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– Lord Des Browne
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Press Releases

Duma Criticizes Helsinki Outcome; Postpones START II Discussions

 

Craig Cerniello

IN THE DAYS following the March 2021 Helsinki summit meeting between President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, influential members of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, criticized the Yeltsin administration for making too many concessions on key national security issues, especially with respect to the planned enlargement of the NATO alliance. Acknowledging that Russia was unable to prevent NATO enlargement, Yeltsin nonetheless defended the results of the summit in a March 26 radio address to the nation. Meanwhile, the Duma announced on April 9 that it would postpone discussion of START II.

 

Duma Reacts to Helsinki

The Helsinki agreements drew a hostile reaction from several members of the Duma. Communist Party leader Gennady Zyugonov, the most outspoken of these critics, claimed that the summit had been a "crushing defeat" for Moscow and characterized the joint statements as "Russia's Versailles"—a reference to the 1919 Versailles Treaty, which ended World War I and imposed severe conditions on the defeated German state.

Vladimir Lukin, chairman of the Duma's International Affairs Committee (a key committee involved in the START II ratification process), also had a strong initial reaction to the agreements reached in Helsinki. In a clear reference to NATO enlargement, Lukin said, "We can speak of ratifying START II only if there will be greater trust between the sides. And this trust has significantly diminished."

Lukin provided a more thorough analysis of the joint statements in a March 27 article in the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta. In terms of the "Joint Statement on Parameters on Future Reductions in Nuclear Forces," he praised the fiveyear extension of the START II reduction schedule as well as the basic principles for a START III agreement. (See ACT, March 1997.) However, Lukin argued that it was not "realistic" for the Duma to ratify START II before negotiations on START III commence, as called for in the joint statement. "The Duma is in no hurry to ratify [START II], among other reasons, because it sees no promise of a dependable and mutually acceptable strategic balance. For after START II is ratified, the U.S. can well procrastinate or freeze negotiations on START III, and Russia would be in a highly losing position," Lukin said.

Lukin also pointed out some potential difficulties with the "Joint Statement Concerning the AntiBallistic Missile Treaty." Despite the U.S. and Russian commitments to the ABM Treaty, Lukin cautioned that there is "no clear definition" between permitted theater missile defense systems and restricted ABM systems—a situation which he said should be resolved before the sides can move forward with START II and START III. "Lack of clarity about the future of ABM systems is unacceptable for Russia," he argued.

Some other members of the Duma reinforced the negative reaction to NATO enlargement. According to a March 22 Associated Press report, Agrarian Party leader Mikhail Lapshin predicted that NATO enlargement would eventually nullify the agreements reached in Helsinki. Mikhail Yuryev of the Yabloko Party also reportedly stated that NATO enlargement "will be directed against Russia."

Yeltsin responded to these critics during his March 26 radio address. While admitting that he was unable to stop NATO enlargement, Yeltsin maintained that Russia had succeeded in minimizing its consequences. In particular, Yeltsin explained that the sides had agreed that NATO will not move its nuclear weapons or armed forces eastward, and that Russia and NATO will sign at the highest levels a "comprehensive document" defining their relationship. He also noted that the United States and Russia reached "very serious agreements" in Helsinki concerning the ABM Treaty and the reduction of strategic offensive nuclear forces.

 

START II and the Duma

As a clear indication of the resistance Yeltsin is likely to face in pushing for START II ratification, Aleksei Mitrofanov, chairman of the Duma's Geopolitics Committee, announced on April 9 that the Duma has "put off" discussion of the treaty—a decision supported by Lev Rokhlin, chairman of the Duma's Defense Committee (another key committee involved in the START II ratification process). In an April 9 interview with Moscow NTV, Rokhlin argued that the Duma is not ready to take up the treaty because it still has not received from the Yeltsin administration an implementing program, apparently similar to the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, committing resources and outlining the costs and benefits of modernizing and maintaining Russian strategic forces at START II levels. He also said the Yeltsin government has not responded to the Duma's request for an evaluation as to how NATO enlargement would affect START II.

Although the treaty remains stalled in the Duma, the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces continue to support the strategic arms reduction process. According to an April 23 ItarTass report, CommanderinChief Igor Sergeyev said he was in favor of START III, which, if successfully negotiated, would limit the United States and Russia to 2,0002,500 strategic nuclear warheads each by the end of 2007. He argued that START III would provide for "strategic stability which Russia is able to maintain without substantial additional financial spending."

Senate Gives Advice and Consent; U.S. Becomes Original CWC Party

 

Erik J. Leklem

PRESIDENT BILL Clinton deposited the U.S. instrument of ratification for the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) with the United Nations on April 25, four days before the treaty's entry into force. This lastminute action, made possible by Senate approval of the resolution of advice and consent to ratification, allowed the United States to become an original party to the convention. (See Factfile, p. 41.) The multilateral treaty, signed in 1993, bans the use, production, stockpiling and development of chemical weapons and includes extensive verification measures to enforce compliance with its provisions. Parties are also required to destroy their chemical weapon stockpiles and production facilities.

The Senate resolution, approved April 24 by a vote of 7426, set forth 28 conditions to its advice and consent. (See p. 29.) None of these conditions, however, impeded presidential ratification and deposit of the instrument of ratification with the UN secretarygeneral. Approval of the convention ended 41 months of consideration by the Senate, during which more than 14 hearings were held.

On the day before the Senate vote, retired Senator Bob Dole (RKS) reversed his past opposition to the convention at a White House event. "If I were present in the Senate," he said, "I would vote for ratification of the CWC because of the many improvements that have been agreed to." In the closing hours of Senate debate, Majority Leader Trent Lott (RMS) added his support for the convention, saying there would be "real and lasting consequences" if the United States failed to ratify the treaty, and that "the credibility of commitments made by two presidents of our country—one Republican and one Democrat—is at stake."

In early April the fate of the CWC remained uncertain, due to the campaign by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms (RNC) to discredit the convention in a series of hearings. (See ACT, March 1997.) Nevertheless, by midApril, Lott and Minority Leader Tom Daschle (DSD), in coordination with the White House, reached a unanimous consent agreement that defined the procedure for Senate consideration of the treaty. The compromise released the CWC from the Foreign Relations Committee and set April 24 as the date for a full Senate vote.

The agreement established Senate Executive Resolution 75, authored by Helms, as the resolution of ratification for the CWC. The Helms' resolution set forth 33 conditions for Senate approval of the convention; the first 28 conditions were, by agreement, not subject to further action, while the five remaining "killer" conditions (that would have prevented Clinton from depositing the U.S. instruments of ratification) were subject to limited debate and to removal from the resolution by separate majority votes.

As part of the agreement, a separate vote was scheduled on S.495 before CWC consideration. Drafted by CWC opponents, this unilateral, domestic legislation was proposed as an "alternative" to the CWC, which CWC opponents could support in order to avoid being labeled "propoison gas." The bill, which passed by a slight majority, is expected to encounter a presidential veto.

The agreement to discharge the convention from Helms' committee and to bring it to a vote followed months of work by the administration and treaty supporters. In the final weeks of April, the administration made some foreign policy concessions to bring the CWC to a vote, including agreeing to incorporate the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency into the State Department as part of a major restructuring of U.S. foreign affairs agencies. (See p. 33.)

Clinton's campaign for the treaty culminated in an April 23 White House event with Vice President Al Gore, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Shalikashvili, retired General Colin Powell, former National Security Advisor General Brent Scowcroft and Dole. Supporting Dole's comments, Powell said the treaty was "in the best interests of America" and praised treaty provisions that would isolate rogue states.

During the days before the vote, Clinton consulted with Lott regarding convention Articles X and XI, which Lott argued would foster chemical weapons proliferation by facilitating cooperation in chemical technologies. In an April 24 letter to Lott, Clinton wrote that he would "be prepared to withdraw from the treaty" after consultation with Congress if Article X or Article XI were abused by statesparties in a way that "jeopardized the supreme interests of the United States." Lott called this commitment "unprecedented" and "ironclad," and mentioned the letter's importance when he announced his intent to vote for the CWC.

 

The Senate Debate

In opening the scheduled 11 hours of Senate floor debate on the convention, Helms derided the treaty as "worse than nothing" and said it would put "the American people at greater risk." Biden used his opening remarks to respond, reviewing the history of chemical warfare and the decade of CWC negotiations, and linking ratification of the treaty to "America's leadership in the postCold War era."

Before the final vote, Biden submitted five motions to strike each of the five "killer" conditions, after which all five were removed by majority votes.

The first condition which the Senate struck required ratification by China, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria and by all state sponsors of terrorism before the United States could join the convention.

The second condition prohibited the deposit of the U.S. instruments of ratification until the president could certify that Russia had ratified the treaty, which was highly unlikely prior to the April 29 deadline. Further, the condition required Russia to forgo all activity on its chemical weapons program and required certification of Russian compliance with the 1990 U.S.Russian Bilateral Destruction Agreement.

A third condition required presidential certification that the Central Intelligence Agency had a high degree of confidence in detecting "militarily significant" violations, which were defined as one ton of agent. The administration had previously pointed out the CWC's benefits to intelligence efforts, and said it would not be able to deposit the U.S. instruments of ratification under such an exacting condition.

The fourth condition—eliminated by the margin of 5644—required the president to bar inspectors from states deemed sponsors of international terrorism and from states in violation of U.S. nonproliferation and exportimport law. While technically not a "killer" condition, since parties to the CWC have the right to exclude specific inspectors on a casebycase basis, such a blanket exclusion could have caused diplomatic confrontations.

The last condition stricken by the Senate called for amending the convention by eliminating Article X and changing Article XI to permit trade restrictions on chemical technology exchange and cooperation.

After the first condition was removed, Lott made a statement of support signaling victory for the convention's proponents. He said he had "struggled" with the treaty, and discounted claims that the vote would "determine the fate" of certain senators. Lott said his vote for the convention was based on the advice of "the most senior former and current military commanders" and on the "marginal" benefits of information access granted by the convention.

Lott's position, according to one Republican staffer, provided the needed leadership for some freshman Republicans to vote for treaty ratification. Some Senate staffers, however, emphasized that his most critical role had been in agreeing to bring the convention to the Senate floor.

Twelve states (including China and South Korea) followed the United States in depositing their instruments of ratification before entry into force of the treaty, bringing the number of original statesparties to 87 (of 165 signatory states). The Russian Duma failed to ratify the treaty before its entry into force, citing financial concerns, but indicated that it would take up the issue in fall 1997. Pakistan also stated its intent to complete the ratification process, though no official timetable has been specified.

Attention will now turn to CWC implementing legislation, scheduled for consideration during May in the House of Representatives. The U.S. National Authority for the convention, housed in the Department of Commerce, will finalize preparations for inspections and reporting requirements.

With CWC entry into force, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) begins formal operations in The Hague to monitor compliance under the CWC. The first session of the Conference of States Parties (CSP), the principal organ of the OPCW, will open in The Hague on May 6. The CSP will appoint the Executive Council members and the director general of the Technical Secretariat, additional bodies of the OPCW responsible for treaty implementation and verification.

Russian Proposal for CFE Adaptation Seeks New Limits on NATO Arms

 

Sarah Walkling

IN RESPONSE to NATO's initial proposal for adapting the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, Russia released its own working paper on April 22. While both proposals advocate placing national limits on parties' heavy conventional weapons, the Russian "basic elements" of adaptation goes further than the NATO proposal toward strengthening constraints on NATO, and also gives Moscow more flexibility in stationing conventional weapons.

The 1990 CFE Treaty places equal limits on the number of battle tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs), artillery, combat aircraft and attack helicopters deployed between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ural Mountains by NATO and former Warsaw Pact countries. (The accord now comprises 30 statesparties.) The treaty also draws geographical zones for sublimits on ground equipment, to move concentrations of weapons away from the former Central European front.

The treaty parties have acknowledged a need to alter the basic CFE structure to adjust for the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, tensions in the Caucasus and the impending expansion of NATO. At the December 1996 Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe summit in Lisbon, Portugal, they adopted a document defining the "scope and parameters" of the process. Adaptation talks have been ongoing since January 1997 in the Joint Consultative Group (JCG) in Vienna, where NATO presented its February 20 proposal for basic elements of an adaptation agreement. (See ACT, March 1997.)

In a measure intended to constrain the NATO alliance as it expands, Moscow's proposal calls for barring the permanent stationing of foreign treatylimited equipment (TLE) "in areas where they do not exist at present," and insists that "we must not increase holdings in areas where they do exist." Moscow is not satisfied with the concept introduced by NATO of "territorial ceilings," which would limit the sum of national and stationed foreign ground equipment on the territory of a stateparty. It also opposes the creation of additional zonal limits, such as NATO's proposed new Central European zone, where territorial ceilings would not exceed the weapons entitlements of each country.

NATO, in its February proposal, offers significant reductions in its ground equipment. Its call for all statesparties to cut their TLE entitlements has led to a counterproposal from Russia to lower the current equipment ceilings only for a group or alliance (currently, only NATO would be subject to this proposed category) without requiring similar reductions for states that do not belong to an alliance. Russian officials argue that, through such asymmetrical reductions, the current 3:1 disparity between NATO and Russian forces could be reduced. Russia dropped this provision when its Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright discussed CFE adaptation at their May 2 meeting in Moscow, but still plans to push for measures that would help correct the NATORussian imbalance in heavy weapons.

While the Russian proposal states that with the combination of national and alliance limits "zonal limitations in the classical sense would be superfluous," Russian officials emphasize that they do not advocate eliminating the current zonal limits on Central Europe and the treaty's "flank" regions.

The Russian proposal also calls for abolishing the permanent storage site limits and for transferring all equipment located in these sites to active units. This measure would allow Russia to transfer approximately 3,700 heavy weapons from stored to active status. The NATO plan, in contrast, proposes transferring 20 percent of stored equipment to active units and destroying the remainder as a means of reducing overall conventional forces in Europe.

The ongoing JCG negotiations in Vienna are attempting to reconcile the positions of the two sides and to conclude an adaptation framework by summer. Intensive negotiations on basic elements of CFE adaptation are expected to begin after the May 27 NATORussian summit in Paris.

Clinton Moves Closer to Easing Limits On Arms Sales to Latin America

 

Wade Boese

THE CLINTON administration appears poised to end a two-decade-old policy of restricting sales of U.S. high-tech weapons, such as fighter aircraft and advanced missiles, to Latin America. During the first week of April, the administration announced that it granted Lockheed Martin and McDonnell Douglas, manufacturers of the F-16 and F/A-18, respectively, authorization to provide technical specifications and marketing information on these aircraft to Chile.

Administration officials insist that although a two-year policy review of the informal ban is not yet complete, the administration did not want to "disadvantage" any U.S. firms in competition for future sales if the policy is eventually altered.

Chile is seeking to modernize its air force with a purchase of at least 20 advanced fighters. To be considered for the sale, Lockheed Martin and McDonnell Douglas were permitted to submit the information to meet a Chilean deadline of March 31, 1997. Chilean interest and expectations concerning the potential availability of the F-16s and F/A-18s increased following the appearance of the fighters at a March 1996 airshow in Chile after their having been excluded from a previous Latin American airshow in 1994. Other aircraft vying for the sale include the Swedish JAS39 Gripen (which is also subject to the restrictions because the aircraft contain a large percentage estimated at 30 percent of U.S.-made components), the French Mirage 20005, and the Russian MiG-29. Brazil is also considering a modernization of its air force in the near future.

 

The Latin American Market

Although the Latin American arms market is relatively small, competition in the estimated $500 million annual market is intensifying. The region accounted for 3.3 percent of all international arms deliveries in 1995, but this represented a second consecutive year of growth after five years of steady decline. Recent military modernization programs by Latin American nations are responsible for the market's upswing. Despite the unilateral restrictions on high-tech equipment, the United States is still the leading arms supplier to Latin America, accounting for 26 percent of the value of arms deliveries between 1992 and 1995.

Since 1978, the United States has adhered to a policy of "severe restraint" on hightech weapons exports to Latin America. President Jimmy Carter imposed the restrictions in response to widespread human rights abuses by the region's dictatorships and military regimes. One of those dictators, General Augusto Pinochet, still serves as the commander-in-chief of Chile's army. Venezuela's purchase of 24 F-16s in 1981 stands as the only previous exception to the policy.

Support for modifying the restrictions has steadily accumulated during the Clinton administration's policy review. Military contractors, with the support of the Pentagon, have been urging the administration to allow new sales to the region. Their efforts received a boost in December 1996 when then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher, an earlier advocate of retaining the ban, signed a memorandum with then-Secretary of Defense William Perry urging President Clinton to change the policy. Perry's successor, William Cohen, firmly supports replacing the current restrictions with the standard U.S. policy of a case-by-case approach.

Advocates of a policy change contend that the current restrictions are outdated since all Latin American nations, except Cuba, have democratically elected governments and growing economies. A favored justification is that foreign firms will supply the weapons if U.S. firms do not, and that results in the loss of U.S. jobs. This argument prompted 38 Senators and 79 House members to sign a mid-1996 letter to Christopher requesting a removal of the restrictions.

Critics of the proposed policy change say the region's democracies are fragile and remain susceptible to a disproportionate amount of influence from their militaries. Many argue that in a region where one-half of the population lives in poverty, spending approximately $25 million per aircraft is unnecessary.

Another concern is that new U.S. sales could initiate an arms race and destabilize the present security environment. Argentina, a vocal opponent of Chile's impending acquisition, has repeatedly raised the specter of a new arms race. Only last November State Department deputy spokesman Glyn Davies expressed "concern" and "disappointment" over Peru's purchase of 12 Belarussian MiG-29s because it could provoke an arms race. Administration officials have not said whether new U.S. transfers of similar high-tech weaponry could have the same effect.

Most observers agree that the recent developments indicate an impending change in policy. Only very rarely will the U.S. government allow American firms to compete for a sale and then disapprove of it if the firm succeeds in winning the bid. Defense Secretary Cohen said April 15 that he expected a decision to be made within the next "month or two."

Clinton Announces Reorganization Plan, ACDA To Lose Independent Status

Jack Mendelsohn

ON APRIL 18 the White House, through the vice president's office, announced that President Bill Clinton had approved a two-year reorganization plan for the nation's foreign affairs agencies. In the words of a White House fact sheet, the plan is designed to bring "an end to bureaucracies originally designed for the Cold War."

Specifically, the plan calls for the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) to be fully integrated into the State Department within one year, for the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) to be integrated over a two-year period, and for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to remain a distinct agency but under the "direct authority and foreign policy guidance" of the secretary of state. The overall reorganization of the foreign affairs agencies, of which ACDA's integration is only a small part, is to be undertaken by a group of eight task forces which will have approximately 60 days to complete their work.

The State Department had sought, since the beginning of the Clinton administration, to absorb ACDA, which was created in 1961 under President John F. Kennedy. Earlier efforts (in 199394) to eliminate the agency were rebuffed by a Democratic Congress. But a Republican-dominated Congress and the hostage-taking tactics of Senator Jesse Helms (RNC), who refused to take up the Chemical Weapons Convention until the adminstration had committed itself to reorganize the foreign affairs bureaucracy, resulted in the administration's April decision to disestablish ACDA and USIA.

The framework for ACDA's integration into the State Department was worked out in early 1997 between Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and ACDA Director John Holum and ultimately approved by the president. Holum, who admitted that "the thought of being ACDA's last director is painful," claims that he was "totally convinced that the president's decision will materially strengthen the arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament missions and the entire foreign affairs structure."

According to U.S. officials, the consolidation plan calls for ACDA and the current Political-Military Bureau in the Department of State to be combined and reorganized into two or three bureaus with responsibility for regional security (including arms transfers) and arms control and nonproliferation. All arms control responsibilities currently residing in other State Department bureaus (such as funding for some international agreements, which is handled in the International Organizations Bureau, and responsibility for the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty negotiations, which is currently lodged in the European Bureau) are to be transferred to these new bureaus.

The new bureaus resulting from this merger will report to an undersecretary of state for international security, arms control and nonproliferation. The exact title for this undersecretary slot is yet to be determined, but the position is currently held by Lynn Davis, who is leaving the government in the near future. Holum is slated to assume the post on an acting basis pending confirmation.

According to the interagency agreement, the undersecretary of state in charge of the arms control function will have the right, unique in the executive branch, to communicate directly with the president through the secretary of state, to attend all National Security Council (NSC) and principals meetings on arms control and nonproliferation issues, and to voice his opinion on these issues separately from the secretary of state. The intent of this arrangement is to preserve an independent voice for arms control, but critics of the consolidation argue that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to maintain for very long such a role for an undersecretary.

To support the arms control function within the State Department, a verification and compliance unit separate from the State Departments's Bureau of Intelligence and Research will be attached to the undersecretary's office. Other ACDA offices which are duplicative of existing bureaus in the State Department, such as public affairs, administration and congressional liaison, will be eliminated.

To protect the rights, responsibilities and authority of the new undersecretary for arms control, this reorganization will ultimately have to be spelled out either in legislation or in an executive order. But Congress has begun to discuss its own ideas for reorganization in the House International Relations Committee, with the introduction of "The Foreign Policy Reform Act," which is to be taken up by the full House in early June. It is unclear at this writing whether the administration's plan for ACDA integration will be preempted by a congressional reorganization bill.

Of major concern to supporters of arms control is the loss of an independent voice on this issue within the executive branch, as well as the fear that the potentially enhanced arms control function to be created within the State Department will inevitably fall victim to bureaucratic predation or indifference. Lurking in the background is the equally disturbing realization that any congressionally mandated consolidation is likely to downplay even further the role of arms control in the executive branch.

Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission Expands Cooperative Measures

March 1997

By Craig Cerniello

In a prelude to the U.S. Russian summit in Helsinki, Vice President Al Gore and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin met in Washington on February 6 and 7 for the eighth session of the U.S. Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technological Cooperation, commonly known as the Gore Chernomyrdin Commission. During this session, the United States and Russia signed a joint statement on nuclear materials security and continued to make progress on other arms control related matters, such as implementation of the 1993 highly enriched uranium (HEU) purchase agreement.

Joint Statement on MPC&A

In an effort to improve the security of nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union, then Acting Secretary of Energy Charles Curtis and Russian Minister of Atomic Energy Viktor Mikhailov co chairmen of the Energy Policy Committee, one of the commission's eight committees signed a joint statement on February 7 that reaffirms each side's commitment to the bilateral nuclear materials protection, control and accounting (MPC&A) program and includes the Instrument Research Institute (Lytkarino) in the program beginning this year. As a clear indication of the progress that has been made thus far, the sides noted that 15 Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy (MIN ATOM) facilities were incorporated into the MPC&A program during the previous three sessions of the Gore Chernomyrdin Commission. Six additional MINATOM facilities also engage in MPC&A related activities through a cooperative program between each side's nuclear laboratories, known as the "lab to lab" program. A total of 44 sites in the former Soviet Union participate in the MPC&A program.

HEU Purchase Agreement

According to the Energy Policy Committee report, signed by Curtis and Mi khailov on February 7, the sides continue to make progress in implementing their HEU agreement, which requires the United States to purchase over a period of 20 years 500 metric tons of HEU that has been removed from dismantled former Soviet nuclear warheads and blended down to low enriched uranium (LEU) suitable for use in commercial nuclear reactors. In 1995 and 1996, the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC), the executive agent of the agreement for the U.S. government, purchased the LEU equivalent of 18 metric tons of HEU from Russia.

The committee report referred to an amendment to the HEU agreement, reached in November 1996, that establishes set prices and quantities for the LEU shipments through the year 2001, thereby allowing the USEC to purchase the LEU equivalent of an additional 132 metric tons of HEU over the next five years. (See ACT, November/December 1996.) As part of this amendment, Russia has been awarded an advance payment of $100 million against future deliveries and enhanced transparency measures have been successfully concluded to help assure that the LEU blended down in Russia is actually derived from dismantled nuclear weapons instead of existing HEU stockpiles.

Enhanced Transparency

These enhanced transparency measures, which were signed during the fifth session of the Transparency Review Committee in December 1996, will ensure that U.S. equipment is installed to continuously monitor the enrichment and flow of uranium at the blendpoint at both the Ural Electrochemical Integrated Enterprise in Novouralsk, Russia, and the new Krasnoyarsk Electrochemical Plant blending facility. This new enrichment and flow measurement equipment will be installed at the Russian blending facilities beginning in March 1997 and will be completed this summer.

Furthermore, these enhanced transparency measures will provide the United States with significantly greater access to the facility in Seversk. As of January 1997, U.S. monitors now have access to the receipt and storage area for HEU weapons components arriving from Russian dismantlement facilities and have the right to perform radiation measurements on HEU weapon components, HEU metal chips produced from weapons components and HEU oxide. U.S. monitors will also have access to new documents at Seversk to track HEU at each step of the conversion process. The U.S. government maintains that implementation of these enhanced transparency measures "will provide greatly increased confidence that U.S. non proliferation objectives are being met, in other words, that HEU from weapons is being blended to LEU."

In 1997, the USEC is scheduled to receive 10 shipments consisting of approximately 482 metric tons of LEU derived from 18 metric tons of HEU. As of early April, the first two shipments of the year were in transit.

Other Issues

In addition, the Energy Policy Committee reported on the on going construction of a fissile material storage facility at Mayak, which is being funded under the Defense Department's Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) or "Nunn Lugar" security assistance program. The Mayak facility, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 1998, will be capable of storing the fissile material from approximately 12,500 dismantled former Soviet nuclear warheads. (The facility will store 50,000 containers of fissile materials, with each warhead occupying up to four separate containers). Although construction of the Mayak facility is proceeding on schedule, the committee report cautioned that "funding and taxation issues" could inhibit its completion. The Clinton administration has requested $64.7 million in fiscal year 1998 CTR funds for the facility.

The committee also noted that a new agreement has been reached in principle to allow the core conversion of the three plutonium producing reactors in Russia. Under the original 1994 agreement, Russia was obligated to shut down the three reactors by the year 2000. Negotiations on a new agreement, which would allow Moscow to operate the reactors as long as their cores were converted, became necessary because Russia claimed that it needed to operate the reactors to provide heat for neighboring cities. Details of the new agreement are still being worked out by the sides.

The Energy Policy Committee also reported on U.S. Russian scientific cooperation related to maintaining the safety and security of nuclear weapons stockpiles under the recently concluded Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, as well as bilateral cooperation on the disposition of weapons plutonium.

Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission Expands Cooperative Measures

U.S. Favors CD Negotiations To Achieve Ban on Landmines


Sarah Walkling

AFTER MONTHS of indecision, the Clinton administration announced January 17 that it will initially pursue negotiations for a comprehensive global ban on anti personnel landmines at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva, instead of through the Canadian led effort to negotiate and sign an international treaty by December 1997. (See ACT, October 1996.) The administration also declared that the current U.S. export moratorium on anti personnel mines, which was to continue until 1999, would become permanent.

By opting for the CD, the administration has chosen the slower path for implementing a ban. The CD, which opened its first session of 1997 on January 21, may not decide whether a landmine ban will be on its agenda until the summer of 1997 or later. Meanwhile, the Canadian led effort, also known as the "Ottawa Process," will begin reviewing an Austrian draft treaty text during a February 12 14 conference in Vienna. The United States is expected to attend the Vienna meeting.

The administration favors the 61 member CD because Russia and China—top producers of anti personnel landmines and opponents of a landmine ban—have said they will not participate in the Ottawa Process. Both countries are members of the CD. Without their participation, administration officials say, a treaty would not halt the use, production, export or stockpiling of anti personnel mines. However, White House spokesman Mike McCurry said January 17 the CD negotiations would be "mutually reinforcing" of the Canadian initiative. If China and Russia join the Canadian effort, the United States has said it will also participate. Regardless of the forum, the United States will seek an exception for its mines deployed on the Korean Peninsula.

Other states that favor negotiating a ban at the CD include Australia, Britain, France, Germany and Italy. On January 23, the French representative to the CD, Ambassador Joelle Bourgois, said, "France prefers an efficient treaty, even if the result took time, to a hastily concluded but useless agreement." Some members of the non aligned movement (NAM) that oppose conducting the negotiations at the CD say the landmine talks might overshadow the comprehensive nuclear disarmament negotiations which several NAM states hope to initiate. If the CD agenda does include a landmine ban, the ad hoc committee that would be established for negotiating a ban will likely focus on reaching agreement on an export ban first.

According to Bob Bell, National Security Council senior director for defense policy and arms control, "[O]ur best shot at this in terms of achieving the president's goal of a global ban—not just a ban among some countries but a ban that really touches the countries that are causing the problem on different continents around the world—is to take it to the CD where we have a proven track record." Acknowledging that achieving a ban "is going to be tough," Bell said, "we think we can get a landmines agreement out of the CD ..."

However, Senator Patrick Leahy (D VT), the leading congressional advocate for a global ban, expressed disappointment in the administration's decision. In a January 17 press release, Leahy said the Canadian initiative offers "the best opportunity" for rapid progress because it establishes "a moral and tactical imperative" for bringing holdout countries aboard. "It is doubtful that the CD will produce an agreement to achieve a ban," Leahy said. "The CD process requires step by step consensus that rewards holdout states, who effectively have a veto that retards or prevents strong agreements." Last year, India alone was able to block consensus on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in the CD. The otherwise agreed treaty was taken directly to the UN General Assembly by Australia and was opened for signature in September 1996 despite Indian opposition.

 

Finding Alternatives

The day after the White House announced its decision to push for negotiation of a ban in the CD, the Department of Defense (DOD) reported on its efforts to end its military reliance on anti personnel landmines. Clinton ordered the assessment as part of a landmine initiative announced in May 1996. (See ACT, May/June 1996.) The Pentagon has since reviewed its war plans and has begun to revise its doctrine and training manuals to eliminate requirements for anti personnel landmine use. According to a DOD official, the changes represent "a fundamental shift in the way we go to war."

While the Defense Department has not found a single alternative to landmines, the official said, "[T]here appear to be a number of systems, when used in combination, which offer some very promising prospects for us." Specifically, a combination of "new killing mechanisms and mix of new intelligence sensors" would allow the U.S. military to decrease its reliance on statically emplaced non self destruct mines.

As part of his 1996 initiative, Clinton ordered the U.S. military to immediately discontinue use of so called "dumb" mines, which remain active until detonated or cleared, except for training purposes or on the Korean Peninsula and to destroy all non essential stockpiles by 1999. According to the Pentagon, the United States will still possess approximately one million such mines.

Nuclear Deal With North Korea Back on Track After Sub Incident


Howard Diamond

IMPLEMENTATION of the 1994 U.S. North Korean agreed framework resumed in January following Pyongyang's December 29 expression of regret over the grounding of one of its reconnaissance submarines on the South Korean coast. On January 8, the "canning" of spent fuel at North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear facility resumed after having stopped in November. That same day, the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) and North Korea signed two protocols in New York that will allow KEDO to begin site preparation work on the $5 billion light water reactor (LWR) project, the central component of the agreed framework.

KEDO is the international consortium founded by the United States, Japan and South Korea to implement the 1994 denuclearization accord. The agreement requires North Korea to freeze and eventually eliminate its nuclear weapons program in exchange for the construction of two proliferation resistant 1,000 megawatt (electric) LWRs and the delivery of heavy fuel oil while the reactors are being built.

 

Canning' Resumes

The canning operation, which entails transferring the spent fuel rods from a cooling pond where they are currently stored into steel containers suitable for transhipment, was suspended in early November after North Korean workers failed to return from a scheduled work stoppage. At that point, more than half of the Yongbyon reactor's 8,000 spent fuel elements had been placed in "dry storage" by the U.S. Department of Energy and its private contractor.

North Korea removed the spent fuel from its 5 megawatt (electric) experimental reactor at Yongbyon in 1994. The fuel remains a serious proliferation hazard because it contains enough plutonium to build several nuclear bombs. As part of the 1994 deal, North Korea shut down the Yongbyon reactor, with the promise to dismantle it and send its spent fuel out of the country without being reprocessed. U.S. officials hope to complete the canning operation by the end of 1997.

With the submarine incident resolved, KEDO has resumed activity on a number of fronts, according to KEDO spokesman Jason Shaplen. The two protocols signed January 8 by KEDO and Pyongyang represent an important milestone in the LWR project's development, clearing the way for KEDO to begin site preparation near Sinpo in North Korea. Arrangements for KEDO to contract for services in North Korea and KEDO's access to the proposed construction site are covered in the agreements.

KEDO's seventh site survey team is preparing to visit North Korea to conduct a detailed geological investigation and some additional preliminary site preparation work. South Korea indefinitely postponed a planned October trip by the mostly South Korean team of engineers due to concerns over their safety while working in North Korea. The submarine incident delayed the site preparation, but the effect on the overall LWR project schedule is uncertain. The 1995 KEDO North Korean supply agreement calls for completion of the first reactor by 2003 on a "best efforts" basis, and KEDO hopes to be able to make up some of the lost time.

In addition to sending the first shipment of heavy fuel oil for the current year supply schedule, which began on October 31, 1996, KEDO has reached an agreement in principle on accession to KEDO by EURATOM, the nuclear regulatory body of the European Union (EU). The EU is expected to make "an immediate contribution of $13 million and an annual contribution of $20 million in the future" according to Assistant Secretary of State Winston Lord. The EU contribution would nearly equal the annual level of U.S. financial support ($22 million for 1996), and would pay for approximately one third of the annual $60 million cost of fuel deliveries to North Korea.

KEDO and Pyongyang have not yet begun to negotiate a protocol on penalties if either party fails to meet its obligations as called for in the supply agreement. Shaplen said talks on the non payment protocol will begin as soon as is practicable.

 

The Submarine Incident

The resumption of activity implementing the framework accord as of January 31, 1997, came after three and a half months of escalating tension, carefully phrased threats, and intensive U.S. diplomatic efforts. On September 18, the North Korean sub was discovered grounded 100 yards off the South Korean coast.

South Korean President Kim Young Sam called the incident a provocation and demanded a sincere apology from the North. On October 9, South Korea suspended the signing of two KEDO North Korean protocols and a trip by KEDO's site survey team to the North.

Lord flew to Seoul the next day to mend U.S. South Korean relations damaged by Secretary of State Warren Christopher's initial call for restraint from "all parties." After meeting with South Korean leaders, Lord confirmed Washington's and Seoul's support for the agreed framework, but added that there would be "a pause in the pace of our activities."

In response, North Korea warned on October 15 that another delay in work on the reactors might prompt the North to reconsider its nuclear freeze. North Korean preparations to test an intermediate range ballistic missile were reported by the Japanese press the next day. The cancellation of the missile test was announced by the State Department on November 8, after several meetings in New York between U.S. and North Korean diplomats.

 

U.S. South Korean Disagreement

On November 9, South Korean President Kim reiterated his demand for a "sincere apology" in an interview with The Washington Post. At the time, U.S. officials asked the North to make "an acceptable gesture." Subsequently, the United States and South Korea settled their differnces at the November 24 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila. In the reportedly heated exchange, President Clinton prevailed on President Kim to support American diplomatic efforts to negotiate a resolution of the crisis. The final negotiations went on through December between U.S. and North Korean diplomats in New York.

The result was a North Korean Foreign Ministry statement read over the radio on December 29 that recognized Pyongyang's responsibility for the incident, offered "deep regret," and promised to prevent a recurrence of similar events. South Korean Foreign Minister Yoo Chong Ha termed the North's statement an acceptable apology, thus clearing the way for continued South Korean participation on the agreed framework.

Wassenaar Members End Plenary; First Data Exchange Falls Short


Sarah Walkling

DESPITE THEIR December 1996 deadline for enacting new export control guidelines for conventional arms and dual use goods and technologies, members of the so called Wassenaar Arrangement concluded their December 12 13 plenary meeting in Vienna with the regime far from fully operational. While the 33 participating countries agreed on a budget and program of work for the coming year, the impasse continued as to who would head the new Secretariat in Vienna. More important, however, the results of the regime's first data exchange suggest its emphasis on promoting transparency is not yet shared by all members.

Formally titled the Wassenaar Arrangement for Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual Use Goods and Technologies, the group seeks to avoid destabilizing transfers of weapons and sensitive technologies through the coordination of national export control policies. As the successor regime to the Cold War era Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM), the arrangement includes many of the countries once targeted by the former NATO member based organization. Unlike COCOM, however, Wassenaar members have no veto power over other members' weapons deliveries or technology transfers and the regime is not directed against a particular group of states. Rather, it targets regions or states whose behavior is a cause of concern to participants. The United States has identified Iran, Iraq, Libya and North Korea as "rogue" states that should be included in that category.

 

Cloudy Transparency

The regime's first voluntary exchange of data, which was initiated in September 1996, covered four categories of arms and dual use technology transfers to non members: actual weapons deliveries; license denials for "basic" dual use items; license approvals for "sensitive" dual use equipment; and license denials for "very sensitive" dual use items such as encryption and supercomputer technology.

Thirty Wassenaar members submitted data on their transfers of seven categories of conventional weapons (battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, attack helicopters, combat aircraft, warships, heavy artillery, and missiles and missile launchers) that correspond to the categories in the UN Conventional Arms Register. State Department officials, emphasizing the confidentiality of the new regime, declined to identify the non participating states. In the most recent reporting period for the UN register (covering calendar year 1995), all Wassenaar members submitted data on their weapons transfers. (See ACT, November/December 1996.) However, in the Wassenaar exchange, only half of all members submitted data on their dual use transfers to non members. Several countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia and Bulgaria, reportedly failed to pass the necessary national implementing legislation in time to participate in the exchange. (Russia and Ukraine passed the necessary legislation in October and December 1996, respectively.) Other countries are expected to have passed the necessary legislation before the next exchange, scheduled to begin March 31.

For 1997, the budget for Wassenaar Secretariat operations will total $1 million to $2 million, with contributions assessed on a scale similar to that used by the United Nations. Under this formula, the U.S. assessment is expected to cover nearly 25 percent of the total budget. In addition, members agreed to hold at least one plenary meeting in 1997, an expert group meeting February 24 25 and a working group meeting June 2. These groups will monitor implementation progress and discuss information exchange procedures and deadlines.

Without ongoing consultations or veto power for its members, however, it is unclear whether the Wassenaar Arrangement can effectively serve as a forum for resolving disputes over transfers of conventional weapons and dual use technology. During the December plenary, participants reportedly did not discuss several of the most controversial arms sales involving regime members, such as Russia's proposed sale of S 300 anti aircraft missiles to the Greek Cypriot government, a transfer which the United States and Turkey have described as "destabilizing." In their only public statement issued following the plenary, a 10 sentence press statement, Wassenaar members addressed only one conflict: Afghanistan. The statement declared that "as a matter of national policy," no Wassenaar member transfers arms or ammunition to the parties involved in the conflict.

UNSCOM Head Says Iraq Has 'Operational' Missile Force


Howard Diamond

IRAQ HAS MANAGED to retain an operational force of ballistic missiles in violation of UN prohibitions against possessing such weapons with ranges above 150 kilometers, according to Rolf Ekeus, head of the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM). UNSCOM has long suspected Iraq of possessing missile capabilities beyond those permitted under UN Security Council Resolution 687. Ekeus' assessment, offered during a January 29 luncheon speech sponsored by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, indicates that Baghdad may have an operational force of between 18 and 25 Scud or Scud variant missiles.

"Every piece of what is necessary to constitute an operation[sic] force is available in Iraq," Ekeus said, including transporter erector launcher (TEL) vehicles, rocket fuel and "an organization to operate these missiles." The missiles, whose range of up to 650 kilometers would allow Iraq to reach targets in Israel and Iran, are of particular concern because of Iraq's past use of ballistic missiles against neighboring countries and the missiles' potential to deliver weapons of mass destruction. According to Ekeus, Iraq has used a variety of deceptive methods used to hide the missiles and related equipment.

During the past several months, Ekeus said Baghdad has become increasingly uncooperative in response to UNSCOM's ongoing effort to establish a "material balance" of Iraq's past ballistic missile programs. In November 1996, Iraq refused to permit UNSCOM to take 150 destroyed rocket engines, which Baghdad claims it destroyed and buried in the summer of 1991, to the United States for metallurgical analysis by a Department of Defense laboratory. UNSCOM inspectors want to confirm whether the engine metal matches that of the old Soviet produced rocket motors, because it believes Iraq destroyed inferior, indigenously produced engines instead of operational Soviet produced motors.

Under Resolution 687, Iraq is permitted to possess ballistic missiles with ranges under 150 kilometers, but the Gulf War cease fire resolution mandates destruction of Iraq's longer range Scud and Scud variant missiles. In April 1991, Iraq gave 48 missiles to UNSCOM for destruction and claimed to have destoyed and buried 85 others without UNSCOM supervision. While the sites identified by Iraq did appear to hold the declared number of destroyed missiles, further investigation by UNSCOM showed that Iraq had, in some cases, simply transferred "buried" missiles from one site to another so they would be double counted. UNSCOM also found that some of the sites did not actually contain operational missiles systems, but training missiles. Iraq is also believed to have removed and stored critical missile components, such as turbo pumps, which they are unable to produce domestically.

Iraq's refusal to comply with the UN resolutions persists even in the face of economic sanctions, which have cost Iraq more than $100 billion in lost oil revenue. Ekeus claims that Iraqi obstruction of UNSCOM's mission has gotten worse as Baghdad perceives Security Council support for UNSCOM to be waning. As a case in point, Ekeus cited Security Council inaction after the Iraqi refusal to allow analysis of the destroyed rocket motors. Instead of approving a resolution demanding Iraqi compliance, the Security Council issued a statement that "deplores" Iraq's non cooperation, and notes "that such action complicates the implementation by the Special Commission of its mandate." The result, according to Ekeus, is that UNSCOM is now facing "serious obstructions" by Iraq for simple document requests and for the removal from the country of chemical munitions for analysis.

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