What Was New

on START-2 and Further Nuclear Arms Reductions page?

April, 1998

April 29, 1998
What opportunities can the Web provide to promote a seminal dialog between advocates and opponents of the START II Treaty in Russia? Our experience, results and existing problems are discussed in Eugene Miasnikov's new presentation START II Treaty Discussion in the World Wide Web (in Russian). This talk  will be presented tomorrow at the international conference on Information Technology, Security, and Conflict Resolution (Moscow, April 28-30). We would like to thank those visitors of START web-site, who sent their comments and suggestions. We will be also glad to continue the dialog with our readers.

START II in the Duma after the government crises in Russia: Letter of May, 1998. Prospects for the Start-2 Ratification and Forecasts for Future Developments, (by Ivan Safranchuk, PIR Center, April 27, 1998)

Alexei Arbatov, the Deputy Chair of the Committee for Defense of the State Duma on what impact may the  NATO expansion decision make on START II debates in Russia (NATO Expansion and Russia by Alexei Arbatov, April 1998, Global Beat of New York University). Visit  also NATO Expansion: Bigger Alliance, Bigger Problems? (MSNBC  forum).

Nuclear Successor States of the Soviet Union:  Status Report on Nuclear Weapons, Fissile Material, and Export Controls (Report by The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and The Monterey Institute of International Studies)

Though not new, but still worth of attention

News of START Web-site, published before April 1998,  are currently in the archives section.
Next update is scheduled for May 12, 1998.

April 24, 1998
Today's issue of Nezavisimaya Gazeta again addresses the problems of U.S. breakout potential and future of Russian strategic forces in a discussion with General Vladimir Dvorkin (these problems are also discussed by Eugene Miasnikov and Paul Podvig). The authors of the paper suggest, that all pro's and con's should be weighted at considering START II Treaty (On Usefulness of START 2 Discussions  Once Again, by Alexei Podberyozkin and Anton Surikov, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, April 24, 1998, p.7).

On future of Russian strategic forces: Grigori Yavlinski answers to the questions of the readers of "Severny Rabochi" (The Northern Worker) newspaper - in Russian ("Yabloko" Web-site)

Duma's Council Has Appointed the People, Responsible for Organization of START II Consideration - in Russian (information by PIR-Center, April 22, 1998).

According to the Western press media, Russian nuclear arsenal is even more dangerous than in cold war years.

A frank look at how America's top nuclear warrior came to champion abolition. (A Voice of Reason, by Lee Butler, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, May-June, 1998)

Ukraine will destroy 40 strategic heavy bombers (Ukraine to Destroy Heavy Bombers with U.S. Money, by Reuters, Russia Today, April 20, 1998)

A somewhat unusual view: disarmament is more likely to increase the probability of deliberate nuclear war (The Flawed Case for Nuclear Disarmament, by Charles L. Glaser, Survival, v. 40, N 1, 1998)

April 22, 1998
The new edition of the paper Future of Russia's Strategic Nuclear Forces: Discussions and Arguments. (by Eugene Miasnikov, Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies at MIPT, Dolgoprudny, 1996) is now available on our Center's site. The paper continues to attract much attention.

The State Duma speaker Gennadiy Seleznev told Interfax on April 14 the ratification of the START-2 treaty would be debated before the end of spring session in June. Experts claim Russia would not be able to cope with dismantling of weaponry stocks which undergo the START-2 (Ratification of START-2 is beneficial for Russia: No money for implementation, Bellona press release, April 17, 1998).

Yeltsin Pushes For START-2 Ratification (Jamestown Foundation Monitor, April 14, 1998)

April 17, 1998
Russian government has laid down monthly plan of financing a top priority "Topol" strategic program after Sergei Kiriyenko visited Moscow Institute of Termotechnics - in Russian (RIA "Novosti", April 16, 1998)

On reliability of SS-!8 ICBMs: Russian Missile Forces Successfully Launched an ICBM after its 20 years of service - in Russian (RIA "Novosti", April 15, 1998)

News Release of President's Office Press Service (in Russian) on submitting of START 2 Protocol to Duma. Western media continue commenting this event

See also START 2: Ratification Process Has Apparently Been Lingered,  - in Russian (by Gennady Obolensky,  Krasnaya Zvezda, March 31, 1998, p.3).

General Eugene E. Habiger, Commander, US Strategic Command, said in interview with Defense Writer's Group - 31 March 1998), that the U.S did much more than Russia in disarming unilaterally.

Public Attitudes on Nuclear Weapons:  An Opportunity for Leadership, polling report of  Committee on Nuclear Policy at The Henry L. Stimson Center, published in April, 1998

April 14, 1998
President Boris Yeltsin submitted an amended version of the long-stalled START II arms control treaty to the State Duma on Monday, and this time seemed likely to see it passed (Yeltsin Resubmits START II Treaty to Russian Parliament, Associated Press, 13 April 1998; President Submits START II to Duma, Moscow Times, April 14, 1998).
There are opponents of unification of Strategic Missile and Military Space Forces (And the Sky Falls On the Ground... Military Space is Near Collapse, by V. Anisimov, Zavtra, 14 (227), April 7, 1998)
April 10, 1998
The latest issue of Arms Control Today presents a very interesting discussion of U.S. arms control experts on prospects of START-2, New-York agreements and CTBT ratification. All these problems are interrelated and they also depend on the process of NATO expansion and resolution of the conflict in Iraq. The experts come to the conclusion, that striving to play a role of the only superpower in the world, and ignoring the interests of other states may eventually destroy the nuclear disarmament process (Advancing the Arms Control Agenda: Pitfalls and Possibilities  An ACA Panel Discussion (Arms Control Today, January-February, 1998).

Pro et Contra magazine invites for discussion of problems of national security. See: A New Way In Limiting Nuclear Arsenals -in Russian (by Stansfield Turner, Pro et Contra, vol. 3, N 1, 1998)

Nuclear SLCMs will likely become the issue of START-3 negotiations, if START-2 is ratified by the Russian parliament. It is interesting to know, that the views of the U.S. Navy representatives on the utility of nuclear SLCMs are quite different. See the papers published in the recent issue of The Submarine Review (January, 1998).

Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers on recent progress in CTBT (Britain and France ratify the treaty, Sen. Holum raises pressure on the Senate, etc.)

Current status of U.S., Russian, British, French and Chinese nuclear strategic forces in a new book of NRDC: Taking Stock. Worldwide Nuclear Deployments 1998. (by William M.Arkin, Robert S. Norris, Joshua Handler, March 1998, NRDC)

One more paper on "Topols": Strategic Missile Forces' Pride - the "Topol-M" - in Russian, (by Dmitry Litovkin, Russkoye Oruzhiye, February 28, 1998)

April 8, 1998
Our comment on recent U.S. submarine collision off Long Island is now available in English

Yeltsin Steps up Pressure for START 2 Ratification (by Reuters, Russia Today, April 3, 1998)

Revising Our Nuclear Strategy and Force Posture (Statement by Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., March 27, 1998)

If you want to discuss the future of this site, please have a look at the letter to our readers.

April 3, 1998
Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov assures, that START 2 is beneficial for Russia (Russia Official Backs START II, Associated Press, Thursday, April 2, 1998; 9:23 p.m. EST). Gen. Eugene Habiger, commander in chief of the U.S. Strategic command  is predicting that Russia
will ratify the START II arms control treaty within several months (US Gen. Optimistic on Russia Treaty, Associated Press, Tuesday, March 31, 1998; 11:47 a.m. EST).

The discussion on survivability of "Topol-M" mobile ICBMs continues: Incompetence or  a Conscious Lie? (by Alexei Prokudin, NVO-NG, N 13, April 3-9, 1998, p.4)

On Usefulness of START 2 Discussions (by Vladimir Dvorkin, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, March 27, 1998)

Russia May Come Back to an Option of Purchasing Strategic Bombers from Ukraine (in Russian) - Such an opinion was expressed to Interfax press agency by Colonel-General Anatoli Kornukov, CinC of Military Aviation Forces (March 21, 1998, Interfax). However, Polit. Ru (March 26, 1998) reports (in Russian) that, President Yeltsin's press secretary Sergei Yastrzhembski said, that Russia would not buy the airplanes from Ukraine.

Gennadi Khromov discuss de-alerting proposal (see Taking Nuclear Weapons off Hair-Trigger Alert by Bruce G. Blair, Harold A. Feiveson and Frank N. von Hippel, Scientific American, November, 1997) in the latest issue of Yadernoye Rasprostraneniye (On Some Problems of Control over Strategic Arms, Issue 22, February, 1998, pp 28-33).

Late February we have already mentioned about the second issue of The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, (March/April, 1998). The following papers from this issue are also worth of attention

"In fact, the world would be a safer place, if the Russians had as few nuclear forces as the British, French and Chinese, while the United States retained a significantly larger, robustly secure and credible nuclear arsenal,"- the opponents of nuclear disarmament in the U.S. say. "...The more formidable American capability could serve as a deterrent to the use -- and perhaps even the acquisition -- of nuclear arms by other "wannabe" states. If properly configured and accompanied by a coherent doctrine and policy, America's re-established nuclear superiority should discourage Moscow, Beijing or others from seeking a new arms race." (Press Barrage Signals New Phase of Denuclearization Campaign, Decision Brief of the Center for Security Policy, March 18, 1998)

March, 1998

March 23, 1998
News agencies reported about collision of two U.S. submarines off Long Island, N.Y.  last  week. This incident allows to draw conclusions directly related with the discussion of future of Russian strategic forces. See our comments on the incident

Experts continue discussing the prospects of START 2 ratification.

Rear Admiral Valerii Aleksin on the role of submarines, sea based strategic forces and conventional high precision weapons (Submarine Fleet and National Security of Russia, NG-NVO, N 11, March 20-26, 1998, p.4).

New issue of Yaderny Control (v. 37, N 1, January-February, 1998) includes

Clinton should announce that if Russia will do the same, he is prepared to take nearly all of the unregulated warheads - the warheads being removed from missiles under the START treaties, along with most U.S. tactical nuclear warheads - and put them in secure storage facilities open to Russian monitors, with a commitment that they would be in due time verifiably dismantled. (Act now, Mr. President, by Matthew Bunn, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, March/April, 1998). Similar ideas are expressed in Arms Control without Treaties? Rethinking U.S.-Russian Strategic Negotiations in Light of the Duma-Senate Slowdown in Treaty Approval. (by George Bunn and David Holloway).

March 17, 1998
Regardless of whether the United States and Russia move ahead on bilateral arms-control treaties, a decade from now Russia's forces will be less than one-tenth the size they were at the peak of Soviet power, according to estimates prepared in Russia and in the West. (Downsizing A Mighty Arsenal. Moscow Rethinks Role As Its Weapons Rust, by David Hoffman, The Washington Post, Monday, March 16, 1998; Page A01).

In his previous article, published a day before, David Hoffman suggests, that Russia should get rid of its dangerous launch-on-warning posture, because of its incapable early warning system of radars and satellites (Cold-War Doctrines Refuse to Die. False Alert After '95 Rocket Launch Shows Fragility of Aging Safeguards (by David Hoffman, The Washington Post, Sunday, March 15, 1998; Page A01).The author cites Anatoli Diakov, Director of our Center: "I think there will be some kind of transition period, 10 to 15 years. Russia will save the opportunity to return to launch-on-warning, just in case. This is some kind of hedge against adverse developments. But the main priority will be a transition from launch-on-warning to a retaliatory" posture.

V. Bogomolov and S. Kortunov discuss the role and future of Russian strategic forces, (On National Nuclear Strategy, Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn (International Affairs) N 1, January, 1998)

Several publications on prospects of START 2 ratification were related with Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin's visit to the U.S.

See also  START II Comment in Russia (Disarmament Diplomacy -- Issue No 23) on this subject.

Many interesting publications on Russia and NATO Expansion (in Russian) at  Politika Web site.
March 13, 1998
Russian Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin said Wednesday that his government would push to ratify the second strategic arms reduction treaty in order to prepare the way for President Clinton to visit Moscow for a summit meeting by the middle of the year (Russia Vows to Push Arms Pact, to Pave Way for Summit, by Steven Erlanger, The New York Times, March 12, 1998)

Links to Other Sites page is updated.

March 6, 1998
"Russian and English texts of the START-2 Treaty are not identical"- says a Russian expert (NVO-NG, N 9, March 6-12, 1998, p. 4). His arguments, however, do not seem to support this claim.

"...If a spy airplane will be shut down somewhere in Siberia by a surface-to-air missile with a 0.1 kiloton (nuclear - E.M.) warhead... the background radiation on the surface down the epicenter of the explosion will not be higher than in some areas of Moscow..." - a Russian military expert on increasing the role of tactical nuclear weapons (A Small Bomb for a Small War, by Alexander Shirokorad, NVO-NG, N 9, March 6-12, 1998, p. 6)

Russian opponents of START-2 constantly use the argument of NATO expansion against the treaty ratification.  Hot Line: Global Beat and MSNBC about NATO expansion.

Commander of strategic missile force Vladimir Yakovlev says Russia's "nuclear shield" is still dependable, despite many difficulties. ("Nuclear Shield" Is Getting Obsolete, But Threatens No Catastrophe, by Oleg Vladykin, Obschaya Gazeta, No. 8, p. 2).

Russia's Missile Power: The Past and Future. (Ed. by Alexander Pikayev, Committee of Critical Technologies and Nonproliferation & the Monterey Institute for International Studies, 1996, 209 p.) This book covers land-based and sea-based ballistic missiles, long range aviation, strategic nuclear forces control system, air-defense system, and the overview of Russia's strategic nuclear forces' reductions in the first half of the 1990s. Each section has a lot of new information now available to a wide audience. Review of the book was published in The Monitor magazine, (vol. 3/4, No 4/1, Fall 1997/Winter 1998, p. 61.)

The Henry L. Stimson Center's  Project on Eliminating Weapons of Mass Destruction recently conducted its third electronic conference: "The Future of the Conference on Disarmament"  (January 12-23, 1998).

Well known politicians on the roles of nuclear weapons, useful links to Web-resources, etc. at The Gift of Time: The Case for Abolishing Nuclear Weapons,  by Jonathan Schell (nuclear weapons abolition forum, organized by The Nation).

March 2, 1998
New items in the proceedings of the conference The Future of Russian-U.S. Strategic Arms Reductions: START III and Beyond  are

What Was New?

In 1998: January | February
In 1997: November | December

  Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies at MIPT, 1997-98.