A small Ann Arbor drug development company hopes to advance its cancer treatments while doing its part to steer former Russian military scientists away from joining weapons programs.
Unitech Pharmaceuticals Inc. said it will receive $350,000 from the Department of Energy and match it with company funds to employ Russian researchers for work on two potential drugs.
The project is part of the government's Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention program, designed to keep former Soviet military scientists employed in what's described as "peaceful research," and away from making nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.
For decades, Russian scientists found employment in military research, but many lost their jobs following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The U.S. government founded the collaboration program following concerns that some of those unemployed scientists could turn to rogue states to help with their weapons programs or even collaborate with terrorists. This year the U.S. Department of Energy will allocate roughly $30 million to support partnerships between researchers in former Soviet bloc countries and American companies, according to a federal official.
Unitech believes the two-year project could mean far more bang for its research buck. For every dollar it spends on research in Moscow, the company could receive "two to three times the work because the labor (cost) is much lower in Russia," said J.J. Shaw, Unitech's chairman and chief executive officer.
Unitech is hoping to develop drugs to fight solid tumors stemming from colon cancer and ovarian cancer.
The five-employee company is developing its orally administered pharmaceuticals as less toxic alternatives for patients, compared with drugs already on the market, and with fewer side effects, such as hair loss and nausea. Unitech is also developing a drug focused on treating rheumatoid arthritis.
All of the company's drug candidates are in the preclinical stage, meaning they have not yet been tested on humans. But Shaw is optimistic the collaboration with Russian scientists could move the drugs closer to clinical trials involving cancer patients.
1. U.S. Energy Secretary, Ukrainians to Discuss Handover of Enriched Nuclear Fuel to Russia
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U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman was scheduled to travel to Ukraine on Thursday to meet President Viktor Yushchenko and other top officials to encourage the handover of Soviet-produced, enriched nuclear fuel to Russia, the U.S. Embassy in Kiev said.
For their part, Ukrainian officials are expected to press for more funding. Cashapped Ukraine needs additional financial resources for the expensive task of sending used fuel rods back to Russia for reprocessing and converting its reactors to low-enriched fuel.
Ukraine's Soviet-built reactors are fueled by high-enriched uranium that could also be used for the production of weapons-grade nuclear material. Ukraine doesn't currently have the capacity to reprocess the used fuel itself.
Bodman will also review the conversion of Ukraine's research reactors to the use of low-enriched uranium, the U.S. embassy said in a statement. Such a conversion would lower the risk of accidents and possible leakage of nuclear components to terrorists.
"He will focus on using technology to enhance energy resource development in the most efficient and environmentally responsible manner, and the benefits of transparent markets that attract foreign investment," the embassy said.
At a recent conference in London, Western donors including the United States pledged more funds for the upgrade of Ukrainian nuclear power plants and for the handling of nuclear waste.
The West also offered additional money for the construction of a new structure that will cover the crumbling concrete-and-steel shelter hastily erected over the destroyed reactor at Chernobyl, which exploded in 1986 in the world's worst nuclear disaster.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said that Ukraine, which currently operates 15 reactors, wants to build 11 more by 2030. The statement reflected Ukraine's ambition to achieve energy independence from Russia, its key supplier.
Tymoshenko ordered the state-run Energoatom, which is responsible for overseeing the operations of Ukrainian nuclear plants, to conduct a feasibility study for a domestic nuclear fuel reprocessing program. She also ordered the company to boost domestic production of uranium and zirconium, both components of nuclear fuel rods.
If Ukraine were to succeed in developing its own fuel reprocessing program, it would be able to produce its own fuel from locally produced uranium, which would open up opportunities for selling the very expensive final product all over the world.
Bodman was also scheduled to be a principal speaker at an annual energy conference that focuses on world energy security, development of energy resources and investment in Ukraine's fuel and energy sector.
1. Russia to Earn $12 Billion from Agreement with US on Uranium Utilization
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Russia will earn $12 billion by implementing a Russian-American agreement on the utilization of highly-enriched uranium extracted from nuclear weapons (HEU-LEU Agreement).
According to Alexander Yakovenko, an official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, the agreement provides for the processing of 500 tons of Russian highly-enriched uranium (HEU) obtained from the nuclear weapons dismantled under Russia's nuclear arms reduction international obligations, into low-enriched uranium (LEU) with 3.5-4.5% level of enrichment by 2013. After this, uranium is to be sold at world prices for its further use in the production of fuel for American nuclear power plants.
"By this September, half of the program for processing highly-enriched uranium will be completed," Alexander Yakovenko said.
In his opinion, the funds obtained through the sale of highly-enriched uranium within the framework of the HEU-LEU Agreement (around $ 700 million per year) will help to support the national nuclear power sector, enhance the safety of nuclear power plants, and promote the conversion of defense industry enterprises.
"Perhaps, this is the only major disarmament program which does not need additional funds for its implementation and even brings revenues to the budget," Alexander Yakovenko said.
In the Russian diplomat's words, the Russian-American agreement is a major disarmament initiative.
"It is important to underline the significance of this program as Russia's step to meet its commitments on Article 4 of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NNPT) - Nuclear Disarmament," Alexander Yakovenko said in conclusion.
2. Almost 250T of Uranium Recycled Under Megatons to Megawatts Program
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By this fall, the Russian Nuclear Energy Agency will have recycled half of the 500 tons of highly enriched uranium, envisaged by the Russian-US inter-government program, Megatons to Megawatts.
The news was announced on Monday by representatives of the Russian and US delegations at the 7th Review Conference of the parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty held in the UN headquarters.
The agreement signed on February 18, 1993, and also known as the HEU-LEU agreement (for abbreviated "highly enriched uranium" and "lowly enriched uranium") envisages that American HEU will be recycled at the Russian Agency's enterprises into LEU, to be used as fuel in American nuclear power plants.
The program is designed till 2013, and within a few months the volume of recycled HEU will reach 250 tons, Anatoly Antonov, head of the Russian delegation and director of the Foreign Ministry's security and disarmament department, said at a joint briefing. This is equal to destruction of 10,000 nuclear heads, he added.
"Today Russia supplies 50% of LEU consumed by US nuclear power plants that produce 10% of US electricity," he said.
Vladimir Kuchinov, head of the Agency's department for international economic relations, said, "The energy output of the fuel received from dismantling 10,000 warheads equals 4,000 super-tankers with oil or 12 mln carriages of coal." The program worth $12 bln is "fully financed by the private Enrichment Corporation which sells the reprocessed fuel to companies that own nuclear plants, under the US government's control," he explained.
The program's implementation brings Russia $700 mln annually, Kuchinov said. The money is used to increase the safety of Russian nuclear plants, to convert defense enterprises and to purify territories polluted by the Agency's enterprises, he added.
Paul Longsworth, deputy administrator for nuclear non-proliferation of the US National Nuclear Security Administration, said in his turn that the HEU-LEU program allowed both countries to carry out Article 6 of the NPT, which obliged every party to take measures to stop the nuclear arms race and to promote nuclear disarmament. The USA and Russia also cooperate in a program of utilizing 34 tons of weapons-grade plutonium each, he said.
The head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons expressed concerns Wednesday about the pace of chemical weapons disposal in Russia, the Associated Press reported yesterday (see GSN, Jan. 13, 2004).
“The degree of progress has been considerably less” in Russia than it has been in the United States, said OPCW Director General Rogelio Pfirter, noting that Russia has the largest chemical weapon stockpile in the world.
“We have no doubt about the political commitment of the government. But, I think Russia will be the first one to agree with us that much more work would be desirable,” Pfirter said in a speech in Kuala Lumpur. He added that he was confident Russia would meet the 2012 Chemical Weapons Convention deadline to destroy its stockpile.
Pfirter said he expects the new Iraqi government to sign the treaty and says Cambodia has expressed interest.
Myanmar has been adverse to joining the treaty, and North Korea was “reluctant to participate in treaties or organizations that look for transparency and restraint,” Pfirter said (Associated Press/Khaleej Times, May 19).
1. Terrorists Focused on Nuclear Facilities in Russia — Report
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Efforts by the U.S. and Russia to prevent Russian nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists remain slowed by bureaucratic red tape and a lack of urgency, a report, released by a research group affiliated with Harvard University, Nuclear Threat Initiative, says.
In 2004 U.S.-funded work to secure and account for Russian material that could be used in nuclear weapons was completed for only 4 percent of it that raised the total secured to 26 percent, the group was quoted by The Washington Post.
Despite some heightened security procedures, many Russian nuclear research sites still frequently have doors propped open for convenience, intrusion sensors turned off because of false alarms and guards patrolling with unloaded weapons, the report said.
According to the research, many terrorism experts say al Qaeda and other terrorist groups have focused for years on lightly secured nuclear facilities in Russia and other states in the former Soviet Union as potential sources for equipment and material needed to assemble an atomic weapon, while “on-the-ground progress in securing, consolidating and eliminating nuclear stockpiles in the last year remained slow”.
The report also cited the case of a Russian businessman who in 2003 offered $750,000 to employees at a top Russian nuclear arms laboratory in exchange for stolen weapons-grade plutonium intended for a foreign buyer. Matthew Bunn, co-author of the report, stressed that the researchers “have no basis for confidence that there are people in the Russian (nuclear) system who would not be tempted by $750,000”
Nevertheless, the threat initiative study noted that considerable progress is being made in Russia. Starting with President Vladimir Putin, many Russian leaders now see the extraordinary danger posed by inadequately secured nuclear materials and weapons, it said.
But serious problems persist. In March, the commander of Interior Ministry troops for Moscow Yevgeny Baryaev said that seven key facilities there had functioning security equipment, while 39 had “serious shortcomings.” He added that half the perimeters of these restricted sites lacked fences, the report said.
Nuclear Threat Initiative is as research group, founded by media tycoon Ted Turner and former senator Sam Nunn and sponsored by Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
1. Experts Warn Loose Russian Nuclear Materials Could Lead to WMD in Terrorists Hands
Global Security Newswire
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Nuclear weapon experts told a U.S. congressional panel that Russia needs to do a better job of securing critical materials to prevent terrorists from acquiring a nuclear weapon (see GSN, Dec. 17, 2004).
Russia’s “culture hasn’t changed enough that they really see the need for protection” of nuclear materials, David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security said at a hearing of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Prevention of Nuclear and Biological Attack.
Albright warned that the lack of Russian accounting of nuclear warheads and materials following the fall of the Berlin Wall has created a tenuous situation in which nations are forced to rely on incomplete information to make nuclear threat assessments. Without a firm grasp on where nuclear materials are located, it is difficult to determine whether terrorists have obtained the materials, Albright explained.
Albright added that there has been no solid intelligence to indicate that terrorists have acquired the material necessary to create a bomb. But he did outline the steps a terrorist organization would need to take to create a weapon and where in the process law enforcement should intercede. He recommended dedicating resources to locate and secure fissile materials throughout the former Soviet Union.
He also urged intelligence services to locate sites where a bomb could be manufactured. This would involve cooperating with other nations to identify scientists and others with knowledge on how to create a bomb, Albright said.
Ronald Lehman, director of the Center for Global Research, agreed with the course of action outlined by Albright. Because assembly of a bomb is not an easy task, Lehman said intelligence must keep a watchful eye on those with knowledge on how to build a weapon.
Lehman urged intelligence services to make contact with any person believed capable of helping terrorists create a weapon.
“We’ve got to recognize in order to assemble the bomb, [terrorists] need to have the right people,” Lehman said. He called for better monitoring of the whereabouts of former Soviet scientists and for dedicating more resources to policing them.
However, Lehman cautioned that the need for better intelligence of the people capable of creating a bomb needs to be balanced with the securing of nuclear technology and materials.
“We run the risk of replaying the old debate over whether the technologies are the problem or those that use them are the problem” Lehman said. “We won’t be effective until we recognize that action must be taken on both fronts.”
Nations also need to take more seriously the nuclear terrorism threat, Lehman said. Many countries have been vigilant in combating conventional terrorists, but have not taken the necessary steps to prevent terrorists from acquiring a nuclear bomb.
“Many governments are stepping up to the terrorist problem, but many are not engaging effectively on the [WMD] challenge as it relates to terrorism any more effectively than they have dealt with problem of the spread of nuclear weapons to nation-states,” Lehman told the committee.
Laura Holgate, vice president for Russia/New Independent States Program at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, agreed that the threat of nuclear terrorism has not been taken seriously enough. She said shedding the Cold War mindset of rational state actors possessing weapons of mass destruction no longer applies.
“The bad news is that the U.S. and international programs have not adapted to today’s nuclear threat: terrorists’ pursuit of nuclear weapons through theft of materials or weapons,” Holgate said.
She said countries must be vigilant in making sure scientists with knowledge of nuclear weapons do not share secrets with rogue states, as was the case with A.Q. Kahn, the top Pakistani scientist who headed a network providing nuclear information to Iran, Libya and North Korea. She also warned that North Korea would probably be willing to sell nuclear secrets.
Weapon scientists from the former Soviet Union also pose a formidable problem, according to Holgate. She argued that the best way to confront the modern nuclear threat is to find work for these scientists.
Holgate praised the Energy Department’s Russian Transition Initiative, which helps former Russian WMD scientists find peaceful employment.
Still, Holgate said more needs to be done. She suggested moving non-weapons research away from facilities that produce bombs, developing ways to eliminate excess staff from these facilities, reducing the number of employees working to create weapons, and supporting local economic development.
Lawmakers, who offered no specific recommendations, seemed content to question the panel on nature of nuclear threats. But subcommittee members all agreed that more needs to be done to confront the problem, and pledged to work to ensure a nuclear weapon does not make it into the hands of terrorists.
“With tens of thousands of nuclear weapons worldwide, several hundred of which may be vulnerable to theft by terrorists or by criminals, and other nuclear materials such as plutonium possibly accessible to terrorists, this government cannot ignore this issue,” Chairman John Linder (R-Ga.) said.
U.S. Department of Energy officials fear that Russia continues producing weapons-grade nuclear materials and is not disclosing all of its existing nuclear stocks, an official told U.S. lawmakers.
"Russia is to weapons-usable material what Saudi Arabia is to oil," Paul Longsworth, deputy administrator at the National Nuclear Security Administration, an organization in the U.S. energy department, said Tuesday.
Longsworth estimated that Russia has 600 metric tons of nuclear material -- the bulk of the world's share of weapons-grade materials and enough to make 10,000 crude nuclear weapons. And Russia's three plutonium-producing reactors produce 1.2 metric tons of plutonium annually -- enough for about two nuclear weapons a week, said Longsworth.
By itself, the uranium from Soviet weapons provides the United States with half of its uranium needs, Longsworth said. If uranium makes up 20 percent of the energy mix used in the United States, he said, that means one-in-10 of the 72 lights in the hearing room is running off of old uranium supplied by Russia.
The United States is helping Russia to convert the reactors to coal-burning facilities. And so far 75 percent of the sites where the 600 metric tons of nuclear materials are stored have been secured.
But the remaining sites, holding about half of the material, have not yet been secured. The deadline for the remaining sites is 2008. However, these sites are the most sensitive for the Russians because nuclear weapons are being produced in some of them, Longsworth said. No outside authorities have been given access to the sites, but officials need to get into the sites, or at least secure them -- or verify that they are secure, Longsworth said.
Still, no authoritative count exists for the global supply of nuclear weapons and materials. Not having an inventory of the global supply of nuclear weapons and materials worried nuclear expert Joan Rohlfing, also spoke at the hearing.
Nuclear experts use Russia as a baseline because it probably has the largest share of weapons and materials of any one country. But focusing on Russia misses the point, said Rohlfing, of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a Washington nuclear watchdog, in an interview.
Countries and regions like Pakistan, the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe have smaller amounts of nuclear materials, but that are more vulnerable. A bomb requires only a small amount of uranium or plutonium; terrorists don't need to go to Russia for it, Rohlfing said.
Rohlfing also said the U.S. agencies leading the efforts lack adequate money, tools and authority to do their job.
The agencies tasked with eliminating proliferation threats are "crawling" instead of racing to secure the global supply of nuclear materials, she said. The agencies are focusing on only a fraction of the materials out there, she said, adding that total security has not been given the priority it should be, given the consequences of a nuclear attack.
Although Longsworth told lawmakers his program is adequately funded for its present goals, more money means recovering more sources.
On the other hand, diplomacy is one of the greatest obstacles to U.S. efforts to get back or convert high-risk materials, Longsworth said.
The NNSA deals with sovereign countries that must agree to U.S. demands. Some, such as Iran, are not on good terms or do not want to work with the United States. Others are worried that eliminating the nuclear fuel used for non-military purposes, such as medical research, will disrupt research programs or will be too costly. So far 40 countries have agreed to return about 20 metric tons of material, according to Longsworth.
Incentives used to encourage such nations usually involve funding, which drives up costs and slows the process down, he said.
The issue of securing materials that can be used to make a "dirty bomb" or a nuclear weapon became a top priority after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The NNSA tries to eliminate proliferation threats by stopping the production of nuclear materials and eliminate existing stocks of them. Highly enriched uranium -- uranium that has undergone a process of extracting a highly volatile element -- and plutonium are the two materials used for nuclear weapons. Highly enriched uranium can be used for generating energy as well as for weapons. Plutonium, a byproduct of the enriching process, is easier to make and cheaper than uranium.
A crude nuclear weapon requires about 90 pounds of highly enriched uranium. That is equivalent to a two-liter bottle of soda, said Charles Ferguson of the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think tank. But a country with proper facilities could make more bombs with the same amount.
Much of the material reached countries with nuclear programs as a result of policies begun during the Eisenhower administration's "Atoms for Peace" program. President Dwight Eisenhower proposed using atomic technology for energy instead of weapons with the idea that if nations used it for producing energy they would no longer use it for military purposes. The former Soviet Union was also a major source of nuclear fuel.
Between the United States and Russia, 230 pounds of highly enriched uranium has been recovered and sent back to its country of origin. In the meantime, the United States is still working to get back about 26,400 pounds of highly enriched uranium supplied by the United States to countries around the world, said Longsworth, although much of it is in countries like France or Britain that pose less of a security risk.
"If terrorists were to get access to plutonium or HEU, they would have overcome a significant step in the pathway to a full weapon," Longsworth said.
But, so far U.S. energy officials need greater legal authority to demand return of the materials, he said.
However, at the same time, recent legislation allows for the United States to ship highly enriched uranium to countries using it to produce materials used in medical research -- mainly Canada and the Netherlands, according to Ferguson. The allowance is made if the cost of converting their facilities to run on low enriched uranium (which cannot be used for nuclear weapons) is 10 percent higher than the cost of running the facility, Ferguson said.
Although these countries pose little threat the United States, it is a matter of "principle," Ferguson said. The United States must take the "next step to completely delegitimize" use of materials than can be used for weapons, he said.
U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman sought Tuesday to boost energy cooperation with Russia, which has lagged far behind what American officials say is vast potential amid concerns about Russia's investment climate and questions about its desire for closer ties.
Amid meetings with Russian officials including Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and the ministers of energy and trade, Bodman stressed the "compelling case" for the Cold War foes to work together: the United States is seeking more energy sources, while Russia needs investment to boost exports and revenues from its vast reserves.
He said Russian officials had expressed their commitment to working more closely with the United States, but that the government's pursuit of the Yukos oil company and other decisions have clouded the investment climate and the future of Russian-U.S. energy cooperation.
Russian oil exports to the United States have reached 230,000 barrels per day, Bodman said.
"But it should be 10 times that or more, given the reserves that are here," he said. "And it's a matter of having an environment, getting investments made."
He said a slowdown in the growth of Russian oil exports, from an annual rate of over 10 percent two years ago to only 4 percent through April, underscores the need for Russia to clear up a murky legal environment. The figures "reinforce the need for clarity," he said.
Bodman, whose first visit to Russia came near the end of former Yukos oil company CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky's politically charged trial, said the government's treatment of Yukos "has raised questions about the independence of the judiciary, the sanctity of contracts and the sort of transparency that investors are interested in."
Khodorkovsky is expected to be found guilty of fraud and tax evasion in a trial widely seen as punishment for perceived political ambitions. His company has been torn apart by back tax claims and partly nationalized.
U.S. officials describe closer energy cooperation with Russia as a win-win situation, and U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered their governments to seek to boost cooperation at a February summit.
"It's in the interest of Russia to have greater exports, particularly at the prices we're taking about today, and it's in the interests of the United States to have more diverse sources of supply," Bodman said. "It's a compelling case."
But Washington has been disappointed by foot-dragging on a pipeline to Russia's north coast that could increase supplies to the United States, as well as sluggishness on other pipeline plans and mixed signals about Russia's openness to foreign investment in the energy industry.
The increasingly powerful role of the Russian state in the economy has also raised concerns. And there have been no deals yet to develop projects that would provide liquefied natural gas, which Bodman said would be crucial amid a potentially sharp increase in U.S. gas consumption.
He said that despite positive signals from officials, Russia's commitment to energy cooperation can only be measured by concrete deals.
"Until they make a decision and a deal is done, then I have to assume there's a question," he said.
Speaking before a meeting with Russia's nuclear energy agency chief, Bodman said that the two nations had made "good progress" in cooperation on nuclear security, but that — amid Russian sensitivity about U.S. involvement at nuclear sites — they still have differences to surmount.
He said they were close to agreement on a program to use plutonium from nuclear weapons into a fuel called MOX, which has been held up by a dispute over liability of American contractors. "There's reason to believe we will be successful on moving that project forward," he said.
4. Expert: Russia Not Pondering Joint Nuclear Arms Control with U.S.
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Russia's nuclear storage facilities are not equipped with all forms of modern protection, but the joint control of nuclear weapons that the United States is demanding contradicts Russian legislation, Colonel General Igor Valynkin, head of the 12th Main Directorate of the Russian Defense Ministry, told Izvestia.
Protection systems are being modernized, including with the money provided by the United States and Germany, which contribute about $50 million a year. U.S. experts are permitted to visit U.S. funded facilities three times: before the beginning of the project, in the middle of it and upon its completion. They are then only allowed near the surrounding fence and the technical protection equipment, but not near the actual nuclear storage site.
The human factor is the weakest link in the nuclear protection system. Russian scientists have created a system that can protect the facility without human assistance. During a recent exercise, a group of special operations forces failed to enter such a facility. The Russian defense department is working to equip all nuclear facilities with the systems.
Graduates of military schools and academies who will be working at the facilities pass careful selection and inspection, including lie detector tests. They are also checked during their tenure.
Special exercises are also held regularly. Nuclear accidents were simulated during the Avariya-2004 exercise held under the NATO-Russia Council, attacking an automobile convoy and a train carrying nuclear weapons.
In April, a group of Russian officers participated in an exercise organized by the U.S. Air Force Space Command and the Department of Energy. The Americans demonstrated how to train protection units and guard convoys.
The sides agreed that they share the common goal of ensuring nuclear safety and could learn from each other's experience.
1. Ex-Nuclear Minister Rejects Simplified Extradition to Russia
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Former Russian nuclear energy minister Yevgeny Adamov, who is being held in a Swiss prison on a U.S. warrant, on Thursday rejected a request for a simplified extradition back to Russia.
Adamov, who already has rejected being extradited to the United States, said he wants "to go to his homeland as a free man" to fight U.S. accusations that he diverted up to $9 million from funds intended to improve Russian nuclear security.
"I wish to hereby inform you, that I am rejecting a simplified extradition to both requesting parties," Adamov said in a statement through his lawyers.
Adamov was arrested earlier this month in the Swiss capital Bern and was indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on conspiracy to transfer stolen money and securities, conspiracy to defraud the United States, money laundering and tax evasion.
Russian authorities, concerned that he could divulge nuclear secrets if extradited to the United States, have demanded he be sent instead to Russia to face allegations concerning the illegal appropriation of money intended for nuclear security.
A simple extradition process bypasses a number of time-consuming procedures normally involved in extradition requests.
The United States has until June 30 to file an official request for Adamov's extradition.
Two weeks ago an ultranationalist legislator suggested in parliament that if Russia is unable to get the former atomic energy minister returned home, he should be "eliminated."
Adamov said he would like to return to Russia, but not under the auspices of an extradition request.
"The incarceration of my person, demanded by the United States of America, is illegal," Adamov said. "I intend to leave prison as a free man and to return to my homeland as a free man."
Lawyers for Adamov appealed last week in a Swiss criminal court against his detention on the basis that Switzerland violated his immunity as a former minister.
Adamov had come to Switzerland to see his daughter and to help her regain access to blocked accounts in Swiss banks.
1. Republican Congressman Criticizes U.S. for Lack of Cooperation With Russia on Missile Defense
Global Security Newswire
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U.S. Representative Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) said the United States should pursue more extensive missile defense cooperation with Russia, Defense Daily International reported Friday (see GSN, April 15).
The lack of senior-level dialogue with Russian officials has stymied efforts at cooperation, said Weldon, noting his own role in brokering a meeting for Missile Defense Agency officials.
“Isn’t there something wrong when a member of Congress has to arrange a meeting with a four-star general to continue a missile defense policy called on by our president?” Weldon said.
The Missile Defense Agency is seeking increased cooperation with Russia, agency Director Lt. Gen. Henry Obering recently told a congressional committee. He did not provide details (Sharon Weinberger, Defense Daily International, May 20).
1. Russia Ready to Supply Iran Nuclear Power Industry with Fuel
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking on Monday in an interview with the Kuwaiti KUNA news agency, said that Russia “is ready to guarantee fuel supplies for the Iranian nuclear power industry in such a way that all this will be done under IAEA control”. “Specific forms of this readiness can be determined within the total package,” he noted.
According to the minister, the talks on this problem “are underway on the basis of an understanding that Iran has the full right to peaceful development of the nuclear power industry”. “Teheran is interested in an access to modern non-nuclear technologies for the development of its economy,” he emphasized. “Iran wants to be an equal partner in various formats where regional problems (important for that country) are discussed.”
“We believe that all these principles are quite justified and lay down sound grounds for achieving understandings,” the minister continued. “Particulars of how this will be realized, are still being agreed upon, and it is necessary in the interests of successful completion of the talks that decisions which will be taken by the IAEA Governing Board with respect to the Iranian programme, would be in force.”
“This means,” he continued, “that the Iranian side will preserve the moratorium on all work, connected with uranium enrichment. This is very important in order to find a settlement on all issues, including how fuel for nuclear power stations will be supplied.”
He noted that the talks are being held between three European countries (Britain, Germany and France) on the one side, and Iran, on the other. Russia works simultaneously with Teheran and “the European trio”, “since it wants to achieve one and the same goal: to bar a threat to non-proliferation and to remove suspicions that the Iranian peaceful nuclear programme (part of it) is used to implement military ends”.
“The talks are far from completion for the time being,” the minister stated. “They have made some progress, but they should be continued.”
2. Moscow Sending Mixed Messages on Iranian Nuclearization
The Jamestown Foundation
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While Russia helped Iran build its nuclear reactor at Bushehr, Moscow now appears to be pushing Tehran to abandon dreams of further nuclearization (Interfax April 28, 29). Iran claims to have suspended some nuclear activities relating to uranium enrichment as part of a deal with the European Union, but it admits to converting 37 tons of raw uranium into gas before beginning talks with the EU (AFP, UPI, May 10). The EU-3 (Great Britain, France, and Germany) are to meet with Iranian representatives today (May 25) to encourage Tehran to continue its moratorium on uranium enrichment.
White House officials claim that Russia has sought to push Iran to give up its nuclear aspirations. Specifically, Russia has supported those negotiations and has demanded that the spent fuel from Iran's nuclear reactor at Bushehr be returned by Iran to Russia as part of future support for Iran's nuclear program (U.S. Federal News, May 9). During his April trip to the Middle East, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated Moscow's "categorical" opposition to Iranian military nuclearization and insisted that Iran stop trying to develop uranium enrichment and full-cycle nuclear technologies (Interfax, April 22). More recently Alexander Rumyantsev, director of Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency, stated that Iran should not develop its own uranium enrichment capability but rely on third parties to provide enriched uranium to Iran (Vremya novostei, May 12).
Yet, Rumyantsev also declared, "Even the U.S. cannot inflict the least damage on Russia's cooperation with Iran" (IRNA, May 21). Russian commentators and Russia's ambassador to Iran, Alexander Maryasov, note that Moscow fundamentally differs from Washington in that it supports Iran's right to a peaceful nuclear program and advocates that Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency sign an additional protocol giving the IAEA the right to conduct inspections without prior notification while Iran maintains its moratorium on enrichment (RIA-Novosti, April 28; Russian Channel One TV, April 28; Iranian FARS News Agency, May 4).
Also simultaneously, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Rumyantsev have announced broader nuclear cooperation than before, even while claiming that such activity is coordinated with the European negotiators (Xinhua, April 26; Vremya novostei, May 12). Thus Russia is delivering up to 100 tons of nuclear fuel to the factory at Bushehr even though no treaty has been signed on returning the spent fuel (RIA-Novosti, April 29). Even though Rumyantsev has tried to detail the controls on spent fuel that Russia seeks to impose, it is highly unlikely that it or other providers could resist the gains to be made from further sales of nuclear technology and materials to Iran or that they could adequately supervise the handling and return of spent fuel (Vremya novostei, May 12). Russia appears to be hedging its bets and trying to play both sides against the middle.
The recent arrest of former Russian atomic energy minister Yevgeny Adamov on U.S. embezzlement charges (see EDM, May 11) may lead to interesting disclosures about Russian support for Iran's nuclear program. Moscow undoubtedly has reason to be concerned about his possible revelations concerning the nature of nuclear deals with Iran, who sanctioned them, and who received how much money for these deals (Argumenty i fakty, May 12).
Russia may publicly oppose Tehran's plans, whose rationale, given Iran's abundant energy holdings, still makes no sense to most observers. But it has clearly refused to do anything to compel Iran to comply. The usual interests that apparently govern Russian policies towards Iran have evidently continued to assert their primacy in Russia's policymaking process. The Iran deal would satisfy Russia's major military and nuclear energy lobbies in their drive to make money to fund their assorted projects. Moscow would also benefit from having a friendly Iran that does not support Muslim insurgents in Central Asia and the Caucasus and having a reliable partner against American dominance in the Gulf and Caspian Sea.
Therefore it is highly unlikely that Moscow will take any severe action against Iran should Tehran break off the negotiations with Europe and resume the uranium-enrichment process. Even if Russia urges Iran to reach an accord with the EU, as it now does, it is hypothetical at best and unlikely that Moscow would support the discussion of this issue in the UN Security Council or General Assembly. It also is unclear whether Iran would pay any costs for breaking off the talks, since the EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, has said that if Tehran did leave the talks and resume enrichment, the case would first go to Vienna, meaning the IAEA. As that agency has little power to do anything against Iran and would have even less clout if Russia opposed such action, it is clear that Putin has staked out a position where he can pose as an opponent of proliferation, while simultaneously allowing it to continue through the support of other agencies of the Russian government.
3. Russia to Continue Nuclear Cooperation with Iran: Rumyantsev
Islamic Republic News Agency
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Head of Russia's Atomic Energy Agency Alexander Rumyantsev reiterated here Friday that Moscow will continue its nuclear cooperation with Tehran.
"Even the US cannot inflict the least damage on Russia's cooperation with Iran," Rumyantsev said in a meeting with Iran's outgoing Ambassador to Russia Gholam Reza Shafei.
Noting that President Vladimir Putin of Russia attached great importance to all-out cooperation between Moscow and Tehran, particularly in the area of nuclear activities, Rumyantsev stressed that the president considered Tehran as Moscow's "strategic ally in southern Russia."
As to the Bushehr power plant which is under construction with the help of Russian experts in southern Iran, he said that the plant would become operational on schedule (set for late 2006).
He noted that Russia would supply fuel for Bushehr power plant on the basis of an agreement signed between the two sides.
Meanwhile, the Iranian ambassador, for his part, urged the timely starting up of the Bushehr power plant based on Tehran-Moscow agreement made earlier this year.
"According to the announcement made by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the world public opinion, Iran's nuclear program is completely peaceful," Shafei said.
"In light of the national demands, the Islamic Republic will not turn the temporary and voluntary suspension of uranium enrichment into a permanent halt of the activity and also expects Russia's support within the framework of international regulations in that regard," he added.
Shafei added that transparent measures taken by the two countries during the past two years convinced even the toughest opponents of Iran-Russia nuclear ties that bilateral cooperation on Bushehr power plant was peaceful.
Deputy Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) for International Affairs, Mohammad Saeedi, who was also present at the meeting, said that Iran called for interaction and dialogue in its nuclear program. However he noted that Europe should understand Tehran's conditions since "enrichment is a national demand." He added that Iran was implementing the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), despite the fact that it had not been approved by the Majlis (Parliament).
He noted that any state that would sign the protocol was not likely to move toward development of nuclear weapons.
Rumyantsev, who is also the Russian head of Iran-Russia Joint Economic Commission, outlined expansion of bilateral exchanges and cooperation between the two countries as well as holding successful joint commissions for economic and trade cooperation during Shafei's mission in Moscow.
4. Iran Seeks Russian Help in Nuke Dispute - Diplomats
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Tehran has proposed a compromise it hopes could resolve its nuclear dispute with the European Union -- having Russia carry out the sensitive final enrichment of uranium after Iran has processed it, European diplomats said.
"Iran has proposed that Russia enrich the uranium that Iran has converted," a European diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity. He said this compromise proposal was intended to find a way for Iran to resume sensitive atomic activities it froze last year under a deal reached with France, Britain and Germany.
European diplomats said they did not like the proposal.
They said the idea of Russia carrying out final uranium enrichment was intended as a temporary measure to ease fears that Iran's nuclear intentions were not peaceful. Iran would later want to handle the enrichment itself, they added.
Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Hassan Rohani plans to meet foreign ministers from the EU's "big three" next week to try to resolve the stand-off over Tehran's nuclear plans. But Iran and the EU have been unable to agree on a date or venue, diplomats close to the talks told Reuters.
Sharing Washington's suspicions that Iran's nuclear power programme is a front to develop atomic weapons, the EU has demanded Iran give up its entire uranium enrichment programme in exchange for economic and political incentives.
Tehran has rejected the EU offer and insists its nuclear ambitions are limited to the peaceful generation of electricity. It has been refusing to give up its enrichment programme, which could produce fuel for nuclear power plants or atomic weapons.
Russia, which is building the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran, has called on Tehran to accede to Europe's demands and give up its nuclear fuel programme. Moscow has promised to provide fuel for Bushehr and take the spent fuel back so Iran could not extract bomb-grade plutonium from it.
Russia has been a key ally of the Islamic republic and supports its ambitions to develop a nuclear energy programme. However, Moscow has repeatedly said that developing a nuclear fuel programme made no economic sense for Tehran.
1. India, Russia to Enhance Cooperation in Power Generation
Press Trust of India
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Cementing their bilateral ties, India and Russia today agreed to enhance cooperation in power generation, outer space and economic spheres. This was discussed during an hour-long one-on-one meeting visiting President A P J Abdul Kalam had with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin here and later at the delegation-level talks between the two sides. "We have agreed to increase cooperation in power generation through nuclear reactors supplied by Russia," Kalam told reporters after the meeting. Kalam, who is on a four-day visit to Russia, said that a lot was needed to be done in the energy sector. He also said that the two sides would be working towards boosting trade and hi-tech cooperation to touch 25 billion dollars over the next decade. "I am absolutely sure this visit will give another major boost to the development of our cooperation," Putin responded observing "India is one of the key partners of Russia in the Asia-Pacific region." Kalam underscored India's hopes of consolidating cooperation with Russia in the areas of nuclear and fossil fuel. "Russia and India are unique nations. In difficult times for India and happy times for India, you are our close friend," Kalam told Putin. Kalam, who was accorded a ceremonial welcome when he arrived at the Kremlin, was also of the view that the two countries should now broaden their cooperation in outer space.
Recalling that New Delhi and Moscow had signed an agreement in December last year on cooperation in outer space, Kalam said more satellites could be launched and both countries could take advantage of them, according to official sources. During his meeting with Putin, Kalam also suggested launching of a 'World Youth Satellite' which would be beneficial to millions of young people across the globe. Putin, welcoming the President, said that significant progress had been registered in bilateral projects. He also referred to the joint Indo-Russian nuclear power project at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu which would be completed by 2007. The Russian President said that the central theme of the Indo-Russian relations was in favour of a just world order and all issues were solved through dialogue without any foreign intereference.
1. Russian Envoy to Japan Pessimistic on N Korea Talks
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Russia's ambassador to Japan called the situation on the Korean peninsula a "full-scale international crisis" that could get worse and said he was pessimistic that Pyongyang would return to talks on its nuclear arms program.
A senior Chinese diplomat, however, prescribed patience and said he saw "positive signals" that dialogue was possible.
The envoys' remarks came as analysts saw signs that North Korea might consider resuming stalled multilateral talks on ending its nuclear arms development, as well as persistent concerns that it might be preparing to test a nuclear device.
"We have on the Korean peninsula a full-scale international crisis possessing enormous potential of deteriorating," Russian ambassador Alexander Losyukov said on Monday at a symposium in Tokyo on North Korea and the Northeast Asia region.
Losyukov, a former negotiator at the six-party talks, said his observations had led him to conclude that North Korea had "been consistently removing every chance to bring at least some progress to the negotiations."
North Korea confirmed on Sunday that it had spoken with the United States on May 13 at the United Nations and that it would respond at an "appropriate time" to U.S. efforts to revive multilateral talks that have been stalled for nearly a year.
It was unclear whether that response would include a decision on returning to the table.
Losyukov said evidence indicated that the North Korean leadership had opted for developing nuclear capability to guarantee its security from outside threats, and he expressed doubts that progress was possible even if Pyongyang did return to the talks.
"Resumption is desirable, but not the sole or most possible (outcome)," he said. "It is extremely important to show resolve ... and to prepare contingency plans."
The six-party talks comprise the two Koreas, China, the United States, Japan and Russia.
"The situation on the Korean peninsula is very dangerous and has the potential of deteriorating in the future," he said.
Cheng Yonghua, number two at the Chinese embassy, however, told the same symposium that he saw "positive signals," including the U.S.-North Korean meeting at the United Nations, as well as talks last week between North and South Korean officials, and he urged Pyongyang to return to the talks.
The U.N. meeting signaled a shift in policy emphasis by Washington, which has been reluctant to deal separately with the North outside the multilateral forum.
"The nuclear issue is very complicated. There is a major gap in ideas between North Korea and the United States," Cheng said. "Of course the past few rounds (of talks) did not resolve all issues but ... we have to be confident and patient enough to maintain the path of dialogue."
"In any case, the six-way talks are the best and most practical path to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue, so all sides should not miss any trace of positive signs for resumption of the talks," he added.
Washington and Tokyo have been calling on China, North Korea's main backer, to put more pressure on Pyongyang to resume the talks.
The United States and Japan have also made clear that they would consider taking the nuclear issue to the U.N. Security Council, a prelude to possible economic sanctions, if Pyongyang continued to drag its feet.
Russia's military chief of staff called Monday for steps to prevent North Korea from conducting nuclear tests, expressing a sense of urgency amid increasing U.S. concern that Pyongyang may soon conduct a test.
"Today it is necessary to do everything possible in order not to allow North Korea to conduct (nuclear) tests," Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, chief of the general staff of the armed forces, said in televised comments. He did not specify what might be done to prevent it.
Baluyevsky, who spoke during a meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Gen. Hajime Massaki, also called for the renewal of six-nation talks aimed at persuading Pyongyang to drop its nuclear weapons program.
"We simply must not allow the testing or existence of nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula," he said.
The statement came amid questions about how nations involved in the dormant six-sided talks with North Korea — the United States, South Korea, China, Russia and Japan — would react if Pyongyang does conduct a test.
North Korea says it has removed fuel rods from a reactor — a step toward extracting weapons-grade plutonium — and U.S. officials say spy satellites spotted the digging of a tunnel and the construction of a reviewing stand in northeastern North Korea, possibly suggesting an upcoming test.
A nuclear test by North Korea could give Washington more leverage in persuading other permanent U.N. Security Council nations, especially Russia and China, to support U.N.-approved penalties against the hard-line communist country. Russia has expressed opposition in the past to taking the issue to the Security Council.
China says bullying U.S. rhetoric makes it harder to coax the North Koreans back to the negotiating table, and Russian diplomats have also advocated a softer touch.
The Soviet Union was North Korea's principle aid donor for years, and Russia has cordial relations with Pyongyang, but analysts say that shrinking trade means Moscow has far less influence with its government than China does.
Alexander Pikayev, a nuclear expert with the Committee of Scientists for Global Security, said Russia would likely follow China's lead if there was U.S. pressure for sanctions against North Korea.
"If at the end of the day China decides to go through with the sanctions, Russia will also do that, but it is highly unlikely," he said.
Pikayev also said that "a military operation (against North Korea) is highly unlikely," adding: "And if someone dares to attack, Russia would not participate in it."
1. Russia Has No Plans For Nuclear Weapons In Space
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Russia has no intention of putting nuclear weapons into space, according to a top Russian military commander.
"Russia doesn't plan to do that -- I can say that categorically," General Vladimir Popovkin, head of Russia's military space command, said in response to a question about the possibility of Russia putting nuclear weapons into orbit.
"I hope that humanity has enough sense not to put such awful weapons into space," Popovkin told reporters Wednesday.
"Controlling weapons on earth is one thing, but in space it's more difficult -- there are meteor showers, sunbursts -- it's very dangerous."
The agency provided no further details on the context of Popovkin's comments.
His remarks however came a week after the US daily The New York Times reported that the US Air Force was seeking a national security directive from President George W. Bush that could lead to fielding offensive and defensive space weapons.
A new US presidential directive to replace a 1996 policy that emphasized a more pacific use of space was expected within weeks, the report said, quoting an unidentified senior US administration official.
A US Air Force spokeswoman, Karen Finn, was quoted in the report as saying that "the focus of the process is not putting weapons in space... The focus is having free access in space."
1. Russian Company May Provide Japanese Nuclear Power Plants with 30% of Fuel
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Tekhsnabexport (TENEX), a Russian company producing nuclear materials, intends to provide Japanese nuclear power plants with up to 30% of nuclear fuel.
"The fact that most of the fuel that Japanese nuclear power plants currently receive are marked "Made in USA" does not necessarily mean that it was produced in the US," head of the Japanese office of TENEX Masayuki Yokoi said.
The main manufacturers of this hi-tech product are Russia, Canada and Australia, however considerable volumes of fuel are used by US middlemen, thereby becoming "American", he specified.
Accordingly, TENEX will be able to meet 30% of the demand of Japanese power plants if it starts selling fuel without dealers.
"In a long-term perspective TENEX has the goal of conquering the South Korean and Chinese markets of nuclear fuel," Masayuki Yokoi said.
The company has an office in Seoul and is currently talking on the establishment of another one in Beijing with Chinese authorities. The Tokyo office of TENEX is considered as the company's HQ in the Far Eastern region.
Yokoi complained that the counteraction of Japanese business and numerous administrative restrictions seriously thwart the work. The government's permission is necessary whenever fuel is imported, stored or transported.
TENEX approached the Japanese market in 1991 and made its first contract to supply enriched uranium in 1999.
One of the world's largest suppliers of nuclear products, the company had a commodity turnover of up to $1.7 billion in 2004. In addition to other contracts, the company supplies the US with uranium extracted from ballistic missiles.
The Techa River meanders through this tiny village of ramshackle cabins and garden plots on the southern edge of the Ural Mountains, seemingly a source of life for a sleepy farming hamlet that has lived off the land for nearly three centuries.
For decades, villagers swam in the Techa, ate its carp and pike, and grazed their cattle along the banks, unaware that the river had become a conduit for lethal radioactive waste from a Russian plutonium plant upstream.
Today, Russians in the region surrounding the plant get thyroid cancer at nearly twice the nation's average rate, according to a recent study. The incidence of lung cancer in the Techa region is 70 percent higher than the average for Russia; the rate of colon cancer is 44 percent higher.
"We think of ourselves as mice--laboratory mice," said Vera Ozhogina, 57, a retired math teacher from Muslyumovo. She blames the plant for the heart disease that killed her 47-year-old husband and now afflicts her 31-year-old daughter.
Located near the source of the Techa River in the closed city of Ozersk, the sprawling Mayak complex once was a vital cog in the Soviet Union's rush to build up its nuclear arsenal. Mayak produced 73 tons of plutonium from 1948 until 1990, supplying plutonium for the first Soviet atomic bomb.
Plutonium is one of the world's deadliest substances; a millionth of a gram is enough to cause cancer. Its half-life is 24,000 years.
Mayak and other weapons production plants that made up the Soviet military complex existed behind a Cold War shroud of secrecy, and the extent of the harm they caused to the environment was not fully disclosed until after the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991. By the early 1990s it became known that Mayak had dumped more than 20 billion gallons of radioactive waste into the Techa River.
Environmentalists say Mayak has made thousands of Russians in the region sick and believe scores more will fall ill. Victims include Russians who were children when they took part in cleanup work after a 1957 tank explosion that released twice the radiation associated with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. And they include children who today eat fish from the Techa and berries from contaminated fields.
Mayak, which stopped producing weapons-grade nuclear material in 1990 and now reprocesses spent nuclear fuel, continues to dump radioactive waste into the Techa, Russian prosecutors say. As a result, prosecutors opened a criminal case against the company last month, a rare move in a country that has a history of hushing up environmental disasters.
Villagers in Muslyumovo and the rest of the Techa River valley doubt the government's actions will amount to much.
"We feel any efforts now are useless," said Roza Valayeva, 53, of Muslyumovo, who had a uterine tumor removed in 1994. Her 67-year-old father died of lung cancer; skin cancer claimed her 43-year-old brother. A grandson's teeth have begun to crumble, she says.
"This has gone on for decades, and we don't believe anyone anymore," Valayeva said. "We cannot start from scratch somewhere else, so we're trapped. We cannot leave--and we cannot survive here."
Valayeva's skepticism is understandable, given Russia's legacy of environmental neglect.
Aside from Mayak, major Cold War radioactivity discharges at weapons manufacturing facilities in the central Siberian cities of Seversk and Zheleznogorsk were kept secret for years by Soviet authorities. Today, dozens of submarines containing nuclear fuel rust in ports along the Barents Sea and the country's Pacific coast, awaiting dismantling.
Just weeks after he was inaugurated in 2000, Russian President Vladimir Putin abolished Russia's environmental and forest protection agencies, assigning their functions to the Ministry of Natural Resources, which regulates mining and oil exploration. Russia also has aggressively pursued a program to import the world's spent nuclear fuel, an effort environmentalists warn would turn the country into the world's nuclear waste dump.
"Since Putin came to power, state environmental bodies have been systematically dissolved," said Vladimir Slivyak, head of the Moscow-based Ecodefense environmentalist group. "How can the system work if government officials responsible for the environment report directly to those who manage, utilize and eventually destroy natural resources?"
Built in 1946 deep within the birch forests at the foot of the southern Ural Mountains, Mayak was rushed into operation with untested technology and design flaws, according to a 1997 article written by Russian and Finnish scientists for the journal Environment.
One design flaw forced workers to clean by hand the filters that separated plutonium from other, unneeded radioactive isotopes. Other flaws caused critical pieces of equipment to explode, causing spills that filled Mayak's radioactive waste storage tanks. Facility officials faced a crucial decision: Shut down the plant or dump radioactive waste somewhere else.
"The immediate solution, of course, was simply to use the Techa River as a dumping ground," the scientists wrote.
A deadly decision
For 20 months in 1950 and 1951, Mayak dumped into the river deadly radioactive waste that should have been stored in special tanks. Mayak workers were sent to the river to take samples for tests. Saviya Zubareva, then 21, was one of them. Up until the ninth month of her pregnancy, she waded knee-deep in the river every day, wearing boots, overalls and gloves that Mayak never changed. Protective masks that the plant gave Zubareva and other Mayak workers were replaced infrequently.
Zubareva and her co-workers wore gauges that measured the levels of radioactivity they were receiving while in the water, but when they had reached the maximum dose at midday, their supervisors told them to keep working. Zubareva took two months off when her daughter was born, then went back to work taking samples for five more years before quitting in 1960.
"We were young and stupid, and no one ever explained to us the danger," said Zubareva, 75.
While she worked, Zubareva suffered severe headaches "that I thought I would die from." Doctors later confirmed that her daughter, Galina, suffered severe health problems from being exposed to radioactivity as a fetus. As a teenager, Galina's bones became brittle and frequently fractured. She worked at the plant's cafeteria until she turned 45, when she became too ill to work.
Mayak recognizes that Galina's disability results from Mayak-related radioactivity exposure and pays her $27 a month as compensation.
"She looks older than I do," her mother said. "She has gray hair, one tooth, and she's bedridden."
Worse than Chernobyl
On Sept. 29, 1957, a catastrophic release of radioactivity occurred at Mayak that shot into the air more radioactivity than the blast at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. A cooling system on a radioactive waste storage tank failed, causing an explosion that rained contaminants on an area the size of New Jersey.
Thousands of Russians were evacuated without being told why. Thousands more, most of them ethnic Tatars, were not evacuated and never told what had happened. Officials at collective farms in the region told children to head into farm fields to gather potatoes so they could be buried later.
Gulnara Ismagilova, a Tatar who was 11 at the time, remembers seeing the sky darken with a greenish fog as she piled potatoes in heaps.
"It was raining the night after the blast, and we could see green spots everywhere," said Ismagilova, 59. "It was some kind of green substance falling from the sky. I can remember seeing blood coming from people's noses and mouths, and people retching."
Ismagilova's village, Karabolka, was half Russian, half Tatar. The Russian side of the village was evacuated; the Tatar half was not. The Tatar half's population then was 4,000. Today, 400 people live there, a dilapidated village of corrugated-roof huts and rutted dirt paths, ringed by eight cemeteries.
Because the village's fields and pastures remain contaminated, villagers are barred from selling crops or livestock, Ismagilova said, "The village is literally dying of hunger."
Though she is a doctor, Ismagilova said she is too afraid to seek medical help about a 3-by-3-inch tumor on her liver. She said she wants no further tests performed to find out whether it is malignant, instead preferring a regimen of herbal medicine.
"I really don't want to know," she said.
Environmentalists say even more threatening are the billions of gallons of waste stored in a reservoir called Lake Karachai, where radioactivity is so concentrated that some Western scientists have called it the most polluted place on Earth. Radioactive contaminants from the lake have been detected in the groundwater.
Mayak plant officials did not respond to a request for an interview. In a statement, prosecutors accused Mayak of "flagrantly violating environmental laws" by continuing to dump into the Techa. If their investigation produces charges against company officials deemed criminally liable, a conviction could mean a prison term of up to 5 years.
Like Techa River valley villagers, environmentalists say they remain doubtful that the opening of a criminal case will lead to charges against plant officials. They would hold out more hope, they say, if Russia's attitude toward health and the environment would change.
"It's all about setting priorities," said Nadezhda Kutepova, head of the Planet of Hopes environmental group based in Ozersk. "And right now, protecting the health of Russians is not a top priority in this country."
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
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The Seventh Review Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) concluded its work in New York on May 27. The representatives of the 152 States Parties to the Treaty took part in its work; 129 intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations were observers. The Conference carried out a generally objective and well-balanced analysis of the functioning of the NPT on all the principal issues - nonproliferation, disarmament and peaceful utilization of atomic energy. There was affirmed in the statements of delegations and the documents presented by them the main thing - the Treaty's effectiveness as an important component of the international security system, the need to universalize it further, and the commitment by all the States Parties to abide by their NPT obligations.
The participants in the Conference were unable to adopt consensus findings and recommendations as to ways of further strengthening the NPT, because the divergence of opinions regarding ways of fulfilling the States Parties' obligations had turned out to be too wide. At the same time, following the Conference's results one can draw a principled conclusion, which everybody shares - the new challenges to the nuclear nonproliferation regime that have emerged recently can and should be removed primarily on the basis of the NPT.
For Russia, this Treaty is an important component of the system of international security, which has in the 35 years proved its effectiveness, above all, in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, as was noted in the message of greetings from President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to the participants and guests of the Conference. Based on this, the Russian delegation actively pursued at the Conference a principled line on strengthening the NPT comprehensively and combining the efforts of all the States Parties to accomplish this task. We presented at the Conference a national report on Russia's fulfillment of NPT obligations, and held a number of briefings to report, in particular, its practical steps in the field of nuclear disarmament.
We are certain that, based on work done at the Conference, we shall be able together with all the States Parties to continue the work with a view to implementing the obligations set into the NPT Treaty, and strengthening it further still.
2. United States and Ukraine Sign Agreement to Improve Security of Ukraine's Radioactive Materials
Department of Energy
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US Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman and his Ukrainian counterpart David Zhvaniya, Minister for Emergencies, today signed an Implementing Arrangement to partner together to advance international nonproliferation goals by improving the security of Ukraine's radioactive materials. These radioactive materials are no longer considered useful for production, but could be used in building a radiological dispersal device such as a ‘dirty bomb.’
"This Implementing Arrangement is a significant step forward in our partnership to safeguard these radioactive materials and advance the security of the region," Secretary Bodman said. "Presidents Bush and Yushchenko, who met in Washington DC earlier this year, pledged cooperation between our two nations to promote nuclear safety, security of nuclear materials, and nonproliferation. I'm honored to help move that agreement forward through today's signing ceremony."
Under the Arrangement, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Global Radiological Threat Reduction can begin working with Ukraine’s Ministry of Emergencies to upgrade security at the six Ukrainian storage facilities where high-risk radioactive sources are stored.
The Implementing Arrangement is an important element of the new 21st Century Agenda for the Ukrainian-American Strategic Partnership, which President Yushchenko and President Bush met to discuss earlier this year in Washington, DC.
The Office of Global Radiological Threat Reduction is part of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI), which works to identify, secure, remove and/or facilitate the disposition of vulnerable, high-risk nuclear and other radiological materials around the world as expeditiously as possible. GTRI has initiated radiological threat reduction efforts in 40 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South and Central America.
3. Highly Enriched Uranium Repatriated from Latvia
National Nuclear Security Administration
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Three kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) that could be used for nuclear weapons were safely returned to the Russian Federation from Latvia under the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) in a mission completed on May 25. The mission was a joint effort between the United States, Latvia, Russia, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
"The recovery, return and eventual elimination of highly enriched uranium is an important component of the administration's Global Threat Reduction Initiative campaign to reduce the threat posed by dangerous nuclear and radiological material worldwide,” said NNSA Administrator Linton F. Brooks. “We applaud the strong leadership of Latvia for taking measures to secure this material and working cooperatively with the United States, Russia and the IAEA to successfully return it to Russia."
The highly enriched uranium was airlifted under guard from an airport near Riga, Latvia, to a secure facility, NPO Luch, in Podol'sk, Russia. There, the highly enriched uranium will be down-blended to low enriched uranium.
The nuclear fuel was originally supplied to Latvia by the Soviet Union for use in the Soviet-designed research reactor, located in Salaspils near the Latvian capital, Riga. In 1997, NNSA and the Latvia Nuclear Research Center completed a joint project to upgrade security of the nuclear material at Salaspils until it could be returned to Russia.
During the one-day mission, the HEU was loaded into two specialized transportation containers. IAEA safeguards inspectors and NNSA technical experts were present in Salaspils to monitor the process of loading the fuel into canisters. The facility in Russia that received the material has worked closely with the NNSA to implement security upgrades.
The mission of the GTRI is to identify, secure, recover and/or facilitate the final disposition of high-risk vulnerable nuclear and radiological materials around the world as quickly as possible.
This is the seventh successful shipment of HEU being returned to Russia. In the past two years, NNSA has repatriated a total of 57 kg of HEU to Russia from Romania, Bulgaria, Libya, Uzbekistan, and Czech Republic. In August 2002, 48 kg of Russian-origin HEU were repatriated from a research reactor near Belgrade, Serbia.
NNSA enhances U.S. national security through the military application of nuclear energy, maintains the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, promotes international nuclear nonproliferation and safety, reduces global danger from weapons on mass destruction, provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion, and oversees its national laboratories to maintain U.S. leadership in science technology.
4. Reply of Spokesman Alexander Yakovenko Regarding the Effectiveness of the Russian-American HEU-LEU Agreement
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
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Question: How do you assess the effectiveness of the Russian-American HEU-LEU Agreement?
Answer: The Russian-American agreement on the use of highly enriched uranium extracted from nuclear weapons (HEU-LEU Agreement) is one of the most significant disarmament initiatives. It provides for reprocessing, by 2013, of 500 tons of Russian highly enriched uranium (HEU) obtained as a result of dismantling of nuclear weapons being reduced in accordance with Russia's international obligations, into low-enriched uranium (LEU) with a degree of enrichment of 3.5-4.5 percent and its sale at world prices for further use in preparing fuel for American nuclear power plants. The Russian budget is to get a total of 12 billion dollars from the implementation of the Agreement. Half of the HEU reprocessing will be completed by September of this year.
The money from the sale of HEU under the Agreement (about 700 million dollars a year) helps to maintain the national atomic industry, enhance the security of nuclear power plants and conversion of defense enterprises to civilian uses. This is perhaps the only example of a major disarmament program that does not only not require additional resources to fulfill, but itself generates budget revenue.
It is important to stress the significance of this program as Russia's step in meeting its obligations under Article 4 of NPT (nuclear disarmament).
5. Energy Secretary Bodman in Moscow to Pursue Cooperation in Energy and Nuclear Security Matters
Department of Energy
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Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman today arrived in Moscow, to advance energy and nuclear security cooperation between the United States and Russia as part of the Bratislava initiatives [http://usinfo.state.gov/eur/Archive/2005/Feb/24-942263.html] outlined by Presidents Bush and Putin during their summit in February of 2005.
"Russia is a critical partner of the United States in both energy security and nuclear security. I look forward to advancing the Bratislava agenda with my Russian counterparts by increasing energy trade and investment and strengthening our cooperative nuclear security efforts to benefit both our nations," said Secretary Bodman.
During his trip, Secretary Bodman will meet with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, and will hold discussions with Alexander Rumyantsev, Director of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency; Viktor Khristenko, Minister of Industry and Energy; Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs; and German Gref, Minister of Economic Development and Trade.
Secretary Bodman's visit to Moscow is the first leg of a trip that will also take him to Baku, Azerbaijan and Kiev, Ukraine. In both countries, he will hold discussions with senior officials on a variety of energy and nuclear safety issues, including encouraging the development of diverse energy resources, promoting market transparency and investment, and advancing nuclear nonproliferation.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
(for personal use only)
Moscow highly evaluates the results of the talks between the DPRK and the Republic of Korea held on May 17-19 in Kaesong, DPRK, at deputy ministers' level. The resumption of contacts between North and South Korea at the governmental level, and the decision to jointly celebrate the fifth anniversary of the first inter-Korean summit evidence both sides' sincere desire for reconciliation and a dialogue aimed at normalizing relations.
The Russian side has been invariably supportive of the efforts of Pyongyang and Seoul for cooperation and exchanges towards greater peace, greater trust and greater economic and humanitarian engagement. We hope that the accords reached in the course of the talks will create a favorable atmosphere for resuming six-party talks and make an important contribution to resolving the problems of the Korean Peninsula.
7. U.S. Implementation of Article VI and the Future of Nuclear Disarmament
Ambassador Jackie Sanders
Department of State
(for personal use only)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to address Main Committee I to present U.S. views on Article VI of the Treaty. The United States values these opportunities to volunteer information on its policies, activities, and achievements contributing to the universal implementation of all substantive articles of the Treaty, including Article VI. The United States is fully committed to the NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty], and believes that all states must comply with the obligations of the Treaty. The United States takes all of its treaty obligations seriously, including those in Article VI, and is in full compliance with this article. As Article VI obligations extend to all States Parties, nuclear-weapon and non-nuclear-weapon alike, we look forward to learning about how others are advancing the goals of Article VI.
Mr. Chairman, the United States recognizes its Article VI commitments. We note, too, that the pace and nature of progress toward nuclear disarmament depends on the state of the international security environment. To that end, perhaps some discussion of the broader context is in order.
A Changed World
Mr. Chairman, the nuclear arms race referred to in Article VI is over. The United States and Russia have altered their fundamental relationship, and the drawdown of the nuclear weapons built up during the Cold War has been under way for almost two decades. The prospect of a global nuclear war that rightfully preoccupied the international community 35 years ago is at its lowest ebb in the history of the nuclear age.
The easing of global tension and strengthening of trust has allowed the United States to undertake systematic, progressive, and effective measures consistent with Article VI. We have taken these actions unilaterally, bilaterally with the Russian Federation, and multilaterally within NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization]. Unfortunately, in the face of this dramatic reduction of reliance on nuclear weapons, new proliferation challenges to international peace and security threaten us all. I speak in particular of the growing threat of terrorism involving the use of weapons of mass destruction, the alarming examples of certain States Parties violating their solemn nonproliferation commitments by seeking to acquire nuclear weapons or the means for their production, and revelations of non-state actor involvement in the illegal trafficking of sensitive nuclear technology.
Mr. Chairman, since September 11, 2001, these dangers, more than any other, imperil international peace and security and the continued viability of the NPT. Endorsement by all parties of strong international measures to confront these proliferation threats must be the primary objective of the 2005 Review Conference.
The U.S. Article VI Record
Mr. Chairman, the United States is committed to implementing NPT Article VI and by any measure, United States actions over the past 20 years have established an enviable record of Article VI compliance. Consider these significant, Article VI-related accomplishments:
Nuclear Weapon Reductions
* The United States has dismantled more than 13,000 nuclear weapons since 1988.
* When the START Treaty was signed in 1991, the United States and Russia each had deployed over 10,000 strategic warheads. Both reduced this level to below 6,000 by December 2001.
* United States and Russian operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads will be reduced further to 1,700-2,200 by December 31, 2012, as agreed by Presidents Bush and Putin and codified in the 2002 Moscow Treaty.
* Upon completion of the Moscow Treaty reductions, the U.S. will retain only about one-fifth of the strategic nuclear warheads that we had deployed in 1991.
* The overall United States nuclear stockpile is shrinking at the same time. In May 2004, President Bush approved a plan that will cut the stockpile by almost one-half from the 2001 level. By the end of 2012, the United States stockpile will be the smallest that it has been in several decades. These represent reductions by nearly a factor of four since the end of the Cold War.
* In total, United States nonategic nuclear weapons in NATO have been reduced by nearly ninety percent (90%) since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
* The number of U.S. nonategic nuclear weapon systems have been reduced from 13 to 2 -- one of which is not deployed under normal circumstances.
* United States Navy surface ships no longer deploy with nuclear weapons.
* In 1991, NATO based five different types of U.S. nuclear weapons on its soil. Only one type of these weapons remains in Europe today.
* Nonategic nuclear weapon storage sites in Europe have been reduced by 80%.
* In 2003, the United States dismantled the last of 3,000 tactical nuclear warheads -- artillery shells, warheads for short-range missile systems, and Navy depth bombs -- in fulfillment of the 1991 Presidential Nuclear Initiatives.
Nuclear Delivery System Reductions
* Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has eliminated 1,032 launchers for strategic ballistic missiles, 350 heavy bombers, and 28 ballistic missile submarines. Those reductions continue today.
* In the last three years, four additional submarines have been taken out of strategic service and had their ballistic missiles removed.
* Forty-two Peacekeeper ICBMs [Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles] have been deactivated, with the 8 remaining missiles scheduled for deactivation by October 2005.
Controlling Fissile Material
* The United States has not enriched uranium for nuclear weapons since 1964, nor produced plutonium for nuclear weapons since 1988. Moreover, we do not have plans to produce these materials for nuclear weapons purposes in the future.
* The United States has removed 174 tons of highly-enriched uranium [HEU] and 52 tons of plutonium from further use as fissile material in nuclear warheads, placing some of this material under IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] safeguards, and thus far converting approximately 60 tons irreversibly for use as civil reactor fuel.
* The United States and Russia have committed to dispose of 34 tons each of plutonium so that it is no longer usable for nuclear weapons. The United States is readying to begin construction of U.S. facilities for this purpose.
* Under the 1993 HEU Purchase Agreement, the United States and Russia have down-blended over 240 metric tons of HEU from Russian nuclear weapons.
* The United States supports the immediate commencement, in the Conference on Disarmament, of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, without verification.
Cooperative Threat Reduction
* Since 1992, the United States has expended more than $9 billion in nonproliferation and threat reduction assistance to the former Soviet Union.
* United States assistance to the former Soviet Union has resulted in more than 6,000 strategic nuclear warheads being removed from deployment, the elimination of 1,000 ballistic missiles, and the destruction of 600 air-to-surface nuclear missiles, 126 bombers, and 27 ballistic missile submarines.
* G-8 leaders, as part of the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, pledged in 2002 to raise $20 billion over the next 10 years for related projects, initially in Russia. The United States commitment is for $10 billion, or half the goal.
* G-8 Global Partnership priorities include fissile material disposition, nuclear submarine dismantlement, chemical weapon destruction, and employment of former weapons scientists.
* The United States has not conducted a nuclear test since 1992, continues to observe its nuclear testing moratorium, has no plans to conduct a nuclear test, and encourages others not to test.
* While the United States does not support the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, and will not become a party to it, the United States continues to work with the Provisional Technical Secretariat on IMS [International Monitoring System]-related activities.
Targeting and Alert Status
The United States no longer targets any country with nuclear weapons on a day-to-day basis. Mr. Chairman, let me repeat: the United States no longer targets any country with nuclear weapons on a day-to-day basis. Strategic bombers are no longer on alert. Dual-capable aircraft no longer operate on a high-alert basis, and their readiness requirements now are measured in weeks and months, rather than minutes. These measures would have been unheard of during the Cold War. Significant steps such as these contribute to Article VI goals and to global stability, and more generally to confidence-building.
Broadening Deterrence and Shifting Its Emphasis
Mr. Chairman, the points that I have just described in detail by themselves represent undeniable Article VI progress. Notwithstanding, beyond numerical reductions of weapons and delivery systems, which are critical to Article VI objectives, the United States has set in motion an entirely new way of looking at the role of nuclear weapons in our defense strategy.
I speak, Mr. Chairman, of the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, or NPR, of 2001. The United States has undertaken reviews of this sort in the past, but the 2001 NPR is unique, and fully consistent with Article VI. The 2001 NPR established a New Triad of strategic capabilities, one that places far less reliance on nuclear weapons to meet U.S. defense policy goals. Until the 2001 NPR, the U.S. triad included intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and long-range bombers armed with strategic nuclear weapons. The "New Triad" includes:
* Non-nuclear and nuclear forces;
* Active and passive defenses, including ballistic missile defenses; and
* The research and development and industrial infrastructure needed to develop, build and maintain offensive forces and defensive systems that will allow us to respond flexibly to unanticipated threats that we may face in the 21st century.
Let me emphasize, Mr. Chairman, that the New Triad concept resulting from the NPR, in principle and in practice, will reduce reliance on nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy. It reflects a totally new vision of the future, and is fully consistent with our indisputable resolve to implement Article VI.
A final thought about the NPR. It is unfortunate that, since the NPR's announcement, some have mischaracterized it. The NPR often is cited as quote, "evidence," unquote that the United States is failing to undertake its nuclear disarmament obligations. This, Mr. Chairman, is simply untrue. Regrettably, however, such criticism has the effect of drowning out the important message -- that of the United States reducing its reliance on nuclear weapons for its security, and of the tremendous strides that we are making to fully implement Article VI.
No New Nuclear Weapons
Mr. Chairman, let me state another fact. The NPT does not prohibit the nuclear weapon states from modernizing their nuclear forces. That said, it is important at this point to stress that the United States is not, repeat not, developing new nuclear weapons.
The charge that the 2001 NPR called for new nuclear weapons is incorrect. The United States is not developing, testing, or producing any nuclear warheads and has not done so in more than a decade. The NPR, however, did identify shortfalls in capabilities where new weapons -- conventional or nuclear -- could be required.
In this regard, there are two activities that have been debated extensively:
* A modest research effort on advanced nuclear weapon concepts, the money for which Congress recently re-directed to studies of current technologies to enhance confidence in warhead reliability without testing; and
* A study on whether -- without testing -- an existing weapon could be adapted to hold at risk hardened, deeply buried targets.
These programs are not what critics claim. The proposed research on advanced concepts has multiple purposes, including the furtherance of stockpile stewardship, which is the ongoing U.S. effort to ensure the safety and reliability of its nuclear weapons without testing. In similar fashion, the robust nuclear earth penetrator (RNEP) study is intended to look at one possible way to enhance deterrence using an existing warhead in an era of shrinking stockpiles. It bears emphasis that there have been no decisions to move beyond the study stage, which would require presidential and congressional action.
Critics argue that leaders would see low-yield weapons as readily usable, and that the nuclear threshold would be lowered as a consequence of their development. Again, this simply is not the case. The United States has had low-yield weapons since the 1950s. There were thousands at the height of the Cold War. They were not used. A decision to use nuclear weapons, which must be made by the President, is not easier if yields are lower. The nuclear threshold has always been very high, and will remain so.
Our efforts are directed toward ensuring that our ever-smaller nuclear stockpile remains safe and reliable in the absence of nuclear testing, and that the credibility, safety, and reliability of the nuclear element of our New Triad are maintained. Like all governments, the United States balances its obligations under Article VI with our obligations to maintain our own security and the security of those who depend on us. The United States is meeting all of these obligations, and we will continue to do so.
The Wrong Road
There are those, Mr. Chairman, who say that certain United States policies somehow are to blame for others' decisions to pursue nuclear weapons. These, however, are merely the words of nuclear proliferators or their apologists. From the very beginning, the NPT has recognized that certain states possessed nuclear weapons and would work to eliminate them. But compliance with all provisions of the NPT is very important -- and should be a shared objective. It is both logically and legally untenable for those who wish that nuclear disarmament were progressing at a faster rate to pretend that compliance with nonproliferation obligations is linked to compliance with disarmament obligations, or that the nonproliferation obligations of the Treaty are any less binding than the disarmament obligations, or to argue that the nonproliferation obligations should not be strengthened or enforced. Such thinking is, simply put, dangerous in the extreme.
Mr. Chairman, how can some assert that nuclear weapons are dangerous and should be eliminated, yet also imply that others may reserve the right to develop nuclear weapons if the nuclear weapon states do not disarm with greater dispatch? Again, such thinking is dangerous in the extreme.
What Review Conferences Do
Mr. Chairman, NPT Review Conferences serve a vital function. They facilitate a thorough exchange of views on Treaty implementation, and reaffirm the Parties' belief that the Treaty as a whole contributes to international security, as well as to their own. Review Conferences also can serve to build support for pursuit of NPT goals in other venues, such as the IAEA.
By their nature, Review Conferences are political exercises meant to underscore or reaffirm existing Treaty obligations, that is to say, obligations freely accepted by all Parties deriving from the Treaty itself. They are also opportunities to discuss threats to the Treaty, such as how some Parties seek to "pocket" the privileges of membership while preparing to develop a nuclear weapons capability. Review Conferences, however, are not amendment conferences, and any declarations or decisions or other text emanating from them neither supercede, nor reinterpret, nor add onto the explicit legal obligations of all Parties under the Treaty. The legal undertakings of the NPT are solemn commitments, requiring the approval of national political authorities and sovereign constitutional ratification processes. As we review past Article VI progress, and consider how to shape discussions for the next five years, it will be important to keep these points in mind.
General and Complete Disarmament
Mr. Chairman, the United States believes that many States Parties have made little effort to meet their non-nuclear obligations under Article VI: that is, to pursue negotiations in good faith on general and complete disarmament. In fact, this component of Article VI often is overlooked entirely, even though the text and negotiating history of the NPT support the expectation that efforts toward complete nuclear disarmament would be linked with efforts toward general and complete disarmament. As Article VI states, the full undertaking envisions a "Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control."
Clearly, over time, the international community has moved away from pursuing this element of Article VI implementation in a literal sense. While this is not the time for a specific summary of United States achievements in the field of non-nuclear arms reductions, Mr. Chairman, we take this opportunity to state for the record that our efforts in this area, particularly in the field of chemical and biological weapons control, are extensive. In short, there is a clear relationship between the nuclear and non-nuclear aspects of Article VI, even though the language in the Treaty contains no suggestion whatsoever that nuclear disarmament must be achieved before general and complete disarmament can be achieved.
Mr. Chairman, the actions that our government has taken, or is committed to take in the coming years, demonstrate that the United States is in full compliance with Article VI. As the Review Conference proceeds, the United States Delegation will provide further evidence of this, including several Article VI publications and a visual display just outside this chamber. We welcome full engagement and discussion on Article VI precisely because any objective review of the facts should lead to the conclusion that the United States is fulfilling its Article VI obligations. The U.S. is seeking to be as transparent as possible with regard to its Article VI activities, as all the nuclear-weapon States should be.
As the outstanding United States record of compliance with Article VI is better understood, Mr. Chairman, parties should come to understand that an excessive focus on nuclear disarmament denies due attention by the parties to the nonproliferation articles of the Treaty, and to the crisis of compliance to which this imbalance of attention has contributed so greatly. Indeed, all NPT parties must respond effectively to this crisis or our collective security will be diminished.
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