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June, 2001

June 28, 2001 U.S.-Russian Relations in Nuclear Arms Reductions: Current State and Prospects
Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies released a report U.S.-Russian Relations in Nuclear Arms Reductions: Current State and Prospects, - in Russian, (ed. by Anatoli Diakov). The report is addressed to a wide audience -- politicians, military, weapons designers, experts in international law, and to everyone interested in international security issues.

The main outcome of the US-Russian summit was establishment of friendly personal relations between the presidents. A breakthrough on the missile defenses problem did not happen, however both sides declared their readiness to continue the dialogue.

Media and expert comment the results of the summit emphasizing that it was doomed to success:

According to Marshal Igor Sergeyev, Adviser to the Russian President on problems of strategic stability, consultations between U.S. and Russian defense ministries on problems of strategic offensive systems, ballistic missile defense and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction will be held in the end of June - early July, : On forthcoming Consultations between U.S. and Russian defense ministries on problems of strategic offensive systems and missile defense, - in Russian, (Strana.Ru, June 28, 2001)

On a press conference last Saturday in Kremlin, Vladimir Putin voiced again the orthodox position of the Russian military and political establishment, essentially dismissing previous statements on possible changes in the 1972 ABM Treaty. "If the ABM Treaty ceases to exist, then START-I and START-II treaties will cease to exist. This means that all countries, including Russia, will be legally able to deploy cluster warheads with nuclear weapons on their missiles... This is the least expensive answer, which no one will be able to counter in the near 50, may be even 100 years," he said.

More than 530 arms control experts, officials and journalists gathered for the Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference in Washington, June 18 and 19. Available on the Web are speeches by Marshal Igor Sergeyev, advisor to the president on strategic stability, Russian Federation, Senator Richard G. Lugar , Honorable Abdul Sattar, Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Charles B. Curtis, president and chief operating officer, Nuclear Threat Initiative. Other materials presented at the conference will be available on the Web soon.

On June 18, 2001, the newly updated sixth edition of the joint Monterey Institute-Carnegie Endowment Nuclear Status Report was released at the Carnegie Endowments Nonproliferation Conference in Washington, D.C. A full electronic version of the report is available on the CNS and Carnegie websites: Status Report: Nuclear Weapons, Fissile Material, and Export Controls in the Former Soviet Union (June 2001)

Natural Resources Defense Council published a report Exposing the U.S. Nuclear War Plan. The NRDC nuclear war plans project uses a computer simulation to reveal what nuclear conflict would look like if it occurred today. The results are clear. A "precision" attack against Russia's nuclear forces -- with an arsenal of about 1,300 warheads -- would kill 8 to 12 million people and injure millions more, while destroying most of Russia's nuclear weapons. In a "counter value" attack, the U.S. could kill or injure up to 50 million Russians with a mere 3 percent of its current arsenal of more than 7,000 strategic warheads.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the Bush administration Defense Strategy Review. He explained the administration's plans to build and deploy a national missile defense system and the need for the United States to abrogate the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

An internal Defense Department study concluded last year that testing on the national missile defense program was behind schedule and unrealistic and had suffered too many failures to justify deploying the system in 2005, a year after the Bush administration is considering deploying one:

Some American experts believe that Washington should take a realistic approach to the missile defense issues and offer Russia and Europe cooperation in development of theater missile defense system:

The Bush administration will ask Congress for $7.9 billion to support a revamped missile defense program in fiscal year 2002, which is $2.2 billion more than the figure included in an earlier "placeholder" defense budget:

Some observers believe that Bush administration changes emphasis in the commitment to deploy a space-based missile-defense system: they are now focusing on the research and development, and focusing less on a commitment to deploy:

The Pentagon has prepared a contract that would allow it to begin readying a site for a national missile defense system at Fort Greeley, Alaska, as early as this August, according to U.S. defense officials: Pentagon Is Preparing Contract For Missile-Defense System Site, (by Greg Jaffe and Carla Anne Robbins, Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2001)

Supporters of full-scale NMD deployment accuse president Bush of insufficient determination:

On Japan's views of the U.S. NMD see Japan and Ballistic Missile Defense, (by Michael Swaine, Rachel Swanger, Takashi Kawakami, RAND publication, June 2001)

Russia test-fired a 26-year-old SS-19 Stiletto ballistic missile, hinting the weapon could gain new life as a "hydra-headed" countermeasure if the United States moved forward with President Bush's defense plans: "URs" Are On the Guard of Homeland, - in Russian, (by Yuri Golotyk, Vremya Novostei, June 28, 2001)

In an effort to decrease the dangers posed by nuclear weapons in the post-Cold War era, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Representative John Spratt (D-SC), and Representative Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) introduced the Nuclear Threat Reduction Act of 2001 (NTRA). The bill is based on three principles: reducing the numbers of nuclear warheads, removing as many weapons as feasible from high alert status, and preventing the diversion of Russian nuclear weapons, expertise, and weapons-usable materials: Lawmakers Introduce "Nuclear Threat Reduction Act of 2001," (Nuclear Threat Reduction Campaign, 27 June 2001). See also the recent GAO report: Cooperative Threat Reduction: DOD Has Adequate Oversight of Assistance, but Procedural Limitations Remain, (GAO-01-694, June 19, 2001) - in PDF format

The Bush administration on Wednesday submitted to Congress an amended defense budget that proposes a one-third reduction in the air force's fleet of B-1B Lancers as a possible first step toward a unilateral reduction in the nation's nuclear arsenal. The Pentagon will also ask Congress for permission to begin scrapping all 50 of its nuclear-tipped MX missiles and move ahead with converting two Trident submarines to SSGNs:

Pentagon is considering buying 40 new B-2 strategic bombers, for $735 million each: Stealth Bomber, Once Scorned, Gains Fresh Backing, (by James Dao, The New York Times, June 26, 2001)

In the recent issue of The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, (July-August, 2001):

American nuclear arsenal is as vulnerable to terrorists as the Russian one: 'Stealing' U.S. Nukes, (by Danielle Brian, The Washington Post, Thursday, June 21, 2001; Page A24)

After the powerful lobby forced through Russian Duma draft laws that allow import of spent nuclear fuel, the opponents' last hope was that the bill will be rejected by Senate (Federation Council). The hope was not justified. Yegor Stroyev, Senate Speaker said that the bill will be submitted to president Putin without consideration in the upper legislative chamber:

The June 25 issue of Novaya Gazeta is devoted to analyses of man-caused catastrophes, which as some experts believe, will become a major problem for Russia: Period of Disintegration, in Russian, (Novaya Gazeta, June 25, 2001)

At the Russian START Forum: START I limitations on movement of mobile missiles, comparison of the costs of Soviet missiles, sources of information on nuclear weapons design, and other topics.

June 14, 2001
US President Bush and Russia's president, Vladimir V. Putin, will meet for the first time in Ljubljana, Slovenia on June 16. Future of the 1972 ABM Treaty will be the key point of the agenda

Thomas Graham's new article continues the discussion in Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Rethinking US-Russian Relations, - in Russian, (by Thomas Graham, Jr., Nezavisimaya Gazeta, May 31, 2001)

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov warned Washington that its withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty would shatter the entire system of arms control agreements:

President Bush told NATO allies the time had come to banish the last vestiges of the Cold War by developing a security framework based on ballistic missile defenses, but European leaders insisted that any new strategy must include respect for existing arms control pacts:

US State Secretaries failed to fulfil their main task -- to overturn scepticism of European allies towards NMD plans:

Calculations show that if an ABM system makes a boost phase or midcourse interception, the debris will not fall down as it would happen in anti-aircraft defences, but will continue the flight and will be able to fall on the territories of countries that happen to lie on the way of the missile, hundreds and thousands kilometers from both the launch site and from the target: Where will the Debris Fall?, - in Russian, (by Victor Koltunov, Stanislav Rodionov, and Yuli Tsyba, Nezavisimoye Voeyennoe Obozreniye, June 8, 2001)

On possible reaction of China on the US NMD deployment see:

The Bush administration is considering a crash effort to put into place a rudimentary missile defense system before the end of President Bush's current term in 2004. The new Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said that he would fight any bid to build a ballistic missile-defense system that was not fully tested and proved to work:

In the June's issue of Arms Control Today:

Experts of Federation of American Scientists, Natural Resources Defense Council and Union of Concerned Scientists published a report that argues for the need to reduce US nuclear arsenals downto 1000-1500 warheads: "Toward True Security: A US Nuclear Posture for the Next Decade" (June, 2001) - a PDF file. See also:

A report by Hans Kristensen, an expert of the Nautilus Institute, criticizes Washington's current nuclear policy: Declassified Documents Show Excessive Military Influence On Nuclear Reviews, (by Hans Kristensen, Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development, May 30, 2001) - a PDF file.

In accordance with the Decree of the President of Russian Federation of March 24, 2001, Strategic Rocket Forces and Space Forces are separate branches as of June 1, 2001:

A Russian air defense S-300 missile exploded at a military base near Moscow on Friday, spilling burning fuel but hurting no one. Three other launchers were damaged by debris and fire.

State Duma passed bills that allow import of spent nuclear fuel:

Academician Victor Orlov on the prospects of nuclear energy: Atomic Sun of Russia, - in Russian, (by Maxim Leguyenko, Utro.ru, June 7, 2001), see also the second part of the interview.

Prospects of nuclear energy -- object of a heated discussin in the US as well: New Focus on an Old Nuclear Problem, (by Matthew L.Wald, The New York Times, June 4, 2001)

At the Russian START Forum: comparison of the costs of Soviet missiles, ampoulization of ICBMS, US motives behind the offer to buy S-300, and other topics.


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