Fact Sheet: Nonproliferation, Threat Reduction Assistance to Russia

(Dec. 27: White House fact sheet on detailed review of programs) (660)
27 December 2001

Following is the text of a White House Fact Sheet issued December 27
from President Bush's home in Crawford, Texas, on an Administration
review of nonproliferation and threat reduction assistance to the
Russian Federation:

(begin fact sheet)

Office of the Press Secretary
(Crawford, Texas)

December 27, 2001



The President has made clear repeatedly that his Administration is
committed to strong, effective cooperation with Russia and the other
states of the Former Soviet Union to reduce weapons of mass
destruction and prevent their proliferation. To ensure that the
promise of those programs is fully realized, the Administration has
undertaken, in consultation with the Congress, a detailed review of
U.S. nonproliferation and threat reduction assistance to the Russian

The review examined over 30 different programs, with a combined budget
in Fiscal Year 2001 of approximately $750 million. The aims of the
review were threefold:

-- To ensure that existing U.S. cooperative nonproliferation programs
with Russia are focused on priority threat reduction and
nonproliferation goals, and are conducted as efficiently and
effectively as possible.

-- To examine what new initiatives might be undertaken to further our
threat reduction and nonproliferation goals.

-- To consider organizational and procedural changes designed to
ensure a consistent, coordinated U.S. government approach to
cooperative programs with the Former Soviet Union on the reduction of
weapons of mass destruction and prevention of their proliferation. The
review is now complete. It found that most U.S. programs to assist
Russia in threat reduction and nonproliferation work well, are focused
on priority tasks, and are well managed.

The review further identified four programs for expansion:

-- The Department of Energy Material Protection, Control and
Accounting (MPC&A) program to help Russia secure and consolidate
weapons-grade nuclear material;

-- The Department of Energy Warhead and Fissile Material Transparency

-- The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC); and

-- The Redirection of Biotechnical Scientists program.

The Department of Defense will seek to accelerate the Cooperative
Threat Reduction project to construct a chemical weapons destruction
facility at Shchuch'ye (Russia), to enable its earlier completion at
no increased expense. We welcome the contributions that friends and
allies have made to this project thus far, and will work for their

As a result of the review, other programs are being adjusted,
refocused or reexamined:

-- The Department of State and Department of Energy are examining
alternative approaches to the current Plutonium Disposition program in
Russia, with the aim of making the program less costly and more
effective. The Administration remains committed to the agreement with
Russia to dispose of excess plutonium.

-- The project to end Russian production of weapons-grade plutonium
will be transferred from the Department of Defense to the Department
of Energy. The Department of Energy Nuclear Cities Initiative (NCI)
will be consolidated with the Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention
(IPP) and restructured to focus more effectively on projects to help
Russia reduce its nuclear warhead complex.

The Department of Energy's Second Line of Defense Program has been
merged with the MPC&A program, to help accelerate cooperation with
Russia to install nuclear detection equipment at border posts. On
December 11, 2001, at the Citadel, the President said:

"Together, we must keep the world's most dangerous technologies out of
the hands of the world's most dangerous people. A crucial partner in
this effort is Russia -- a nation we are helping to dismantle
strategic weapons, reduce nuclear material, and increase security at
nuclear sites. Our two countries will expand efforts to provide
peaceful employment for scientists who formerly worked in Soviet
weapons facilities. The United States will also work with Russia to
build a facility to destroy tons of nerve agent. I'll request an
over-all increase in funding to support this vital mission."

The decisions from the Administration review will be implemented
vigorously, in accordance with the President's clear direction.

(end text)

(end fact sheet)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
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