Russian lawmakers OK US weapons dismantling dealRussian lawmakers approved a deal to allow United States to provide financial aid to assist in dismantling its nuclear, chemical, and other weapons. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak said the U.S. aid under that agreement has totaled more than $2 billion and Russia expects to receive another $1 billion through 2013 to help dismantle its aging arsenals.
The 1992 agreement was signed at a time when the cash-strapped Russian government desperately needed foreign aid to safely store and dispose of huge Soviet-era arsenals of nuclear and chemical weapons.
Russia plans new nuclear weaponsPresident Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia was working on new types of nuclear weapons as part of a "grandiose" plan to boost the country's defenses.
"We will develop missile technology including completely new strategic (nuclear) complexes, completely new." Putin said in an annual televised question-and-answer session with Russian citizens. "Work is continuing and continuing successfully."
"We have plans that are not only big, but grandiose, they are fully realistic. Our armed forces will be more compact but more effective and better ensure Russia defense," Putin said. [via Yahoo! New]
Russia Continues to Withhold Fuel From IranFrom Managing the Atom:
Haaretz's reports that while Russia opposes sanctions on Iran they continue to withhold nuclear fuel. This is interesting and shows that while Russia is against the sanctions it is clearly concerned with Iran becoming a nuclear weapons state.
[via Managing the Atom]
Russia tests the R-24From http://russianforces.org/
Strategic Rocket Forces conducted a successful test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, which was declared a missile of a new type, designated R-24. The launch was conducted at 14:20 MSK from the Plesetsk test site toward the Kura test site in Kamchatka. The missile was launched from a mobile launcher and carried multiple independently targeted warheads. The missile appears to be a version of the Topol-M missile modified to ensure compliance with the START Treaty. The treaty prohibits increasing the number of warheads on missiles of existing types. No details of the modification are available at the moment.
Russian Rail Missile System photosI stumbled upon this set of photos of the Russian Rail Missile system and thought I would pass them along.
U.S., Russia Hash Out Nuclear Security AgreementAfter more than two years of discussion, officials from Moscow and Washington have agreed to a plan to maintain the U.S.-funded security upgrades at Russian nuclear material sites, the National Nuclear Security Administration announced Wednesday. [via Nuclear Threat Initiative]
Russia gives Iran nuclear ultimatumRussia has told Iran that it will withhold fuel for Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant unless Tehran suspends its uranium enrichment program as the U.N. Security Council demands, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
The ultimatum was delivered in Moscow last week by Igor Ivanov, the secretary of the Russian National Security Council, to Ali Hosseini Tash, Iran's deputy chief nuclear negotiator, the newspaper reported, citing European, American and Iranian officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The U.S. State Department had no immediate comment. [via MSNBC.com]
Russia MIght Leave the INF TreatyA top Russian general said Thursday that Moscow may unilaterally opt out of a Soviet-era arms reduction treaty with the United States, Russian news agencies reported.
Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, the chief of the Russian military's General Staff, was quoted by ITAR-Tass and Interfax as saying that Russia could pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, negotiated between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1987.
He said the decision would depend on the United States' actions with its proposed missile defense system, parts of which Washington is seeking to deploy in Poland and the Czech Republic. [via ABC News]