What was new on START Web site?

August, 1999

August 26, 1999
Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, who heads the Defense Ministry's international cooperation division, lashed out at the United States over what Moscow sees as a failed preliminary round of talks on a new nuclear weapons reduction treaty:

"...The United States is not interested in Russia's ratifying the START II treaty although Washington publicly keeps appealing for its approval by Russian parliament. The United States is actually trying to disrupt ratification,.."- Roman Popkovich, chairman of defense committee of the State Duma said: Lawmaker: U.S. Blocking Start II Ratification , (by Xinhua, August 23, 1999)

According to Major-General (Ret.) Vladimir Belous, the Director of the Center For International And Strategic Studies Of the Russian-American University, if Washington seriously violates the 1972 ABM Treaty, Russia and China have a right to develop a joint BMD system. "Certainly, Moscow does not have resources. However, one may combine Russian scientific achievements with financial capabilities of China...", - Vladimir Belous said (Russia And China Are Capable To Create A Regional BMD System, - in Russian, IA Agentstvo Voyennyh Novostei, August 26, 1999).

In response to the recent interview of the Head of the Strategic Rocket Forces Vladimir Yakovlev (in Russian) to Krasnaya Zvezda: "... Russian leadership came to the conclusion, that the problem of Khattab and Basayev should be eliminated by nuclear strikes on Botlikh region and Chechnya. According to Colonel-General Vladimir Yakovlev, Head Of the SRF, this is the weapon to settle the situation at the border between Dagestan and Chechnya..."(Beware, Skunks! The Head Of The SRF Prepares A Nuclear Strike On Chechnya - in Russian, by Igor Flore, Moskovski Komsomolez, August 26 1999, p. 2).

Norwegian environmental NGO Bellona has published its arguments against imports of spent nuclear fuel for reprocessing and long term storage in Russia (The transfer of spent nuclear fuel to the Russian Federation for intermediate storage. Implications for environmental security, U.S. non-proliferation policy, human and environmental health in Russia, Bellona, August 1999). Thomas Cochran, the director for nuclear programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council, who works on the Non-Proliferation Trust project, disagrees with Bellona's conclusions on the issue of fuel imports to Russia: NPT disagrees with Bellona. See also the discussion between Academician Yablokov and Mr. Shidlovski, an official of Minatom, published in Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

This summers ballyhooed intercepts of two test targets by the top U.S. missile-defense system were actually "tightly scripted" events that were not "operationally realistic," Philip Coyle, the director of operational test and evaluation in Pentagon said:

Labour MP Alan Simpson released a report accusing the government of secretly collaborating with the U.S. to develop prototype designs to replace the current Trident nuclear warhead: UK Labour and US Secretly Collaborating on Trident Nuke Warhead, (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament Press Release, August 11, 1999)

August 20, 1999
The United States and Russia reaffirmed on Thursday their 1972 treaty banning missile defense systems and agreed in principle to work on further reducing their nuclear warhead stockpiles. After this week's talks, the two sides said the ABM treaty "is the cornerstone of strategic stability" between them. No specific proposals were discussed and no major decisions reached, but the sides agreed that ABM must remain strong.:

"...START II Treaty should be considered as a serious failure of the Russian side in foreign politics. START II Treaty is an unfair, unjustified in economic terms, fettering agreement, directed to unilateral advantages in favour of the United States. The Treaty deprives Russia of its superpower status and does not correspond to its national interests......", (START II Treaty Policy And Reality, - in Russian, V. Shtol, Obozrevatel-Observer, N 8, August, 1999)

Colonel-General Vladimir Yakovlev, the CinC of the Strategic Rocket Forces, on future of Russian Early Warning System (Nuclear Russia Will Never Be Blind, by Sergei Sokut, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye NG, N 32, August 20-26, 1999, p. 1, 6) and future of the SRF (Rocket Forces: A View in the XXI-st Century, - in Russian, by Alexander Dolinin, Krasnaya Zvezda, August 18, 1999, p. 1,2). See also: The Western Guard. Russian-Belorus Cooperation Helps To Close The Gap In The Nuclear Shield Of Our Country (by Sergei Sokut, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye NG, N 32, August 20-26, 1999, p.6).

START II ratification must be considered in connection with the INF Treaty: "Pioneers" (SS-20 medium-range ballistic missiles - E.M.) Need To Be Revived (by Sergei Brezkun, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye NG, N 31, August 19-20, 1999, p.4).

According to some sources, the first nuclear-powered submarine of the Typhoon class, which symbolized the might of the Soviet and then Russian Navy, has been berthed at the Northern Machine-Building Enterprise (Sevmash) in Severodvinsk for disposal. However, the official Navy denied this assertion:

Does de-alerting really improve strategic stability? See the paper by Vladimir Belous The Problem Of De-alerting Of The Strategic Forces, - in Russian (Obozrevatel-Observer, N 8, August, 1999)

Once more about the problem of imports of nuclear waste in Russia for disposal (Rossiiskaya Gazeta, August 17, 1999, p. 3):

Toward the 50-s anniversary of creating atomic bomb in Russia : India announced its nuclear doctrine:

August 17, 1999
Changes to the ABM Treaty proposed by Washington pose a threat to strategic stability (US to Undermine the ABM Treaty, by V.A. Alexeyevsky, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 12 Aug 1999, p. 6).

The issue of Ukrainian strategic bombers still unresolved

The United States and Russia are to open talks in Moscow today on two key disarmament treaties -- START III and the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty (U.S., Russia Reopen Arms-Treaties Talks, Ben Barber, The Washington Times, August 17, 1999, P. 8.

A month after China disclosed that it has developed a neutron bomb, India said it also can manufacture the thermonuclear weapon (India Discloses It Is Able To Build A Neutron Bomb, Jonathan Karp, Wall Street Journal, August 17, 1999, P. 16).

"National missile defense activity may be at its highest level since the anti-ballistic missile program nearly three decades ago, as testing steps up in preparation for the June 2000 readiness review... [NMD would not] protect against a full Russian attack, so the rules of mutual assured destruction and the intent of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972 still apply. Some solace is gained by the reasoning that a country rich enough to pose a sophisticated threat has enough to lose that they will be deterred by mutual assured destruction." (National Missile Defense Focused On June Review, Michael A. Dornheim, Aviation Week and Space Technology, August 16, 1999, P. 66).

August 7, 1999
"...To deem the START-II ratification hopeless after the war in Yugoslavia was rather premature..." (Treaty is More Valuable than Money, by Pyotr Karapetyan, Krasnaya Zvezda, 3 Aug 1999, p.3)

The 11th THAAD flight test was a success. See also: Anti-Ballistic Missile Has 2nd Hit After Failures, Pentagon Elated at Intercepting Target in Space (by Bradley Graham, The Washington Post, August 3, 1999, Pg. 6)

"...If NMD is deployed, Russia has to (and undoubtedly will) find an adequate response in order to reach the balance of power again, although on a new, more dangerous level..." (Vague Future of Strategic Stability, by Vladimir Belous, Victor Dontsov, Yuli Tsyba, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye NG, N 30, 6-12 Aug 1999, p. 1,4)

After White House talks last week Russian Prime Minister Sergei V. Stepashin said both nations should work together toward a "global security system." (U.S., Russia To Develop A Joint Missile Defense. `Unstable regimes' identified as threat, by Jonathan Weisman, Baltimore Sun, August 1, 1999).

Russian Strategic Rocket Forces plan to put the "Volga" radar (Baranovichi) in service in 2000.

See also on current status of the Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces Command and Control System

Faced with several requests from Ukraine and Russia for assistance in dismantling nuclear warheads, missiles, bombers and infrastructure, the Pentagon is considering increasing spending on Cooperative Threat Reduction activities (DoD Considering Additional Funds For Cooperative Threat Reduction, by Daniel G. Dupont, Inside The Pentagon, August 5, 1999, Pg. 2). Norwegian environmentalist organization Bellona reports on the SSBN dismantlement works at Nerpa Shipyard supported by CTR.

We recommend the following transcripts of press-conferences held by National Press Institute this summer:

August 5, 1999
The United States and Russia agreed last week to begin a new round of negotiations next month to reduce their long-range nuclear weapons. The decision was made during talks between Russian Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin and Vice President Al Gore, co-chairmen of a U.S.-Russia commission. But Gore, at a news conference, said a START III treaty would not be signed until the Russian parliament ratifies the 1993 START II accord. Stepashin told reporters, "we will try to get START II ratified in the fall". Russia and the United States will hold discussions on the START III arms reduction treaty in Moscow on Aug. 17-19, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday.

Ukraine has offered to pay part of its energy debts to Russia with 10 strategic heavy bombers Tu-160 (Blackjack) and Tu-95MS (Bear-H), (Let's Change Debts For Bombers, by Sergei Sokut, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, July 30, 1999, pp. 1, 2).

"..."Today Serbia - tomorrow Russia" is not an abstract phrase...In conditions of sharp decline of its armed forces, Russia has to make an emphasis on its strategic and tactical nuclear weapons...", (The Strike On Non-Proliferation Regime, by V.S. Belous and A.I. Podberyozkin, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye NG, N 29, July 30 - August 5, 1999).

The so-called modification of the ABM treaty, on which the United States insists in an effort to make its practical activity in the field of the anti-ballistic missile defences legal in character, means in actual fact the emasculation of what the treaty was signed for and what it has duly served to secure for more than 25 years, the Russian expert, who spoke to ITAR-TASS on condition of anonymity, said (Russia to Upgrade Nuclear Forces, if US Deploys National ABM, ITAR-TASS, July 27, 1999).

The Army's theater missile-defense system, despite a first successful flight test last month, still faces serious technical problems because of its reliance on parts that may be faulty, according to a new government report (GAO Report Cites Flaws With Missile Program, by Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times, July 29, 1999, p. 5).

The Economist n growing missile threat and political problems related with the BMD development:

Krasnaya Zvezda tells about "military minister of foreign affairs" Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, the head of Main Directorate Of International Military Cooperation, the Ministry of Defense (Leonid Ivashov: There Is a Charm In A Russian Officer, -in Russian, (by Alexander Bondarenko, Krasnaya Zvezda, July 29, 1999)

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Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies at MIPT, 1999.