327. The Russian Federation's WMD arsenal has
concerned the international community since the fall of the Soviet
Union in 1991. Gary Samore, Director of Studies at the International
Institute of Strategic Studies, explained the nature of the threat.
He told us:
The point of maximum danger in Russia was in
the very early years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, where
there really was a general disappearance of the state security
apparatus. I think in the last five or six years the Russian Government
under President Putin have taken measures to strengthen their
controls over nuclear materials, and I think they are in significantly
better shape now than they were in the early part of the 1990s.
I think there is still work that needs to be done, and the various
programmes that are under way, the Conflict Threat Reduction,
Nunn-Lugar programmes are all important to maintain, but my judgment
is that the threat of leakage of significant amounts of highly
enriched uranium from Russia is much lower now than it was a decade
328. Despite these improvements, the Russian
Federation still receives extensive financial and technical support
from the USA as part of its international non-proliferation efforts.
For instance, the USA has played a prominent role dealing with
Russia's WMD with its Co-operative Threat Reduction (CTR) programme,
which includes the Nunn-Lugar programme dealing with security
and safety of nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union. To date,
the Nunn-Lugar Programme has funded the disassembly of thousands
of strategic nuclear weapons, dozens of nuclear submarines, and
put tonnes of fissile material into safe storage, at the cost
of no more than 3 per cent of the US defence budget.
The scale of the CTR programme is huge: President Bush recently
signed a waiver granting $450 million of federal funds to finance
We discussed the CRT programme with Senator Lugar on our visit
to Washington in March 2004.
329. The European Union also has a role to play
in dealing with Russia's WMD legacy. The EU provides funding for
the non-proliferation efforts in the former Soviet Union, through
its TACIS programme supporting nuclear safety in the Russian Federation
which provided about 3 million euro in 2003, and 2.4 million to
the middle of 2004.
The projects include support for plutonium disposition and the
security of storage facilities, efforts to develop MOX fuel development,
and the transport of MOX facilities.
The EU also supports the work chemical weapons destruction plants
at Gorny, Schuch'ye and Kambarka with funds of about 15 million
euro, by establishing environmental monitoring projects, and also
provides advice for Russian strategic export controls, by streamlining
the system with electronic licenses.
However, the EU's contribution is not commensurate with its economic
weight in the world.
330. We conclude that international efforts,
such as the CTR programme, to counter the proliferation of the
Soviet Union's WMD legacy are essential work. However, we also
conclude that while the efforts of the EU are welcome, its contribution
to non-proliferation efforts neither takes account of the scale
and threat of the task, nor of the EU's economic importance. We
recommend that the Government encourage its partners in Europe
to increase the EU's contribution to non-proliferation efforts
in the Russian Federation.
G8 Global Partnership
331. The G8 Global Partnership against the Spread
of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, also seeks to secure
and destroy Russian WMD. The Partnership was launched in June
2002 at the G8 summit at Kananaskis in Canada, when the G8 states
pledged 10 plus 10 over 10 - US$10 billion from the US, US$10
billion from the other member states, over the next ten years
to manage Russia's WMD legacy. The United Kingdom pledged £750
million to fund G8 Global Partnership projects under the co-ordination
of the FCO, DTI and MOD, Baroness Symons, Minister of State at
the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, told the House of Lords on
25 February 2004.
332. A joint statement issued by the G8 at Kananaskis
Under this initiative, we will support specific
cooperation projects, initially in Russia, to address non-proliferation,
disarmament, counter-terrorism and nuclear safety issues. Among
our priority concerns are the destruction of chemical weapons,
the dismantlement of decommissioned nuclear submarines, the disposition
of fissile materials and the employment of former weapons scientists.
We will commit to raise up to US$20 billion to support such projects
over the next ten years.
The most recent Sea Island Summit in June 2004 took
the initiative further. The Global Partnership Annual Report,
published in June 2004, described the progress to date. For instance,
pledges of funding have come in, discussion on the legal basis
for work is under way, projects have started, work is under way
to improve co-ordination of projects, and states are working to
establish guidelines to form the basis for specific agreements.
Additionally, more states have joined the G8 Global Partnership,
including Australia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the
Republic of Korea and New Zealand, as well as Finland, Norway,
Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland who joined last year.
333. On our visit to Moscow we heard that the
G8 Partnership has had some successes, but that problems continue
to delay its thorough implementation. The greatest difficulty
has been disputes over the potential liability for future damages,
the tax obligations of donor funds and issues of access to the
sites. One of
the G8 Partnership's targets is to establish agreements that settle
these difficulties effectively; a successful example is the Multinational
Environmental Programme in the Russian Federation (MNEPR), which
watered down demands that full liability for accidents rest with
the Russian Federation.
334. We conclude that the G8 Global Partnership
makes an essential contribution to the reduction of the threat
of proliferation of WMD, although certain difficulties remain
between Russia and the other members. We recommend that in its
response to this Report the Government set out how it has resolved
the differences over liability for future damages, the tax status
of donor funds, and issues over access to the sites, as well as
how it is working with the USA to help overcome American differences
with the Russian authorities.
Chemical and Biological Weapons
335. The FCO, DTI and MOD outlined progress on
the destruction of Russia's chemical and biological weapons in
their first Annual Report on the G8 Partnership. Examining chemical
weapons, the Report says:
Russia has declared 40,000 tonnes of chemical
weapons, stored at seven sites on its territory. Over 30,000 tonnes
is in the form of more than 4 million munitions containing nerve
Russia's initial progress with destroying its chemical
weapons was slow, with insufficient resources being allocated.
However, increased funding and commitment to progress have been
evident in the last three years. The first of Russia's chemical
weapon destruction facilities (at Gorny in the Saratov region)
became operational in December 2002.
[However] Russia has
already made clear that it will not be able to complete destruction
of its CW stocks by the 2007 final deadline, and has sought an
extension to 2012.
The United Kingdom plays an important role in the
construction of the Shchuch'ye destruction facility, for instance
by establishing water and electricity for the plant.