Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 71

In a speech to the Russian Security Council yesterday, President Boris Yeltsin outlined an ambitious series of activities aimed at improving Russian nuclear safety and security that he said Moscow would present to world leaders during the April 19-20 nuclear security summit. Among the steps mentioned by Yeltsin were the final withdrawal of all former Soviet nuclear warheads onto Russian territory and the signing by Moscow of a series of international agreements on the safe storage and handling of nuclear materials. Yeltsin also said that nuclear safety could not be ensured by national efforts alone, and he suggested that Moscow would invite foreign experts to assess security conditions at Russian facilities equipped with first-generation nuclear reactors.

In what could be a more contentious move aimed at precluding the stationing of tactical nuclear arms in Eastern European states newly admitted to NATO, Yeltsin also said he would propose "that nuclear weapons from all other nuclear states be concentrated on their own territory." Moscow will also urge adoption of a protocol calling for interaction among the secret services of Russia and the G-7 countries in order to thwart illegal traffic in nuclear materials.

Although admitting that Moscow’s inclusion as a full member in the G-7 was not yet assured, Yeltsin described the Moscow summit as the first to adopt a G-8 format rather than use the earlier "seven plus one" formulation. (Reuter, Itar-Tass, Interfax, April 10)

Staffing Levels in the Russian Army.