Russia: We Have The Right To Put Nuclear Weapons In Crimea Business Insider JEREMY BENDER Russia announced on Monday that it believes it has the full right to deploy nuclear weapons in the recently annexed Crimean peninsula.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the Interfax news agency that since Crimea was now a part of Russia, Moscow had full rights to deploy nuclear weapons into the region.
Lavrov argues that Crimea can be treated just like any other part of Russia and can therefore host nuclear infrastructure. “Now Crimea has become part of a state which possesses such weapons in accordance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty,” says Lavrov. “In accordance with international law, Russia has every reason to dispose of its nuclear arsenal … to suit its interests and international legal obligations.”………
Technically, neither the US nor Russia can move strategic nuclear forces without verifying the deployment with the other country due to the 2010 New START treaty, which set a timeline for mutual cuts to the countries’ nuclear stockpiles. Any Russian movement of strategic nuclear weapons into Crimea (long-range, high-yield weapons, as opposed to tactical or battlefield nuclear warheads) without prior notification to the US would result in Russia violating the treaty. http://www.businessinsider.com.au/russia-we-can-put-nuclear-weapons-in-crimea-2014-12
Russia Rules Out Pre-emptive Nuclear Attack But Will Strike When Provoked or Under Threat – Report International Business Times, By Erik Pineda | December 13, 2014 As reports came out that Russia under President Vladimir Putin is getting overly aggressive in Europe, per NATO claims, analysts begin to entertain fears of pre-emptive nuclear strike by the Kremlin.
The NATO leadership announced this week that Moscow is engaged in a high-level of military activities in the Baltic region, underscored by the 400 times that alliance jet fighters were scrambled this 2014 in response to incursions made byRussian military planes.
NATO declared that Russia’s recent actions “can be destabilising and potentially dangerous,” according to The Daily Mail.
Now the question begs: Will this bold display of power foreshadow the escalation of hostilities?
No pre-emptive strike
While the tense posturing between Russia and the West – the U.S. and NATO specifically, could potentially graduate into a shooting a war, the Kremlin, as dictated by its recently revised military doctrine, will not fire the first shot, according to a new report byRT.com.
“The renewed draft of the military doctrine would not have a reservation for preventive nuclear strikes on potential enemy,” the news site added, pointing to unnamed insiders from Russia’s Defence Ministry as sources.
It was indicated too in the same report that pre-emptive nuclear attack on specifically identified enemies was deliberated upon by the Russian military and political leaders but the option was not included in the doctrine that was finalised in 2010.
Russia, however, is not discounting the use of nuclear weapons, which they will be willing to rain down on deemed aggressors when provoked. “The Russian Federation reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in reply to strikes with nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction on its territory or on the territory of its allies,” the doctrine reportedly states………
Not surprisingly, Moscow pinpoints Washington and its NATO allies as threats. “Russian foreign policy appears to be based on a combination of fears of popular protest and opposition to U.S. world hegemony,” writes Jonathan Masters, deputy editor for the Council on Foreign Relations.
Putin is apparently convinced that the U.S. and NATO is undermining Russia’s influence in the former Soviet Union republics, according to Masters, likely making the two as prime targets of Russia’s nuclear attack blueprint in the event World War III erupts.
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Russia changed its stance at a Dec. 4 meeting of nuclear diplomats, setting out the Moscow government’s view of new rules to limit radioactive contamination in the event of a nuclear accident, according to a copy of the 13-page presentation seen by Bloomberg. The move raised the chances of a deal to strengthen the Convention on Nuclear Safety, according to three Western diplomats present at the meeting, who asked not to be identified because the talks were private.
The European Union is trying to find a path to tighter safety rules for the world’s aging nuclear reactors with its relationship with Russia overshadowed by the conflict in Ukraine. Yet it’s the U.S., the world’s biggest nuclear-power generator, that is proving the biggest obstacle, the diplomats said, as company investments in reactor safety lag those of European peers.
U.S. resistance to the European safety proposals is a “serious concern,” Senators Barbara Boxerand Edward Markey said in a Dec. 1 letter to Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman Allison Macfarlane. The Democrats urged U.S. diplomats to work with “international partners” to amend safety flaws exposed by the 2011 Fukushima Dai-Ichi meltdowns.
Russia abandoned its opposition to tightening international rules on reactor safety the day after reports of a nuclear accident in Ukraine. The reported mishap — which ultimately proved to be false — roiled markets and sent Ukrainian bond yields to a record high. The 1986 meltdown of a Soviet-built reactor in Chernobyl, about 80 miles north of the capital Kiev, weighed on Ukraine’s budget for decades and resulted in a 2,600 square kilometer (1,000 square miles) exclusion zone.
The European proposal would compel nuclear operators to both prevent accidents and, should they occur, mitigate the effects of radioactive contamination. Most controversially, the treaty change would also force potentially costly upgrades at existing plants.
More than half of the world’s 438 reactors were built at least 30 years ago and are nearing the age when they’ll need special attention, according to International Atomic Energy Agency statistics………
“People in the U.S. don’t realize that in many ways our nuclear safety standards lag behind those inEurope,” former NRC commissioner Victor Gilinsky said in a written reply to questions. “The German and French containment structures are generally more formidable than ours and those reactors generally have more protection systems.”……
Regulators worldwide have tried to boost safety standards in response to the Fukushima meltdown, which forced 160,000 people to flee radioactive contamination after a tsunami flooded safety back-up systems.
The NRC is still working out the parameters on how it values human lives at risk from a nuclear accident, spokesman Scott Burnell said. The value helps determine how much nuclear-plant operators need to spend on backfitting reactors with new safety gear. The NRC was criticized Dec. 3 by Boxer, chairman of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works committee, for being slow to ensure plant safety improvements.
“Some reactor operators are still not in compliance with the safety requirements that were in place before the Fukushima disaster,” Boxer said. “This is unacceptable.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Tirone in Vienna at firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-10/russian-concessions-on-nuclear-safety-put-focus-on-u-s-reactors.html
The Russian deal is being marketed as preferential because it includes Russian government funding, construction assistance and fuel cycle services. But the “Russian Nuclear Industry in Review” report shows fatal flaws with the concept and reveals the shady corners of the Russian nuclear industry.
For U.S. and Russia, Isolation Can Lead to Nuclear Catastrophe NYT, NOVEMBER 15, 2014, Siegfried S. Hecker is a research professor and senior fellow in the department of management science and engineering at Stanford University. He was director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1986 to 1997, and is completing a book with Russian colleagues on U.S.-Russian nuclear cooperation.
Moscow’s announcement that no new joint Russian – U.S. projects to secure nuclear materials in Russia are “envisioned” in 2015 came as no surprise. Over the past 10 years the Russian government has systematically terminated most cooperative threat reduction projects initiated after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Nuclear cooperation was born of necessity because the political chaos and economic hardship endangered Soviet nuclear assets, those in Russia and other former Soviet states……..
Cooperative threat reduction was highly successful. Nothing really terrible happened in the Russian nuclear complex since the Soviet collapse. Threat reduction was not only cooperative, but it was highly collaborative. Hundreds of Russian and American nuclear weapons scientists and engineers worked hand in hand in each other’s facilities to vastly improve Russian practices and technologies to help them better secure and safeguard their enormous stocks of weapons-grade nuclear materials. They collaborated on how to ensure the safety and security of nuclear weapons in transport, storage and disassembly. They collaborated on how to strengthen nonproliferation and export control regimes and to prevent nuclear terrorism………
Moscow is willing to collaborate in science and nuclear energy technologies, but is terminating bilateral security cooperation. Washington wants to continue the latter, but in response to the Ukraine crisis, is isolating Russia from broader scientific and nuclear energy cooperation. The combined actions will diminish safety and security, as well as threaten nuclear cooperation in other key areas of common interest, such as countering nuclear terrorism and preventing nuclear proliferation.
My Russian colleagues and I believe that in nuclear matters, collaboration is essential, whereas isolation can lead to catastrophes. It is important for both Moscow and Washington to heed this message.http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/11/14/standing-up-to-aggression-or-ensuring-nuclear-security/for-us-and-russia-isolation-can-lead-to-nuclear-catastrophe
Sunken Soviet Submarines Threaten Nuclear Catastrophe in Russia’s Arctic, Moscow Times. by Matthew Bodner Nov. 13 2014 While Russia’s nuclear bombers have recently set the West abuzz by probing NATO’s air defenses, a far more certain danger currently lurks beneath the frigid Arctic waters off Russia’s northern coast — a toxic boneyard for Soviet nuclear ships and reactors whose containment systems are gradually wearing out.
Left to decay at the bottom of the ocean, the world is facing a worst case scenario described as “an Arctic underwater Chernobyl, played out in slow motion,” according to Thomas Nilsen, an editor at the Barents Observer newspaper and a member of a Norwegian watchdog group that monitors the situation.
According to a joint Russian-Norwegian report issued in 2012, there are 17,000 containers of nuclear waste, 19 rusting Soviet nuclear ships and 14 nuclear reactors cut out of atomic vessels at the bottom of the Kara Sea.
For extra historical details see: Soviet Nuclear Submarine Wrecks at Bottom of Arctic Ocean (Video) Continue reading
After Two Decades Of Cooperation, Russia May Pull The Plug On Nuclear Security Contracts With The US, Business Insider 15 Nov 14 PIERRE BIENAIMÉ In the years following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia’s former American rival has spent billions helping Moscow secure a sprawling network of nuclear infrastructure, in the interest of lowering the odds that weaponised uranium might fall in the hands of extremists or rogue states.
Now Russia may be planning to wind down those joint efforts, the New York Times reported. Sergey V. Kirienko, the head of Russia’s state nuclear company, told US Energy Secretary that no new contracts aimed at nuclear security for 2015 were envisioned “under current circumstances” — a concise reference to the ratcheting tensions between Russia and the West since its annexation of Crimea in March………http://www.businessinsider.com.au/russia-may-stop-cooperating-with-the-us-2014-11/
Russia steps up nuclear plans in Iran as talks near deadline By Josh Levs, November 11, 2014 (CNN) — Russia has announced plans to build new nuclear reactors in Iran — a move with international repercussions as a deadline looms.
The country will construct up to eight new reactors for the “peaceful use of atomic energy” in Iran, Russian state news agency Ria-Novosti reported Tuesday.
The announcement came less than two weeks before Iran’s negotiations with Western powers over its nuclear activities are set to expire……..http://edition.cnn.com/2014/11/11/world/meast/iran-russia-nuclear/
Russia told U.S. it will not attend 2016 nuclear security summit WASHINGTON/MOSCOW Wed Nov 5, 2014 (Reuters) – Russia has told the United States that it will not attend a 2016 nuclear security summit, the State Department said on Wednesday, in the latest sign of frosty ties between Washington and Moscow.
Explaining why it would stay away, Moscow said it doubted the value of the summit, which is to be held in Chicago in 2016, and believed the views of states which disagreed with the event’s organizers would be ignored.
The bi-annual summit aims to improve nuclear security around the world and, in the past, has involved more than 50 countries including China, France, Germany and Britain……….http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/05/us-nuclear-security-usa-russia-idUSKBN0IP24K20141105
Russia successfully test-fired an intercontinental missile from a submerged Northern Fleet nuclear submarine on Wednesday, the country’s defense ministry announced in a statement.
The submerged vessel fired the missile from the Barents Sea to the Kura Range on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the country’s far east. The Sineva, which has a range of about 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles), was deployed in 2007 as part of the country’s efforts to maintain its nuclear power status,according to Reuters. This is the second such test of a missile by Russia in a week after it had successfully test-fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile on Oct. 29…….
Last week, the Russian navy’s Yuri Dolgoruky nuclear submarine test-fired a Bulava missile from an underwater position in the Barents Sea. The missile successfully reached the selected targets at a testing range in the Kamchatka Peninsula, the Associated Press reported. According to media reports, the Bulava missiles can hit targets as far as 5,000 miles away and can cause a blast 100 times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped by the U.S. on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. http://www.ibtimes.com/russia-test-fires-intercontinental-missile-nuclear-submarine-1719169
Russia boycotts nuclear meeting By GEORGE JAHN and DEB RIECHMANN 3 Nov 14
VIENNA (AP) — Russia has failed to show up at meeting planning the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, U.S and European officials said Monday, in a potentially serious blow to efforts by President Barack Obama to cement his legacy as leaving the world safer from nuclear terrorism than when he took office.
The officials said it was not immediately clear whether Russia’s absence meant that Moscow meant to boycott the summit itself or if it was a temporary show of displeasure over Washington’s harsh condemnation of Moscow’s role in Ukraine unrest and its lead in orchestrating Western sanctions and other punitive measures in response.
But even if short-term,, Russia’s no-show is significant. Only three or four planning meetings are scheduled before the spring of 2016, when the summit is tentatively set to open. With Russia a key global player — and one of the world’s five formally recognized nuclear powers — its input is crucial to setting an agenda.
The U.S. president initiated a string of summits in 2010 aimed at preventing terrorists from getting their hands on weapons-grade nuclear material. Since then, the number of countries that have enough material to build a nuclear weapon has fallen from 39 to 25. http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/apnewsbreak-russia-boycotts-nuclear-meeting-26666344
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