What was new on START Web site?

May, 2001

May 30, 2001
The New York Times reported on Monday, that to win Russia's cooperation in scrapping the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty and deployment of missile defenses, the Bush administration was preparing a broad offer of arms purchases, military aid and joint antimissile exercises. Russians officials repeatedly insisted that the ABM Treaty be honored:

President Bush's plans on NMD deployment face rougher sledding. The shift of the Senate to Democratic control elevates some of the strongest skeptics of the administration's drive for a missile defense system, putting Senator Carl Levin of Michigan in line to be chairman of the Armed Services Committee and Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. in line to be chairman of Foreign Relations.

See also foreign press review on this subject at Strana.ru web site.

At a NATO meeting of foreign ministers in Budapest, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell failed to convince the allies that a threat of a missile attack against their countries actually exists. However, NATO does not consider the 1972 ABM Treaty as "the cornerstone of strategic stability" any more:

Russian experts write on the prospects of Bush-Putin Summit in Slovenia:

On Monday Russian MFA issued a press release In Relation to Adoption by European Parliament Session of a Resolution Concerning U.S. NMD Initiatives.

Latest public opinion polls in the US show tenuous support, and significant doubts, concerning NMD among the American public at large: Public Opinion Surveys: Support for NMD Declines as Americans Learn More, (Coalition Issue Brief, Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers, May 21, 2001). See also:

Russia's lower house of parliament rejected a resolution by a nationalist lawmaker that would have urged the president to suspend nuclear arms reductions in response to U.S. plans for a missile defense. The resolution would have asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to consider Russian withdrawal from the START II arms reduction treaty with the United States and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty: Duma rejects measure on arms controls, (by The Associated Press, Russia Journal, May 24, 2001)

One of the most important installations of the Russian ABM system does not exist for Moscow bureaucracy: Test Range Fights Bureaucracy Arbitrariness, - in Russian, (by Sergey Sokut, Nezavisimoye Voeyennoe Obozreniye, May 25, 2001).

May, 2001 issue of Arms Control Today includes:

On the Russian nuclear forces status see also: Russian Nuclear Forces, 2001, (The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, May-June 2001)

Selected articles published in recent issues of Disarmament Diplomacy:

According to The Washington Post, proposals are circulating inside the U.S. defense establishment for radical changes in America's nuclear arsenal, including a phaseout of all land-based intercontinental missiles and a sharp reduction in the strategic bomber force: U.S. Nuclear Proposals Envision Sharp Cuts in Missiles, Bombers, (by Walter Pincus, The Washington Post, May 26, 2001). See also: Future use of the B-2 stealth bomber may not include nuclear weapons, (by Scott Canon, Kansas City Star, May 20, 2001)

Russian MFA denied assertions recently appeared in the American press that Russia is allegedly violating the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (Russian MFA Press Release, May 25, 2001)

Open Skies Treaty ratification precess completed: Federal Law of Russian Federation on Ratification of the Open Skies Treaty, - in Russian, (May 26, 2001). See also: Russian MFA Press Release Belarus Ratifies Open Skies Treaty (May 24, 2001)

Despite some strong opposition from the public at home and by the government in the United States, Russia is preparing to open its borders to become the largest international repository for radioactive nuclear wastes: Russia Sees Payoff in Storing Nuclear Waste From Around the World, (By Patrick E. Tyler, The New York Times, May 26, 2001)

Aleksandr Rumyantsev, Minister of Atomic Energy of Russian Federation, speaks on the problems and prospects of atomic energy: Not a Rookie Arrived, - in Russian, (by Nikolai Ivanov, Konstantin Mikhailov, Wek, N 20, May 25, 2001)

At the Russian START Forum: US intentions, and other topics.

May 24, 2001
U.S. President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to hold their first meeting on June 16 in Slovenia to discuss missile defense and nuclear arms reduction issues:

US team led by Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz visited Russia and several other European countries seeking at least acceptance of plan to build a missile defense system, but failed to win any. Alexander Yakovenko, a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said the talks only underlined Russian concerns. "The American side has so far failed to produce convincing arguments that would persuade us that it has a clear vision of how to handle international security issues without disrupting the arms control arrangements that have been established over the past 30 years," Yakovenko said.

The discussion on should Russia tie its position on the 1972 ABM Treaty up to strategic arms reductions is still open. See Russia Is Interested In A Dialog, Not In Mere Words, - in Russian, by Pavel Podvig (May 17, 2001), and The Point Is Not Desirability But Possibility of a Dialogue, - in Russian, by Nikolai Sokov (May 22, 2001) . See also:

"...Brezhnev and Nixon solemnly signed ABM and SALT Treaties on May 26 1972 at 11 am. Cameras chattered, people drank champaign, but both leaders did not know as well as majority of people in the hall, that in fact different documents were signed...": ABM Treaty Was Agreed in Tundra, - in Russian, (by Oleg Grinevski, Dip Courier, May 24, 2001)

Democratic members of Congress have been honing a response to President Bush's call for a global shield against ballistic missiles. Their strategy is not to attack the idea of missile defense, but to question whether the technology works and whether the diplomatic and financial trade-offs are worthwhile:

China stands firm in its opposition to the Bush administration plan for national missile defenses:

See also: Russian MFA Press Release Russia, China Hold Consultations on Disarmament Issues (May 22, 2001)

President of Kazakhstan condemned US policy towards missile defenses: Kazakhs Take Strong Issue With Bush's Missile Project, (by Judith Miller, The New York Times, May 21, 2001)

Poland is the first East European country to openly support US plans to deploy missile defenses: Poland Wants to Defend America, - in Russian, (by Vladimir Vodo, Kommersant, May 18, 2001)

India supports US NMD deployment plans as well:

1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty inspection regime ends May 31:

More media comments on the fire in satellite control center of the Russian military:

Commander of the Russian Long-Range Aviation Lt. Gen. Mikhail Oparin speaks on problems and prospects of Long-Range Aviation: In Conventional and Nuclear War, - in Russian, (by Igor Korotchenko, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, May 18, 2001)

Administration for Rocket and Space Weapons of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces turned 55. See interview with Lt. Gen. Valery Subbotin, the Head of the Administration: From R-1 to Topol, - in Russian, (by Alexandr Bogatyrev, Krasnaya Zvezda, May 17, 2001)

American experts believe that Bush administration's decision to cut funding of DOE programs aimed to improve Russian nuclear arsenal safeguards is a mistake:

May 18, 2001 the PIR Center held a meeting on "The Problems of Implementation of the US-Russian Plutonium Disposition and Management Agreement". Keynote speaker was Ms. Laura Holgate, vice-president of Nuclear Threat Initiative Fund, who used to work in the US administration and took active part in negotiating the agreement. She spoke on the NTI plans and shared her views on the problems of implementation of the agreement.

Decisions of the Moscow Nuclear Safety and Security Summit are still topical: Nuclear World Outline, - in Russian, (by Victor Mikhailov, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, May 19, 2001)

Minister of Atomic Energy of Russia Alexandr Rumyantsev believes that his department has to become more open: Nuclear Technologies -- Russia's Hope, - in Russian, (by Andrei Vaganov, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, May 11, 2001). See also: Nuclear Complex Indivisible, - in Russian, (by Nikolai Ivanov, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, May 15, 2001)

Minatom's Head of Department for Development and Testing of Nuclear Weapons Nikolai Voloshin denies reports on nuclear tests on Novaya Zemlya:: Minatom Has Nothing to Hide, - in Russian, (by Dmitri Safronov, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, May 11, 2001)

A project for long term storage of radioactive wastes has been presented by the Russian Minatom for consideration. The first home burial site is supposed to be located at Novaya Zemlya, three hundred kilometers from the inactive nuclear weapons test site. However, some experts are certain: the first federal burial site at Novaya Zemlya is capable in fact to create more problems than it can solve: Where To Bury the Native Atom?, - in Russian, (by Yelena Ovchinnikova, Expert, May 21, 2001)

The Bush administration has postponed a major part of the Energy Department's plan to dispose of plutonium left over from nuclear weapons production:

PIR Center published a handbook on arms control, the first publication in Russia to summarize fundamental arms control treaties between USSR (Russia) and USA.

On the history of Soviet space weapons see: Race on Space Theater, - in Russian, (by Anatoli Dokuchayev, NVO NG, May 18, 2001)

President Dwight D. Eisenhower's top secret instructions that delegated nuclear-launch authority to military commanders and the Secretary of Defense under specific emergency conditions, declassified for the first time last month, appeared on the World Wide Web site of the National Security Archive: First Declassification Of Eisenhower's Instructions Predelegating Nuclear Weapons Use, (The National Security Archive, May 18, 2001)

At the Russian START Forum: US NMD deployment, and other topics.

May 11, 2001
A devastating fire raced through a satellite control center of the Russian military 120 miles southwest of Moscow. "As a result of the fire, we do not have constant contact with four satellites," Anatoly Perminov, commander of the Space Forces, said. However, "...the loss of early-warning capability would not have any serious impact on Russia's (or any other country's) security...," Pavel Podvig, an expert with our Center, pointed out: Our Comment: The fire may be serious, but there is no reason for concern, (May 10, 2001):

See also: Reducing a Common Danger: Improving Russia's Early-Warning System, (by Geoffrey Forden, Cato Policy Analysis, No. 399 May 3, 2001) and our special section: Current Status of Russian Early Warning System

A speech by President Bush on May 1, 2001 at the National Defense University in Washington that confirmed US course to deploy NMD and announced plans to proceed with unilateral reductions of nuclear weapons, still draws media comments. Does it imply Washington's intention to abort US-Russian dialogue or, on the contrary, is in fact a prelude to new, non-confrontational relations between the two countries? Experts opinions vary. For the START Web Site exclusively:

See also:

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov gave rather mild comment on George W. Bush's speach, declared readiness for a dialogue. American delegation is led by Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defence secretary. Characteristically, on the day before the US officially refused to continue cooperation under the framework of the Standing Consultative Commission (SCC) -- a bilateral commission created in accordance with Article XIII of the 1972 ABM Treaty. US notified Moscow that they will not attend the scheduled SCC session, and did not set the date for the next session.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said yesterday the administration has no clear plan for how to build the global missile defense because experimentation on various options has been banned under the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. He also announced an administrative reorganization of Pentagon space programs giving them a higher profile:

The Senate confirmed John R. Bolton on Tuesday as the nation's chief arms-control official after hearing a wholehearted endorsement from Sen. Jesse Helms. Mr. Bolton's appointment is another sign of the US's hard line on positions and a unilateralist policy: abandon the existing system of international treaties:

Ukraine, has offered to help Washington turn NMD into a reality: NMD's New Supporter, (by Doug Bandow, The Washington Times, May 8, 2001).

It was striking this week when India effusively praised elements of President Bush's missile-defense plan and said nary a critical word: Rare Praise From India on U.S. Defense, (by Celia W. Dugger, The New York Times, May 6, 2001)

US Air Force plans to start development of a new ICBM in 2004-2005: New USAF ICBM Emerges, Cruise Missile Flounders (by Robert Wall, Aviation Week and Space Technology, April 23, 2001)

On the prospective structure of the US strategic nuclear forces see also: The Coming Threat, (by Capt. William L. Norris, The Submarine Review, April, 2001)

The New York Times published an article about Rose Gottemoeller, former deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation in the U.S. Department of Energy, currently a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She is well-known as an active supporter of the US-Russian dialogue, and she is widely respected by both Democrats and Republicans: Public Lives: When She Talks Arms, Washington and Moscow Listen, (by Philip Shenon, The New York Times, May 7, 2001)

According to Bloomberg.com, The Federal Bureau of Investigation cleared TRW Inc. of Prof. Theodore Postol and Dr. Nira Schwartz's allegations it manipulated the test results in a program for the U.S. missile defense system: FBI Clears TRW Inc. Of Fraud Charge In Missile Defense Test, (by Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg.com, May 4, 2001)

Recent issues of Yadernoe Nerasprostraneniye (No 37, October-November 2000) runs (all in Russian,):

The discussion around a set of controversial bills allowing the import and storage of spent nuclear fuel continues:

USEC Inc., the US company that purchases nuclear fuel reprocessed from Russian missiles, plans to lower the price it pays Russia for the converted warhead material. USEC President William H. Timbers claims that the new pricing plan has been endorsed by USEC's Russian counterpart, and is also supported by senior Russian officials: Nuclear Fuel Firm Fights for Russia Deal, (by Peter Behr, The Washington Post, Monday, May 7, 2001; Page E01). See also: Future Prospects for the HEU Deal, (Carnegie Endowment for Peace, May 3, 2001)

At the Russian START Forum: US NMD deployment, and other topics.

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