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#6 - JRL 7205
Russia Concerned Over Israel's Nuclear Weapons Program

PUSAN, South Korea, June 2, 2003 (Haaretz Daily)-- Russia recently expressed concern over Israel's nuclear program and demanded that this be placed on the agenda of international organizations concerned with preventing nuclear proliferation.

Speaking at a meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group in Pusan, South Korea 10 days ago, the Russians presented a report on the nuclear weapons in Israel's possession and demanded that this matter be addressed.

Experts say that Russia raised the issue in an attempt to rebuff American pressure to ease its own nuclear dealings with Iran. The Russian claim is that Israel represents a greater nuclear threat to the Middle East than does Iran.

The Nuclear Suppliers Group, which comprises 40 industrialized nations, works to prevent the "leakage" of nuclear technology to states suspected of trying to develop nuclear arms.

Its rules also limit trade in dual-use technologies, which can be used for either civilian or military purposes.

Israel, which is not a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), has been subjected to these restrictions for years. As a result, there is a long list of products that Israel has trouble purchasing on international markets.

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