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Cablegate: Nunn-Lugar Roundtable: Russians Praise Ctr, Call for More

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PP RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #4469/01 2550538
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 120538Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3748
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 004469

SIPDIS

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM PGOV PINR PINS PREL PTER OREP ENRG MNUC
SUBJECT: Nunn-Lugar Roundtable: Russians Praise CTR, Call for More
Cooperation


1. (U) Summary: At an event co-hosted by the Carnegie Moscow
Center and the Center for Policy Studies to commemorate the
fifteenth anniversary of Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction,
the Russian guest speakers broadly praised the Program,
acknowledging its popularity and success. Some argued, however,
that the presence of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe is a potentially
destabilizing remnant of the Cold War. They viewed the U.S. plan
for missile defense in Europe as a poor example for developing
nations and harmful to the U.S.-Russian cooperation on Iran and
North Korea. They also argued that a shared warning system and
nuclear cooperation within the CIS would enhance the U.S.-Russian
partnership. Several suggested a renewal of U.S.-Russia dialogues
to improve communication and avoid misperceptions. End Summary.

----------------------------------------
The Need To Keep Nuclear Weapons At Home
----------------------------------------

2. (U) On August 28 Senators Lugar and Nunn participated in a
wide-ranging discussion on national security during their August
26-31 trip to Russia to commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of the
Nunn-Lugar Program (Transcript and Lugar speech at
www.carnegie.ru/en). Colonel General Yevgeny Maslin, the former
Chief of the 12th Main Directorate of the Russian Ministry of
Defense, responsible for Nuclear Arsenals and a member of the Center
for Policy Studies's Expert Council, proposed "settling the question
on deployment of nuclear weapons outside the territories of the
countries possessing these weapons." Maslin pointed out that "the
U.S. now is the world's only country possessing nuclear weapons
outside its territory," and described these weapons as "bait" for
Islamist extremists. Dispersing a nuclear arsenal around the world
only increases the risk of such weapons falling into the hands of
terrorists.

-------------------------------
Nunn-Lugar For a Safer Tomorrow
-------------------------------

3. (U) Maslin said the Nunn-Lugar program "works and is very
successful," and acknowledged it has safely and efficiently reduced
Russia's stockpile of nuclear weapons. He also said that
"concentrating all Soviet nuclear stockpiles in Russia and
withdrawing them from the former Soviet republics," especially
Ukraine, drastically reduced the danger of nuclear proliferation.
Maslin stressed, however, that the threat of radioactive substances
being stolen is always present, "and our task is to further reduce
this threat." He noted the absence of previous fora for bilateral
discussions and suggested establishing a constant dialogue between
Russia and the U.S. on nonproliferation issues to prevent the
emergence of new nuclear states.

---------------------------------------------
Missile Defense Questioned, Cooperation Urged
---------------------------------------------

4. (U) Dr. Alexei Arbatov, the Nonproliferation Program Co-Chair at
the Carnegie Moscow Center, said that the U.S. plan for missile
defense in Europe is a bad example for developing nations in light
of the commitment to disarmament under Article Six of the
Nonproliferation Treaty. He also said it was harmful to
U.S.-Russian cooperation on Iran and North Korea. Arbatov noted
that the United States and Russia agree that Iran could pose a
threat to security, but proposed that no interceptors should be
placed in Poland until Iran develops mid-range missiles capable of
reaching Europe.

5. (U) Arbatov argued that the U.S. and Russia should cooperate on
a shared missile warning system, and that the two countries cannot
wait until the change in administrations to take action. He said
that linking radar stations in Gabala, Azerbaijan and Armavir
(southern Russia) to the U.S. radar in the Czech Republic would be
ideal. Arbatov emphasized, "I cannot imagine how governments and
countries that have joint warning systems and joint missile defense
systems will be a threat to each other."

----------------------
Needed: A Fresh START
----------------------

6. (U) Sergey Rogov, the Director of the Institute for USA and
Canada Studies in Russia argued for the ratification of a post-START
agreement. He said, "it seems we are on the verge of collapse of
the rules-based regime. If the START treaty is not extended the INF
Treaty could also crumble." This could also endanger the Nunn-Lugar
Program, he said.

7. (U) Major-General Vladimir Dvorkin of both Carnegie and the PIR
Center proposed creating a nongovernmental group consisting of
experts who would be able to provide some new or innovative ideas

MOSCOW 00004469 002 OF 002


for a post-START process. One major task for this group would be
deciding which verification measures to retain and which to leave
out. Arbatov agreed, arguing that if the START treaty is not
renewed, then certain elements of it could be combined with the
Moscow Treaty to produce an agreement.

----------------
The Need For 123
----------------

8. (U) Rosatom Deputy Director Nicolai Spasskiy co-chaired one of
the panels, and spoke of Russia's renewed efforts in the nuclear
energy field. After elaborating on Russia's nuclear reorganization
and plans to expand nuclear power production, he spoke of
cooperation with the U.S. within the framework of the Global Nuclear
Energy Partnership and noted areas of potential cooperation with
Russia's International Enrichment Center at Angarsk. He predicted
the discussions on the 123 Agreement would be concluded soon, and
took the opportunity to suggest that failure to agree would be
harmful to future U.S.-Russia nuclear cooperation.

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