Experts Address Implementation of U.S.-Russian MANPAD Pact
April 24, 2006
Bilateral agreement calls for cooperation on keeping weapons from terrorists
A joint statement on U.S.-Russian cooperation on enhancing control of man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) was released by the Department of State April 21.
The statement expressed satisfaction with the results of an "expert-level" meeting held April 19-21 in Washington to discuss implementation of a bilateral agreement and ongoing support of both nations' "common goal of combating the illicit proliferation of MANPADS" -- shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles—according to the statement.
Specifically, the delegations discussed the results of the second bilateral exchange of information on the transfer of MANPADS to third countries and ways to eliminate MANPADS from black markets. They also exchanged information on destruction practices and stockpile security and management practices.
The meeting was the second in a series planned to help implement the agreement. The first was held in Moscow in December 2005; the third will be held later in 2006 or early in 2007, according to the statement.
The U.S.-Russia Arrangement on Cooperation in Enhancing Control of Man-Portable Air Defense Systems was signed in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, during a visit by President Bush that included a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (See related article (http://usinfo.state.gov/eur/Archive/2005/Feb/24-885945.html).)
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov signed the agreement February 24, 2005. It provides a bilateral framework for cooperation in the control of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles that could threaten global aviation if obtained by criminals, terrorists or other nonstate actors. (See fact sheet (http://usinfo.state.gov/eur/Archive/2005/Feb/24-479502.html).)
In congressional testimony in February, Robert Joseph, under secretary of state for arms control and international security, said that MANPADS pose a specific threat to aviation and that the departments of State and Defense are making concerted efforts to prevent such weapons from reaching the hands of terrorists. (See related article (http://usinfo.state.gov/is/Archive/2006/Feb/10-833574.html).)
Following is the media note:
Following is the text of a joint statement issued by the United States and the Russian Federation at the conclusion of the Second Expert-Level Meeting.
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