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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 65, July - August 2002

News Review

Three Pages Paper Over the Cracks at US-Russia Summit


In Moscow on May 24, the US and Russia signed a short, three-page agreement to reduce the number of operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads to a range of 2,200-1,700 warheads per side by 2012. The Strategic Offensive Reductions (SOR) Treaty (Moscow Treaty) was heralded by Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin as marking - together with a 'Joint Declaration on a New Strategic Relationship' - a qualitatively new beginning in the nuclear, and broader geopolitical, relationship between the two former enemies.

The SOR treaty certainly marks a significant departure from the Strategic Arms Reduction (START) process hitherto guiding post-Cold War nuclear reductions. The 1991 START I Treaty, which entered into force in 1994, and the 1993 START II Treaty, destined never to enter into force, each contained detailed instructions for the withdrawal and dismantlement of specific types and categories of delivery system, as well as defining the permissible limits and configuration of the remaining systems. The 1997 START III guidelines agreed at their Helsinki summit by Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin envisaged a movement into new arms control territory: with the same fine detail, warheads as well as delivery systems were to be eliminated, and non-strategic systems, particularly tactical nuclear weapons, were to be factored into the equation. The Helsinki guidelines also anticipated a reduction to 2,000-2,500 warheads per side by 2007. (See Disarmament Diplomacy No. 14, April 1997, pp. 30-35.)

In a contrast alarming some observers, the Moscow Treaty specifies the dismantlement of neither delivery systems nor warheads, and does not seek to determine any contours for the deployed forces emerging in the course of the reductions. As reported in recent issues, Russia has been complaining that the US was seeking 'virtual cuts', marking a step back from START I and II and a leap away from the new era promised by START III.

The rationale behind Moscow's preference for the supervised, physical destruction of warheads as well as delivery systems - a rationale shared by the Clinton administration - relates to the increased significance of the reserve force (non-operational but deployable warheads) as you move to lower levels. As Gary Samore, arms control analyst with the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), explained on April 30: "The Russian argument is that we didn't need to deal with it [warhead destruction] before because we had so many weapons left that a couple of thousand in reserve didn't make much of a difference. Now, as the two sides are getting down to smaller levels and the United States is proceeding with missile defence, it becomes more important that one side or the other not have a breakout capability and not be able to suddenly move ahead and deploy 4,000 extra warheads."

In its recent classified Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), the US Defense Department sets out the advantages of maintaining a substantial reserve force of warheads ready to be brought into service at short notice, thus maximising the flexibility available to architects and commanders of the operationally deployed force. US officials argue that - as with Washington's decision to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty and pursue a significant missile defence capability - such flexibility would be sinister from Moscow's perspective only in a context of hostile relations between the two sides. In the new context, they argue, a basic commitment to a numerical ceiling - given, moreover, despite reported misgivings in the Pentagon and elsewhere, in legally binding, treaty form - is more than adequate.

The agreement will now be subject to approval by the Russian Parliament and the US Senate. Despite qualms among legislators on both sides, it can be expected to be ratified without undue delay or mishap. The Putin administration is expressing the hope that the SOR Treaty will form the basis of a new, post-START process, tackling with increasing thoroughness questions of further reductions, the balance between offensive and defensive (missile defence) capacity, etc. The Bush administration is expressing confidence that the SOR Treaty finally removes the thorn of nuclear arms control from the side of a US-Russia relationship with much larger issues on its agenda.

One such issue, from Washington's perspective, is the troublingly persistent relationship, encompassing military and civil nuclear cooperation, between Russia and Iran, a state placed by the White House in the 'axis of evil' for its alleged sponsorship of terrorism and active efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The matter was discussed at length during the Moscow-St. Petersburg summit, with no sign the Putin administration was preparing a major shift of policy.

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The Moscow Treaty

The four substantive articles of the Moscow Treaty read as follows:

"Article I

Each Party shall reduce and limit strategic nuclear warheads, as stated by the President of the United States of America on November 13, 2001 and as stated by the President of the Russian Federation on November 13, 2001 and December 13, 2001 respectively, so that by December 31, 2012 the aggregate number of such warheads does not exceed 1,700-2,200 for each Party. Each Party shall determine for itself the composition and structure of its strategic offensive arms, based on the established aggregate limit for the number of such warheads.

Article II

The Parties agree that the START [I] Treaty remains in force [until 2009] in accordance with its terms.

Article III

For purposes of implementing this Treaty, the Parties shall hold meetings at least twice a year of a Bilateral Implementation Commission.

Article IV

1. This Treaty shall be subject to ratification in accordance with the constitutional procedures of each Party. This Treaty shall enter into force on the date of the exchange of instruments of ratification.

2. This Treaty shall remain in force until December 31, 2012 and may be extended by agreement of the Parties or superseded earlier by a subsequent agreement.

3. Each Party, in exercising its national sovereignty, may withdraw from this Treaty upon three months written notice to the other Party."

Speaking immediately after the signing ceremony, President Bush argued: "This treaty liquidates the Cold War legacy of nuclear hostility between our countries. We've also signed a joint declaration of new strategic relationship that charts a course toward greater security, political and economic cooperation between Russia and the United States." In terms of the agenda of the new relationship, the President commented: "Our nations will continue to cooperate closely in the war against global terror. ... President Putin and I agree also that the greatest danger in this war is the prospect of terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction. Our nations must spare no effort at preventing all forms of proliferation. And we discussed Iran in this context today. We'll work closely with each other on this very important issue."

President Putin was less euphoric, describing the treaty as a "statement of our countries to reduce our nuclear arsenals" and a "decision of two states which are particularly responsible for international security and strategic stability". Touching on the charged subject of whether the treaty should have mandated the destruction of warheads, Putin stated frankly ("our position is well known") that it was "more worthwhile perhaps to eliminate a certain part of nuclear potentials. At the same time, I'd like to point out another thing... Any man who has at least once in his career dealt with arms...knows that it's much better, much safer to have it in stock disarmed, disassembled perhaps, rather than to have it in your arms and charged with bullets in it and with your finger on the trigger at the same time. This is a different state of affairs, as it were. And the fact that we agreed with President Bush regarding such detente, in such manner, this is a serious move ahead to ensure international security, which is a very good sign as regards the relationship between our two countries."

Two days before the SOR Treaty was signed, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement responding to a series of commonly-asked questions about the status and scope of the agreement:

" Question: 'The USA has repeatedly said that it will carry out unilateral reductions of its strategic offensive arms regardless of whether a new agreement will be reached with Russia on this or not. Does the new Treaty mean a de facto acceptance by Russia of this American approach?'

Answer: 'In assessing the new Treaty one should proceed from other, objective premises. The new SOR Treaty is a legally binding document envisaging joint, not unilateral, reductions by almost two-thirds of the strategic nuclear arsenals of the two largest nuclear powers of the world and, moreover, opening up the prospect for further advancement along this road. Herein is the essence and importance of this Treaty.'

Question: 'Does the signing of the Treaty mean that Russia agrees with the American concept of reducing only the so called "operationally deployed warheads"?'

Answer: 'No, it does not. There is no such term in the Treaty altogether. Questions of the practical realisation of the Treaty will be tackled by the sides in a special Bilateral Implementation Commission.' ...

Question: 'Is there any provision in the Treaty for the reduction of delivery vehicles of strategic offensive arms, as was the case in START I?'

Answer: 'The Treaty provides one quantitative limit to be set to the total number of strategic nuclear warheads. Each of the sides will itself determine the composition and structure of its strategic offensive arms proceeding from the established aggregate limit for the quantity of such warheads. Furthermore, the START I Treaty with its restrictions on delivery vehicles shall remain in force.'

Question: 'What was the compromise in preparing the Treaty which Russia made?'

Answer: 'Any Treaty born as a result of difficult negotiations cannot but be a mutual compromise. Thus, in the "matrix" of the SOR Treaty it has not been possible to put all the questions that have a bearing on strategic stability, for example, the questions of cosmic weapons, anti-submarine activities, high-precision weapons and others. But this does not mean that these questions are either forgotten or pushed aside. Dialogue on them will be continued, in particular, within the Consultative Group for Strategic Security being created by the sides, led by the ministers of foreign affairs and defence, which is stated in the Declaration on a New Strategic Relationship.'"

Agreement on the SOR text was announced by President Bush on May 13. In a revealing exchange during a May 14 press conference in Reykjavik, US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov tackled the delicate issue of why the US administration was now happy to conclude a treaty:

" Question: 'What is the reason that you [Secretary Powell] finally agreed to a treaty, because as we know, you don't like treaties?" ...

Powell: '[T]he United States initially did not think we needed a treaty; we did not need to legally bind one another. President Bush made a decision to significantly reduce the number of our deployed warheads. And he reached that conclusion separately from conversations with the Russian Federation... We're no longer enemies. The Cold War is over. All we needed was enough weapons for us to feel secure, and President Putin was free to make his own judgment as to what he thought the Russian people needed... But as we continued our discussions, the Russian side felt that it would be more stabilising, and it would be more understandable to the peoples of both nations, if we made this a legally binding agreement between the two nations, so that there would be predictability in the future. ... As a result of that back and forth conversation, President Bush agreed to a legally binding agreement, and we determined that the best way to do it on our side would be a treaty to be ratified by our Senate which makes it a companion document to the treaty they will be sending to their Duma. ...'

Ivanov: 'We like treaties.' [Laughter]

Powell: 'We do like this treaty.' [Laughter]"

Other Summit Discussions and Agreements

The summit also dealt with non-proliferation cooperation and - in a remarkable turnaround from the bitter arguments over the ABM Treaty - possible cooperation and transparency arrangements with regard to missile defence. The relevant portions of the 'Joint Declaration on a New Strategic Relationship' read:

"The United States and Russia will intensify joint efforts to confront the new global challenges of the twenty-first century, including combating the closely linked threats of international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. We believe that international terrorism represents a particular danger to international stability as shown once more by the tragic events of September 11, 2001. It is imperative that all nations of the world cooperate to combat this threat decisively. Toward this end, the United States and Russia reaffirm our commitment to work together bilaterally and multilaterally.

The United States and Russia recognize the profound importance of preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction and missiles. The specter that such weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists and those who support them illustrates the priority all nations must give to combating proliferation.

To that end, we will work closely together, including through cooperative programs, to ensure the security of weapons of mass destruction and missile technologies, information, expertise, and material. We will also continue cooperative threat reduction programs and expand efforts to reduce weapons-usable fissile material. In that regard, we will establish joint experts groups to investigate means of increasing the amount of weapons-usable fissile material to be eliminated, and to recommend collaborative research and development efforts on advanced, proliferation-resistant nuclear reactor and fuel cycle technologies. We also intend to intensify our cooperation concerning destruction of chemical weapons.

The United States and Russia will also seek broad international support for a strategy of proactive non-proliferation, including by implementing and bolstering the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the conventions on the prohibition of chemical and biological weapons. The United States and Russia call on all countries to strengthen and strictly enforce export controls, interdict illegal transfers, prosecute violators, and tighten border controls to prevent and protect against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. ...

The United States and Russia are taking steps to reflect, in the military field, the changed nature of the strategic relationship between them. ... In this connection, the United States and Russia have agreed to implement a number of steps aimed at strengthening confidence and increasing transparency in the area of missile defense, including the exchange of information on missile defense programs and tests in this area, reciprocal visits to observe missile defense tests, and observation aimed at familiarization with missile defense systems. They also intend to take the steps necessary to bring a joint center for the exchange of data from early warning systems into operation.

The United States and Russia have also agreed to study possible areas for missile defense cooperation, including the expansion of joint exercises related to missile defense, and the exploration of potential programs for the joint research and development of missile defense technologies, bearing in mind the importance of the mutual protection of classified information and the safeguarding of intellectual property rights.

The United States and Russia will, within the framework of the NATO-Russia Council, explore opportunities for intensified practical cooperation on missile defense for Europe."

On May 30, US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham named the US members of the new working groups announced in the Joint Declaration. An Energy Department statement declared:

"Secretary Abraham and Russian Minister of Atomic Energy Alexander Rumyantsev have been tasked with overseeing the progress of the two working groups. Immediately after the announcement at the Russia summit, Secretary Abraham phoned Rumyantsev to discuss the next step in ongoing efforts to deal with nuclear non-proliferation issues and make plans for the establishment of the working groups.

The focus of one of the working groups will be to examine ways to eliminate excess plutonium and highly enriched uranium - materials that can be used to make nuclear weapons. This group will work to identify initiatives that could lead to reductions in nuclear materials from weapons beyond the obligations stipulated in existing agreements and report its recommendations within six months.

A second working group will be comprised of technical experts to recommend areas for collaborative research on advanced, proliferation-resistant nuclear reactor and fuel cycle technologies to reduce stocks of weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium as well as reduce waste produced by civilian reactors. This group will be required to present recommendations within 60 days. ...

Leading the team of participants for the US...will be General John Gordon, Administrator of the DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration and Under Secretary of Energy for Nuclear Security, and Under Secretary of Energy for Science, Energy and Environmental Management Robert Card. General Gordon will lead the working group on nuclear material reduction and disposition and will be assisted by Ambassador Linton F. Brooks, chief of DOE's Defense Nuclear Non-Proliferation Office. Under Secretary Card will lead the delegation discussing advanced nuclear technologies, and will be assisted by William Magwood, DOE's Director of Nuclear Energy.

The joint working groups are tasked with exploring and identifying options and reporting the results to the Secretary and Minister as stipulated. The experts will examine all options of interest to both the United States and Russia and will consult with industry to ensure that these efforts will not adversely affect existing agreements or the commercial uranium market."

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Selected Comment, I: The Treaty

President Bush, interview with Itar-Tass and ORT television, May 22: "[This treaty is] going to be important to show the world that we're no longer enemies, we no longer have stockpiles of these horrible weapons..."

Secretary of State Powell, May 25: "All previous arms control treaties were of the same type - they didn't deal with the stockpile elimination, they dealt with either launchers or systems. And so this is consistent with those previous treaties - SALT I, SALT II, START I, START II, and the INF Treaty. The important point is that warheads are coming off launchers. ... So I think it is an historic treaty which serves the interest of both nations, both peoples, and makes it a safer world, as we reduce the number of launchers that are sitting there with warheads on them, and as we then turn our attention to how do we get rid of those weapons in stockpiles that are really not necessary... And over time, I think you will see that happen. Nothing in this treaty keeps anybody from destroying warheads that they no longer need which are in stockpiles."

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, May 13: "When you remove warheads from delivery systems, you are making the nuclear arsenal smaller... We will clearly destroy some warheads."

National Security Council spokesperson Michael Anton, May 24: "The verification stuff, all of that is going to go into the implementation agreement. These are essentially the details, the nitty-gritty, and it's being worked on, but it's not done. It may take a little while."

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, May 21: "We didn't need this treaty, in a sense. I mean, the president announced he was going to go down to 1,700 to 2,000, regardless of what the Russians did. And then Mr. Putin announced that he was going to do that. The agreement is useful, I suppose. But we were going to do what we were going to do, regardless."

Assistant Secretary of Defense J.D. Crouch, May 2: "A point we've been trying to make is that in fact the reality is that there is no such thing as 'irreversible'. Given enough time and given money and given will, anything can be reversed."

Unnamed senior administration official, May 14: "What we have now agreed to do under the treaty is what we wanted to do anyway. That's our kind of treaty. ... A lot of the credit is due really to the Russian side for concluding that the road we were travelling was not necessarily going to get us an agreement by the summit... They decided analytically that it was only going to be possible to agree on the kind of measures the two Presidents had [already] talked about, so a lot of these other issues...they decided were not central to the objectives of the President. That enabled us to respond very quickly..."

Karl Inderfurth, senior State Department official under President Clinton, May 24: "We want to make sure these are clear reductions, and not just accounting reductions. It is clearly an important step in establishing this new strategic relationship... It does not, as President Bush has suggested, liquidate the Cold War legacy of our nuclear relationship."

Former US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, May 14: "Forget [the issue of] warheads in storage for a moment. If we go down to 2,200 and they go down to 2,200, if my mathematics is correct that's 100,000 times the destructive power of the Hiroshima bomb. Does that reduce the nuclear risk to any acceptable level? If not, what are we going to go about it?"

Democratic Senator Joseph Biden, Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, article in The Washington Post, May 28: "[W]hile the treaty as a whole is a step forward, some of its specifics risk moving us backward. The treaty does not require the actual destruction of a single missile or warhead. Rather, each country may warehouse its weapons and redeploy them later. Unfortunately, persistent security shortcomings in Russia mean that warheads in storage are more likely to fall into the hands of rogue states or terrorists than if they remained attached to missiles. The treaty allows Russia to place multiple warheads on its intercontinental ballistic missiles, contrary to long-standing US arms control goals. ... The treaty sets no schedule for reductions and provides no tools to verify each side's compliance."

Democratic Senator Jack Reed, May 13: "The best reduction, the most final reduction, is to destroy the warheads..."

Democratic Representative Ellen Tauscher, May 14: "[This is] three pages of talking points, called a treaty... The consequences of simply storing nuclear weapons instead of dismantling them poses a dangerous challenge for Russia and a threat to American security..."

President Vladimir Putin, May 26: "Not only is the treaty...suited to present day realities, it gives a correct, sure signal for the lines of our cooperation. It is no secret that the powers of the nuclear club are now improving their potentials in this field, and that the threshold countries too seek to legalise their nuclear status. In my view, and in the view of my American counterpart, this is one of the key problems of the contemporary world. And that we gave a sure signal...is very important...from the viewpoint of non-proliferation. In this connection, I very much hope that the US Congress will eventually ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty."

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, addressing a joint session of the International Affairs Committees of the Duma and Federation Council, May 21: "Everybody remembers the not easy start in our dealings with the current US administration. And now, too, differences remain between us, including those of a fundamental character. But in what matters most, our policy toward the US has fully acquitted itself. The US leadership and we have the understanding that existing problems should be dealt with on lines of dialogue, not confrontation. On this basis we have been able to advance substantially in the elaboration of a new strategic framework... Thus we are actually realising the first legally binding treaty which the administration of George Bush will sign. Of course, this is a compromise document. It will probably be criticised, asserting that more could have been achieved. I can assure you that we, too, those who were conducting the negotiations, wanted more. The most important thing is that we have preserved the negotiating process on these complicated issues. And we hope that this is the first step within the framework of possible future accords."

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov, May 15: "Neither side...surrendered any national interests while drafting this agreement. This agreement is the result of a compromise, like any other international agreement."

Defence Minister Ivanov, May 13: "This does not mean that Russia has lifted its objections to the US plans to store and not to destroy a part of the warheads."

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, May 23: "It's good that our President has succeeded in his push for a legally binding treaty complete with timeframe and control mechanisms..."

Alexei Arbatov, Vice Chair of the Russian Duma's Defence Committee, May 24: "If previous arms control treaties can be described as hard prose, the new treaty is a romantic poem... The quite long list of our proposals on limiting and cutting the US forces was not accepted in any way. ... [H]aving agreed on ceilings, the parties did not quite specifically agree on how to count those ceilings. Again another unique aspect of the new treaty is that...it has no rules of 'netting', no systems of verification and inspection, and no procedures for cuts and dismantling."

Russian Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, May 30: "The Russian-American treaty has effectively destroyed the Russian nuclear shield."

Nationalist Duma Member Alexei Mitrofanov, May 14: "They form a shield and we break our sword... We must reserve the right to have as many missiles as possible so that we could deploy them under every tree."

Colonel General Yuri Baluyevsky, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, May 24: "We now have the opportunity to develop our nuclear forces as we like... [But] where is the guarantee that the nuclear weapons put in storage don't fall into the hands of some kind of bin Laden who would threaten the entire world."

Retired Major General Vladimir Dvorkin, former senior arms control official, May 24: "The positive meaning of the new treaty is that once again it has fixed the equal status of Russia and the United States as two nuclear superpowers, and fixed that relation for a rather long time."

Retired General Vasily Lata, former Deputy Chief of Staff of Russian strategic forces, May 24: "The treaty has untied Russia's hands."

Statement by spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, May 14: "The Secretary-General welcomes today the announcement that the United States of America and the Russian Federation have agreed to sign a treaty to reduce their deployed strategic nuclear weapons substantially by the year 2012. The signature of the treaty in Moscow by Presidents Bush and Putin next week will be a positive step in the direction of nuclear disarmament and contributes to the fulfillment of the obligations of the two countries as nuclear-weapon states under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons."

Jayantha Dhanapala, UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, May 30: "The recent agreement...is clearly a step in the right direction, insofar as both countries are finally back to the business of concluding legally-binding agreements to reduce their deployed strategic nuclear forces... We are still, however, far from realising our common vision of a world without nuclear weapons. The next vital step in this process is to ensure that the reductions in these operationally-deployed strategic nuclear weapons will be irreversible and that each side - indeed the world - will know that the warheads are actually being destroyed, rather than just stored for possible future use."

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, May 25: "I welcome the two historic agreements covering nuclear arms reductions and a new strategic framework concluded by Presidents Bush and Putin... I encourage the wider international community to acknowledge the significance of these agreements by redoubling its efforts in the area of arms control and non-proliferation."

Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, phone call to Secretary of State Colin Powell, as reported by the Xinhua news agency, May 16: "[The Foreign Minister] expressed the hope that the two countries will continue their efforts to reduce their nuclear arsenals in this manner, so as to further advance the process of international nuclear disarmament."

Indian Foreign Ministry Statement, May 25: "This Declaration and SOR Treaty are path breaking historical developments marking an abandonment of the vestiges of the Cold War. Deep cuts in nuclear weapons' stockpiles...is a major step in the direction of nuclear disarmament. We hope that the Treaty will make a signal contribution to the elimination of nuclear weapons and genuine non-proliferation."

UK Foreign Office Statement, May 24: "The UK warmly welcomes the signing in Moscow today by Presidents Putin and Bush of a bilateral treaty to make significant reductions in the numbers of Russian and US strategic nuclear weapons. ... Taken together with the agreement on a new NATO-Russia Council...this represents a massive transformation in Russia's relations with the West."

Jon Wolfsthal, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, May 24: "The treaty is toothless and almost pointless. It does not define what it is trying to control. It does not have verification terms. It is almost impossible to violate... It is not an arms control treaty. It is essentially a signed political statement, confirming statements the Presidents agreed to previously. ... It's a signed, essentially blank, piece of paper."

Joseph Cirincione, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, May 13: "[President Bush's] only concession was to make it legally binding, but there are so many loopholes in this that it's legally binding mush. ... [President Putin] would have accepted whatever the administration was offering. He's decided the future of Russia is tied with the West and he doesn't want to let an arms control agreement get in the way."

Dmitri Trenin, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Moscow, May 13: "We are managing the light of a star which has been dead for 10 years... The prize is Russia's integration into the world community which is dominated by the United States."

Russian defence analyst Alexander Goltz, May 13: "Crudely put, the US unilateral reductions policy has taken on the form of a bilateral document."

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Selected Comment, II: Iran

President Putin, May 24: "Cooperation between Iran and Russia is not [at] all [of] a character which would undermine the process on non-proliferation. Our cooperation is exclusively, as regards [the nuclear] energy sector, focused on the problems of economic nature. I'd like to point out also that the US has taken a commitment upon themselves to build similar [light-water reactor] nuclear power plants in North Korea... And in addition to Iran, I think we also need to think about other countries here. For example, we have some questions concerning development of missile programmes in Taiwan, in some other countries where we've been witnessing active work of producing mass destruction weapons and their carriers. ... It would seem to me that in order to be efficient...we need to address the main task, to upgrade confidence mutually. And today I mentioned to President Bush...that as regards Iran and some other countries, according to our data, the missile programmes of those countries, nuclear programmes, are built largely on the basis of the technologies and with the support of the Western companies. We do have such info, and we stand ready to share it with our American partners. So if we pursued that way, not dealing with generalities, then we'll get results with respect to this very complicated and very important [issue]..."

Russian Foreign Ministry Statement, May 30: "Consultations took place in Moscow on May 30 between [Deputy Foreign Minister] Georgy Mamedov...and [Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister] Mohammad Javad Zarif... A substantive discussion of the problems of disarmament, non-proliferation and export controls took place. ... During the consultations it was reaffirmed that mutually beneficial Russian-Iranian cooperation in the peaceful utilisation of atomic energy is based on the adherence of both countries to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and is controlled by generally recognised IAEA mechanisms."

President Bush, May 24: "We spoke very frankly and honestly about the need to make sure that a non-transparent government run by radical clerics doesn't get their hands on weapons of mass destruction which could be harmful to us and harmful to Russia..."

Secretary of State Powell, May 14: "It is an old issue. Foreign Minister Ivanov and I have talked about it extensively over the months. ... [T]here continues to be a difference of opinion... They [the Russian government] want more facts. We think we've given them facts. We'll do as much as we can to make the case that anything which supports Iran's efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction is troublesome for us, and it is something we'll have to continue to discuss with the Russians at every level."

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hamid Reza Asefi, May 27: "Baseless accusations by the US against Iran are aimed at misleading public opinion and exerting pressure on European states and Russia. The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that Washington should follow the language of logic and reason, instead of using threats, insults or suppression."

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, April 20: "Iran wants a world without weapons of mass destruction and we abide by all international rules of non-proliferation of those weapons. But at the same time it is Iran's right to have the capability to defend itself and enjoy [the] world's know-how for peaceful purposes."

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Related material on Acronym website:

Reports: Iran and China keen to expand bilateral relations, Reuters, April 20; Officials work hard to clinch US-Russian arms control deal but experts remain sceptical, Associated Press, April 23; Rumsfeld opposing fixed nuclear arms cuts, officials say, Miami Herald, April 29; US says arms reduction complicated, Associated Press, April 30; US officials say nuclear accord could be ready for Bush-Putin summit, Associated Press, May 2; Transcript of an interview by RF Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov granted to ORT [television], May 12, 2002, Russian Foreign Ministry transcript; Remarks by the President, The White House, May 13; Background briefing by a senior administration official regarding US-Russia arms agreement', The White House, May 13; Bush announces deal with Russia to slash nuclear arsenals, Washington Post, May 13; Text - Senator Biden welcomes new US-Russia arms control treaty, Washington File, May 13; Text - Senator Lugar welcomes new US-Russia arms reduction pact, Washington File, May 13; Russian-US talks in Moscow to prepare for Russian-US May summit, Russian Foreign Ministry Statement, Document 955-07-05-2002, May 13; Transcript of an interview by Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov to Russian public television, May 13, 2002, Russian Foreign Ministry transcript; Analysts - Russia fails to influence US in arms pact, Reuters, May 13; Lawmakers laud US-Russia accord, Associated Press, May 14; Russia finds virtue in a US victory, New York Times, May 14; Secretary-General welcomes agreement by United States, Russian Federation to reduce nuclear weapons, UN Press Release SG/SM/8237, May 14; Russian, US negotiators turn attention to document on strategic priorities, Associated Press, May 14; Transcript - Powell says arms treaty important to US-Russian relations, Washington File, May 14; Treaty offers Pentagon new flexibility, New York Times, May 14; New arms pact codifies maximum flexibility, Global Security Newswire, May 14; US says Russia 'blinked' on arms to save summit, Associated Press, May 14; US, Russia agree on treaty to cut nuclear warheads, Reuters, May 14; Transcript - strong US-Russia partnership being forged, Powell says, Washington File, May 15; Russia's Ivanov defends US arms deal, Associated Press, May 15; China welcomes US-Russia nuclear pact, calls for more cuts, Associated Press, May 16; Testimony by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld at Defense Subcommittee of Senate Appropriations Committee, Washington, May 21, 2002, US Department of Defense transcript; Speech by Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov at a joint session of the International Affairs Committees of the State Duma and Federation Council, May 21, 2002, Russian Foreign Ministry transcript; US-Russia pact may lead to more ties, Associated Press, May 22; Fact Sheet - on the principal provisions of the new Russian-American Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions (SOR) , Russian Foreign Ministry Document 1041-22-05-2002, May 22; US-Russian deal on nuclear arms cuts finalized, Russian Foreign Ministry says, Associated Press, May 22; Gorbachev hails US-Russian summit as helping Russia's integration into West, Associated Press, May 23; Text of Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, The White House, May 24; Text of Joint Declaration, The White House, May 24; Remarks by President Bush and President Putin at signing of joint declaration, The White House, May 24; Bush and Putin sign nuclear treaty, leave details for later, Global Security Newswire, May 24; Putin and Bush sign arms deal, differ on Iran, Reuters, May 24; Arms deal with United States offers Russia cheaper way of maintaining nuclear balance, Associated Press, May 24; Russia-US treaty to reduce the number of strategic nuclear weapons, UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office Statement, May 24; Transcript - Powell says Moscow Treaty consistent with previous treaties, Washington File, May 25; India congratulates Presidents of the Russian Federation and the United States on conclusion of the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, Indian Foreign Ministry Statement, May 25; US-Russia strategic agreements', Statement by Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, May 25; Iran nuclear plant might be inspected, Bush says, Reuters, May 26; Remarks by President Vladimir Putin, St. Petersburg, May 26, 2002, Russian Foreign Ministry transcript; Iran dismisses US accusations, Associated Press, May 27; Beyond the Moscow Treaty, by Joseph Biden, The Washington Post, May 28; Abraham announces members of US-Russia working groups to advance nuclear non-proliferation efforts, US Department of Energy Press Release PR-02-089, May 30; On Russian-Iranian consultations, Russian Foreign Ministry Statement, Document 1115-30-05-2002, May 30; Multilateralism and the US national interest in disarmament, speech by Jayantha Dhanapala, UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, May 30 (http://www.un.org.depts/dda/speech/30may2002.htm); Communist leader says Putin rolled over, Global Security Newswire, May 31.

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