What was new on START Web site?

January, 2002

January 29, 2002
US and Russia continue bilateral consultations devoted to codification of the declared unilateral reductions of nuclear forces. According to Rose Gottemoeller, Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Moscow "...requires only a very simple, straightforward, perhaps two-page document that would have a minimum of three points. One, a restatement of the unilateral reduction announcements that President Putin and President Bush have already made. Second, some kind of statement that the national missile defense system that the United States is constructing and any missile defense system that the Russian Federation would construct would not be designed in such a way as to remove the viability of the offensive deterrent on the other side. And then the third point, ...is that the two sides will engage in a continuing process to develop new transparency measures that will be required to build confidence in the implementation of the reductions that the presidents have promised" (Arms Control Association Panel Briefing on Nuclear Posture Review with Janne Nolan, Rose Gottemoeller and Morton Halperin, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Tuesday, January 22, 2002). See also:

The U.S. and Russia plan the first joint exercise on non-strategic ballistic missile intercept after U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty:

Russian Air Defense Forces plan to move their central command from deep underground facilities to the surface: Pulled Out from Under the Surface, - in Russian, (by Yuri Golotyuk, Vremya Novostei, January 29, 2002)

Pentagon conducted a successful flight test in the continuing development of a Sea-Based Midcourse Ballistic Missile Defense System:

U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced that the Department of Energy and the Bush Administration will dispose of 34 metric tons of surplus weapons grade plutonium by turning the material into mixed oxide fuel (MOX) for use in nuclear reactors. The decision follows an exhaustive Administration review of non-proliferation programs, including alternative technologies to dispose of surplus plutonium to meet the non-proliferation goals agreed to by the United States and Russia.

The latest round of talks between USEC Inc. of Bethesda, Maryland, that sells nuclear fuel taken from old Soviet weapons and its Russian counterpart, Tenex, over a new pricing agreement ended Friday in Moscow without a deal. USEC executives say that they could not reach an agreement over the conditions of implementation of the "megatons-to-megawatts" program: Nuclear Fuel Deal Stalls Over Prices, (by Nancy Zuckerbrod, The Moscow Times, January 28, 2002)

Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged U.S. to preserve and enforce existing arms control and non-proliferation regime:

The PIR Center published in the PIR Library Series a monograph on "Nuclear Nonproliferation in the USRussian Relations: Challenges and Opportunities", (Vladimir Orlov, Roland Timerbaev, and Anton Khlopkov, PIR Center, Moscow, 2002).

Center for Peace and War Journalism issued two first issues of a new journal on "Problems of Global Security". In the November-December, 2001 issue of the journal (all in Russian):

January 23, 2002
U.S. and Russian defense officials, ending two days of talks on nuclear and other security issues last week, remained at odds over U.S. intentions to store, not destroy, thousands of warheads.

Experts keep up debates over the prospects of arms control. "...US Nuclear Posture Review underlines that the US plan to fulfil the reductions outside of the US-Russian agreement framework. Which once again confirms the fact that the US do not need the existing strategic arms control regime anymore... Another conclusion that one can draw upon reading the NPR is that the US have taken a course on gradual shift of the deterrent role from nuclear to conventional arms...": Our Comment: Pentagon's New Nuclear Policy, - in Russian, (by Eugene Miasnikov, January 22, 2002). See also:

First Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff General-Colonel Yuriy Baluyevskiy in his interview given before the visit to Washington officially acknowledged that Moscow radically changes the concept of development of strategic nuclear forces (Moscow Changes the Concept of Development of Nuclear Forces, - in Russian, by Sergey Sokut, Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, January 19, 2002)

Two-day Russian-American consultations over the issues of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means began in Moscow on Monday:

The feasibility to build an ICBM based on Scud technology is still debated in the US. In an interview for The Washington Post Timur Kadyshev, an expert with our Center said: "there are certain things you can do to improve the Scud, such as lightening the airframe, installing new turbopumps and clustering engines, but you quickly run into limitations... At some point, you need to switch to better technology" (How Politics Helped Redefine Threat, by Michael Dobbs, The Washington Post, Monday, January 14, 2002; Page A01). See also: Washington Prepares for an Unknown War, - in Russian, (by Marina Kalashninkova, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, January 23, 2002).

Potential consequences of the US withdrawal from the 1972 ABM Treaty are still discussed in the media

In the recent issue of Arms Control Today (January-February 2002):

Center for Defense Information released an electronic version of Arms Control Chronology -- the record of arms control efforts undertaken since the beginning of the nuclear age through 2002, (ompiled by Jack Mendelsohn, CDI Senior Associate and David Grahame, a Cambridge University honors Graduate, January 2002).

USEC Inc., the Bethesda company that takes uranium from Russian nuclear warheads and sells it to nuclear power plants in the United States, is locked in a disagreement with the Russians over terms for continuing the contract that expired at year-end:

Since the suicidal terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, some experts on nuclear security are increasingly concerned that intruders could break into American weapons plants, assemble a nuclear bomb from materials there and explode it on the spot:

Aleksey Yablokov, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, accused Minatom that import of foreign nuclear wastes for reprocessing is just a cover for financial machinations: Money are Taken out of Russia in Nuclear Wastes, - in Russian, (by Yelena Vrantseva, Gazeta.ru, January 21, 2002)

January 16, 2002
The Bush Administration's public release of the Nuclear Posture Review was the major event of the last week. As we expected, the US intend to replace reductions of their strategic offensive forces by decreasing the state of readiness. The review provoked a wave of criticism from the arms control experts.

See also our special section on the US Strategic Offensive Forces (in Russian) and Eugene Miasnikov's comments on the impending US strategic reductions that was released two months ago.

Moscow gave a predictable reaction. Alexander Yakovenko, official spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry said, that Russian-American agreements on further reductions of nuclear weapons have to be verifiable and irreversible:

January 15, the next round of Russian-American consultations on strategic stability began in Washington. In an interview for Gazeta.ru Eugene Miasnikov, STAR Site Editor, said that "...Americans do not need the START III agreement in the form that Russian side wants it...they want to untie their hands, they made the decision already, and won't change their mind...for Russia, in this situation...one of the main goals at the negotiations should be to achieve maximum transparency of further reductions of the US nuclear weapons..." (General Baluyevsky Hopes to Make Bush to Change his Mind, - in Russian, by Alexandr Kornilov, Gazeta.ru, January 15, 2002). See also:

Experts from Brookings Institution believe that US can reduce their strategic arsenal to 1000 weapons by the end of 2005:

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld announced this week the redesignation of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) as the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). Thus, the Pentagon raised the status of the US NMD program: DoD Establishes Missile Defense Agency, (DoD Press Release, January 4, 2002)

According to a recently issued CIA Report, by 2015 Russia will remain to be the largest nuclear power, although by that time its offensive arsenal will be reduced to 2000 warheads or less. The report also forecasts that China will increase the number of deployed ICBMs to 75-100 units:

American experts keep discussing the issues of US NMD deployment:

See also:

On the prospects of young Strategic Rocket Forces (SRF) officers in connection with forthcoming reductions of this force, see interview with Col.-Gen. Vitali Fyedorov, head of SRF personnel directorate: Rocket Forces Remain to be Young, - in Russian, (by Alexander Dolinin, Krasnaya Zvezda, January 11, 2002)

The Bush administration plans to ask Congress $1.04 billion this year for Energy Department programs to safeguard and dispose of weapons- grade nuclear materials. Detailed plan can be found on the Russian-American Nuclear Security Advisory Council website:

The Energy Department cleared the way for construction of a huge, centralized site for nuclear waste storage in Nevada. This plan was adopted in violation of nuclear waste storage safety standards adopted earlier in the US:

At the Russian STAR Forum: ICBM Topol modifications, and other topics.

January 4, 2002
The Pentagons nuclear forces posture review, which was submitted to Congress Dec. 31, outlines "significant change" to U.S. strategic capabilities, the details of which are to remain classified for now, according to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. A new reference section of the STAR Site US Strategic Offensive Forces (in Russian) is devoted specifically to this issue. See also:

Alksandr Vovk, aide to the commander-in-chief of the Strategic Rocket Forces, announced on the eve of New Year that strategic nuclear force will be reduced by a third: Russian Nuclear Shield Will Be Lighter By A Third, in Russian, (by Aleksandr Kornilov, Gazeta.RU, December 25, 2001)

President Bush pledged to expand programs to help Russia keep nuclear weapons material under control, and to dismantle nuclear, chemical and biological weapons:

Russian Parliament put off a vote on a resolution condemning Washington's withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty: Russian Parliament Delays ABM Vote, (by Vladimir Isachenkov, Associated Press, Thursday, December 27, 2001; 12:50 PM).

Joseph Cirincione and Keith Payne debate the relevance of missile defense in the new issue of NATO Review: In the Wake of September 11, Where Does Missile Defense Fit in Security Spending Priorities? (NATO Review, Winter 2001-2002, pp 26-30) - in PDF format. See also:

"...US unilateral withdrawal from the ABM treaty automatically relieved Russia from one delicate problem. The point is that according to Russian-Chinese treaty of July 16, 2001, the parties declared mutual adherence to "strict observance of fundamental agreements that ensure the maintenance of strategic stability" (article 12). Should US choose the way of "modifications and addenda" to the ABM treaty, Russia would have to discuss and accept them, and inevitably they would come to a situation that would contradict the spirit of this article, in the same way as in the case of their joint withdrawal from the 1972 ABM treaty..." (Two Ways, - in Russian, by Sergey Luzyanin, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, December 26, 2001)

"...The Kremlin hopes to nail down at least two new treaties this year... First, the verbal deal between Putin and Bush to slash strategic nuclear missile forces to about 2,000 warheads should be codified as a set of mutual legal obligations, complete with a mechanism for verification. Second, the Kremlin wants a new document regulating the relationship between offensive and defensive weapons, to replace the ABM treaty, perhaps by the time of Bush's planned mid-2002 visit to Russia...", (Russia remains skeptical of paperless disarmament, by Fred Weir, The Christian Science Monitor, January 4, 2002)

Russian experts urge for starting a dialog on of reducing the probability of an accidental nuclear war: De-alerting Russian and US nuclear weapons: A path to reducing nuclear dangers, (by A.G. Arbatov, V.S. Belous, A.A. Pikaev and V.G. Baranovsky, Institute of International Economy and Foreign Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 2001)

The Energy Department's inspector general has determined that the growing problems associated with the safety and reliability of the nation's nuclear weapons, without nuclear testing, have become a "most serious challenge area" for the newly established National Nuclear Security Agency that runs the weapons: Report Finds Shortcomings In Energy Dept. Arms Testing, (by Walter Pincus, The Washington Post, Thursday, January 3, 2002; Page A15)

Gosatomnadzor expressed serious concern regarding extremely unsatisfactory situation over security and safety of transportation of spent nuclear fuel from nuclear submarine reactors. According to the head of Gosatomnadzor Mr. Vishnevsky, the violations put the regions, on which territory nuclear wastes are transported, on the brink of environmental catastrophe:

Summing up five years of "TVEL" enterprise -- an interview with Anatoli Vorobyev, Director on Economy Strategy of one of the largest Minatom's corporative element: Seven Programs for Tomorrow, in Russian, (by Gennady Voznesensky, Wek, December 28, 2001)

In the recent issue of Yaderny Kontrol (November-December 2001) -- in Russian

The Indian subcontinent is the most likely place in the world for a nuclear war: India, Pakistan and the Bomb, (by M. V. Ramana and A. H. Nayyar, Scientific American, December 2001). See also: Pakistan's Nuclear Forces, 2001, (The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, January/February 2002, Vol. 58, No.1, pp. 7071)

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