What was new on START Web site?

July, 2000

July 29, 2000
Security Council has postponed consideration of the concept to reform the military forces. Experts comment the conflict between the Minister of Defense and the Chief General Staff. The discussion inevitably stimulates addressing the broader issue on character of future military conflicts and role of nuclear weapons:

G-8 summit meeting participants reaffirmed the importance of strengthening the ABM Treaty, however they failed to agree on the meaning of the phrase. Deputy States Secretary Strobe Talbott said, that the United States are ready to help North Korea to launch its space satellites from the Pacific, but North Korea has to pay for the expenses:

A decision by President Clinton this fall to go ahead with preparations for an Alaska radar site could lock the next president into a type of national missile defense system he may not want, Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said Tuesday:

Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a statement regarding Norway's participation in the US plans to develop a national ABM system.

NATO General Secretary George Robertson gave an interview to Nezavisimaya Gazeta on the Russian proposal to deploy a joint non-strategic ABM system with Europe: NATO Wants To Know About Non-Strategic ABM System In More Detail, - in Russian, (by Igor Korotchenko, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, July 28 - August 3, 2000)

On Russian possible answers to U.S. NMD deployment see in A Sword Is Cheaper Than The Shield. Russia Can Definitely Afford Responding To U.S. NMD Deployment Adequately, - in Russian, (by Sergei Putilov, Vremya MN, July 26, 2000)

Russia is celebrating Navy's Day tomorrow. Vice Admiral Nikolay Konorev, Deputy Chief Of Main Naval Staff, said that "...there are plans to create a principally new strategic missile system by 2008-2010, which would consist of "Yuri Dolgorukii" class fourth-generation SSBNs armed with a compact ballistic missile..." New missile system is also supposed to be deployed on Typhoon class SSBNs (Economics Ensures Stability Of the Navy, - in Russian, by Valeri Alexin, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, July 28 - August 3, 2000).

In the recent issue of Arms Control Today (July-August 2000):

In the July's issue of Obozrevatel'-Observer:

Russian press on problems and prospects of civilian nuclear complex:

July 21, 2000

In the first two weeks of July, a long-simmering conflict within the Russian Ministry of Defense over the future of the countrys nuclear forces became public. At a meeting of the Collegium of the Ministry of Defense on July 12 (the Collegium is an assembly of the top figures of the ministry), Chief of the General Staff Anatoli Kvashnin unveiled his plan to reorganize the Strategic Rocket Forces (SRF). President Putin met Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev and Chief-of-Staff General Anatoli Kvashnin late Sunday, the second meeting in two days, as he sought to halt the public feuding. The decision was made to consider the dispute at the Security Council meeting in late July.

See also an exclusive comment by Pyotr Romashkin Does Russia Need Strategic Rocket Forces? (in Russian).

Vladimir V. Putin, announced that North Korea had offered to abandon its missile program if other nations would provide it with rockets to launch satellites into space. Russia and North Korea pressed their opposition to Washington's anti-missile defense plans in a strong statement on Thursday, saying U.S. concerns about a possible threat from Pyongyang were "groundless".

In a sharp joint statement, China and Russia warned of "the most grave adverse consequences" if the United States proceeds with plans for a national missile defense system. The warning was issued at a one-day summit meeting between President Jiang Zemin and his visiting Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

Major General Vladimir Belous, Ret., Director Of the Center for International and Strategic Studies shares his view on possible Russian answers to the U.S. NMD deployment: There Are Answers To U.S. Challenges, - in Russian, (by Valeri Alexin, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, July 14-20, 2000)

Five days after the failure of a crucial missile test, the Senate narrowly rejected an effort to require more stringent and thorough testing of a proposed national missile defense system:

Theodore A. Postol, an arms expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: "Pentagon investigators were seeking to question Dr. Schwartz about declassified documents simply to harass her" (Engineer Charging Antimissile Fraud Is Snared in a Federal Clash, by William J. Broad, The New York Times, July 13, 2000).

With the planned national missile defense system plagued by test failures and consumed by criticism, a sliver of consensus for an alternative system is emerging among former Reagan administration officials, peaceniks, conservative think tanks, MIT scientists and Russia's president:

The Russo-Norwegian dispute on Vardo radar flared anew in July, inflamed by suggestions in the United States to switch from destroying enemy missiles in their final, re-entry phase, as currently planned, to so-called "boost phase" intercepts. Norway has ordered five Aegis-class radar and missile launch systems from the United States. According to the U.S. Navy, the Aegis system could serve as a backbone of a boost-phase intercept missile defense system. Russian officials again sounded warning signals. "If this [Vardo] station works jointly with the radars of cruisers with guided missiles, which Norway will receive and which can be hypothetically armed with Aegis anti-missile systems, the systems can be used to liquidate our missiles at the boost stage," said General Yakovlev, Commander of the Strategic Rocket Forces.

Many of commentators point on the absence of well thought and consistent strategy in Clinton administration's plans to deploy the national missile defense:

PIR Center experts on possible ways to overcome the stalemate in nuclear disarmament: Nuclear Deadlock: A Way Out, (by Yevgeny Maslin and Ivan Safranchuck, Disarmament Diplomacy, Issue N 46, May 2000)

The Russian government approved the Draft Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the United States of America on the Disposition of Plutonium Declared as Plutonium No Longer Needed for Defense Purposes, Its Handling and Cooperation in This Field, and the Draft Joint Statement on the Non-recovery of Weapon-Grade Plutonium from Spent Nuclear Fuel in connection with the aforesaid Agreement (Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the United States of America on the Disposition of Plutonium, Press Service Of the Russian Government, July 19, 2000).

In the recent issue of NG-Nauka: discussion on expediency of spent nuclear fuel reprocessing

The Final Conference Report of the conference, held at Princeton University in March, is now available on-line: Helping Russia Down-Size Its Nuclear-Weapons Complex: A Focus on the Closed Nuclear Cities, (Oleg Bukharin, Harold Feiveson, Frank von Hippel and Sharon Weiner, Matthew Bunn, William Hoehn and Kenneth Luongo, June 2000) - in PDF format

The first comprehensive review of the Department of Energy's Stockpile Stewardship program and its alternatives is provided in the study Managing the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Stockpile: A Comparison of Five Alternatives, (by Robert Civiak, Tri-Valley Cares, July 2000) - in PDF format.

July 12, 2000
Leaders of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces came out with an initiative to subordinate Strategic Rocket Forces to the Air Force:

See also an exclusive comment by Pyotr Romashkin Does Russia Need Strategic Rocket Forces? (in Russian).

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview on Tuesday he saw some merit in Washington's concerns about rogue states' possible nuclear missile plans but saw no threat from any country at the moment:

Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said that Saturday's failed test of a missile-defense shield was not a major setback, and that he could still recommend going ahead with the project.

Clinton administration's officials can not ignore M.I.T. Professor Theodore Postol's opinion, as numerous publications suggest:

Russia published a new foreign policy doctrine (in Russian) that looks inward, giving weight to measures intended to support the Russian economy and preserve ties with the West while stopping short of global superpower ambitions:

Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, Head of the Main Directorate for International Military Cooperation of the Russian Defense Ministry discusses problems Russia-NATO relations and ABM Treaty: Leonid Ivashov: I Am Growing A Hawk As I see a threat to Russia, - in Russian, (by Vladimir Yermolin, Izvestiya, July 6, 2000)

A missile unit located in Altay region is provoked to solve the power supply problem by force: Shame On You! An Open Letter of the Missile Unit Commander, - in Russian, (by K. Sviderski, Sovetskaya Rossia, July 8, 2000)

START II opponents can not agree with the fact that START II is ratified by Russia: Russia Is Deprived Of Its Nuclear Shield, - in Russian, (by Vladimir Krylov, Sovetskaya Rossia, July 6, 2000)

Valentin Ivanov, First Deputy Head of the Nuclear Power ministry tells about the plan to import nuclear spent fuel: "A More Terrible Weapon, Than A Nuclear Reactor", - in Russian, (by Yekaterina Kats, Segodnya, June 11, 2000). Meanwhile, there was already an attempt to circumvent the law forbidding nuclear waste imports: An Offshore With A Radioactive Smack, - in Russian, (by Yekaterina Kats, Segodnya, June 10, 2000)

Presidential political council discussed a possibility of leasing nuclear fuel to other countries: Disarmament Race, - in Russian, (by Sergei Ivashko, Gazeta.Ru, July 6, 2000)

At the Russian START Forum: START I provisions, limiting mobile missile deployment and other issues.

July 5, 2000
According to an article published in Itogi weekly magazine, Head of the General Staff Anatoly Kvashnin suggested that the Strategic Rocket Forces should be cut by the factor of 6 or 7, so that the saved money could be used to revive general purpose forces. Kvashnin thinks, that the strategic reductions need to be made by 2003, four years before the end of service lives of the heavy ICBMs:

The United States and Russia are planning a joint military exercise on theatre missile defense in Texas. Officers from the two countries would work together in a computer simulation exercise at Fort Bliss near El Paso this summer or autumn to coordinate defenses against short-or medium-range missiles fired by any common foe.

Intelligence officials, military officers and policy experts in the Clinton administration are deeply divided over the seriousness of missile threats posed by countries like North Korea, Iran and Iraq, even as the administration says the United States needs to build a national missile defense system: U.S. Study Reopens Division Over Nuclear Missile Threat, (by Elaine Sciolino and Steven Lee Myers, The New York Times, July 5, 2000). See also:

Russian military and politicians speak on outcomes of NMD deployment by the United States: Russian experts continue the discussion on the role of nuclear weapons and START agreements:

Toxic fuel leaked from a ballistic missile and poisoned several servicemen at a naval base in Russia's Far East in the middle of June. The accident happened while the missile was being unloaded from a warship. Reasons for the accident and possible consequences are analyzed by journalists and experts:

In the recent issue of The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (July - August, 2000):

Today at the Russian START Forum: maneuverable warheads of "Topol-M"s and other issues.

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