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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 47, June 2000

Russia Denies Ukraine Claim over Nuclear Warhead Transfer Debts

On June 10, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a strong rebuttal of recent claims by Ukraine that Moscow remained in arrears over payments due for the transfer of nuclear warheads since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The statement read:

"Moscow has received with astonishment the statements made in Kiev that 'nuclear warheads worth $3 billion have been shipped to Russia' from Ukraine. The true facts are as follows.

Based on the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of Ukraine on the Implementation of the Tripartite Accords between the Presidents of Ukraine, the USA and Russia of January 14, 1994, Russia undertook to supply Ukraine with 1,800 units of fuel assemblies in connection with the removal from Ukrainian territory of strategic nuclear warheads.

In full accordance with the obligations assumed, all of the assemblies were supplied by the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy for Ukrainian nuclear power plants during the period from 1993 to 1998. Thus, the question of the compensation for the strategic nuclear warheads has been settled in accordance with the aforementioned Russian-Ukrainian agreement.

Moreover, as a gesture of goodwill Russia agreed also to compensate Ukraine [for] the cost of the fissile materials extracted from the tactical nuclear ammunition taken out from the territory of Ukraine in 1991-1992. The procedure of mutual settlements under this agreement is continuing. The latest accord was reached in Kiev on February 16, 2000, by the representatives of the finance ministries of Russia and Ukraine. Russia undertook to write off a part of Ukraine's debt to Russia amounting to $1,099 million, including in the write-off the $199 million to be paid in compensation for the cost of the fissile materials.

Thus, Russia has absolutely no 'debts' for the 'nuclear warheads'. The Ukrainian authorities have also recognized this up until now. Neither at the political level, nor in the Mixed Intergovernmental Commission, has the Ukrainian side ever raised any questions with regard to this problem."

Report: Russian Foreign Ministry Statement, Document 547-10-6-2000, June 10.

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.

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