What Was New
on START-2 and Further Nuclear Arms Reductions page?

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December, 1997

December 30, 1997
Russian press continues to comment on commissioning of new land based "Topol-M" ICBM.

December 26, 1997
The first "Topol-M" missile regiment was deployed and put on duty in Tatischevo, Saratov region. (by Viktor Litovkin, Military Secret. The Pentagon Will Learn About Capabilities of Our Missile from Izvestiya newspaper, Izvestiya,  December 24, 1997, p.4).

The voting on START-2 ratification in the Russian parliament may happen to be at the same time, when the U.S. Congress will vote on NATO expansion, cautions Alla Yaroshinskaya (NATO and Nuclear Weapons,  NVO-NG, December 24, 1997, p.5).

Current utility of nuclear weapons and problems of disarmament are discussed by V.S. Belous in Nuclear Weapons in the Eve of XXI Century, (Obozrevatel-Observer , # 12, 1997, pp.  39-44).

December 19, 1997
The section  Hot on the Traces...  is updated (The State Duma debates on Yeltsin's Stockholm initiatives, discussion of president Clinton's directive on strategic doctrine etc.).

Today's Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye has published an interview with CinC of the Strategic Missile Forces Vladimir Yakovlev (Igor Korotchenko, "We Keep Our Fighting Potential at a High Level", NVO-NG , # 46, December 19-25, 1997)

Reuters reports, that Primakov hopes, that START-2 Treaty will be ratified in 1998 (Primakov Sees START Ratification Next Year, Russia Today, December 18, 1997).

Commenting recent President Clinton's remarks about a possible meeting with the Russian President in Moscow (Excerpts of President Clinton's News Conference, The Washington Post, Wednesday, December 17, 1997; Page A20) Gennady Seleznyov claimed, that if the U.S. President "will press on the Duma", the date of START-2 ratification will be "never set up". He noted, that, the U.S. "is the power pretending to rule the world today". That is why, he said, "we fight with such a mono polarity of the world" (Gennady Seleznyov: The Date for START-2 Ratification by the State Duma Was Not Set Up Yet ,-in Russian (RIA-Novosti, December 18, 1997).

The CinC of the Strategic Missile Forces Vladimir Yakovlev thinks, that  the early ratification of START-2  "calls for a lot of work to substantiate its economically". Strategic Rocket Forces Plan no Major Restructuring until 2001, says their CinC Vladimir Yakovlev (RIA-Novosti, December 17, 1997).

In Russian newspapers:

Though not new but still interesting. December 17, 1997
President Clinton  told reporters he would not meet with Yeltsin in Moscow until the Russian Duma ratifies the START II nuclear arms treaty, which it has steadfastly refused to do. Clinton has balked at negotiating further arms cuts until the Duma acts (Clinton Offers View on World Topics , by Robert Burns, Associated Press, December 17, 1997).

December 16, 1997
Clinton's directive on nuclear strategy continues to be discussed in Hot on the Traces... section.

December 11, 1997
Kenneth Luongo, a Senior Visiting Fellow at Princeton University and the Executive Director of the Russian -American Nuclear Security Advisory Council, presents his view on the U.S.-Russian nuclear security dialog: The Evolving U.S.-Russian Cooperative Nuclear Security Relationship (paper presented at the USPID - VII International Castiglioncello Conference on Nuclear and Conventional Disarmament: Progress or Stalemate? in September, 1997)

Press comments on recent President Yeltsin's statements in Stockholm are on a new page entitled  Hot on the Traces...

Washington Post reports about changes in U.S. nuclear strategy: Clinton Directive Changes Strategy On Nuclear Arms (by R. Jeffrey Smith,  The Washington Post, December 7, 1997; Page A01). Russian press discusses these changes:

A supplement to Nezavisimaya Gazeta NG-Scenarii (December 9, 1997, p.8) has published a review (in Russian) on the report of our Center Nuclear Arms Reduction. The Process and Problems  (in Russian).

American press calls in question a possibility, that START-2 will be ratified soon:

Washington Post emphasizes increased role of nuclear weapons in ensuring Russia's national security:  Russia Considering Increased Nuclear Dependence (by Walter Pincus, The Washington Post, December 7, 1997; Page A11). In the same issue - a detailed story about  Gen. George Lee Butler, a  former CinC of STRATCOM, who finally became a proponent of nuclear weapons abolition: The Dissenter (by R. Jeffrey Smith, The Washington Post, December 7, 1997; Page W18).

December 4, 1997
Public press continues  to comment President Yeltsin's statements:

December 3, 1997
Russian President Boris Yeltsin yesterday declared a new initiative in the disarmament of nuclear arsenals. He announced in Stockholm that Russia would unilaterally reduce its nuclear warheads by one-third. Yeltsin emphasized that Russia "intends to persuade Britain, France, and China to join in the convention on the destruction of nuclear warheads". "We must bring the question to an end and totally destroy     these weapons on both sides", stressed the President (reported by RIA-Novosti).  
November, 1997

November 28, 1997
Though not new, but still interesting papers at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace site:

November 24, 1997
A seminar on problems of START-2  took place last Friday, November 21, at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Moscow. Among the speakers were Prof. Alexei Arbatov, Sen. Richard Lugar, Prof. Michael Nakht, Anton Surikov and Gennadi Khromov.  Alexei Arbatov, in particular, pointed out, that chances for START-2 ratification have improved in the light of recent Russia-U.S. agreements and better relations between the State Duma and the Russian government. However, the core issue still remains to be unresolved. Thus far, the government has failed to present any reasonable answer  to the Duma, how it is going to  implement START-2 agreement and  develop strategic forces in future given severe under funding of defense programs.

Recent "Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye" provides arguments for integration of the three used to be separate military services (Military Space, Missile Defense and Strategic Missile Forces) in one (The First Steps of the Military Reform, by Lev Volkov, NG-NVO, # 43, November 21-27, 1997, p.1).

Some new details of the Primakov and Sergeyev's meeting with the State Duma members  in September (Will the Duma Ratify START-2? The True Answer is Given by Communists, by Alexander Goltz, Yadernaya Bezopasnost, #4-5, September-October, 1997).

November 20, 1997
Colonel General Vladimir Yakovlev, CinC of the Strategic Missile Forces, said in an interview, that  recently unified with the Military Space Forces the SMF "can carry out its mission in keeping with the START 1 and START-2 treaties and the Helsinki accords signed by the Presidents of Russia and the U.S. for a period until 2005-2007." However, he pointed out, the service life of 58% of strategic missiles and 68% of military satellites has extended (The First Step Of The Military Reform Has Strengthened Russia's Nuclear Missile Shield, by Viktor Litovkin, Izvestiya, November 19, 1997, p.2; Russia's "Nuclear Shield" Becomes Decrepit, But Its Effectiveness Grows Impetuously, byAlexander Koretskii, Segodnya, November 19, 1997, p.3).

In Arms Control Letters Section PIR Center presents a paper START Stands No Chance of Ratification This Fall and Greater Chance in Spring by Ivan Safranchuk.

November 19, 1997
Chicago Tribune urges Russian Duma not to waste time before ratifying START-2 Treaty in yesterday's issue.

Though not new, but still interesting:

November 17, 1997
The weekly "Interfax-AIF" concludes, that nuclear weapons should not be considered as a universal tool to deter military conflicts and they can not replace general forces of full value (Nuclear Deterrence: a Bluff or a Factor of Stability? Russia's Defense Strategy Is at a Crossroads, by Dmitry Yefstafyev, Interfax-AIF, # 46, November 17-23, 1997, p.5).

AP reports, that next month, the first "Topol-M" will be put on combat duty with the strategic missile base in Tatischevo, near Volga river.

Cathleen Fisher discusses the challenges of building a multilateral regime for further nuclear disarmament in a report presented at VII-th International Castoglioncello Conference Nuclear and Conventional Disarmament: Progress or Stalemate?

November 14, 1997
Discussion on the roles for nuclear weapons continues on the pages of today's "Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye". Robert McNamara  suggests that  the nuclear states should give up nuclear weapons (Return to Nuclear Free World is Necessary - in Russian, NG-NVO, # 42, November 14-20,1997, p.1). Makhmut Gareyev thinks, that such a world would be a dangerous one (Nuclear Weapons and Russia's Security, NG-NVO,  # 42, November14-20,1997, p.4).

By the way, an  electronic conference: "Deterring the Chemical and Biological Weapons Threat: What Role for Nuclear Weapons?" took place on October 20- November 3, 1997. A  special report on this subject was prepared by Dr. Victor A. Utgoff.

On November 12, The Washington Post published a paper by the U.S. scientists, who call the U.S. and Russia for reciprocal unilateral de-alerting actions. 

November 5, 1997
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