secure as we would hope. Nor are those materials that might be used for a radiological dispersal device, or dirty bomb. Such radiological materials are less dangerous than nuclear weapons, yes, but dangerous still, and widely accessible in too many locations around the globe.
In the months and years after 9/11, the Bush Administration began taking a number of critical steps to address the challenges of a new era:
We dramatically increased resources to prevent terrorists or states that sponsor them from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. Through the G-8 Global Partnership, we have committed to raise up to $20 billion over ten years toward this effort. The United States pledged to contribute half of this target.
We intensified our cooperation with Russia and others to secure nuclear and radiological materials and nuclear weapons. Energy and Defense Department programs have, for example, upgraded security for 75 percent of sites in Russia containing nuclear material, secured 87 percent of Russian Navy nuclear weapons and fuel sites, and eliminated hundreds of Soviet-era strategic nuclear missiles, bombers, and missile silos.
We expanded international partnerships outside of Russia to control nuclear exports, upgrade security of nuclear facilities, and secure borders.
And we shined the international spotlight on the dangers of nuclear terror, launching the Global Threat Reduction Initiative. Under GTRI we will work with Russia and other nations to identify, secure, or remove vulnerable nuclear and other radiological materials and equipment around the world.
These are mammoth accomplishments, reflecting the idea that one of the best ways to protect the United States is to secure or interdict nuclear materials and weapons as far from U.S. shores as possible.
They represent the Presidentï¿½s intensely held commitment to protecting the American people.
They have made America and the world safer.
But not for one minute does anyone in the Administration ï¿½ at my department, at the NSC, the Pentagon, or the Department of Homeland Security ï¿½ believe that they have made us safe enough.
That is the sad reality of the post-9/11 world. There will never be any such thing as ï¿½safe enough.ï¿½ An act of nuclear terrorism is not necessarily inevitable, as Senator Nunn pointed out in his address at the IAEA three weeks ago. But it could become increasingly likely unless we constantly strengthen our resolve ï¿½ continually redouble our efforts ï¿½ and never lose sight of our goals.
In our case, that means further expanding our efforts to secure high-risk materials. In particular, intensifying cooperation with Russia ï¿½ given the vast stores of weapons-suitable material throughout its immense nuclear complex ï¿½ must be a first-order priority. As you know, there have been access issues that have slowed progress in securing Russian sites.
The recent meeting February in Bratislava between President Bush and President Putin leaves me optimistic that these issues are on the way to being resolved.
In Bratislava, Presidents Bush and Putin firmly committed to expanding and deepening cooperation on nuclear securityï¿½ with the goal of enhancing the security of nuclear facilities in our two countries as well as around the globe.
The statement they made proposed a number of items to bolster cooperation in securing Russian and global stockpiles of nuclear and radiological materials ï¿½ protecting nuclear facilities ï¿½ promoting nuclear security best practices ï¿½ converting HEU-using reactors ï¿½ and responding to nuclear or radiological emergencies. To ensure that these activities have the high-level attention they deserve, Presidents Bush and Putin requested that Director Rumyantsev and I co-chair a Senior Interagency Group, which is to report back to the Presidents in three months. I fully intend to meet that deadline.
Perhaps equally important, the Bratislava meetings represent a new benchmark in the growing U.S.-Russian relationship. Since the end of the Cold War, our relationship with Moscow on critical nonproliferation matters has sometimes been seen as a donor-recipient type of association ï¿½ with the United States viewed as the senior partner.
Perhaps that was unavoidable in the Russian Federationï¿½s nascent years, with an entire region trying to sort out its post-Soviet future. But it nonetheless was the case. After Bratislava, I think it is fair to say we are now engaged in much more of a strategic cooperative partnership, one that reflects the distance we have traveled since the Cold Warï¿½s end.
The two Presidentsï¿½ actions at Bratislava will invigorate efforts to minimize and eventually eliminate the use of high-enriched uranium in research reactors worldwide. It will promote the goals of UN Security Council Resolution 1540, which obligates states to secure at-risk materials and enact strict export controls.
And I am hopeful it will help resolve the liability issues that have delayed construction of MOX facilities in Russia and the United States to dispose of military plutonium. We need to bring these negotiations to a close promptly and move forward to eliminate excess weapons-grade plutonium.
Moreover, the Bush-Putin Joint Statement on Nuclear Security comes at a time when many other countries are recognizing the requirements for improved nuclear security. It was encouraging to hear that this was an underlying theme at the recently concluded IAEA Conference on Nuclear Security in London.
As your organization knows full well, the burden for curtailing the proliferation of nuclear materials, technologies, and expertise cannot be borne alone by the United States and Russia. As we look ahead, it is this principle that will inform our nonproliferation cooperation with partners worldwide.
It must, because diplomatic hurdles are the most formidable obstacles we face in terms of accelerating our nonproliferation programs. The reality of such programs is that they require other sovereign governments to grant foreigners access to their most sensitive sites and materials. But we have come far in a few short years. Director Rumyantsev told me in February that just ten years ago, even he was barred from visiting certain closed cities where today we are working in partnership to prevent terrorists or states that support them from acquiring nuclear or other weapons of terror.
To achieve our nonproliferation goals, relationships must be fostered and maintained. Sometimes they will involve collaboration with third-party contacts, a prime example of which was the collaboration with the Nuclear Threat Initiative in the return to Russia of the high enriched uranium fuel from the former Yugoslavia.
We also face technological and funding hurdles, but I am confident these are on the way to being overcome. Our scientists continue to make the necessary progress that will enable us to complete reactor core conversions here and abroad. We are moving to permanently shut down the last three operating plutonium production reactors in Russia. And we are seeing other nations contribute a larger share of the funds necessary to successfully combat proliferation, reflecting a growing consensus it is a shared responsibility.
There is far more to be done, of course. We must work to ensure that the Nonproliferation Treaty, IAEA safeguards, and international export controls are strengthened, complied with, and fully enforced. We must also ensure that an expected expansion of nuclear energy use does not lead to the further spread of enrichment and reprocessing capabilities and equipmentï¿½ which can be used to fashion materials suitable for reactor fuel or atomic bombs. We see no justification for Iran ï¿½ or others with plans for one or two nuclear reactors ï¿½ to pursue costly uranium enrichment programs. And we stand ready, as President Bush proposed last year, to consider ways of assuring long-term fuel supply, at reasonable cost, to states that forego enrichment and reprocessing.
This is a full agenda, and one that we will promote decisively and forcefully.
Ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank you for the opportunity to be here tonight. As much as anyone, you know the challenge the world faces. You are aware of the stakes. You understand that the safety of the United States ï¿½ indeed, of civilization ï¿½ can only be earned through relentless application of will and resolve.
As we enter the second half of the first nuclear century, I am reminded of President Dwight Eisenhowerï¿½s call in 1953 to use ï¿½the miraculous inventiveness of manï¿½ to harness nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
In his famous ï¿½Atoms for Peaceï¿½ speech, Eisenhower foresaw nuclear energyï¿½s ability to ï¿½serve the needs of agriculture, medicine and other peaceful activities,ï¿½ and ï¿½provide abundant electrical energy in the power-starved areas of the world.ï¿½
Eisenhower called upon the nations of the world to work together ï¿½to help solve the fearful atomic dilemmaï¿½ by channeling our newfound nuclear know-how toward the pursuits of peace ï¿½ rather than toward weapons of war.
Two months into my term as Energy Secretary, I assure you that our Administration understands this as well. President Bush is committed to this as he is to nothing else, for nothing else can be as important as the safety and security of the American people.
The President made that clear in the aftermath of September 11th. He vowed to dedicate the rest of his tenure in office to vanquishing the 21st century scourge of global terrorism.
That commitment has not dimmed with time. Indeed, it has only grown stronger. And so it will continue to do in the weeks and months and years ahead.
Any look through the history books will reveal that there are several characteristics that have come to define modern civilization ï¿½ freedom of expression ï¿½ the rule of law ï¿½ religious toleration.
But perhaps the greatest element of modern civilization is that its inheritors feel compelled in times of great crisis to act in its defense; it is the way we show we are worthy heirs.
This is our moment in time. This is where we follow the example of Lincoln and Churchill, to see if we measure up in a time marked by grave peril.
Each of us is charged with a responsibility ï¿½ to work, to sacrifice, to struggle ï¿½ for the preservation of civilization.
Each of us knows the steps we must take.
And, deep down, each of us knows that we will take those steps.
We will work to save what we hold dear. We will not prove unworthy.
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.
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