What was new on START Web site?

November, 2001

November 27, 2001
The outcomes of the November Summit are still debated by arms control experts. According to Pavel Podvig, an expert of our Center, despite the willingness of both leaders to cut nuclear arsenals to around 2000 warheads each, the number of nuclear weapons that would remain in service is still far larger than any country would ever need. Thus, the task of further reducing the size of nuclear forces remains as important today as it has been before (Ending the Cold War Once and For All. Trust isn't enough. It takes treaties, by Pavel Podvig, GlobalBeat, November 15, 2001). See also:

US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice confirmed again that the time is coming where US NMD testing programs will start to bump up against the constraints of the treaty, and since US are not going to violate the treaty, they will withdraw from it either together with Russia or unilaterally:

The next test of the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, a prototype interceptor for the U.S. NMD under development is scheduled for Thursday: Raytheon missile killer's next test Thursday, (by Alan D. Fisher, Arizona Daily Star, Sunday November 25 08:36 AM EST)

US withdrawal from the 1972 ABM Treaty would not trigger a new arms race, believes Pavel Podvig: For Russia, little loss, little gain, (by Pavel Podvig, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, November-December, 2001)

Although in her recent interview Condoleezza Rice stressed, that the funding of Nunn-Lugar program for 2002 was not cut, the facts speak differently:

Last week, Russian Government examined the radioactive materials transportation security issues. Although there were no accidents on the transportation routes over the period of 50 years, some believe that the subject is rather topical.

November 18, 2001
Most of the comments agree that the major positive outcome of the Summit was the accentuated resolve to build fundamentally new relations between the countries, which was confirmed in the Joint Statement on New U.S.-Russian Relationship. The question of do the two countries need agreements of the type patterned on the Cold War-era treaties, or the "new relations" can be based upon the presidents' sympathies with each other, is now one of the most dicussed subjects in the media.

At a press conference after the Summit, the presidents declared unilateral reductions of strategic nuclear arsenals. Many media comments regard this as a great achievement and all but a breakthrough in the nuclear arms reductions process, while in fact the press conference clearly showed the contrast in the approaches towards the nuclear arms reductions problems and the absence of any compromise over this issue. For further details see commentary by Eugene Miasnikov, Editor of the START Web Site No Breakthrough on Strategic Reductions at the Summit , which was published in Russian by Gazeta.ru on November 15, 2001. See also:

During President Bush and President Putin Talk to Crawford Students, US president appeared to commit himself to destroying the nuclear warheads eliminated when reducing the American arsenal. But National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice said later that only "a number of them" will be destroyed and suggested others would be stored:

At the Summit, US and Russian Presidents confirmed their original positions with respect to the 1972 ABM Treaty. According to an anonymous source within Bush administration, there was no deal on the missile defenses because Putin put forward a proposal unacceptable for Bush: test that do not comply with the treaty would have to receive a Russian approval. Nevertheless, according to US officials, the Summit gave a green light to the Pentagon's for missile defense testing and construction work that could violate the treaty sometime next year.

See also our feature page How Should Russia Respond to the Impending US NMD Deployment?

Legislation approved Wednesday by a US Senate committee would let Russia reduce its $3.5 billion debt to the United States by working to limit proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction: Senate OKs Russia Debt Reduction, (by Carolyn Skorneck, Associated Press, Wednesday, November 14, 2001; 8:03 PM). See also:

In the recent issue of The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists: British Nuclear Forces, 2001, (The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, November/December 2001, Vol. 57, No. 6, pp. 7879)

November 13, 2001
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with President Bush today. Reportedly, at least seven documents are ready for signing during the Summit, including joint statements on missile defenses and on nuclear arms reductions. Experts discuss the Summit's possible outcomes:

Interviews given by President Putin to Western media on the eve of the Summit received enthusiastic comments:

Last week President Bush, announced the decision to reduce US offensive weapons stockpile, refusing to disclose the proposed levels before the Summit. Eugene Miasnikov, the Editor of the START Web Site, comments on this event in his article President Bush's Nuclear Arithmetic. A short version of this article was published yesterday by Izvestia daily: "...US prefer to implement reductions unilaterally and do not want to conclude any binding agreement... President Bush's statement misuses the concept of 'reductions' -- the actual meaning used is 'decreasing the state of readiness' rather than elimination of the US strategic offensive weapons...". See also:

Today Rossiiskaya Gazeta ran an article by Marshal Igor Sergeyev, Russian President's Adviser and former Defense Minister, where the author discusses th general problems of strategic stability and the role of nuclear weapons: Dropping a First Strike Strategy, - in Russian, (by Igor Sergeyev, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, November 13, 2001).

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace held two seminars devoted to the Summit. American congressmen and leading experts took part in these seminars. Transcripts are available both in text and audio formats:

The former Soviet negotiator draws the lessons of START Treaties negotiations: How Did the Yesterday's "Kitchen" of Negotiations Work, - in Russian, (by Nikolay Chervov, Obozrevatel-Observer, October 2001).

Recent publications contain thorough analysis of problems of US-Russian relations in strategic arms, and consider the prospective role of nuclear weapons:

The Pentagon called in top defense contractors over the weekend to discuss plans for streamlining management of the costly U.S. drive to build ballistic missile shields: Pentagon Asks Contractors to Mesh Missile Defense, (by Jim Wolf, Reuters, Wednesday November 7, 5:55 PM ET)

House Appropriations Committee is recommending canceling an expensive infrared satellite system that the Pentagon considers vital to missile defense:

New Bradley Graham's book tells the story of the development of the US ABM system. The New York Times published review and excerpts from the book:

How great is the danger of nuclear terrorism? The press keeps on discussion of this issue:

"...The first train carrying spent nuclear fuel will come from Bulgaria... It is this train that confirms the fears: we'll easily receive the spent fuel, but may never see the money...": Remnants Of A Nuclear Reactor Smuggled Into Russia, - in Russian, (by Roman Shleynov, Novaya Gazeta, November 12, 2001)

November 6, 2001
Russian Foreign minister and the U.S. State Secretary are scheduled to meet today to work out the details of an agreement to be signed in November during to the President Putin's visit to the U.S. As The Washington Post correspondents learnt, the agreement would not scrap the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which U.S. officials said remains the ultimate goal of negotiations with Russia, but would allow the administration to move ahead with the vigorous testing and development program it hopes to begin early next year. Under this interim arrangement, both countries would also set goals for slowly reducing the number of strategic warheads to between 1,750 and 2,250 each.

Defense Minister Rumsfeld's visit to Moscow was also devoted to the November's summit meeting preparation. Rumsfeld avoided answering to the question when the U.S. intends to withdraw from the ABM Treaty at the press-conference with the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov. He said, that he'd leave it to the president of the United States:

Development of events shaping the future of nuclear reductions and the ABM Treaty to large extent corresponds to scenarios outlined in our Center's report U.S.-Russian Relations in Nuclear Arms Reductions: Current State and Prospects, (ed. by Anatoli Diakov) published in June. Complete Russian version of our report is currently available on-line (in PDF, 350 Kb). U.S.-Russian Relations in Nuclear Arms Reductions: Current State and Prospects

See also recent interviews and papers of our Center's experts in the press media:

See our special section How Should Russia Respond to the Impending US NMD Deployment?

In the November's issue of Arms Control Today:

The Pentagon put the October test of a missile defense interceptor on hold and spent weeks looking for what had gone wrong. The culprit turned out to be nothing more than an aging capacitor in a software evaluation station: Testing Mishaps Cloud Missile Defense Plans, (by Bradley Graham, The Washington Post, Monday, November 5, 2001; Page A02)

Units of the Strategic Rocket Forces and Space Forces conducted a test launch of "Topol" ICBM from Plesetsk on Thursday ("Topols" Do Not Rust, - in Russian, (by Alexandr Vovk, Krasnaya Zvezda, November 3, 2001)

Experts are concerned about safety of nuclear installations to possible terrorist attacks. Governments around the world are tightening security at nuclear facilities as the International Atomic Energy Agency is warning that nuclear terrorism "seems far more likely in the wake of Sept. 11." "We don't want to alarm anybody, but we now have to prepare for the worst-case scenario -- a terrorist who obtains some kind of nuclear weapon," Mohamed ElBaradei, the IAEA director general, said in an interview.

Earlier this year, the U.S. government proposed budget cuts for the DOE's nonproliferation programs in Russia, but these have not been as big as expected. As part of a larger energy bill, the House of Representatives and Senate approved last week $804 million for all NNSA's nuclear nonproliferation programs in 2002, $69 million down on 2001 funding, but $30 million more than the amount requested by the administration: Taking Scientists Out of Nuclear Equation, (by Elizbeth Wolfe, The Moscow Times, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2001, Page 1)

Georg Borisov, The Head of a Group of the U.S.-Russian Committee on Disposal of Surplus Plutonium and an affiliate of Bochvar's Institute thinks that, the U.S. side is to blame in the absence of progress in solving the problem of plutonium disposal: Plutonium. What Is Going to Happen to the Agreement?, - in Russian, ("Mayak" PO, Chelyabinsk-65, November 1, 2001)

Bo Gustavson, Senior Vice-President of the Swedish Department of Nuclear Fuel and Waste Disposal tells about prospects of construction of an interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel at "Mayak" Production Plant: A Promising Cooperation, - in Russian, ("Mayak" PO, Chelyabinsk-65, November 1, 2001)

After approving nuclear spent fuel import bill, Russia is going to get the first train from Bulgaria for reprocessing. However, the scheme of payment looks very suspicious, which means, Russia may never get the money: The Train 1 With Nuclear Fuel Is Coming to Russia, - in Russian, (by Roman Shleynov, Novaya Gazeta, November 5, 2001)

November 1, 2001
Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces

MIT Press has published a new book Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces (ed. by Pavel Podvig). This edition is part of the Russian Nuclear Forces Project of the Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. It provides comprehensive data about Soviet and Russian strategic weapons, payloads, and delivery systems and on the nuclear complex that supports them. The data are drawn from open, primarily Russian, sources, and all the information is presented chronologically, arranged by individual systems and facilities, and is not available elsewhere in a single volume.

A US-Russian summit scheduled for mid-November will likely happen to be a key event that would decide the future of the relations between the two countries in the area of strategic weapons. Particularly, the summit may clarify the fate of the 1972 ABM Treaty. In his interview to Wek weekly, Anatoli Diakov, director of our Center, said that "...an agreement with Americans over missile defenses can be reached in principle. One of the possible compromise settlements could be a treaty that would allow Americans to develop NMD, while at the same time setting a common limit for offensive and defensive weapons. Speaking on numerical limitations, one could choose say 2,000 warheads. In this case, if US develops a missile defense system deploying 200 interceptors, they will have to limit their offensive arsenal to 1,800 warheads. If Russia does not deploy missile defenses, the limit of warheads on their offensive systems will be 2000..."(We Can't Jump Through The Ceiling, - in Russian, by Oleg Denisov, Wek, October 26, 2001). In his article published in Izvestia daily, Pavel Podvig, an expert with our Center stresses: "...Complications with exact wording of amendments [to the 1972 ABM Treaty - E.M.] that would be acceptable for both sides are significant, but not unsurmountable. For example, since amendments will destroy the basis of the treaty in any case, we can remove most limitations, keeping only one -- the ban on development of an ABM system that would be capable to defend against a full-scale attack..." (Obstacle As A Part And A Parcel. What Will Happen To The ABM Treaty In November, - in Russian, by Pavel Podvig, Izvestia, October 29, 2001). See also:

Recent meeting of presidents Bush and Putin at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Shanghai served as an important step in preparations for the summit at Bush's Texas ranch in November:

US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced Thursday that the Pentagon had indefinitely postponed preliminary tests of missile-defense technology to avoid any suggestion that it had violated the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia. Commenting on the Rumsfeld's statement Pavel Podvig notes that "...making a point on adherence to the ABM Treaty today, US administration at the same time makes preparations for withdrawal tomorrow... In this situation the most important thing for Russia is to keep from being deluded itself too much, and to try and make everything possible to convert the desire demonstrated by the US to find a solution for the problem of the future of the ABM treaty together with Russia into a concrete agreement that would remove the tension surrounding this problem..." (Rumsfeld Strengthens The ABM Treaty In Order To Abandon It, - in Russian, by Pavel Podvig, SMI.RU, October 26, 2001)

See also our feature page How Should Russia Respond to the Impending US NMD Deployment?

The Russian delegation together with the delegations of Belarus and China, has introduced a draft resolution on the preservation of and compliance with the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems (A): Statement by Sergei A. Ordzhonikidze, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation in the First Committee of the 56th session of the UN General Assembly on the issue of the ABM Treaty, 23 October 2001

A group of US Senators introduced a bill S. 1565 "Relating to United States adherence to the ABM Treaty". Russian MFA made a statement in support of this bill (Russian MFA Press Release, October 25, 2001). See also:

Alexander Yakovenko, the Official Spokesman of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that in return to the closure of the radioelectronic center in Cuba Russia expects reciprocity with regard to the radar in Vardo, Norway (Alexander Yakovenko, the Official Spokesman of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Answers a Russian Media Question About US President George Bush's Remark on the Announcement of the Withdrawal of the Russian Radioelectronic Center from Lourdes, Cuba

Gen.-Col. Igor Valynkin, Head of the 12th Main Directorate of the Russian Defense Ministry, comments publications in Western media that discuss a possibility of Russian nuclear weapons coming to hands of international terrorists: "...Publications of this kind appeared before. I believe that this is some kind of propaganda. In reality we did not lose anything, we do triple accounting of not only nuclear munitions themselves, but of their components as well..."

On the current state and security of the Russian non-strategic nuclear arsenal see also: The September 1991 PNIs and the Elimination, Storing and Security and Storing Aspects of TNWs, (by Joshua Handler, a presentation at a United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research seminar, 24 September 2001) (in PDF format)

House Democrats lost an effort Tuesday to add money to a program aimed at keeping Russian nuclear weapons away from terrorists. By voice vote, House lawmakers working with senators to craft a compromise energy and water spending bill rejected an effort by Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas, that would have added $131 million to a $173 million program that helps Russia guard its nuclear facilities (House Dems Lose Russian Nukes Move, by Alan Fram, Associated Press, Tuesday October 30 9:09 PM ET). See also:

Last Friday Russian Strategic Rocket Forces (SRF) conducted a training launch of RS-18 (SS-19 Stiletto) ICBM. The missile has been on duty in one of SRF divisions for more than 25 years ("Stiletto" Doesn't Miss, - in Russian, Krasnaya Zvezda, October 30, 2001)

In accordance with the START I Treaty fulfilment procedures, 27 out of 30 ICBM silos have been eliminated in Altai, three silos remain to be destroyed: Liquidation Of ICBM Silos Recommenced in Altai, - in Russian, (ITAR-TASS, October 24, 2001)

The first railroad mobile combat missile complex is to set off from Bryansk to Baikonur for disposal: A Strategic Missile Combat Mobile Complex Prepared For Disposal In Accordance With The START II Treaty At The "Plesetsk" Space Launch Range, - in Russian, (by Vladimir Anufriev, ITAR-TASS, October 16, 2001)

Ukraine completed elimination of strategic offensive weapons. On October 30th, they blew up the last silo in which an RS-22 (SS-24 Scalpel) ICBM has been deployed:

In the US, debates over resumption of the B-2 stealth bomber production flared up again:

In the recent issue of Yaderny Kontrol (July-August 2001):

According to Vasili Zhidkov, General Director of chemical and mining complex in Zheleznogorsk "...noise about Minatom digging a "hole" for nuclear wastes from all over the world are the same type of rubbish, as speculations of pseudo-experts about a nuclear dump established on the "wet" depository of spent nuclear fuel at the RT-2 plant...", (Unsuccessful Search for Nuclear "Dump" near Krasnoyarsk, - in Russian, by Yuri Chuvashev, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, October 30, 2001)

Forty years ago, in the end of October, 1961, Earth survived the historical test of the most powerful H-Bomb, however environmental consequences of that explosion affect the health of generations: Giving the Gruel, - in Russian, (by Alexander Kondrashov, Argumenty i Fakty, October 26, 2001 .)

What Was New?

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