Nuclear Weapons in Russia: Safety, Security, and Control Issues [Updated November 5, 2001] [open pdf - 154KB]
"Reports of Russian nuclear materials for sale on the black market, when combined with evidence of weaknesses in the security systems have raised concerns about the possible theft or diversion of nuclear materials from these facilities. The United States and Russia are cooperating in many fora to improve the safety, security, and control over Russia's nuclear weapons and materials. Through the Nunn- Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, the U.S. Department of Defense has provided assistance worth nearly $2 billion to help Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus safely transport and store weapons and eliminate launchers under the START [Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty] Treaties. The Department of Energy's Materials Protection, Control and Accounting Program is helping Russia and other former Soviet republics secure nuclear materials at research and other facilities in the former Soviet Union. The nations have also held bilateral meetings to identify ways in which they might cooperate to improve security and resolve concerns. Some have proposed that the United States and Russia negotiate arms control agreements to reduce their stockpiles of nonstrategic nuclear weapons and to improve transparency and confidence in the elimination of those weapons. Others have proposed that the two sides agree to 'de-alert' their strategic nuclear weapons to reduce the pressures and relieve concerns about Russia's nuclear command and control system."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB98038
U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://fpc.state.gov/