RECONNAISSANCE WAS DONE FOR THE CIA, RATHER THAN AGAINST NORTH KOREA
Izvestia, January 22, 2003, p. 2 EV
“The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service has not assisted the CIA in activities aimed against North Korea,” the press bureau of the Foreign Intelligence Service (FIS) yesterday responded to an article in The New York Times entitled “Russia Helped the U.S. on Nuclear Spying Inside North Korea.”
The information published in The New York Times does not correspond with reality, says Boris Labusov, head of the FIS press bureau. “We are proceeding from the idea that some forces within the US concocted this article at the very time that Russia is making intense efforts aimed at relieving tension surrounding the nuclear program of North Korea.”
The denial from the FIS press bureau should be taken literally, our sources close to the FIS said: the FIS doesn’t interpret supplying information on nuclear weapons proliferation as actions aimed against the corresponding country. Boris Labusov also indirectly confirmed this: “We are communicating and cooperating with foreign intelligence agencies in our efforts against the phenomenon as a whole, rather than against any given country.”
BULGARIAN PRESIDENT VISITS MOSCOW
Parlamentskaya Gazeta, January 22, 2003, EV
Yesterday, Vladimir Putin received Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov, who arrived in Moscow on an official visit in Moscow the previous day.
At the Kremlin meeting, the presidents discussed the state and prospects of developing bilateral relations, upcoming political contacts, and problems of countering terrorism. In President Putin’s opinion, relations between Russia and Bulgaria “have been developing fairly intensively of late”.
“This is not restricted to high-level contacts alone, but includes activation of cooperation in other areas,” said Vladimir Putin.
At the same time, according to President Putin, despite the fact that trade turnover between Russia and Bulgaria amounted to $1.5 billion last year, efforts to change the structure of trade turnover failed. However, both parties noted the “strategic nature” of cooperation between Russia and Bulgaria in the energy sphere. This concerns Russia’s participation in some major projects in Bulgaria: expansion of gas transit from Russia, construction of the Belene nuclear power plant, and plans for an oil pipeline running from Burgas to Alexandroupolis.
THE STRAITS OF DISCORD
Moskovskii Komsomolets, January 22, 2003, EV
Negotiations between Russia and the US regarding partition of the Bering and Chuckchee seas will take place in March.
A representative of the State Fisheries Committee said: “Negotiations promise to be very difficult, because the US does not intend to revise the agreement on the partition of the Bering and Chuckchee seas signed by Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze and US Secretary of State James Baker in June 1990.”
Due to this unfair division, 50,000 square kilometers of Russia’s share of these waters ended up in the jurisdiction of the US. Experts say that this is costing Russia over $200 million a year.
But it should not be forgotten that the agreement has only been ratified by the US Congress. The USSR Supreme Council and the Russian Duma rejected it. In this regard, specialists of the State Fisheries Committee say: “If Washington decided to grant annual quotas in its economic zone in the Bering Sea to Russian fishing companies, that would be a compromise solution to the problem.”