Russia to Give U.S. Inspectors Access to Some Nuclear Sites — Official
MosNews | May 12, 2005
Russia said it will allow U.S. inspectors to visit nuclear sites whose security systems are financed by Washington but not sites deemed sensitive, AFP reported Wednesday.
“In sites where technical security means have been installed with U.S. money, we are bound by the agreement to allow American inspectors entry at least three times,” Alexander Rumiantsev, head of the Russian Federal Energy Agency, told the daily newspaper Vremia Novostei and quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency.
“But on more sensitive sites, those where we look after security ourselves, access will be closed to the Americans,” he added.
The agreement was signed after Washington voiced fears that nuclear materials were being stolen from poorly protected sites and being sold.
Rumiantsev explained several dozen sites would be open to U.S. inspectors, including those that housed nuclear reactors and research centers, so that they could see for themselves where the money they invested had been spent.
“It concerns tens of millions of dollars,” he said.
He also revealed that Russia “would not insist that America allow Russian inspectors to view their sensitive sites” in the United States.
At a summit in Bratislava in February U.S. and Russian Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin agreed to work together to enhance what was described as a “security culture” at nuclear sites, AFP adds.
Russian daily Kommersant reported in February that all nuclear sites in Russia, including military ones, would be subject to the inspections.
However, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said that no visit to any site was obligatory.