The 1998 Moscow Summit

August 31, 1998

While the Russian economic and political crisis has recently overshadowed all other US-Russian issues, the Moscow summit meeting will address a number of important nonproliferation and arms control issues. CNS has assembled background material on these issues drawing from its databases and ongoing research.


The START II Treaty lies at the center of US-Russian arms control efforts, yet its ratification looks increasingly uncertain as the political crisis in Russia unfolds. CNS Senior Research Associate Nikolai Sokov analyzes the current status of the START process in his research brief, “Current Prospects for START II Ratification and START III Talks.” CNS has also compiled a chronology of the START II ratification process, based on excerpts from the NIS Nuclear Profiles Database.

Russian Support for Iranian Nuclear and Missile Programs

One of the major points of contention between Russia and the United States is Russia’s provision of nuclear reactors for Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant. Allegations that Russian firms have been covertly assisting the Iranian missile program have also appeared in the Western and Russian press, prompting Russian investigations and US sanctions, as summarized in Institutions Suspected by the Russian Government of Violating Export Control Regulations. Two excerpts from the NIS Nuclear Profiles Database provide overviews of Russian-Iranian Nuclear Cooperation and Russian Missile Exports to Iran. More information on the Iranian nuclear program may be found in the fact sheet “Iran’s Nuclear-Related Facilities” compiled by the CNS Monitoring Proliferation Threats Project. The Iranian missile program is examined in more depth in Aaron Karp’s article “Lessons of Iranian Missile Programs for U.S. Nonproliferation Policy,” from the Spring-Summer 1998 issue of The Nonproliferation Review.

Safeguarding and Reducing Russian Plutonium Stockpiles

Under the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Act (CTR) the United States has provided over a billion dollars for the dismantling of former Soviet nuclear weapons and the enhancement of security for fissile materials. One of the largest projects is the Fissile Material Storage Facility at the Mayak Chemical Combine, which when completed will store the fissile material from up to 12,500 dismantled nuclear warheads. For more details, see the profile of the Fissile Material Storage Facility excerpted from the NIS Nuclear Profiles Database. New initiatives to prevent the theft of fissile material from the NIS are proposed in “Making the World a Safer Place,” an Op-Ed written for MSNBC by Dr. William Potter and Dr. Scott Parrish.

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