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#14 - JRL 2006-195 - JRL Home
Russia not ready to join US non-nuke ICBM initiative minister
RIA Novosti

Fairbanks, 28 August: Moscow has questions with regard to the US plans to use intercontinental ballistic missiles with conventional warheads for combating terrorism, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov has said.

"Such plans, even preliminary ones, bring about some questions. I am not ready now to voice Russia's consent to join this initiative," Ivanov said at a joint news conference after meeting his US counterpart Donald Rumsfeld in Fairbanks, Alaska. He added that the idea is to enhance possibilities for delivering preventive strikes.

"Theoretically, long-range conventional cruise missiles could be used for the purpose. Besides, there exist a theoretical possibility to use medium-range missiles, but the United States and Russia cannot possess them, unlike many other states, which already have these missiles," Ivanov went on to say.

"We'll be in close contact and our experts will have a possibility to discuss in detail all aspects of this problem," he said.

[In an earlier report at 2305 gmt 27 Aug 06, ITAR-TASS news agency quoted Rumsfeld as saying that the United States was viewing a possibility of removing nuclear warheads from several ICBM to replace them with conventional warheads and wanted Russia to do the same, so that the two countries had additional possibilities in 5-10 years "just in case". Rumsfeld said if the threat of the use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists emerges it is necessary to have conventional weapons in order to deliver precision strikes on them. Rumsfeld said he hoped that Ivanov gets back home to Russia, picks up the receiver and says this idea is wonderful.]