FILE ID:95071907.POL

(Questions about Russian BW production, Holum says) (760)
By Jacquelyn S. Porth
USIA Security Affairs Correspondent

Washington -- "Problems with Russia" on a range of arms control
agreements related to conventional, chemical and biological weapons
and definition of anti-ballistic missile systems underscore the value
of legally-binding treaties designed to prevent the renewal of a
strategic arms race, says a U.S. arms control official.

U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) Director John Holum
told reporters on July 19 that the United States had been consulting
with high-level Russian officials on Russia's compliance with the 1972
Biological Weapons Convention. While the Russians have taken a number
of steps to allay concerns through the U.S.-British-Russian Trilateral
Process, he said, U.S. officials are "not satisfied" about Russian
activities at plants where legitimate biological activities are
"co-located" with former biological weapons (BW) efforts.

ACDA's 1994 annual report to Congress on "Threat Control Through Arms
Control," which was sent to key congressional leaders in mid-July,
notes that the United States is continuing to work with the Russian
government "to ensure complete termination of the illegal BW program."

Holum told his audience that "we remain very much concerned with
Russian compliance" with both the global biological weapons accord and
bilateral chemical weapons agreements.

In addition, the ACDA director said, the United States has some
concerns regarding Russian compliance with the 1988 Intermediate-range
Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. As an example, he cited inspection
procedures for new Russian missiles that will be exiting from the
Votkinsk Machine Building Plant, emphasizing the importance of
ensuring that no INF-prohibited missiles leave current production

Holum also highlighted the need to agree with Russia on how the
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) applies to former Soviet
ballistic missiles that are being converted for non-military space
use. The ACDA report, which includes current information through
January 20, 1995, states that space launch vehicles have both
strategic and proliferation implications.

Referring to the provisions of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe
(CFE) Treaty, Holum noted there are concerns that Russia will be
unable to meet the CFE-imposed deadline of November 16, 1995, for
destruction of military equipment outside the CFE area of application.

Holum said the U.S. believes that Russian concerns regarding military
security issues on its southern border can be addressed in accordance
with the terms of the CFE Treaty, but he suggested that the subject
should be reexamined when the accord comes up for review in 1996.

Holum also termed CFE "a remarkable success," with some 46,000 pieces
of equipment limited under the treaty having been destroyed thus far.

On congressional efforts to require the administration to have a
multi-site national missile defense system in place by the year 2003,
Holum said this is a "very risky proposition." Forcing the issue, he
explained, could jeopardize the two existing START treaties for a
threat that may never materialize.

On U.S.-Russian negotiations to establish a demarcation line on
missile defenses, Holum said there has been "some progress" but a
solution is not near.

Asked to clarify the U.S. position on nuclear testing, he said it is
"very important" to follow up on the success of the indefinite
extension of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in May and to
"aggressively" seek a comprehensive test ban.

There has been "no change" in the U.S. position on nuclear testing,
Holum said, reiterating that the United States is not considering
undertaking any tests. There has been no retraction, he said, of
President Clinton's decision to extend the nuclear testing moratorium
pending the outcome of the Geneva test ban talks.

On China, Holum said there has been no "definitive finding" that China
has made "sanctionable transfers" of missile parts or systems to
Pakistan. "There are remaining serious concerns that we're looking at
very hard," he said. "We have not yet reached the point of a finding,
but I wouldn't rule that out." If there is a determination that that
has occurred, he added, sanctions will be imposed.

In reference to China's biological weapon capability, the unclassified
version of the ACDA report, which was distributed at the Holum
briefing, states that the United States believes China had an
offensive program before it became a party to the Biological Weapons
Convention in 1984. The report also states that China's "mandated
declarations have not resolved U.S. concerns about this program and
there are strong indications" that it "probably maintains its
offensive program."