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Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies at MIPT

Nuclear Arms Reduction: The Process and Problems

Authors | Contents | Introduction | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Conclusion | Responses (in Russian)

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Chapter 4. Further Reduction of Russian and U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces

4.1. The Helsinki Agreements and the Russian Federation's Goals in a New Treaty

At the Helsinki summit on 21 March 1997 the Russian and U.S. presidents made a "Joint Statement On Parameters On Future Reductions In Nuclear Forces" according to which the parties pledge to launch negotiations on START III immediately after START II enters into force.

The new treaty is to include the following basic components:33

The Joint Statement has some serious drawbacks. Nonetheless, its basic components do not rule out the feasibility of developing a START III Treaty which, even if not fully balanced, could satisfy Russian interests if the goals described below can be reached.

4.1.1. Confidence Building Measures in the Process of Nuclear Weapons Reduction

Confidence building measures which should be introduced to the START III negotiations can be divided into two major categories: Verification procedures for strategic weapons and their elimination developed for START I and II will be probably used in START III as well. In addition to national technical verification means great significance will be retained by the inspection of sites and facilities according to the "any site at any time" principle. It seems expedient to consider a possibility of establishing inspection centers on each other's territory by both parties.

It seems logical that as disarmament and confidence building efforts make progress the parties will try to simplify and lower the costs of verification, possibly disposing of the most expensive procedures.

Russia and the United States should get rid of a serious drawback of the previous START agreements, i.e. the lack of verification of the dismantlement of the nuclear weapons themselves. This kind of verification could be expanded to encompass several stages of a nuclear warhead's life cycle, including its production. Effective control over nuclear materials would promote mutual trust. Important role could be played here by measures for preventing unauthorized handling of nuclear weapons (by installing electronic locks, multiple-layer protective systems, blocking devices which incapacitate a warhead in the case of an unauthorized intervention, etc.).

The following measures could be considered as well:

In the discussion of confidence building measures it seems expedient to anticipate a gradual transition to a drastically new relationship in the strategic area, which should be founded on predictability, transparency, and mutual restraint. The parties should inform one another about main parameters and characteristics of any new types of strategic armaments before the commencement of tests. The command, control and communication system should be covered by confidence measures too. Transparency and predictability measures should be expanded to all Russian and American space activities.

The current practice of inspections shows that there are a some problems in the area of START I verification procedures.

One such problem is the United States' refusal to eliminate all the elements of the MX ICBM in accordance with procedures governing the rearmament and elimination of systems subject to START I regulations. The U.S. assumes that only the first stage of this missile is to be eliminated and that the other two stages may be preserved. Naturally, Russian experts view such approach as a direct breach of the Treaty.

Serious concern is also caused by the fact that the nuclear weapons guidance equipment and attachment joints have not been removed from the 93 B-1B bombers converted for conventional missions.

4.1.2. Irreversibility of Reductions

Russian and U.S. officials repeatedly stated their desire to reach a stage when the renewal of the nuclear arms race would become impossible. In this context, an agreement on the elimination of the material basis which could permit a strategic arms build-up is the key for the entire strategic offensive weapons reduction process. Naturally, the resolution of this multi-dimensional objective cannot be simple and instantaneous. We think that at the present time the issue of breakout potential is gaining a tremendous importance. Common efforts towards further reductions will not be possible without solving this issue first.

Nuclear Weapons Dismantlement

Strategic nuclear weapons dismantlement is regarded by many experts not just as a radical practical step identified with the irreversibility of reductions but as a meaningful sign of strategic offensive weapons elimination. No doubt, the dismantlement of warheads does not necessarily mean complete irreversibility of nuclear weapons reductions. As long as fissile materials are available, assembling new warheads will not present difficulties either for Russia or for the United States. However, if for a variety of reasons, a decision to produce an additional number of weapons is made, implementing it will take considerable time.

The discussion of this issue requires a very thorough specification of a list of weapons subject to dismantlement. Situations may arise when, as with the Trident SLBM,34 dismantlement of nuclear warheads cannot guarantee the elimination of breakout potential.

Replacement and Elimination of Old Re-entry Vehicle Platforms

As a result of U.S. insistence, START II has a provision stating that the Treaty does not require the elimination of reentry vehicle platforms of the ICBMs and SLBMs whose warheads are downloaded and the former's replacement with new ones. At the same time, the Treaty does not ban the elimination of the platforms. Thus, in order to prevent a rapid increase in the number of warheads on the SS-19, Minuteman III and Trident II ICBMs, START III should address the need to replace the reentry vehicle platforms of ICBM and SLBM whose RVs are being downloaded.

It should be expected that the U.S. will again object to the elimination of RV platforms under the pretext of money saving. The Russian side could counter this argument by stating the following:

In addition, it should be pointed out that U.S. position in regards to RV platforms is not completely inflexible. There are advocates of the platform elimination not only in the industry interested in orders but in the DoD as well. Reportedly, the Minuteman III ICBM will have a platform for just one RV. It is also known that in 1996 the principal designer of the Trident II SLBM, Lockheed-Martin, studied the possibility of replacing Trident II's RV platforms with platforms for fewer RVs.

Limitations on the Number of Deployed SLBMs

Another effective measure to lower the upload potential would be to introduce in START III limitations on the number of SLBM deployed launching tubes. In particular, the parties could limit the permitted number of the deployed SLBMs to 200. This would allow to lower the Trident II SLBM upload potential by technically simple means. The U.S. could find this proposal attractive because it would allow the United States to save money that is allocated to purchase new Trident II missiles to rearm another 4 SSBNs.

It should be noted that the U.S. considered such alternative, too. On 14 September 1993 Senator Bumpers made a proposal to decrease by half the number of launching tubes. He also suggested, that the U.S. would conduct additional negotiations on this issue with Russia, so that a provision concerning the reduction of launching tubes on SSBNs could be included in START II. Sen. Bumpers based his proposal on the results of studies of several scenarios of reductions of SLBM warheads conducted by the CBO of U.S. Congress in 1993, reasoning that money could be saved by cutting the production of the Trident II SLBMs and their warheads.

Upload Potential of Heavy Bombers

The Helsinki agreement's provision on the "jointly agreed technical and organizational measures to promote the irreversibility of deep reductions, including prevention of a rapid increase in the number of warheads" entitles the Russian side to raise the issue of the heavy bombers' breakout potential and insists that it be solved by the following means:

It will be very difficult to achieve the goal of eliminating the heavy bombers' breakout potential because the U.S. will most probably regard such an attempt as infringing on its inalienable right to re-convert heavy bombers, in accordance with the START II provisions. However, perhaps, the U.S. will not be too rigid in insisting on its rights understanding that even a non-nuclear-capable heavy bomber remains a strategic system. Heavy bombers carrying high-precision conventional weapons are able to hit various strategic targets.

Considering the complexity of the heavy bombers issue, one should probably try to resolve it at the political level, or on the basis of a U.S. good-will statement on the one-time and irreversible conversion of heavy bombers to conventional missions.

Upload Potential of the MX ICBM

The crux of the problem is that in START I the MX missile is categorized as mobile. Therefore the U.S. assumes that for elimination of MX missiles it suffices to eliminate just the first stage, while exempting all the other stages, the bus and the guidance system. At the same time, the facility that used to manufacture the MX missile's first stage produces the Castor-120 commercial missile. The Russian side regards this missile as analogous to MX's first stage. In Russian opinion, the current American approach to the MX missiles' elimination may lead to a circumvention of START II.

In order to eliminate MX's upload potential, Russia, first of all, should try to force the United States to fulfill the START I provisions referring to the elimination of this type of missiles. Russia's position on this issue is legally well-grounded and strong, and therefore Russia should display fortitude in further dealing with this issue.

In addition, it should be noted that the issue of MX's upload potential probably will not arise if the United States decides to move towards a two-component strategic offensive force. In this case, perhaps, all Minuteman silo launchers will be eliminated. Likewise, the acuteness of this problem will significantly diminish if future START III will foresee the elimination of MX warheads.

The United States may decide to keep the single-warhead Minuteman III ICBMs and give up MXs. In this case, it cannot be ruled out that during negotiations the U.S. will try to retain the right not to eliminate the Mk-21 warheads of the MX ICBM so that it could equip each Minuteman III ICBM with one Mk-21 instead of Mk-12As that are currently in place on these missiles.

START III Counting Rules

From the 21 March 1997 Joint Agreement it ensues that the START III limitations on the parties' strategic offensive arms are based on the numbers of nuclear warheads. Such an approach is principally different from that of START I and II in which the general levels of limitations by aggregate warhead numbers do not distinguish between types. Only in the case of heavy bombers both Treaties refer exclusively to nuclear weapons.

The issue of the type of counted nuclear weapons is not new. It was discussed in detail during the START I negotiations. It was eventually agreed that when counting aggregate levels and armaments on ICBMs and SLBMs it is necessary to employ the term "warhead" but not "nuclear warhead."

The following circumstances generate the problems associated with START III counting rules:

Inclusion of nuclear warheads alone in the aggregate numbers agrees with the U.S. military-technical policy for strategic offensive arms development and meets the U.S. interests.

It should be noted however that the answer to the question about inclusion of provisions banning "dual-capable" missiles (i.e. those that can carry nuclear and/or conventional warheads) is not obvious. If the U.S. deploys a strategic anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system, Russia will need to make its ICBMs and SLBMs capable of overwhelming it. Some of such types of anti-ABM means look as warheads and can be deployed together with nuclear warheads at RV platforms. It should also be borne in mind that despite the progress in the development of self-guidance systems it would be problematic for the United States to have mixed combination of warheads on ballistic missiles since Minuteman III and Trident II after having some of their nuclear warheads removed will have a fairly modest throw-weight reserve potential for conventional warheads.

The issue of conventional weapons on U.S. heavy bombers is a quite different matter. It seems probable that in addition to the B-1B bombers, the B-2 bombers were developed for "chasing" Russian mobile ICBMs will also carry conventional weapons. In this case the United States could have 93 B-1Bs and 20 B-2s, i.e. the total of 113 heavy bombers armed with at least 1,808 self-guided high-precision conventional ASMs. Then the U.S. would no longer have to worry about being able to go above the permitted limit of 100 heavy bombers converted for conventional missions. When the three Treaties (START I, II and III) are in force, the United States will, of course, push for new counting rules so that nuclear weapons alone are counted.

The nuclear weapons counting problem should be studied thoroughly. But even now one can conclude that arming strategic offensive forces with conventional weapons will not violate the Treaty, but will, in essence, circumvent it. The counting of nuclear weapons alone is a departure from effective control of strategic offensive armaments whose history and future are associated with the diminishing yield of strategic weapons and a simultaneous increase in their precision.

4.1.3. Elimination of SLCMs

The exclusion of SLCMs, under U.S. insistence, from strategic offensive arms limitations is a serious shortcoming of the previous agreements on arms control and disarmament. To date the parties have made only political statements concerning SLCM limitations in relation to START I. However, the nuclear SLCM numbers are not included in strategic offensive warheads and delivery systems totals.

The following should be recapitulated about the nuclear Tomahawk SLCM:

Tomahawk modifications are practically indistinguishable in appearance and to a certain degree are mutually convertible, which could be considered as a potential for circumventing the START agreements. The Joint Helsinki Statement says that "in the context of START III negotiations ... experts will explore, as separate issues, possible measures relating to nuclear long-range sea-launched cruise missiles..." However, there are fears that provisions involving nuclear SLCMs will not be included in the text of the START III, and as far as possible measures are concerned the parties do not have any obligations, so all agreements will hinge on the parties' - first of all, the United States' - good will.

In this context it seems necessary that the Russian side urge for eliminating all nuclear SLCMs and warheads. Assuming that the U.S. will hardly be tractable on this issue, it is necessary at least to insist on the complete elimination of nuclear warheads that can be deployed on SLCMs, including the W84s removed from the ground-based Tomahawks under the INF Treaty.

4.1.4. De-alerting Strategic Nuclear Forces

At the Helsinki summit the U.S. and Russian presidents reached an important agreement to extend the START II Treaty till 31 December 2007 which will significantly ease its implementation by Russia. Nonetheless, the parties agreed to place "in a deactivated status of all strategic nuclear delivery vehicles which will be eliminated under START II by 31 December 2003 by removing their nuclear warheads or taking other jointly agreed steps."

It should be emphasized that deactivation implies not the final elimination of strategic nuclear delivery vehicles, but measures which would significantly increase the time necessary to prepare them for launch, i.e. modify the level of alert of strategic nuclear forces. This would allow, on the one hand, to make decisions on the basis of more ample information about the adversary's intentions in the case of escalating tensions between the U.S. and Russia, and, on the other, to lower the risk of an accidental launch which causes a growing concern in the West.35 In this regard, deactivation could be propitious not only for lowering the costs of elimination but also for promoting transparency.36

One should nonetheless highlight negative consequences of delivery vehicle deactivation which in the future could not only become a source of mistrust between Russia and the United States but block the ratification of strategic offensive weapons reduction agreements in Russia.37 Several arguments can be made.

Firstly, deactivation of delivery vehicles changes drastically the counterforce capabilities of heavy bombers, nuclear SLCMs and conventional high-precision weapons which all acquire preventive strike potential. In this regard Russia is in worse situation than the United States.

Secondly, despite the fact that both the U.S. and Russia will take parallel and adequate steps to deactivate delivery systems, in reality Russia may be worse off because the maintenance of feasible rapid combat readiness recovery of these systems will require substantial financial resources. Russia, due to objective reasons, will also become more vulnerable to the adversary's preventive measures (diversions, sabotage) hindering the rapid recovery of the delivery systems' combat readiness. In circumstances when there is actual disparity in the recovery potential, the role of nuclear weapons may even increase because in conflict situations the stronger side gains the leverage to put pressure without running the risk of the other side's nuclear strike.

Thirdly, there are some technical problems. For instance, while considering deactivation by means of detaching warheads from missiles one should remember that this operation is a technically complicated and expensive one, especially for multiple-warhead missiles. Removed warheads should be replaced with electronic imitators which are rather complex and costly devices. Removed warheads should be kept at special storage facilities equipped with automated security and protection, fire extinguishing, temperature maintenance and other systems. One such storage facility would cost tens of millions of dollars, and it would be necessary to build them at each of the existing 19 rocket divisions and 5 SSBN bases. Russia will not have this amount of money in the near future. It should also be pointed out that such storage facilities will be a tempting target for a disarming strike.

Thus, the deactivation issue should not be confined to mutual parallel de-alerting measures only. In the future, the need to continue the disarmament process will demand to tie deactivation to the removal of other sources of potential threats and mistrust between the two countries. This is why it seems important to outline this problem right now and move towards its practical solution.

4.1.5. Preparations for the START III Negotiation Process

From the Russian side's viewpoint, the START III Treaty should aim to increase the level of security and stability by attempting to reach two principal objectives:
Further reduction of strategic offensive weapons meets the interests of both Russia and the U.S. although the two countries' priorities differ. The United States is interested not just in lowering the strategic weapons levels but in the rapid and irreversible reductions of the Russian strategic armaments that would allow the U.S. to make steady progress toward the deployment of a strategic ABM system. As for Russia, further reduction of strategic weapons will be more fitting to its economic ability than the START II levels. These contradictory tendencies - on the one hand, the deployment of a U.S. ABM system and, on the other, the reduction of Russian strategic offensive weapons - will inevitably undermine strategic stability in the future. However, the objective state of affairs is such that these tendencies can hardly be halted, especially after the signing on 21 March 1997 of a Joint Statement on the ABM Treaty by the Russian and U.S. presidents.

Elimination of START II's drawbacks is a purely Russian intention which, no doubt, is not shared by the U.S. on most issues. That's why the Russian and U.S. attitudes to the connection between START II and START III differ. Russia would like to ratify START II (even better if its ratification could be avoided) only after gaining confidence that the progress of strategic weapons reductions will not manifest shortcomings inherent in START II. But the U.S. insisted that the parties could start working on START III only after START II enters into force.

Considering the magnitude and complexity of tasks Russia would have to solve prior to beginning the START III negotiations one may conclude that well-organized preparations for the latter will require up to a year. This is confirmed by the experience of the earlier START negotiations. However, the 21 March 1997 Joint Statement says that "once the START II Treaty enters into force the United States and Russia will immediately begin negotiations on a START III agreement," i.e. the opening of the negotiations is made dependent on the event which, generally speaking, is not related to the preparedness or unpreparedness of the Russian side to begin negotiations.

Unfortunately, even if START II enters into force after Russia has become ready for the negotiations, in the course of these negotiations Russia will apparently find itself dependent on START II, or rather on the United States' good will towards the inclusion in START III of provisions that would offset the undesirable consequences of START II. The United States will not have a particular need to reject Russian proposals directly. It would suffice to discuss the Russian proposals thoroughly and extensively so that time would work against them while the implementation of START II would continue with all its shortcomings advantageous to the United States. As for the reduction of Russian strategic offensive forces to a level planned for START III, this issue should not cause much concern since the U.S. realizes that Russian strategic offensive armaments will probably go down to this level anyway by 2008 as a result of implementing START II.

Thus, by having agreed to START III and by promoting deep reductions the U.S., firstly, achieves its main goal - the entry into force of the START II Treaty - and, secondly, does not particularly jeopardize its own interests, since it will be able to influence the preparation of the appropriately worded START III.

The situation is developing such that concerns about the results of START III are being raised. There are external and internal reasons for that. A number of errors similar to those that occurred during the development of START II have already been made, and the tendency continues. That's why the most crucial task is to analyze the past experience and to be prepared to discuss the substance of the issues. Besides that, it is necessary to outline the START III negotiation tactic before new problems arise in the discussions.

4.2. Possible Structure and Numerical Composition of Russian and U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces Under START III. Implementation Time-Frame

In the "Joint Statement On Parameters On Future Reductions In Nuclear Forces" signed in Helsinki by the Russian and U.S. presidents the parties, in essence, returned to Russia's proposals of 5 years ago.38 It's worth pointing out that the U.S. most probably would have agreed to the 2,000-weapon ceiling but acquiesced to the Russian proposal of 2,000-2,500 which apparently took the Americans somewhat by surprise.

From the legal standpoint, the setting in START III of the reduction ceiling in the form of a spread of 2,000 to 2,500 weapons does not make sense, since only the upper value is limiting, and each party can choose any number below it at its own discretion. But from the viewpoint of possible scenarios relating to U.S. strategic offensive forces and the size of breakout potential there is a major difference as to what ceiling to choose, 2,000 or 2,500.

Thus, it seems necessary to point out the following:

In Helsinki an understanding was achieved that by 31 December 2007 Russia and the U.S. will each reach the levels of 2,000-2,500 strategic nuclear warheads under START III. In our opinion, it's in Russia's interests to have a treaty anticipating a reduction to 1,500 weapons by that time. It is important to emphasize that it is highly undesirable and, even illiterate, to set the limit in the form of a range as has been done in START II and in the presidents' Joint Helsinki Statement.

The following factors should be taken into account when determining tentative composition of Russian strategic nuclear forces under START III:

Consideration should be given to a possible influence of the following destabilizing factors:
A program of future development of the Russian SNF should put an emphasis on the guarantees of SNF's invulnerability and preservation of key elements of the strategic nuclear triad as well as related military, scientific and industrial infrastructure.

If START III sets the ceiling of 1,500 weapons to be reached by both parties by 2008 Russia could deploy 500 on ground-based ICBMs, 750 on SLBMs and 250 on heavy bombers.

It seems expedient to keep ground-based ICBMs at their present level and to make the main emphasis on upgrading the existing systems and replacing the aged ones. The optimum number of deployed silo-based stationary missiles is determined by the fact that START II allows Russia to download 105 SS-19s and to convert 90 SS-18 silos. Russia should not hurry to deploy the Topol M silo-based modification because it is not ruled out that START III will make it possible to limit the number of deployed SLBMs in exchange for limitations on silo-based missiles.

By 2007 Russia will probably be able to keep some 10 Delta IV and Typhoon SSBNs, which by that time will have served 17-23 years. Emphasis should be made on extending the service lives of the existing SSBNs instead of replacing them with new ones, under the condition that the United States refrain from constructing a large series of new-generation attack submarines and will limit the number of deployed SSBNs. In addition, the RSM-52 [SS-N-20] missiles should be downloaded from 10 to 6, and the number of launching tubes on the Typhoons reduced from 20 to 10, under the condition that the parties reach an agreement concerning the limits on deployed SLBMs.

Air-based strategic nuclear forces should upgrade and keep Blackjacks and some Bear H16s, while the rest should be converted for conventional missions or retired as they age.

If START III does not set additional limitations beyond the aggregate level of 1,500 counted weapons the United States, most probably, will attempt to keep their current strategic weapon development programs and to create the maximum possible breakout potential. Various scenarios of U.S. strategic weapon developments (see Tables 4.1-4.4) show that under START III U.S. breakout potential may equal to 3,300-4,100 weapons even without preserving the MX missiles, B-52 aircraft and nuclear-capable SLCMs. The upload potential for the B-1B bombers alone can exceed 2,000 weapons.

Table 4.1. Possible Composition of U.S. Strategic Forces by 2007 (Scenario I)
Strategic Weapons
Counted Under START III
Including Breakout Potential
Minuteman III
Trident II (on 10 SSBNs)
10 x 24 x 4 = 960
20 x 16 = 320
93 x 24 = 2232

Table 4.2. Possible Composition of U.S. Strategic Forces by 2007 (Scenario II)
Strategic Weapons
Counted Under START III
Including Breakout Potential
Minuteman III
Trident II (on 12 SSBNs)
12 x 24 x 4 = 1152
20 x 16 = 320
80 x 24 = 1920

Table 4.3. Possible Composition of U.S. Strategic Forces by 2007 (Scenario III)
Strategic Weapons
Counted Under START III
Including Breakout Potential
Minuteman III
Trident II (on 14 SSBNs)
14 x 24 x 4 = 1344
20 x 16 = 320
80 x 24 = 1920

Table 4.4. Possible Composition of U.S. Strategic Forces by 2007 (Scenario IV)
Strategic Weapons
Counted Under START III
Including Breakout Potential
Minuteman III
Trident II (on 12 SSBNs)
12 x 24 x 4 = 1152
20 x 16 = 320
93 x 24 = 2232

For this reason it seems logical to insist on the following additional limitations:

If such limitations take force, the U.S. will have to lower either the number of SSBNs or the number of warheads downloaded from SLBMs (upload potential). Although theoretically the U.S. will be able to deploy all 1,500 warheads on submarines, this will require eliminating the ground-based component of the triad and B-2s, in which case the SLBM breakout potential will be reduced to minimum.

If such limitations enter into effect, it seems most probable that the United States will implement a scenario presented in Table 4.5. It is assumed that the U.S. will keep one or two ground-based missile bases and eliminate 300 silos. Service lives of the 8 most recent Ohio SSBNs will reach 11-18 years by that time.

Possibly, the United States will decide to completely eliminate the ground-based leg of the triad and will revive the production of bombers, or begin constructing new SSBNs. It should be noted, however, that in the latter case a limitation on the number of deployed SLBMs will demand the elimination of a portion of launching tubes on the remaining 8 Ohio SSBNs.

Table 4.5. Possible Composition of U.S. Strategic Forces by 2007 (Scenario V)
Strategic Weapons
Counted Under START III
Including Breakout Potential
Minuteman III
Trident II (on 8 SSBNs)
8 x 24 x 5 = 960
20 x 16 = 320
93 x 24 = 2232

4.3. Strategic Offensive Weapons Reduction and Verification

4.3.1. Nuclear Warhead Elimination and Verification

Simultaneously with the reduction and elimination of delivery vehicles Russia and the U.S. are destroying nuclear warheads. By late 1995, Russia had destroyed 3,500 nuclear warheads withdrawn from Ukraine,39 1,500 of which were strategic. Additionally, a half of nuclear weapons from tactical aviation and ABM were destroyed, as well as one third of the Navy's tactical warheads. According to some estimates, by the end of 1995 Russia had destroyed the total of 10,000 warheads.40 The United States has also destroyed over 8,500 nuclear warheads.41

As has been mentioned, dismantlement of warheads proceeds without mutual verification. Verification procedures developed in the START I and II Treaties for the reduction and elimination of certain nuclear weapon systems - in addition to national technical procedures - are applicable to delivery vehicles only.

How can one explain that despite the fact that both sides have begun destroying nuclear warheads - and this process cannot be verified by national technical means - no appropriate verification measures have been adopted? Apparently, there are several reasons.

Firstly, verification of warhead dismantlement requires much greater efforts than of delivery vehicle elimination. A nuclear warhead cannot be destroyed by blast, cannot be cut or split apart by any other method. The warhead dismantlement process consists of several stages: disassembly of non-nuclear components, removal of tritium containers, removal of the nuclear explosive physics package, removal and disassembly of the secondary. It is followed by disassembling the nuclear explosive physics package, which begins with removal of climate control system, separation of the high explosive from the nuclear components, and disassembly of the pit. Parts of the pits made of fissile material are placed in special canisters. Next, the secondary is disassembled, and all of its nuclear parts are also placed in canisters. Currently, fissile-material-containing parts are kept at special storage located at the dismantling facilities.

There is no doubt, that direct monitoring of nuclear warhead dismantlement will result in revealing classified data related with warhead design. These data refer to the warhead total weight, weight of fissile materials inside the warhead, configuration, size and weight of fissile-material-containing parts. For this reason arms control experts have a clear understanding that today the direct monitoring of warhead dismantlement is unrealistic as a verification procedure.42

Another serious obstacle to the verification of warhead destruction is the fact that as a rule nuclear warheads are dismantled at the production facilities. Maintenance of the active nuclear weapons requires a regular replacement of the expired warheads and, consequently, their production. Thus, warheads of the same type may go in and out through the gates of the same facility. Some of them enter for dismantlement, and the other leave for military units.

Finally, some nuclear warheads removed from eliminated delivery vehicles can be used in other weapon systems.43

Altogether, these circumstances significantly complicate the verification of warhead dismantlement and require developing new measures and procedures.

In a joint Summit statement in Moscow on 10 May 1995 it was declared that the Russian Federation and the United States were to hold negotiations on an agreement to increase the level of transparency and irreversibility of nuclear weapons reductions. The statement proclaimed that the main provisions of the future agreement will include:

However, very little progress has been made in this area despite this statement.

4.3.2. START III and Verification of Nuclear Warhead Dismantlement

The Joint March 1997 Helsinki Statement declared that "measures relating to the transparency of strategic nuclear warhead inventories and the destruction of strategic nuclear warheads" will lie at the foundation of a new nuclear weapons reduction treaty. Considering the past experience of the parties' cooperation on this issue the following approach seems desirable.

It is obvious that verification of nuclear warhead dismantlement should be constructed differently from that of delivery vehicle elimination. For the reasons mentioned above, direct monitoring by one party's inspectors of the other party's warhead dismantlement is out of question. Therefore, the verification procedure should be arranged in such a fashion as to guarantee the security of sensitive design information to the party who owns the warheads. Simultaneously, this procedure should reliably assure the other party that the warheads are being actually dismantled.

It should be emphasized that with the limitations mentioned above it becomes impossible to implement a 100-per cent reliable warhead dismantlement verification system.

At present, when each side has several thousand warheads, it hardly makes sense to seek a comprehensive verification system. This could become a goal at further stages when nuclear arsenals will be reduced to several hundred weapons and when the parties have acquired an expertise of verifiable dismantlement. It seems that a warhead dismantlement verification system should be built gradually, "step by step."

The initial phase of such verification should include the following steps:

1. Exchange of data on the total amounts of weapon-grade uranium and plutonium accumulated in Russia and the U.S. by the time of exchange.

2. Exchange of data on the amounts of fissile materials which are going to be released for defense use as a result of the reduction of nuclear arsenals.

3. Exchange of data on the types of warheads to be eliminated, their amounts, serial numbers and storage sites. Information about warheads already dismantled should be in this category.

4. Establishment of bilateral or international (under the auspices of the IAEA) monitoring at storage facilities of fissile materials removed from nuclear weapons and their final disposition. Inspectors of the verifying party non-intrusively inspect the contents of canisters arriving at the verified party's storage facility in order to determine whether the canisters contain weapon-grade uranium or plutonium and their mass. Inspectors also regularly check whether the canisters are in place and for signs of tampering. When the canisters are taken out of repositories for disposal of nuclear weapon parts contained in them inspectors check them and put verification seals on them. The seals are then checked as canisters arrive at a conversion facility. It should be mentioned that as far as weapon-grade uranium is concerned verification measures for its conversion in low-enriched uranium have already been developed and implemented.44

5. Establishment of verification of the newly produced weapon-grade materials. This refers to Russia alone. In Russia, three production reactors continue operating in nuclear power plants operating mode. For technical reasons, chemical reprocessing of irradiated fuel continues too, and it generates some 1.5 tons of weapon-grade plutonium annually. Officials of the Ministry of Atomic Energy stated that since 1 October 1994 the newly produced plutonium has not been used for defense purposes and gone to storage in oxide form.

All these issues have been discussed many times at various Russia-American negotiations, and working agreements have been reached on some of them. Basically, Russia has to make a reciprocal step and declare the data about its accumulated fissile materials. It seems that this information does not have a strategic value, and Minister Viktor Mikhailov has already several times cited the approximate numbers for Russia's inventory of highly-enriched uranium.45 The United States declassified the size of its inventory of weapon-grade plutonium and plans to do the same for highly-enriched uranium.

Subsequently, if progress is made towards implementing START III, the verification mechanism could be developed further by the following steps:

1. Exchange of data between Russia and the U.S. on the history of fissile material production including information about the operation of production reactors, radio-chemical facilities and facilities generating metal uranium and plutonium.

2. Exchange of data on the total amount, types, time of production and dismantlement of nuclear warheads, the numbers of deployed warheads, the amount of fissile materials and number of warheads in reserve.

3. Establishment of monitoring of warheads that are scheduled for elimination. Verification could begin with the sealing of canisters containing warheads removed from delivery vehicles and intended for dismantlement. The owner of the warheads provides access to the canisters to the other party's inspectors who seal the canisters but do not have the right to check their contents.

4. Establishment of monitoring at warhead dismantlement facilities. Verification procedures should include both the inspection of safety of warheads arriving for dismantlement in sealed canisters and monitoring of a type and amount of fissile materials released during dismantlement and removed from the facility to the storage.

Implementing these steps would allow the parties to gain a collaboration expertise which could be subsequently used for creating a more comprehensive verification system along with further reduction of nuclear weapons. At the same time, international community will receive convincing assurances of the U.S. and Russia's steadfast progress towards total elimination of nuclear weapons.

4.4. Factors Influencing the START III Negotiations

4.4.1. The ABM Treaty and Further Disarmament

According to the 1972 ABM Treaty and the Protocol to the Treaty from 3 July 1974, each party undertakes not to deploy ABM systems for a defense of the territory of its country or of an individual region. Another important provision of the Treaty is the ban on deployment of a base for a nationwide defense. As an exception, each party is permitted to deploy one ABM system to protect its capital or an ICBM launch area, which is limited to 100 interceptors.

Limitations imposed by the Treaty play a crucial role in determining the numerical composition and structure of strategic offensive forces. Even an ineffective ABM system affects the estimates of the number of offensive weapons required to inflict a prerequisite damage. The presence of an ABM would most significantly affect the calculations of the number of weapons required for a retaliatory attack and therefore could result in distorted estimates of the offensive potential necessary to achieve assured damage. As a result, an ABM defense could prevent the sides from reducing their offensive forces lower than a certain level. This factor raises the Treaty's role during the current strategic offensive weapons reduction by Russia and the United States.

The future of the ABM Treaty and of the progress in arms control would certainly depend on the general state of the relationships between Russia and the United States. Both countries inherited huge arsenals of strategic nuclear weapons as well as the relationship based on nuclear deterrence. At the same time, despite serious differences in Russian and U.S. approaches to various international problems and sometimes unavoidable discrepancy of the two countries' national interests, one can hardly justify the development of relations founded on nuclear deterrence.

An analysis of the current state of the U.S.-Russian relations shows that attempts to abandon the ABM Treaty or substantially change its provisions could not result in any fundamental change in the relationship. Rather contrary, weakening the ABM Treaty would indeed encourage the elements of mistrust and confrontation between the two countries and prevent deep reductions of nuclear weapons.

This conclusion is based primarily on the fact that mechanism that ensured the effectiveness of the ABM limitations regime for more than 25 years in recent years has substantially changed. The current reductions of strategic offensive forces limit the countries' ability to take steps that would be required in a case one side breaks out of the Treaty. The difficult economic situation in Russia makes its position even more vulnerable, for Russia would find it very difficult to take measures that would neutralize deployment of an ABM system.

Another important factor that provided a solid base for the ABM Treaty limitations was that both sides had sufficient time to respond to an ABM deployment. In this area the situation has changed radically too, first of all as a result of U.S. efforts to create ABM systems for theater missile defense. Although it is very unlikely that theater missile defenses will be used for creating a strategic ABM system, some of their elements could serve as a base for a nationwide ABM system. Moreover, the United States does not rule out the possibility of deploying a strategic ABM system oriented against a limited strategic ballistic missile strike. As a result, deployment of a theater missile defense as well as large-scale efforts to create the so called "thin" nationwide ABM system would substantially reduce the time necessary for deploying a full-scale strategic defense of the U.S. territory. Since Russia would be tied up by the arms control treaty obligations and difficult economic conditions, it would take it much longer time to respond.

An analysis of the current situation shows that preservation of the ABM Treaty would allow Russia to develop its relations with the United States regardless of the latter's ability to build a strategic nationwide defense. This will, in turn, enable the continuation of strategic arms reductions and, as a result, a gradual change of the nature of relationships between the two countries. From the Russian perspective, an alternative to the ABM Treaty is adoption of measures that will let Russia keep its retaliatory potential even in the case the United States deploys a strategic ABM system. One of the most effective ways to preserve this possibility is for Russia to refuse to go below the START I levels.

The possibility of the United States deploying an ABM system puts certain requirements to the structure of Russian strategic forces as well as to their readiness. In particular, since an ABM system can be most efficient when defending against a weakened retaliatory strike, survivability of strategic platforms and the ability to launch them on warning begin to play a much more important role.

To strengthen its position on the ABM Treaty Russia should develop a realistic plan that would aim at neutralizing a possible deployment of a strategic ABM system. This plan could involve arming of existing ICBMs with penetration aids, increasing the number of strategic platforms, and, possibly, MIRVing its ICBMs. No doubt, implementing such programs would require a major effort. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that their implementation will be necessary only if the United States starts deploying a strategic ABM defense.

A concrete realistic program of actions in case the United States deploys an ABM defense against Russia would allow Russia to continue weapon reductions and, eventually, would certainly affect the U.S. position on abandoning the ABM Treaty.

On the whole, Russia should take a fairly firm position in regards to preserving the ABM Treaty. A first step could be the recognition that the current U.S. ABM developments would eventually lead to abandoning of the ABM Treaty. In particular, the agreement on demarcation between strategic and non-strategic missile defenses would eliminate almost all limits on ABM systems development. As a result, Russia should make its policy with the assumption that the ABM Treaty's limits do not have any force in reality. By properly accounting for this fact, Russia could work out a policy that would allow it to continue the strategic arms reduction process.

Overall, it seems that Russia will be able to reduce its strategic offensive weapons to the 1,500 level without endangering its security, if it conducts a balanced and firm policy towards preserving the ABM Treaty. Unfortunately, the current Russian policy effectively encourages the United States to circumvent the Treaty and leaves Russia without any leverage that could be used in the future to prevent the United States from abandoning the Treaty.

4.4.2. Limiting Threats for Strategic Submarines on Patrol

Banning or limiting anti-submarine activity in SSBN patrol areas is as important to Russia as the observance of the ABM Treaty, since in both cases the issue is the limitation of strategic defense systems. Although some Russian experts clearly exaggerate the U.S. anti-submarine warfare capability against Russian SSBNs, the U.S. Navy's activity in Russian patrol areas is, overall, destabilizing. At least, covert attempts to chase Russian SSBNs by U.S. SSNs could cause unintended collisions which may lead to submarines' sinking, the death of crews, and environmental contamination.46

As far back as in late 1970s, a proposal to restrict nuclear-powered submarine patrol areas was first raised at U.S.-Soviet negotiations. However, all Soviet attempts to discuss this issue have been constantly rejected by the U.S. on the grounds that the idea is contrary to the main principle of the U.S. Navy: freedom of navigation. Another stumbling block is the lack of adequate technical means for the verification of violations of such an agreement even if it is reached. Characteristically, when foreign nuclear-powered submarines are spotted in Russian territorial waters, it is not always possible even to present substantiated proof of their nationality, not to mention forcing the transgressor to surface and detaining it.

It seems that the Russian side should be more persistent in urging the U.S. to adopt measures limiting the anti-submarine defense.47 Since a real threat to Russian SSBNs is presented only by U.S. attack SSNs,48 two steps are possible:

1. Banning clandestine activity of non-strategic nuclear-powered submarines in agreed areas (SSBN patrol areas)

The implication is to ban clandestine activity of U.S. SSNs in the Barents, White, Kara Seas, the Sea of Okhotsk, the Sea of Japan, and in the Central Arctic. Russian non-strategic submarines are not to approach North America closer than 1,500 kilometers when acting clandestinely.

The parties should inform one another about submarines in such areas at least once every 24 hours, and show the submarine to the other party if requested. Such organizational measures will prevent from constant secret tracking of SSBNs even in those cases when it is technically feasible.

Restricting anti-submarine activity in SSBN patrol areas could become an important supplement to the Soviet-American Agreement on the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas effective since 1973. It could reflect the spirit of the times and increase confidence between the United States and Russia. At minimum, unilateral announcements by the U.S. and Russian presidents could be useful for limiting covert anti-submarine activity.

2. Limiting the Number of Deployed Non-Strategic Submarines

Actual technical capabilities of modern submarine sonars are such that even if an attack submarine can trail a noisy SSBN for a long period of time, it can track no more than one SSBN at a time.49 That's why a permitted number of attack SSNs should correspond to a number of the other side's strategic submarines. For instance, if strategic offensive forces are reduced to 1,500 warheads, each side apparently will not be able to deploy more than 10-15 SSBNs. Therefore, it seems expedient to limit each party to 20-25 deployed attack submarines.

If such measures are taken, the U.S. will have to additionally retire 20-35 submarines as compared to current plans.50 Possibly, Americans will agree to such proposals because they will be able to cut expenditures on upgrading the existing submarines and new construction which should begin next century.

By the beginning of START III reductions Russia will apparently have not more than 50 nuclear-powered submarines, so their number could be decreased by saving money on repairs and upgrading. It should be noted that some missions of Russian non-strategic nuclear-powered submarines can be assigned to diesel submarines.

It is important to underscore that restrictions on the activity and/or number of non-strategic nuclear submarines will also permit to reduce the counterforce potential of SLCMs since the same delivery vehicles are used for cruise missiles.

4.4.3. Tactical Nuclear Weapons and Development of High Precision Weapons. NATO Enlargement

In addition to strategic nuclear armaments, an important role in the correlation of military potentials on regional basis is played by tactical nuclear and high-precision weapons. An analysis of combat characteristics of some tactical weapons shows that the division of nuclear weapons into strategic and tactical is rather theoretical. In a number of cases, tactical nuclear weapons - having a larger yield and comparable delivery range - could fulfill strategic missions.

Military experts also draw attention to the development and possible combat use of conventional high-precision weapons. Initially, high-precision weapons were regarded as effective for tactical use. However, subsequent use including the use of high-precision weapons in the Gulf War, demonstrated that their capabilities increasingly approach those of tactical nuclear weapons. At present, the use of modern high-precision weapons as a means of strategic attack and deterrence is on the list of the U.S. highest priorities of military planning. High-precision weapons could aid in assuring the destruction of dispersed individual targets incapacitating an entire strategic facility. Massive use of high-precision weapons should serve as a basis for "assured deterrence by conventional means."51

As high-precision weapons are further developed and accumulated they will have greater impact on strategic stability. New weapons are able to undermine strategic stability as a result of two factors. Firstly, there will be a temptation to use the advantages of high-precision weapons in order to achieve the set military goals. Secondly, the party whose strategic nuclear potential is vulnerable to the adversary's high-precision weapons could be forced to use nuclear weapons first out of fear to become disarmed.

All this necessitates control over the construction and accumulation of tactical nuclear and high-precision weapons, consideration of their impact on the correlation of the parties' forces and the strategic stability level.52

Tactical nuclear and high-precision weapons are becoming even more pivotal in the context of NATO's eastward enlargement. Some Russian experts tend to think that to compensate NATO's newly acquired advantage in conventional weapons Russia will have to rely more on its tactical nuclear weapons similarly to NATO's reliance on the Western allies' tactical nuclear weapons during the Cold War in order to offset the U.S.S.R.'s superiority in conventional weapons.53 Also, there are discussions of unilateral actions that could be taken if NATO ignores Russian interests in the future. In particular, it is proposed to strengthen Russian western military districts, to target tactical missile systems on the territories of NATO's new member-states, to establish a new anti-NATO alliance by applying political, economic and military pressure, to introduce economic sanctions against Central, East European and Baltic countries. However, it must be said that such measures will push Russia to isolation from Europe and ensue a rolling back to a Cold-War-like confrontation. It seems that this is in fact the most serious threat to Russia from the consequences of NATO expansion. That's why Russia should when possible avoid coercive methods and rely on political and diplomatic efforts to solve complex foreign policy problems.54

It should also be pointed out that the reduction of nuclear weapons and the weakening of the latter's role in international politics in future will inevitably take place at the backdrop of an objective factor, i.e. increased capabilities of conventional weapons. Due to objective trends, Russia will apparently find itself in less favorable conditions than its potential adversaries. Thus it seems that it's in Russia's interests, on the one hand, not to let its security decline as a result of nuclear weapons reductions and, on the other, to avert the shift of the mission currently assigned to nuclear weapons to conventional weapons.

To solve this problem Russia should use and develop the available methods.55 For instance, the CFE Treaty continues to be vital for guaranteeing security of Russia's European territory. The Treaty can be modified not only as a result of changes in geopolitics but also in capabilities of conventional weapons. Russia should be interested to create a similar relationship in the Pacific region and on the CIS southern borders.

Russia faces a historic opportunity to become an initiator of preventive policy towards the improvement of the existing and the development of new weapons. It is crucial to identify in time potential technological breakthroughs, to evaluate the possibilities and consequences of their military use in order to create a regime of laws and agreements inhibiting further development of these technologies in an undesirable direction. In particular, already today's urgent issues are not only restrictions on development, deployment and use of anti-missile or laser weapons, but existence of new types of information warfare or high-tech weapons.

Openness in the area of conventional weapons should be an inalienable part of the transparency system in inter-state relations in order to lower the role of nuclear weapons and achieve their radical reduction and elimination in the future.

33) Joint Statement On Parameters On Future Reductions In Nuclear Forces, U.S.-Russian Presidential Summit, Helsinki, 21 March 1997.

34) Trident II's upload potential may become a complicated problem. Its solution depends partially on whether START III would prescribe the dismantlement of the Mk-4 warheads retired before the Treaty takes effect.
The Trident SLBM can carry 2 types of RVs: Mk-4 re-entry vehicles with 100-150 kiloton yield (the W76 nuclear warhead), or Mk-5 re-entry vehicles with up-to-500 kiloton yield (the W88 nuclear warhead). Nearly 4, 200 Mk-4 RVs were designed and manufactured for the Trident I SLBMs (A History of The FBM System, Lockheed Missiles & Space Company, Inc., 1989, page F-4). Mk-5 RVs were designed for the Trident II SLBM, but the former's production was halted by the U.S. presidential initiative from 29 January 1992, long before the completion of the production program. Thus, in addition to Mk-5 RVs, the deployed Trident II SLBMs are armed with Mk-4s. Assuming that START III takes effect in late 1998, by that time the U.S. could have 4 Ohio SSBNs carrying 96 Trident I SLBMs (768 nuclear Mk-4s) and 10 Ohio SSBNs carrying 240 Trident II SLBMs (1,920 RVs including 336 Mk-5s and 1,584 Mk-4s). In total, these Trident I and II SLBMs can carry 2,352 Mk-4 RVs from the produced 4,200. Consequently, by that time some 1,850 Mk-4 RVs may find themselves outside of the START III regulations. If the issue of whether START III should demand the dismantlement of warheads on eliminated SLBMs as well as of the warheads retired earlier is not resolved, the above mentioned 1,850 Mk-4s may turn into the upload potential for the Trident II SLBM.

35) Bruce Blair, Global Zero Alert for Nuclear Forces (Washington, D.C., The Brookings Institution, 1995); James E. Goodby and Harold Feiveson, Ending the Threat of Nuclear Attack (CISAC, Stanford University, May, 1997).

36) As possible deactivation steps some U.S. experts propose the following:

See: Sam Nunn and Bruce Blair, "From Nuclear Deterrence to Mutual Safety. As Russia's Arsenal Crumbles, It's Time to Act," Washington Post, 22 June 1997.

37) Vladimir Belous, "Premature Initiatives. Removal of Missile Warheads Not In Russia's Interests," NVO NG, No. 35, 19-25 September 1997. [Translated in FBIS-TAC-97-267, 24 September 1997.]

38) The initial Russian position proposed a reduction to 2,000-2,500 weapons for the period till 2005 or 2010 at the Russian-American consultations for START II which began in April 1992. This time-frame was present in the Russian position up to 8 June 1992, when the last consultation at the level of the ministers of foreign affairs took place in Washington on the eve of a summit during which, on 17 June 1992, the Russian and U.S. presidents signed the START II Framework Agreement.

39) Yevgeny Maslin, "Cooperative Threat Reduction: A View From Russia," Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Dismantlement and Destruction of Chemical, Nuclear and Conventional Weapons, Bonn, Germany, 19-21 May 1996.

40) Anatoli Diakov, "Nuclear Disarmament - Progress and Problems: A View from Russia," talk prepared for the 18th Summer ISODARCO Course, Certosa di Pontigniano, Italy, 29 July - 8 August 1996.

41) Harry T. Season, "Status of Dismantlement of Nuclear Weapons (U.S. Department of Energy)," Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Dismantlement and Destruction of Chemical, Nuclear and Conventional Weapons, Bonn, Germany, 19-21 May 1996.

42) Theodore B. Taylor, "Verified Elimination of Nuclear Warheads," Science and Global Security, Vol. 1, No. 1-2, 1989; Harald Muller, "Transparency in Nuclear Arms: Toward a Nuclear Weapons Register," Arms Control Today, Vol. 24, No. 8, October 1994; V.V.Gurov, V.P.Dubinin, B.F.Voronov et al., "On Developing Procedures for Bilateral Inspections of Plutonium Removed From Nuclear Weapons," Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference on Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Material Control in Russia, Moscow, Kurchatov Institute, 14-17 May 1996.

43) For instance, nuclear charge of the warhead for the Pershing II missile eliminated by the INF Treaty was used for the B-61 bomb.

44) U.S.-Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technological Cooperation, Report of the Energy Policy Committee - Nuclear, February 1997.

45) Speech of the Minister of Atomic Energy Viktor Mikhailov at the State Duma on 24 April 1997.

46) Eugene Miasnikov, "Submarine Collision Off Murmansk: A Look From Afar," Submarine Review, April, 1993, pp. 6-14; "Find and Destroy," Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 25 October 1994.

47) Interestingly, American experts remark on this lack of insistence, too; Linton F. Brooks, "Forward Submarine Operations and Strategic Stability," Submarine Review, April, 1993, pp. 15-18.

48) Eugene Miasnikov, "Can Russian Submarines Survive at Sea? The Fundamental Limits of Passive Acoustics.," Science and Global Security, Vol. 4, 1994, pp. 213-251.

49) Eugene Miasnikov, Future of Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces: Discussion and Arguments (Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Dolgoprudny, 1995).

50) In 1997 the U.S. Navy had some 80 nuclear-powered attack submarines, it is planned to decrease their number to 45-55 in the period between 2000 and 2005.

51) V.Tsymbal, "Increasing Strategic Role of Information Warfare and Problems of Monitoring Their Development and Proliferation," Yaderny Kontrol [Nuclear Control], June 1997, pp. 39-43.

52) Nikolai Sokov makes a similar conclusion; Nikolai Sokov, Russia's Approach to Deep Reductions of Nuclear Weapons: Opportunities and Problems, Occasional Paper No. 27 (The Henry Stimson Center, September, 1997).

53) Vladimir Belous, "Tactical Nuclear Weapons: A Half-Forgotten Reality," Segodnia, 23 June 1995.

54) In particular, there is a number of specific proposals in: Irina Kobrinskaya, "After Madrid," NVO NG, No. 24, 5-11 July 1997, p. 1.

55) In particular, for proposals concerning reductions of tactical nuclear and high-precision weapons see: D.Trenin and E.G.Pierre, "Russia and NATO: Contract for the Future," NVO NG, No. 1, 1997, p. 4.

© Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies at MIPT, 1998.