What was new on START Web site?

December, 2000

December 23, 2000
Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye has published yesterday a review of the Center's recent report Precision Guided Weapons and Strategic Balance. The review concludes, that "...besides its practical value, the report is also interesting due to the fact that it is one of the first examples of detailed scientific analysis of a complex military-technical problem, made by an independent analytical think-tank. In the long run, efficiency of civil control over military forces depends on whether or not a system of independent expertise is created..." (A Stake On Weapons of High Accuracy, - in Russian, by Pyotr Sukhanov, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, December 22, 2000)

A statement signed by Prime Minister Jean Chretien and President Vladimir Putin during a three-day visit by the Russian leader called for efforts to bolster the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty and press forward with other arms pacts:

U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and Foreign Minister Igor S. Ivanov of Russia signed an agreement today aimed at strengthening cooperation to prevent accidental missile launchings on both sides:

See also our special section: Current Status of Russian Early Warning System.

The only reason the United States is seeking to deploy a national missile defense system (NMD) is the country's desire to strategically dominate the world, Russian Defense, Minister Igor Sergeyev said Saturday in an interview to Krasnaya Zvezda:

The Russian Strategic Rocket Forces (SRF) celebrated their 41-st anniversary. This year, plans of "Topol-M" deployment, which used to be of indisputable priority in ensuring national security, were ruined the first time. According to information of Vremya Novostey daily, "...the SRF at best are able to deploy no more than four missiles at silos in Tatischevo division...":

"...The planned way of Russian strategic forces development will not lead to an optimal potential of "minimal deterrence" in 10-15 years...In a broader prospective, the concept itself does not correspond to military needs and future security interests..." (A Stake On Nuclear Forces, - in Russian, by Alexei Arbatov, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, December 22, 2000).

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has noted in its official statement, that the recent Carnegie Endowment report An Agenda for Renewal: U.S.-Russian Relations "...deserves a positive evaluation as a document falling within the direction of the efforts being made to ensure constructive continuity in the Russian-American relations and to give them a new dimension..." (Russian MFA Official Statement, December 15, 2000)

Prospects for future U.S.- Russian relations in arms control clear up as the new U.S. President appoints his key advisers:

The risk of a missile attack against the United States involving chemical, biological or nuclear warheads is greater today than during most of the Cold War and will continue to grow in the next 15 years, according to a new global threat assessment by the National Intelligence Council: Global Threats Against U.S. Will Rise, Report Predicts, (by Vernon Loeb, The Washington Post, December 18, 2000)

Missile defense spending needs to be increased by several billion dollars a year to ensure the U.S. can deploy an effective system as soon as possible, the Center for Strategic and International Studies asserts in a one of several "Homeland Defense" recent reports: "Defense of the U.S. Homeland Against Strategic Attack", (by Daniel Goure, Center for Strategic and International Studies, December, 2000) - in PDF format

The State Duma plans to consider Open Sky Treaty next month: The State Duma Approved the Military Budget, - in Russian, (by Vladimir Mukhin, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, December 22, 2000)

The State Duma lower house of Russian parliament approved on the first reading on Thursday three bills related to imports of activated nuclear fuel.

See also the digest of the Russian press of December 22, 2000 at Minatom's web site.

Rostov nuclear power plant was set in operation on December 19, 2000 : Physical Start and Moral Protest, - in Russian, (by Yelena Stroiteleva, Izvestiya, December 20, 2000). On prospects of the nuclear energy - see the interview of Alexei Prokopyev, the first deputy director of "Rosenergoatom" concern: GOELRO of the XXI-st Century, - in Russian, (by Nikolai Katerov, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, December 23, 2000).

December 15, 2000
Republican candidate George Bush, Jr. will become the next U.S. President. Senator Lugar presents his views on future of U.S.- Russian relations in an interview to Russian newspapers (in Russian).

Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated the official attitude on ABM Treaty: Putin Hopes Future U.S. President Will Conserve Disarmament Regime, (by Agence France Presse, Russia Today, December 13, 2000)

"...The Russian policy on ballistic missile defenses is inconsistent...," - Pavel Podvig, an expert with our Center thinks: Putin's Boost-Phase Defense: The Offer That Wasn't, (by Pavel Podvig, Program on New Approaches to Russian Security Policy Memo Series, Memo No. 180, November 2000). Other publications of Program on New Approaches to Russian Security Policy Memo Series include:

Army General Vladimir Yakovlev, CinC of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces, sums up achievements of 2000: Russian Strategic Rocket Forces Firmly Ensure Security of the State, - in Russian, (by Vladislav Kuznezov, ITAR-TASS, December 15, 2000). See also: New Batch of Russian Strategic Missiles to Go on Duty, (by Agence France Presse, Russia Today, December 15, 2000)

The United States and Russia signed an agreement on Thursday to end inspections of each other's missile assembly plants begun under the landmark INF treaty which scrapped medium-range missiles and denuclearized Europe: U.S, Russia End INF Missile Inspections, (by Reuters, Russia Today, December 15, 2000)

A group of retired U.S. military commanders protested Monday a proposed U.S.-Russian agreement on prior notification of ballistic missile launches, saying it would likely impede development of U.S. "space power": Former U.S. Military Commanders Oppose U.S.-Russian Launch Notification Agreement, (by Agence France Presse, Russia Today, December 12, 2000)

Military and political leadership has to agree sooner or later, that "a new term - theater of military operations in air and space - will appear in near future in addition to existing ones - theater of military operations on land and at sea..." (An Artificial Watershed, - in Russian, by Anatoli Hyupenen, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, December 15, 2000)

Recent issues of Yaderny Control magazine include (all articles are in Russian):

With a ceremonial flick of a switch on Friday, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant has shut down. Experts are divided on the outcome of this event:

Should Russia change its legislation to permit spent nuclear waste imports or not? The discussion continues: Who Will Get "Nuclear" Billions?, - in Russian, (Wek, N 50, December 15-22, 2000)

December 9, 2000
At the recent meeting of NATO defense ministers the Russian minister Igor Sergeyev raised the questions of joint ballistic missile defense in Europe and rescue of submarine crews.

See also Igor Sergeyev's remarks on BMD made during his visit to Japan.

Arms control experts are puzzled about reasons of contradictory statements on ABM Treaty made in mid of November by President Putin and Colonel-General Yakovlev, the Head of the Strategic Rocket Forces. Yakovlev in fact admitted negotiating modifications of the Treaty. He hinted at a compromise, saying that the two countries could consider counting both defensive, as well as offensive weapons as part of their strategic arsenals. Statement of President Putin revealed no change in the Russian official attitude - Russia is against any modifications of the Treaty. See also comments by Yuri Kapralov, Director Of the Russian Foreign Ministry Department For Security And Disarmament and Rose Gottemoeller, Senior research associate at the Carnegie Endowment and former deputy undersecretary, and acting deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation in the DoE:

Arms control experts are trying to find ways to overcome the deadlock in nuclear cuts. "...Uncertain military results are the weak link in any arms control policy that is wholly dependent on unilateral measures. The answer, however, is not to abandon unilateral action - a proven method for accelerating stalled arms control policies. Instead, the United States needs to consider ways to strengthen unilateral measures...", Rose Gottemoeller suggests (Lopsided Arms Control, The Washington Post, Thursday, December 7, 2000). See also:

Unreasoned Reforms May Lead to a Nuclear Catastrophy: Forgotten Equipment, - in Russian, (by Igor Korolyov, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, December 8, 2000)

General Lieutenant Mikhail Oparin, the Chief of the 37-th Air Army of the Supreme Command comments on deployment of the strategic bombers in the Northern Russia: Winged "Bears" Adjust to Arctic, (by Sergei Babichev, Krasnaya Zvezda, December 8, 2000). See also:

"Komsomol'skaya Pravda" published an interview of an expert who has prepared analysis for the state commission and thinks that the explosion happened because of a fire created by a wrecked torpedo. Supporters of the collision version make an argument, that this version was supported by Norwegian Admiral Einer Skorgen interview. However in his statements to Norwegian television Skorgen never said there was evidence of a crash, as was interpreted by some of the Russian journalists, only evidence that the Russian military had thought that to be the cause of the disaster.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta comments on a fire at the U.S. strategic missile base: A Command Facility urned Down In the U.S., - in Russian, (by Sergei Sokut, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, December 5, 2000)

Minister Adamov on prospects of nuclear energy sector; Russia's uranium stockpiles, which are among the world's biggest, could run dry in 20 years as the nuclear energy sector and exports grow:

The section "Economics" of the latest issue of weekly Wek is devoted to expediency of changing legislation for permitting nuclear spent fuel import:

Valeri Lebedev, Deputy minister of Nuclear Energy tells about current problems of nuclear submarine disposal: Valeri Lebedev: Where Do Russian Submarines Go?, (by Dmitri Safronov, Strana.Ru, December 6, 2000). See also on the status of Russian submarine disposal in 1997.

At the Russian START Forum: on U.S.-Russian strategic balance and other issues.

December 1, 2000
The United States and Russia kept arms control talks alive on Thursday, seeking to ensure continuity in one of the world's most important foreign policy dialogues despite the delay in naming the next U.S. president (U.S., Russia Keep Arms Talks Warm for Next President, by Reuters, Russia Today, December 1, 2000)

Russian press sources continue commenting on use of "Hera" ballistic missiles in Pentagon's programs. Russia regards these activities as a violation of the INF Treaty (Disarmament: Who Is Against? A New Pentagon's "Toy", - in Russian, by Valeri Agarkov, Parlamentskaya Gazeta, November 28, 2000). See also an exclusive comment by Gennadi Khromov and a comment by Nikolay Sokov at the Russian START Forum (in Russian).

Russian Defense minister Igor Sergeyev announced in Japan, that "...development of a non-strategic missile defense system by one or a group of countries in the (Asian-Pacific - E.M.) region can provoke other states to creation of more advanced offensive systems..."

Lt. Gen. Joseph Costello, chief of Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC), rejected the notion of pursing a sea-based national missile defense (NMD) at the expense of the ground-based plan now in development (Costello Continues Warnings On Pushing Sea-Based NMD Ahead Of Ground Option, by Kerry Gildea, Defense Daily, December 1, 2000, Pg. 1)

A U.S. arms control expert supports the recent Putin's proposal: Russian Offer On Warheads A Good Idea, (by Michael O'Hanlon, Baltimore Sun, November 30, 2000)

Future of the Strategic Rocket Forces creates a lot of disputes and disagreements:

The Russian Air Force has moved several Tu-95 Bear bombers to air bases in northern Siberia and may soon be planning to fly them close to American airspace off Alaska:

U.S. Air Force is building up a capability to send its long range bombers in times of crisis to places like the island of Guam, UK and the Middle East, where they could rearm, refuel, and be sustained by ground crews much closer to potential combat zones. This fact once again suggests, that the U.S. are going to keep or even enforce the strategic role of delivery systems, assigned to "non-nuclear" tasks (More Bang From B-2s. Overseas pit stops to keep stealths closer to targets, by Robert Burns, Boston Globe, November 27, 2000).

Fire destroyed an Army nuclear missile support facility in North Dakota, forcing 13 workers to flee and two missile crew members to seal themselves in a protective chamber underground (Nuclear Missile Facility Burns Down, by Reuters, The Washington Post,Friday, December 1, 2000; Page A13).

The lack of a persuasive version of the "Kursk" accident stimulates discussion between experts:

A former sailor of the Russian "Sierra" class submarine reveals interesting details on collision with the U.S. SSN "Baton Rouge" in 1992: Secrets of the Underwater "Traffic Accidents", - in Russian, (by Iolanta Kachayeva, Trud, November 30, 2000). See also Eugene Miasnikov's article Submarine Collision off Murmansk: A Look from Afar.

In the recent issue of The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (November/December, 2000):

The Iranian parliament decided Wednesday to give Russia the contract to build a second reactor at the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran,

The Central Elections Commission on Wednesday dealt a blow to environmentalists hopes of blocking the import of spent nuclear fuel into the country, turning down the 2.5 million signatures they collected in support of a national referendum.

On prospects of the nuclear energy sector:

Translation into Russian of several chapters from Jeremy Stone's book "Every Man Should Try" is available on-line. The F.A.S. President tells about his fight against ballistic missile defenses in early 60-s.

At the English START Forum: on history of the START Treaty. Discussion of deterrence role of PGWs, submarine detection from space, violation of the INF Treaty and other issues - at the Russian START Forum.

What Was New?

In 2000: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November
In 1999: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
In 1998: January | February | March | April | May | June | July-September | October | November | December
In 1997: November | December

Search the START Web Site

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