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What was new on START Web site?

February, 2000

February 25, 2000
Inge Sellevag, a reporter of Norwegian Bergens Tidende newspaper, published a series of articles on joint United States-Norwegian intelligence project at Vardo, 40 miles from the Russian border. His reports got a lot of press coverage all over the world. According to the U.S. and Norwegian independent experts, the primary purpose of the new radar is not monitoring space debris at all, as Norway and the United States officials claim (this radar, named as HAVE STARE, was developed by Raytheon Systems and originally deployed in California). "...The Russian military believes that the Norwegian radar is meant to monitor their ballistic missiles and that the radar was developed as part of the national missile defense...," Prof. Anatoli Diakov said in an interview to The New York Times correspondent: Russians Challenge U.S. Over Radar in Norway, (by Elizabeth Becker, The New York Times, Tuesday, February 22, 2000).

Today's feature articles include:

In future, we plan to continue the Vardo radar story. See also: "...As a result, in addition to being unable to resolve any real problems facing the ABM treaty, the demarcation protocols create additional problems for the START nuclear weapons reduction process. The history of the demarcation agreement gives us one more example of the deterioration of mechanisms that were designed during the Cold War to solve arms control problems. It also shows that the US-Soviet pattern of arms control negotiations does not work in the context of the US-Russian relationship...", (A History of the ABM Treaty in Russia, by Pavel Podvig, Program on New Approaches to Russian Security Policy Memo Series, Memo No. 109, February 2000). See also: The Prospects for ABM Treaty Modification, (by Alexander Pikayev, Program on New Approaches to Russian Security Policy Memo Series, Memo No. 108, February 2000)

Vice Chair of the Russian State Duma Vladimir Lukin on START II and ABM Treaties: "...We should refuse old MIRVs, which we unable to produce anyway, in a new Treaty. At the same time we should negotiate a framework START III agreement with the United States, that would include a provision permitting multiple warheads on newly produced "Topol-M" missiles, depending on development of the U.S. national missile defense. In other words, if the ABM Treaty remains in force, MIRVed warheads are not necessery within the frames of START III. If the United States deploys national missile defense system, we need to have an advantage, first of all at the expense of MIRVs on our new missiles...": External Verges of Security, - in Russian, (by Vladimir Malyovanny, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, N 7, February 25 - March 2, 2000)

Coyle's report, criticising the current schedule of missile programs is available on the Web: Missile Defense and Related Programs, (Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E) FY'99 Annual Report submitted to Congress February, 2000)

In November's and December's issues of Arms Control Today:

Recent newspaper articles on NMD debates include:

Sergey Ivanov, the secretary of Russia's Security Council, who recently met with President Clinton in Washington, is optimistic about START II ratification by the State Duma: "...We have now different Duma, this factor should also play a positive role in ratification..."

The Senate voted unanimously yesterday to require President Clinton to certify that Russia's space agency has not aided Iran's missile program before the United States can help pay for Russia's contribution to the international space station. Unlike a version of the bill passed earlier by the House, the Senate bill did not require the administration to impose broad sanctions on Russia or other nations that supply missiles or weapons technology to Iran. The White House threatened to veto the House bill, which passed by 419-0 last September, saying it complicated international arms nonproliferation efforts. But administration officials said yesterday they were satisfied with changes in the Senate bill, which passed 98-0. The Senate bill directs the president to submit reports to Congress every six months identifying foreign persons or countries that transfer weapons material or technology to Iran and authorizes him to impose sanctions if he so chooses. Meanwhile, Gazeta.Ru reported a week ago: "...The visit of Sergei Ivanov, the secretary of Russia's Security Council, to the United States...suddenly became a turning point for Russian-Iranian relations. The thing is Ivanov, reportedly, admitted the problem of Moscow-Tehran cooperation in nuclear sphere. If this is the case, Minatom is going to loose billions of dollars..."

"...The world is facing a nuclear crisis. Unfortunately, U.S. policy has had a good deal to do with creating it..." (A Nuclear Crisis, by Jimmy Carter, The Washington Post, Wednesday, February 23, 2000; Page A21)

According to Segodnya, Russian Minatom is close to implementation of "the project of the century - building a super modern facility on reprocessing and indefinite storage of nuclear wastes on the Russian territory: Burial Of the First Rank. Nuclear Wastes of All Of The World May Find Their Place in Russia, - in Russian, (by Yekaterina Kaz and Alexander Mikhailov, Segodnya, February 23, 2000)

According to ITAR-TASS information agency, production of plutonium in a Siberian reactor cannot be stopped despite an accord to halt all manufacture of the radioactive substance by this year (Russia To Continue Producing Plutonium In Siberia, by Agence France Presse, Russia Today, February 23, 2000). See also: A Trench. America Found A New Method to Control Russian Plutonium, (by Mariya Ignatova, Izvestiya, February 21, 2000)

Colonel-General Valeri Manilov, First Deputy Head of the General Staff clarifies the most significant provisions of the new military doctrine: The Doctrine Exist - Hopefully, There Will Be No War, - in Russian, (Rossiiskaya Gazeta, February 23, 2000, p. 6). See also: Russia To Use Nuclear Arms If Existence Threatened, (by Reuters, Russia Today, February 24, 2000)

One of the founders of the Soviet Space Program a prominent scientists Academician Vladimir Utkin died, (A Conceptual School of Vladimir Utkin, - in Russian, by Stanislav Voronin and Yuri Faikov, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, N 7, February 25 - March 2, 2000). Pravda newspaper published a series of interviews with Vladimir Utkin:

Today at the English START Forum: the most powerful test at Novaya Zemlya. At the Russian START Forum: Vardo radar, control of ballistic missiles with conventional warheads and other issues.

February 19, 2000
Welcome to join the English START Forum - a new discussion area of the START Web Site. We hope that you'll find the discussions productive and helpful. Today at the Russian START Forum: Nikolay Sokov on the concept of national security and Russian nuclear policy, and other issues.

A senior Russian security official who met with President Clinton today appeared to open the door to meeting the administration's desire to deploy a limited national missile defense system. Sergei B. Ivanov, the head of Russia's national security council, said Moscow was prepared to discuss allowing the United States to move its current authorized site, of a radar and interceptors in North Dakota, to another location (Russian Aide Opens Door a Bit to U.S. Bid for Missile Defense, by Jane Perlez, The New York Times, February 19, 2000). It is notable, that Newsweek reported recently after a recent visit of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to Moscow, there's been more progress in behind-the-scenes talks on arms-control issues than either side has publicly acknowledged, (Arms Control, Behind the Scenes, Newsweek, February 14, 2000). See also a briefing of Sergei Ivanov, the head of Russia's national security council before foreign ambassadors, February 15, 2000 (in Russian) and our special section: ABM Treaty Modification: Should Russia Agree?

The State Duma decided Thursday to hold hearings on START II and ABM Treaties in March, 2000 (in Russian). More detailed consideration of the START II is planned for June, 2000 (One Should Be Examined First, Only Than - Ratified, by Alexander Lin'kov and Sergei Trusevich, Parlamentskaya Gazeta, February 18, 2000)

Russian experts on prospects of START II, START III, ABM Treaties and possible ways to overcome the nuclear disarmament deadlock:

The Pentagon is facing undue pressure to meet an "artificial" deadline for recommending whether to deploy the national missile defense system, according to Pentagon's director of operational testing and evaluation, Philip E. Coyle III, who said the current timetable disregarded enormous technical problems.:

Other experts come to similar conclusions: However, there are also supporters of the opposite opinion:

Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott will discuss U.S. plans for building a national missile defense during talks with Chinese officials in Beijing that are expected to be contentious, (U.S. Delegation Heads To China For Missile Talks, by Bill Gertz, The Washington Times, February 15, 2000, p.6)

Democratic Senator Kent Conrad urged Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and other US officials to continue to press Moscow to live up to vows made by then-president Boris Yeltsin in 1991 and 1992 on tactical nuclear weapons. "I think that we should send a very clear message to the Russians that this issue can threaten any START III accord," - he said, (Russia Warned Tactical Nukes Could Threaten START III, by Agence France Presse, Russia Today, February 12, 2000).

A new turn in U.S.-Russian cooperation on non-proliferation of nuclear materials: The Russian government has told U.S. officials it wants to abandon a joint project to convert military atomic reactors to civilian use and shut them down instead, The Washington Post reported last week. Russian Interfax agency denied this information.

"...Allegetions of some of information agencies on lowering the threshold to use nuclear weapons by Russia do not reflect the essence of the problem, as it formulated in the Concept (of national security - E.M.). It is important to realize, that Russia overrides everything at disposal to achieve the goal of deterrence, and will rebuff decisively and firmly, by all of its strength. Russia will never be an aggressor, as ensured by its legislature and existing concept of national security..." (a briefing of Sergei Ivanov, the head of Russia's national security council before foreign ambassadors, February 15, 2000 (in Russian). See also our special section: Russian National Security Concept and Nuclear Policy. On conditions to use nuclear weapons, as formulated in the draft military doctrine - see an interview with Major-General Vladimir Dvorkin, one of the authors of the doctrine, (Sergeyev's Doctrine Is Not Firmer Than The Previous One, - in Russian, by Sergei Sokut, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, February 19, 2000, p. 6).

To Washington's consternation, Russia is building floating nuclear stations that are meant to bring cheap energy to remote areas - but are potential waterborne "Chernobyls" that easily could be raided by terrorists, (Russia's Floating Nuke Plants: Cheap Now, Costly Later?, by Judith Matloff, The Christian Science Monitor, February 17, 2000, p.7)

The city of Novosibirsk suffered a radiation attack 39 years ago, ("Secret Explosion No 100", by Sergei Korzennikov, Trud, February 16, 2000, p.2).

February 11, 2000
"...Rush ratification of START II Treaty (which will certainly be connected to observance of the ABM Treaty) will force us in few months to face with a dilemma: should we accept, that we bluffed, and publicly capitulate or should we take the way of hard confrontation with the U.S. In the first case we'll demonstrate to all of the world, that Moscow is incapable to defend its interests and agrees to follow Washington dictate without a complaint. In thе second case - the whole strategic arms control regime (ABM, START II and START I Treaties) will collapse and all hopes to solve the problem of debts will disappear..." (A Strange Time In U.S.-Russian Relations, - in Russian, by Sergei Rogov, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, February 8, 2000)

"...When the Acting Russian President says about his intention to develop constructive relations with the United States - this is a sincere gesture. There is no other way for Russia. However, is the U.S. answer sincere as well? Unfortunately, practical steps suggest the opposite...", (Russia Does Not Accept Forceful Dictate From the U.S., - in Russian, by Leonid Ivashov, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, February 11, 2000, p. 1)

The United States should consider granting Russia the right to maintain a multi-warhead capability on some of its long-range missiles as part of a package deal that would change the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and break through the current deadlock on arms control, a new study concludes. The study consists of two reports, one prepared by an American group of analysts and former senior government officials and the second by a similarly assembled Russian panel (Experts Suggest Multi-Warhead Capability For Russian Missiles, by Michael C. Sirak, Inside Missile Defense, February 9, 2000).

U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said on Tuesday she saw signs of open-mindedness in arms control talks with Russian leaders: Albright Sees Russian Flexibility On Arms Talks, (by Reuters, Russia Today, February 9, 2000).

The United States should not rule out sharing "pieces" of its missile-defense technology with Russia if that's what it takes to get Moscow to drop its objections to a proposed national missile system, two influential senators said this weekend: Idea: Share Shield Technology With Russia, (by Andrea Stone, USA Today, February 7, 2000, p. 11).

Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said on Tuesday, that a minor coolant leak prevented a high- speed interceptor from knocking out a dummy warhead in the final seconds of a recent national missile defense test over the Pacific.:

According to Rossiiskaya Gazeta a failure in the next missile intercept test in May could be an exit for President Clinton in a BMD deadlock: A Deadlock in Open Space, (by Dmitri Polivoda, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, February 10, 2000, p. 7)

CIA Director George Tenet presented an official view of threats for the U.S. before the Senate. According to Joseph Cirincione, Director, Non-Proliferation Project Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,"...The missile threat is certainly changing, and is increasing by some criteria. But by several other important criteria, the ballistic missile threat to the United States is significantly smaller than it was in the mid-1980s..."

Experts continue to discuss a debate between the United States and European countries on BMD deployment plans: Clinton administration proposed Pentagon's FY 2001 budget, which exceeds $ 291 billion. In particular, the budget calls for $4.7 billion to be spent on programs to develop antimissile defense systems. On Wednesday, a "Topol-M" ICBM was successfully launched from Plesetsk test range, (The Tenth Test Launch of the "Topol", Krasnaya Zvezda, February 10, 2000, p. 1)

"...Currently and in foreseeable future, not only nuclear weapons should be considered as a means of strategic deterrence, but also conventional high precision weapons...," (The Document Is Far From Perfection, - in Russian, by Valentin Rog, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, N 5, February 11-17, 2000, p.4).

"...States acquire nuclear weapons because they fear--rightly or wrongly--for their security...It is ironic that as the Cold War becomes a faded rose from a half-remembered prom, military planners are creating a system of non-nuclear weapons that may give new life to nuclear proliferation--or to the proliferation of other weapons of mass destruction...", (Unintended Consequences, by Michael Moor, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, January-February, 2000, Vol. 56, No. 1, pp. 58-64). See also in this issue of the magazine:

Not only the United States but Russia as well has plans to convert its ballistic missile submarines. However, in contrast to the Americans, Russians consider a possibility to use them as civil transports. "Typhoon" class SSBNs are supposed to be the first candidates for such a conversion: On future of the Russian sea based strategic forces see also: Underwater Missile Carriers Is Not A Luxury, But A Necessity, (by Sergei Putilov, Interfax-Vremya, February 3-9, 2000)

The Clinton administration called for a major expansion of its nuclear nonproliferation programs in Russia in return for a Russian promise to stop producing plutonium from the spent fuel of civilian nuclear reactors. However, Head of the Minatom Yevgeni Adamov claims, that Russia does not have any agreement with the U.S. on stopping plutonium production. Moreover, there are no negotiations to prepare such an agreement

Russia has carried out seven underground tests at the nuclear test field at Novaya Zemlya archipelago since January, (Seven subcritical tests in Arctic, by Thomas Nilsen, Bellona Press Release, February 8, 2000)

A seminar "Prospects For Creation Of International Regime To Ban Production Of Fissile Materials For Military Use" took place in Moscow Carnegie Center on Tuesday. The presentation was made by Vladimir Rybachenkov, an adviser of the Department of Security and Disarmament of the Russian Ministry Of Foreign Affairs.

"...The new military doctrine...contains another, much more serious strategic change. For the first time, an official Russian military document recognizes the possibility of a regional limited nuclear war..." (Defense Dossier: Nuke Strategy Is Not News, by Pavel Felgenhauer, The Moscow Times, February 10, 2000).

In a recent issue of Yadernoye Rasprostraneniye magazine (N 29-30, April-June 2000):

Today at the START Forum (in Russian): prospects for ABM Treaty and future of Russian sea based strategic forces.

February 7, 2000
"...Russia should carefully watch the U.S. plans to convert four strategic submarines to SSGNs and foresee a possible diplomatic attack of Washington..." (High Precision Missiles Replace Nukes, - in Russian, by Anatoli Diakov and Eugene Miasnikov, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, N 4, February 4-10, 2000, p.6).

The presidential Security Council on Friday approved a new national military doctrine. As well as a national security doctrine adopted the last month, the new military doctrine broadens scenarios to implement nuclear weapons:

The meeting of U.S. State Secretary Madeleine Albright with Acting President Vladimir Putin did not create a breakthrough in ABM issue: Russian Experts' Views On Strategic Stability and ABM Treaty: Russia and China, the staunchest opponents of American efforts to develop a nationwide defense against missile attacks, are likely to use European doubts about the project as a way of dividing Washington from its NATO allies, Defense Secretary William Cohen predicted (Cohen: Moscow May Exploit Dispute, by Robert Burns, Associated Press, Friday, Feb. 4, 2000; 2:48 a.m. EST).

Nikolai Bezborodov, Deputy Chair of the Defense Committee of the State Duma answers to the questions of Krasnaya Zvezda: "...As to the START II Treaty, te situation of January 1999 is not similar to the one of January 2000...Last steps of the U.S. on NMD development and NATO actions on Balkans force to consider further nuclear reductions very carefully. External threats for Russia have not been reduced, moreover, they are increased...", (What Kind of Laws Do We Need?, by Vitali Denisov, Krasnaya Zvezda, January 28, 2000, p. 3).

In a major agreement aimed at safeguarding nuclear fuel that could be used to make weapons, Russia has promised to stop making plutonium out of fuel from its civilian power reactors as part of a $100 million joint research and aid package from the United States, Clinton administration and Russian officials say, (Moscow Takes Step to Ease U.S. Fears on Plutonium Use, by Judith Miller, The New York Times, February 7, 2000).

U.S. efforts to keep Russia's nuclear weapons materiel away from rogue nations or terrorists may fail without increased government money and attention, a bipartisan group of foreign policy experts warns, (US Urged To Closely Eye Russia Nukes, by H. Josef Hebert, Associated Press, Sunday, Feb. 6, 2000; 10:45 p.m. EST).

Calling efforts toward global disarmament deplorable, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned Wednesday that "a dangerous new arms race looms on the horizon", (U.N. Chief Warns of New Arms Race, by Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2000; 9:02 p.m. EST).

Israel's Parliament begrudgingly held its first public discussion on Wednesday, in more than 35 years about the country's long-secret nuclear arms programs, and the usually loquacious body had so little to say that the debate was over in 52 minutes. (Israeli Lawmakers Hold Quick Debate on Nuclear Arms, by Deborah Sontag, The New York Times, February 3, 2000).

An organization is created in Pakistan, that will be responsible for control of its nuclear deterrent (Pakistan: The Nuclear Button At the General's Disposal. However, Approval of Colleagues Is Needed To Press It, - in Russian, by Vladimir Skosyrev, Izvestiya, February 5, 2000, p. 4).

Today at the START Forum (in Russian): Nikolai Sokov on prospects of the ABM Treaty; limits on SSBN patrolling areas etc.

February 2, 2000
"...Currently, START II ratification by the State Duma can not solve any problem. Ratification will not mean the treaty entry into force any time soon, it will not cause beginning of START III negotiations, moreover, it will not stop U.S. plans to deploy ballistic missile defenses...", (START II Ratification Is No More Urgent, - in Russian, by Pavel Podvig, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, N 3, January 28 - February 3, 2000)

Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright visited Moscow and discussed problems of START II ratification, prospects of START III and ABM Treaty modifications at the meetings with Acting President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. As it was expected, positions of both sides have not been changed.

Yuri Kolosov, the Head of the Department of International Law of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations clarifies Russian attitude toward the ABM Treaty: Here It Goes An Arms Race, (Rossiiskaya Gazeta, February 1, 2000, p. 7). See also our special section: ABM Treaty Modification: Should Russia Agree?

G. Mamedov, Deputy Foreign Minister met with a delegation of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, lead by J. Holdren, the Chair of the Committee On International Security and Arms Control. He presented an approach of the Russian Federation on problems of reductions of strategic arms in a context of U.S.-Russian relations (Russian Foreign Ministry Press Release, January 28, 2000) - in Russian.

The failure of the Pentagon's latest National Missile Defense test on Jan. 18 reopened the debate over how fast to proceed with deployment of an NMD system.:

Britain has asked Washington for the first time to consider protecting Europe as well as the United States if it goes ahead with building a national anti-ballistic missile defence system to protect America from rogue missile attacks.:

"...The nuclear-related provisions of the Concept elicited a wide response from the expert community. The document was reported to have a lower threshold of threat for the use of nuclear weapons. In fact, in comparison with the previous variant of the Concept, the current document has fewer provisions concerning nuclear weapons and they do not differ much...", (The Concept Of National Security: The Nuclear Factor, PIR Arms Control Letters, January 31, 2000). See also: Russia's Nuclear Addiction, (The Washington Times, January 30, 2000, p. B2) and our special section Russian National Security Concept and Nuclear Policy.

Special report of Novyye Izvestiya tells about life of Russian closed nuclear cities: Russian Nuclear Cities Are Out Of Money, Though Americans Provide With Grants, (by Natalia Timashova, Novyye Izvestiya, January 29, 2000)

Did USEC Inc.'s shareholders end up with a lemon? (Approaching Critical Mass? Privatized Uranium Processor USEC Has Disappointed Both Shareholders and Capitol Hill, by Martha M. Hamilton, The Washington Post, Monday, January 31, 2000; Page F08).

More than 5,000 U.S. and Russian high-alert nuclear weapons positioned on submarines, in silos, on aircraft and on railcars have the force of 100,000 Hiroshima bombs. Within 15 to 30 minutes after an alert is sounded, reports race up and orders race down the chain of command. The weapons must be fired before they are destroyed by the attack, (Some Think It's Time To Slow Our Nuclear Response, by Judith Graham, Chicago Tribune, January 30, 2000).

Today at the START Forum (in Russian): a possible Russian answer on U.S. NMD deployment.

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