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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 11, December 1996

Lebed warns on nuclear safety and security

Visiting the United States in late November, the recently dismissed President of Russia's National Security Council, General Alexander Lebed, gave a frightening assessment of the safety and security of Russian nuclear weapons and fissile materials. "Russia," Lebed said in Washington on 21 November, was becoming "vulnerable at nuclear plants and military facilities" - a vulnerability caused by poor security arrangements and low morale. Lebed described nuclear safety and security as "precisely the case where any cost is justified... Through nuclear terrorism and blackmail, a handful of scoundrels can give the world a tremendous headache."

Lebed was in Washington as a guest of Senator Richard Lugar (Republican - Indian), architect, along with Democratic Senator Sam Nunn (Georgia) of the US Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Programme. Lugar told Lebed on 21 November: "Your visit to the United States is important for Russia and the US. I am pleased we share the same sense of urgency about controlling nuclear material."

Report: Lebed says nuclear safety inadequate, Armed Forces Newswire Service, 22 November.

© 1999 The Acronym Institute.

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