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What was new on START Web site?

November, 1999

November 28, 1999 г.
Russian official suggested that U.S. concerns about rogue states firing missiles at the United States could be addressed within the existing amendments to the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty (Russia: ABM Addresses U.S. Concerns, by Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press, Monday, Nov. 22, 1999; 11:13 p.m. EST).

Ambassador Yuri Nazarkin (the Center of Security Policy, Geneva), Prof. Andrei Piontkovski and Prof. Vitali Tsygichko (both with the Center of Strategic Studies Of the Institute of System Analysis, Russian Academy of Sciences) insist that Russia should agree to modify the ABM Treaty: ABM Treaty Is Not the Holi Writ. Russia Can Not Afford Another Confrontation With The West, (Segodnia, November 18, 1999, p.4)

The Draft Concept Of National Security, (in Russian), approved by the Security Council of the Russian Federation in October assumes, that one of the external policy goals is "achieving progress in the sphere of control of nuclear arms, maintenance of the strategic stability, preservation and enforcement the regime of ABM Treaty of 1972" (Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, N 46, November 26, 1999).

New "firewood" is added in a fire of disputes between Moscow and Washington on ballistic missile defenses. British newspapers reported about secret activity on BMD in the northern England. Greenland alarmed about possibility of deploying ABM system on its territory, (BMD Debates Are Becoming More Hot, Kommersant-Daily, November 24, 1999)

A possible answer of Russia on U.S. plans to deploy national ballistic missile defense:

China is preparing for an answer as well: U.S. Missile Shield Will Set Off a New Arms Race, China Warns, (By Erick Eckholm, The New York Times, November 25, 1999)

An independent team of missile defense experts appointed by the Pentagon has issued a report (in PDF format) that is highly critical of the U.S. National Missile Defense program:

Scientists of the Central Scientific Research Institute of Machine Building (TsNIIMash) discuss ABM, START II Treaties and SS-18 ICBMs: START II Treaty Will Help Ballistic Missile Defense Out Of a Crisis, If..., - in Russian, (Obozrevatel - Observer, November, 1999)

The Northern fleet successfully fired two SS-N-20 SLBMs a week ago. A week before the U.S. Navy conducted tests of two "Trident" missiles:

President Boris Yeltsin pressed forward with his effort to persuade parliament to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, delegating the foreign, defense and atomic energy ministers to take his case before lawmakers: Yeltsin Urges Test Ban Ratification, (The Associated Press, Monday, Nov. 22, 1999; 8:12 a.m. EST)

There is a real danger of Y2K errors compromising nuclear safety, but this danger is not in the weapons themselves. Nuclear ballistic missile delivery vehicles and warheads will not spontaneously launch or explode. However, Y2K errors can still threaten the safety and integrity of nuclear operations: Y2K and Nuclear Arsenals: A Final Report, (by Michael Kraig, British American Security Information Council Research Report 99.4, November 1999)

Eighteen Russian officers will arrive at Peterson Air Base on December 23, 1999. The goal of the mission - not to permit a nuclear Armageddon in case of Y2K computer glitches (Our People in the Pentagon, by Nikolai Zimin, Segodnia, November 25, 1999).

USEC Inc.'s board of directors met yesterday but stopped short of resigning as the federal government's executive agent in a nuclear nonproliferation deal with Russia:

A Russian nuclear scientist oppose U.S.-Russian HEU deal: Around HEU Bargain, - in Russian, (by L. Maximov, Zavtra, November 9, 1999). See also our comment published a year ago (in Russian).

Several interesting meetings took place in the National Press Institute. The transcripts are available in the Web (all in Russian):

From the History: A book by A. Fursenko and T. Naftali "One Hell of A Gamble", - in Russian, (Moscow, Geya Iterum, 1999, 556 pages) tells about the Cuban crisis.

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