U.S. MAY NOT GIVE RUSSIA MONEY FOR DESTRUCTION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS AND MISSILES

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U.S. MAY NOT GIVE RUSSIA MONEY FOR DESTRUCTION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS AND MISSILES

Izvestia (Moscow), November 23, 2002, p. 2

According to our sources, among the topics discussed by President Vladimir Putin and President George W. Bush was the treaty on offensive nuclear weapons reduction, and issues relating to the proposed US national missile defense system. According to analysts, the altered global situation is proving that Moscow has been right in maintaining that deployment of the national missile defense doesn’t make sense.

Bush, in turn, noted that Moscow is taking too long to launch three projects for which the US is prepared to give money to Russia. These are: building a chemical weapons destruction plant near the town of Shchuchye; building facilities for storage of fissionable materials at the Mayak enterprise; and building a plant for environmentally friendly disposal of solid-fuel missile engines near the town of Votkinsk. The funding for this project may be received only after the Kremlin fulfills three conditions.

First, it is necessary to finish registration of chemical weapons possessed by Moscow. The US is sure that Russia has much more than 40,000 tons of chemical weapons. Second, Moscow should allow US experts to inspect any suspect enterprise. Third, Russia should inform the US about any biological warfare programs that were developed in the USSR.

FATHER FILIPP INVITED TO COPENHAGEN

Kommersant, November 23, 2002, p. 3

On November 22, at the conference on Chechnya in Copenhagen, human rights groups called on the Russian government to work for peaceful regulation of the Chechnya conflict, and called on the Danish government to release Akhmed Zakaev. Besides, they decided to invite Father Filipp to Denmark to give evidence in the Zakaev case.

IRKUTSK REGION: ENVIRONMENTALISTS DEPRIVED OF MAPS

Kommersant, November 23, 2002, p. 3

On November 22, officers from the Irkutsk Regional FSB Department searched the premises of the Baikail Environmental Wave (BEW) group, which is working with Greenpeace. According to BEW staff, the special service officers were seeking secret maps of the territory surrounding the Angarsk electrolysis chemical plant, which manufactures radioactive products. The environmentalists actually had these maps, but did not keep this a secret, since the maps were not labeled as secret. BEW spokeswoman Yulia Zhilina said that these maps were used by environmentalists to study contamination of the territories around the plant and the Radon enterprise for storing radioactive waste, near Angarsk. According to Zhilina, the work had been underway for about a year and the special services had had no complaints about it until now. Furthermore, results of the work were sent to some interested organizations, e.g. the State Sanitary-Epidemic Inspectorate, the Hydrometeorological Center, and the Radio-Ecological Council of the region. On the basis of the monitoring, a roundtable conference has been held and a book has been published.

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