What was new on START Web site?


April, 2000

April 28, 2000 .
"...HAVE STARE radar deployment in Norway may lead to the ABM Treaty violation. At the same time the fact should be underscored, that no publicly available data thus far exists, which might be a basis to conclude, that the radar deployment contradicts with the treaty provisions. However, an opposite conclusion - that the radar deployment clearly complies with the ABM treaty provisions - can not be drawn firmly as well...," (Our Comment: Does Radar in Norway Violate ABM Treaty Provisions?,- in Russian, by Pavel Podvig, April 27, 2000)

Today, The Bulletin Of Atomic Scientist released the Clinton administration's proposal for ABM Treaty modifications presented to Russia:

Future of the ABM Treaty continues to be discussed at the NPT Review conference in New York, which opened on Monday. Russian Foreign minister Igor Ivanov has conducted numerous official meetings to exchange the opinions. Official Russian attitude has not changed. Russia opposes to any changes of ABM Treaty of 1972. However, according to some private sources, Russia might soften its attitude. According to APN information agency "...a document with a plan of compensations in exchange to Russian principle agreement to ABM Treaty modification (or U.S. withdrawal) was prepared at the official meetings with foreign minister Igor Ivanov,...According to APN information, the minimal plan supposes additional U.S. financial help for implementation of START II by Russia... According to maximal plan - Russia will stop START II implementation in an answer to U.S. withdrawal from the treaty...." (Americans Agree to Tolerate "Satans" in Order to Deploy NMD in Russian, APN, April 26, 2000).

"...It is a very sensitive period," - said Anatoly Diakov, the director of the Moscow-based Center for Arms Control and the Environment, - "Both sides have to decide whether to support the arms control regime or destroy it.", (In a New Era, U.S. and Russia Bicker Over an Old Issue, by Michael R.Gordon, The New York Times, April 25, 2000). See also:

See also Annan's address and Albright remarks at the NPT conference.

Sen. Jesse Helms vowed Wednesday to block any new Clinton administration arms-control pacts, including an effort to alter existing treaties to make way for a limited defense against missiles from outlaw nations such as Iraq. Such an initiative, he said, would be "DOA dead on arrival" at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

NMD proponents insist on scrapping the ABM Treaty: NMD cost is growing. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said that building a national missile defense system would cost $50 billion to $60 billion over the next 15 years, roughly twice as much as Pentagon and congressional supporters of the program have estimated. See also a new report: Pushing The Limits, (Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers Report, April 2000)

U.S. arms control experts on possible START III initiatives:

Again on START II Treaty:

National Press Institute held recently a panel with PIR-Center experts Putin's Russia: A New Arms Control Agenda (in Russian).

Military experts discuss the new Russian military doctrine:

March and April issues of Arms Control Today are available on-line. The articles published include:

Minatom lobbies amendment of the law, which forbids foreign nuclear waste import: Will Thousand Sweeps Save Russia?, - in Russian, (by Olga Raschupkina, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, April 27, 2000, p. 2)

Today at the Russian START Forum: future of the ABM Treaty, NMD efficiency, W-76 warheads modernization and other topics.

April 24, 2000
We'd like to bring to your attention an article by Prof. Anatoli Diakov, Director of our Center and Ambassador James Goodby: Mending Nuclear Fences, (IEEE Spectrum, March 2000, V37, Number 2).

Russian government gained two major victories last week in the area of arms control. As expected, the Federation Council overwhelmingly approved START II Treaty on Wednesday, April 19. On Friday, the State Duma ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty:

Thus, Russia has got strong arguments at the forthcoming UN forum on keeping the world safe from the spread of atomic weapons. However, will it take advantage of the situation to present a separate view, different from the position of other nuclear weapon states? U.S. and Russian arms negotiators ended the first round of their new attempt to reduce ballistic missiles without any hint of progress. American arms control experts discuss what decisions should the Clinton administration make on strategic arms reductions and ballistic missile defenses:

The Senate will reject an amended Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty that limits U.S. options on National Missile Defense (NMD), according to a letter this week to President Clinton from 25 Republican senators, including majority leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and the chairmen of two key committees.

Moscow hopes that European countries will not support the United States in BMD deployment plans:

More than 2,000 of the aging W-76 warheads will soon be going through the Energy Department's service-life extension program to be put back in submarines beginning in 2005. After they are refurbished with new arming, fusing and firing systems, the W-76 warheads will have a greater destructive effect on their buried, reinforced targets than when they first went to sea in 1977 (U.S. Nuclear Stockpile Plans Draw Scrutiny. Navy Upgrading Warheads as Talks With Russia Seek Further Arms Reduction, by Walter Pincus, The Washington Post, Monday, April 24, 2000; Page A02).

Russian Foreign Ministry has finally reacted on the construction of a U.S. radar station in Norway: "..."Have Stare" radar is meant to detect the launch of ballistic missiles, and before being moved to Norway it was used in the United States for testing the American strategic missile defense system. Deployment of such a radar out of the U.S. territory is banned in accordance with ABM Treaty of 1972. It is evident that the radar station in Norway may also be used in the interests of the American national missile defense system banned by the ABM treaty...":

See also a paper by Anatoli Diakov and Theodore Postol Antimissile Front in the Northern Norway.

Russian press still continues to discuss START II in spite of its approval by the Russian parliament:

Russian Security Council adopted a new military doctrine on Friday:

See also other publications about this event, and our special section Russian National Security Concept and Nuclear Policy.

Russian long range aviation now has a new weapon - conventional strategic cruise missiles:

On the history of the Soviet Nuclear Bomb: A Bomb For the Victory Of Communism, - in Russian, (Rossiiskaya Gazeta, April 20, 2000)

April 18, 2000
President Clinton said yesterday he will go to Moscow for a June 4-5 summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The main subject of the meeting will be a discussion on further steps to reduce nuclear arms and modify ABM Treaty. Top U.S. and Russian arms negotiators launched a round of talks Monday for additional strategic arms cuts, made possible by the Russian parliament's ratification of START II. The Russian attitude toward ABM Treaty remains unchanged - Russia strongly opposes changing ABM Treaty of 1972. Clinton's administration hopes to persuade Russian political leadership to modify the Treaty in exchange to some concessions in START III. British Prime-minister Blair indicated he plans to act not as a U.S. advocate, but rather as a middleman between Washington and Moscow. Meanwhile, U.S. Senate made very clear, that it would not ratify ABM Treaty Protocols of 1997. These documents are a part of the package necessary for START II entry into force. "...START III is now out of the question. The United States will press on Russia in order to get a deal on ABM Treaty modification..." - Pavel Podvig, an expert with our Center said in an interview to Kommersant Daily, ("We Reached A Deadlock", - in Russian, by Ilya Bulavinov, Kommersant, April 14, 2000 ). See for a discussion of current events in:

See also The statement in relation with ratification of START II and the package of agreements of 1997 on ABM Treaty by the State Duma of the Federation Council, information on START II vote results and Acting President Putin's statement in the Duma before the START II vote (all in Russian).

Russia's parliament decided on Tuesday it would vote on ratifying the global nuclear test ban treaty on Friday and looked set to approve the deal just a week after backing another major arms control agreement. Assuming the State Duma ratifies the test ban treaty as expected, Russia will then be able to upstage the United States at an important U.N. review conference next week on halting the spread of nuclear weapons.

Anatoli Diakov
A scandal on the U.S. radar deployment in Vardo (Norway) continues. "...According to information, released by the U.S. organization responsible for BMD development, the radar is a part of early warning system...", Anatoli Diakov, Director of our Center said in an interview to Public Russian Television (ORT) correspondent. Full transcript and video clip on Vardo radar shown by ORT on Sunday can be found at ORT web site (all in Russian). See also Russia regards U.S. radar deployment in Norway as ABM treaty violation, (by Interfax, April 18, 2000) and a paper by Theodore Postol and Anatoli Diakov Antimissile Front in the Northern Norway.

Early warning system suffers difficulties, but keeps its readiness: An All-seeing Eye Of Russia in Russian, (by Vladimir Morozov, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, N 14, April 14-20, 2000, p. 4). See also our special section: Current Status of Russian Early Warning System.

On Putin's visit to the Northern Fleet and future of sea based strategic forces in an article Missile Games For the President, - in Russian, (by Viktor Litovkin, Obschaya Gazeta, April 13, 2000)

Tu-160 and Tu-95MS strategic bombers will practice launching new cruise missiles with conventional warheads in exercises of the 37-th Air Army, which began yesterday, (Strategic Bombers Fly To the South, - in Russian, by Sergei Sokut, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, April 18, 2000, p. 1,3)

Today PIR Center held its expert council meeting entitled "Russia: Nuclear Weapons and Non-Proliferation - In A Context Of the Forthcoming NPT Review Conference". Speakers included Vladimir Orlov, the Director of the PIR-Center, Roland Timerbayev, Chair of the PIR-Center Council, and Ivan Safranchuk, the Director of "Nuclear Weapons And Their Future" project.

At the English START Forum - prospects for START III and ABM Treaty.

April 14, 2000
Russian lawmakers approved the long-delayed START II treaty at today's session. The State Duma, the lower chamber of parliament, voted 288 to 133 to approve the treaty after President Vladimir Putin urged lawmakers to pass the measure (in Russian). The details in the reports of news agencies:

See also the list of publications on START II at SMI.Ru (in Russian).

PIR Center experts distirbuted the documents which were discussed in the Duma: Federal Laws on ratification of START II, and the documents relating to the 1972 ABM Treaty. See also comments by Ivan Safranchuk on the bills of ratification of START II and the documents relating to the 1972 ABM Treaty.

Other today's publications in newspapers include:

U.S. and Russian arms control officials are to hold talks in Switzerland next week after the expected ratification by the State Duma of the START II nuclear arms reduction treaty, diplomats on both sides said Thursday (Russia, U.S. Set for New START Talks, by Stephanie Nebehay, The Moscow Times, April 14, 2000).

Majority of answers of our Englsih-speaking visitors to the question Should Russia ratify START II Treaty? were in favour of such a decision. However, only 23% of visitors of the Russian page approve today's ratification. It is interesting, that similar results were obtained by Nezavisimaya Gazeta as statistics of their poll showed by 10 am.

April 13, 2000
Today Duma deputies approved the decision to put START II Treaty to the vote at closed hearings. Tomorrow's plenary session will be held behind the closed doors as well. Yesterday, president asked the Duma to hold closed session. The State Duma lower house agreed with the president's request by 236 votes to 62. It means that journalists are banned from documenting the proceedings. Moreover, today the Duma decided to hold a secret vote. Suddenly, liberal-democrats have changed their attitude. Now they are going to approve the treaty. In today's comments of the press:

See also yesterday's Pyotr Romashkin's comment (now in English).

At the English START Forum - prospects for START III and ABM Treaty, and the discussion on counterforce role of conventional weapons continues at the Russian Forum.

April 12, 2000
Russian lawmakers agreed Tuesday to debate the long-delayed START II arms treaty this week. Closed hearings will be held in the State Duma tomorrow. Representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense are supposed to speak for the Treaty. The vote is set for Friday. According to preliminary estimates, the treaty has good chances of winning more than 226 votes required for passage. Representatives of democratic factions ("Yabloko", "Unity", SPS) promised to support the treaty. Communists and liberal democrats are going to vote against START II. Most likely the attitudes of the Duma members will be clear by Thursday evening:

See also a paper by Pavel Podvig, the leading expert of our Center, Ratification of START II Does Not Make Sense, which was published three months ago and now available in English, and a comment of Pyotr Romashkin, Assistant to Deputy Chair Of The State Duma Defense Committee, The Last Assault On START II? exclusively presented for the START Web site.

Problems of nuclear deterrence and impact of ballistic missile defenses on strategic stability in a paper Insurance of Mankind, - in Russian, (by Viktor Mikhailov, Stanislav Voronin and Sergei Brezkun, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, April 7, 2000, p. 8)

A panel of prominent U.S. scientists on Tuesday opposed plans for a national anti-missile shield, entering a fierce public debate before President Clinton decides whether to deploy the system this summer. The report Countermeasures: A Technical Evaluation of the Operational Effectiveness of the Planned US National Missile Defense System", written under the auspices of the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Security Studies Program, said attackers could use decoys and other means to deceive the heat-seeking anti-missiles:

Focus of the recently published issue of Disarmament Diplomacy is U.S. plans to deploy NMD:

See also: Both Kims Are Ready to Negotiate Peace. Moscow Has Got A Chance To Talk Washington Out Of Abrogating the Treaty, - in Russian, (by Alexander Chudodeyev, Segodnya, April 11, 2000, p. 3)

As President Clinton ponders whether to make a decision this summer, as promised, on whether to proceed with deployment of a land-based national missile defense system, another crucial NMD decision looms. And that is whether to also proceed with development of a sea-based system: First By Sea, (Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2000)

Russia is pursuing the design and possible development of a medium stealth bomber aircraft that would be larger than the USAF F-117 stealth fighter, but smaller than the USAF B-2 strategic bomber (Russian Stealth Bomber Design Work Underway, by Craig Covault and David A. Fulghum, Aviation Week & Space Technology, April 10, 2000, p.18)

Is the Russian nuclear arsenal safe from terrorists? Colonel-General Igor Valynkin, Head of the 12-th Main Directorate of the Russian Defense Ministry answers to the questions of Krasnaya Zvezda correspondent (Nuclear Terrorism: Facts And Myths, by Oleg Falichev, Krasnaya Zvezda, April 11, 2000 , p. 1)

The Ministry of Atomic Energy said Tuesday it wants to import 20,000 tons of nuclear waste to Russia to boost the country's economy, but parliament would first have to cancel a law forbidding most of such imports,

Again about HEU-LEU contract: As a private company, USEC "would have every incentive ... to bomb the (Russian) deal." (Trouble With Uranium Processing Co., by H. Josef Hebert, Associated Press, Tuesday, April 11, 2000; 2:36 p.m. EDT)

At the Russian START Forum: do conventional weapons threaten to land based strategic missiles?

April 6, 2000

In his first major policy statement since being elected, acting President Vladimir Putin called for quick ratification of the START II nuclear arms reduction treaty. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov is expected to discuss reopening negotiations to reduce U.S. and Russian long-range nuclear weapons on a visit in th United States April 26-27. Western press is optimistic about possibility of modification of the ABM Treaty:

"...START II ratification will not avert NMD deployment in current circumstances. Moreover - it will be interpreted as an evidence of Russian readiness to make further concessions, including ones concerning ballistic missile defenses. ratification of START II Treaty makes sense in a package with new agreements on limiting offensive and defensive arms only...," (Russia And the United States On The Doorstep Of the XXI-st Century, - in Russian, by Sergei Rogov, Dip courier, April 6, 2000, p. 9,11).

"...Current state of affairs in START I implementation does not contribute to START II ratification and it will have a negative effect on negotiation of other U.S.-Russian arms control treaties, which are supposed to enforce mutual confidence. But not a Russian side created such a situation...," (How Do Responsible Parties Implement START I Treaty?, - in Russian, by Ivan Sidorov, Yadernoye Rasprostraneniye, August - October, 1999, pp. 64-69) - this article will be published at the START Web site on Friday.

Acting President Vladimir Putin spent yesterday's night aboard SSBN "Karelia" (Delta IV class) of the Northern Fleet. Today he watched naval exercises and SLBM launches: President Tests A Submarine, - in Russian, (by Valeri Alexin, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, April 6, 2000, p. 1).

"...The Navy saluted Vladimir Putin's election by a launch of submarine based strategic missiles. However, Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev forgot to mention in his report to a newly elected President, that the launch might have been the last one. The Navy desperately needs lifting cranes for loading submarines with SLBMs...," (Emergency Brake. Submarine Fleet Is In Fact Unarmed, by Yuri Gladkevich, Profil, N 12, April 3, 2000, p. 58-59). See also: Do Not Stand Under The Nuclear Outrigger, - in Russian, (by Oleg Odnokolenko, Segodnya, April 6, 2000)

The proposed National Missile Defense system will cost $20.2 billion almost 60 percent more than has been publican stated so far, a new internal Pentagon memorandum says: Missile Defense Costs 60 Percent More Than Advertised Price, (by John M. Donnelly, Defense Week, April 3, 2000).

Tony Blair is ready to allow the United States to base a key part of its proposed anti-missile shield in Britain, despite fears that the move could lead to a new escalation of the nuclear arms race:

NMD deployment plans are debated:

NGO experts on Russian air leg of strategic forces: Russia's Strategic Bomber Force Growing, (by Olga Kryazheva, The Weekly Defense Monitor, March 30, 2000)

Sergei Ivanov, the Secretary of Russian Federation Security Council, clarifies national security concept provisions in an interview to Nezavisimaya Gazeta and tells about plans of the Security Council to solve the problem of ensuring a rational balance between nuclear and conventional forces ("The Main Problems of Russia's Security Are Internal Ones, - in Russian, (by Valeri Alexin, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, March 31, 2000, pp. 1,3)

Izvestiya reports, Iran finally accepted Russian proposal to expand mutual cooperation in nuclear energy sector and confirmed its intention to order three additional power units (Nuclear Expansion. Russia Wants To Consolidate Its Grip At Iran's Nuclear Market, - in Russian, by Maria Ignatova, Izvestiya, April 4, 2000, p.4)

Again on HEU-LEU deal (in Russian):

... and Minatom plans to import radioactive wastes: "...The Air Force should cancel one of its two new tactical aircraftthe F-22 air superiority fighter, which was designed during the Cold War and is unneeded after its end. A small portion of the savings should be used immediately to start the development of a new, affordable long-range bomber,..." (The United States Should Begin Work on a New Bomber Now, by Williamson Murray, Cato Policy Analysis No. 368 March 16, 2000)

At the English START Forum: START III and ABM Treaty - what is the best way to proceed?


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