|08GENEVA561||2008-07-21 14:42:00||CONFIDENTIAL||US Mission Geneva|
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C O N F I D E N T I A L GENEVA 000561
1. (U) This is BIC-IX-001.
2. (U) Meeting Date: July 16, 2008
Time: 3:30 - 5:20 P.M.
Place: U.S. Mission, Geneva
3. (C) U.S. and Russian representatives to the Moscow
Treaty's Bilateral Implementation Commission (BIC) met at the
U.S. Mission in Geneva, Switzerland, on July 16, 2008, to
conduct the ninth session of the BIC. The sides presented
briefings on the status of, and plans for, reductions in
their strategic nuclear forces. The U.S. briefing specified
that the number of operationally deployed strategic nuclear
warheads (ODSNW), as of May 31, 2008, was 2647. The Russian
briefing specified that the number of Russian strategic
nuclear warheads (SNW), as of May 1, 2008, was 2032.
Koshelev also confirmed that the Russian briefing and numbers
provided were in fact con fidential. Questions were limited,
and there were no significant changes in plans to meet the
Moscow Treaty limits reported by either side since the eighth
session of the BIC (Reftel). Of note, however, were
Koshelev's opening remarks, which included his
characterization of selective points from a speech Russian
President Medvedev gave on July 15, 2008 at the Russian
Foreign Ministry. Some of the points Koshelev expressed
concerned the relationship between strategic offensive forces
and strategic defensive forces, and stated that deployment of
missile defenses in Europe will affect Russia's strategic
nuclear forces and existing arrangements for strategic
stability, including the Moscow Treaty.
4. (C) Taylor and Koshelev exchanged welcomes and introduced
their delegations. Koshelev then commented on remarks made
by President Medvedev on July 15, 2008 concerning Russia's
foreign policy objectives, noting that elements were relevant
to the work of the BIC and the implementation of the Moscow
Treaty. Specifically, he noted that:
- Russia will maintain its long-standing positions concerning
matters of disarmament and arms control.
- Cold War institutions for maintaining stability are no
longer efficient, and new arrangements are necessary. In
this regard, Russia has proposed a new Treaty on European
Security to replace existing treaties.
- 2009 marks the 70th anniversary of the beginning of World
War II, and it is unacceptable to repeat the events leading
up to the war as some European capitals are trying. Russia
will do its part to resist this type of behavior in order to
preserve the borders and security of Europe established as a
result of the War.
- Regarding strategic stability between the United States and
Russia, the deployment in Europe of U.S. missile defense
assets will affect Russia's strategic forces and, in turn,
will impact current arrangements concerning strategic
stability, including implementation of the Moscow Treaty.
Deployment of missile defenses will destroy elements of
security upon which strategic stability is based. There is a
close relationship between strategic offensive arms and
strategic defenses; changes in defensive capability will
affect offensive arms.
(Begin comment: President Medvedev spoke on July 15, 2008,
at a meeting with Russian Ambassadors and Permanent
Representatives to International Organizations at the Russian
Foreign Ministry. End comment.)
5. (C) Koshelev concluded his opening comments by stating
that the need for a reliable exchange of information in the
context of the Moscow Treaty is increasing as controls
concerning data exchanges (i.e., under START) will soon
expire. To help monitor implementation of the Treaty, Russia
proposes the sides agree on a common definition for the term
"strategic nuclear warhead." Discussions in the BIC have
brought the sides closer in their understanding of the term,
and Russia proposes to complete this work by reaching an
6. (C) Taylor expressed appreciation for Koshelev's summary
of Medvedev's remarks stating that he would report this to
Washington. With regard to the BIC and a common definition
for the term "strategic nuclear warhead," Taylor noted that
this had been discussed before in the BIC and that this
discussion had brought the sides very close in terms of their
understanding of each other. Therefore, the U.S. position
remained that it was not necessary to codify a definition for
the term; the United States had defined the term the same
since signature of the Treaty.
7. (C) Koshelev agreed that discussions in the BIC had
brought the sides closer. He commented that the importance
of the term extended beyond the Moscow Treaty and was
relevant in the context of a post-START arrangement, which
remained a top priority between the United States and Russia.
The dialogue on strategic issues would be continued with the
next U.S. administration and a definition for the term would
need to be revisited.
RUSSIAN BRIEFING ON
STRATEGIC NUCLEAR FORCES
8. (C) Ryzhkov presented the following briefing, classified
con fidential, updating the status of and plans for Russia's
strategic nuclear forces. At the beginning of the briefing
he noted that Russia was open to discussion concerning the
format of the briefings exchanged in the BIC.
Title Page: Reduction of Strategic Nuclear Forces of the
Russian Federation under the Treaty on Strategic Offensive
Ninth Session of the Bilateral Implementation Commission for
the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions
Geneva, July 2008
Plans to Reduce and Limit Strategic Nuclear Warheads
The Russian Federation's plans have not changed since
the previous session of the Bilateral Implementation
Commission for the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions:
-- The Russian Federation will reduce and limit its strategic
nuclear warheads so that by December 31, 2012, the aggregate
number of such warheads will not exceed 1700-2200;
-- For the purposes of counting nuclear warheads under the
Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions, the Russian
Federation considers the following:
- reentry vehicles on ICBMs in their launchers;
- reentry vehicles on SLBMs in their launchers on board
- nuclear armaments loaded on heavy bombers and those
stored in weapons storage areas directly at heavy bomber
The Russian Federation is implementing its plans by:
-- removing from service and subsequently eliminating
missiles, launchers, submarines, and heavy bombers that have
reached the end of their warranted service life;
-- converting silo launchers of ICBMs for new armaments and
modernizing heavy bombers;
-- developing and putting into service land-based and
sea-based strategic missile systems of a new type:
- tests of the new RSM-56 SLBM will continue;
- tests of the prototype of the RS-24 ICBM, which is
intended to replace obsolete missiles on alert status, will
- work on equipping the Strategic Rocket Forces with
missile systems with silo-based and mobile-based SS-27 ICBMs
Plans for Strategic Offensive Arms Reductions in 2008
In 2008 the Russian Federation plans to eliminate:
-- 23 road-mobile launchers for SS-25 ICBMs;
-- 20 launchers of SS-19 ICBMs;
-- 20 launchers of SS-N-20 SLBMs;
-- 31 SS-25 ICBMs;
-- 17 SS-19 ICBMs;
-- 3 SS-24 ICBMs;
-- 10 SS-N-18 SLBMs;
-- 10 SS-N-20 SLBMs;
-- 10 SS-N-23s (sic);
Progress in Strategic Offensive Arms Reductions in 2008
By May 1, 2008, the Russian Federation had eliminated:
-- 7 road-mobile launchers for SS-25 ICBMs;
-- 18 SS-25 ICBMs;
-- 2 SS-19 ICBMs;
-- 1 SS-18 ICBM;
-- 3 SS-24 ICBMs;
-- 2 SS-N-20 SLBMs.
(Begin comment: Ryzhkov emphasized that plans may change
based on evolving strategic requirements but that, as of May
1, 2008, Russia was continuing to implement the annual plan
it had prepared for the year. Ryzhkov also noted the
- One road-mobile SS-25 launcher was converted to be a
- All SS-24 ICBMs are now eliminated.
- Since May 1, 2008, Russia eliminated an additional six
road-mobile launchers for SS-25 ICBMs, ten SS-25 ICBMs, and
three SS-19 ICBMs, one of which was eliminated by launching.
Results of Implementation of the Treaty on Strategic
Offensive Reductions in 2008
-- As of May 1, 2008, the Russian Federation had 2032
strategic nuclear warheads under the Treaty on Strategic
Offensive Reductions, which is within the framework of the
quantitative limitations provided for by the Treaty on
Strategic Offensive Reductions.
-- The Russian Federation continues to reduce its strategic
nuclear warheads under the Treaty on Strategic Offensive
-- The Russian Federation determines for itself the
composition and structure of its strategic nuclear forces.
In this connection, the Russian Federation is guided by
national security interests and the interests of maintaining
U.S. BRIEFING ON
STRATEGIC NUCLEAR FORCES
9. (U) Yaguchi presented the following unclassified briefing
updating the status of U.S. ODSNW. (Begin comment: What
follows are the briefing slides and the narrative used for
each slide. Only the briefing slides without notes were
provided to the Russians. End comment.)
U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces
Bilateral Implementation Commission
- This briefing will provide you an update on our plans for
strategic nuclear forces.
- This briefing will summarize actions we have taken and
long-range plans for these forces.
U.S. Plans for Strategic Nuclear Forces
- Reduce total operationally deployed strategic nuclear
warheads to 1700-2200 by 31 December 2012:
-- Remove some delivery systems from service; and
-- For delivery systems retained, remove some warheads from
operational missiles to reduce the number of operationally
deployed nuclear warheads
- Completed actions:
-- Removed 4 Trident SSBNs from strategic service
-- B-1B conventional role only
-- Deactivated Peacekeeper ICBMs
-- Deactivated Trident I SLBMs
-- Converted 4 Trident I SSBNs to carry Trident II SLBMs
- Ongoing actions:
-- Removing some warheads from operational missiles
-- Removing 50 Minuteman III ICBM silo launchers from
-- Deactivating all AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missiles
- Baseline 2012 Strategic Nuclear Force Structure:
-- 14 Trident II SSBNs
-- 450 Minuteman III ICBMs
-- 20 B-2 Bombers
-- 76 B-52H Bombers
--- However, the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR)
Report plans to reduce the B-52 force to 56 aircraft.
- Our existing strategic nuclear force structure, with the
reductions mentioned during
previous briefings, will remain in service at least through
-- Minuteman service life is projected through 2030.
-- Ohio class ballistic missile submarines have been
extended in life and the oldest of
the remaining 14 is planned to be operational beyond 2025.
-- Our oldest bomber, the B-52, has had numerous upgrades
and, along with the B-2, should remain operational for
- We have underway, or in the planning stages, life extension
programs to ensure that these systems remain reliable and
safe and incorporate modern electronics.
- In addition, we are beginning to examine options to replace
these weapon systems when each reaches the end of its service
Update on ICBMs
ICBMs - Minuteman III
- Status: 43 of 50 Minuteman III silo launchers removed from
- We started deactivating 50 Minuteman III silo launchers.
-- The first silo was deactivated in early summer 2007.
-- As of May 31, 2008, we deactivated 43 silos.
Update on SSBNs
Modification of 4 SSBNs to SSGNs
- Status: Four Trident I SSBNs have been removed from
strategic service and have completed their refueling
-- All four SSGNs have completed modification.
-- There are no plans to return Trident I SSBNs to
Conversion of 4 Trident I SSBNs to Trident II
- Status: Four submarines have been converted from Trident I
to Trident II SLBM launchers
-- Trident I SLBMs are deactivated.
- Our plan to remove 4 Trident I ballistic missile submarines
from strategic service and to modify them for other roles is
- Our plan to convert four Trident I submarines to carry the
Trident II SLBM is complete.
- There will no longer be any operational Trident I launchers.
Update on Heavy Bombers
- Status: One less B-2
Nuclear Air-Launched Cruise Missiles
- Status: Deactivating all AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missiles
- Total number of B-2 bombers is reduced by one due to an
Nuclear Air Launched Cruise Missiles
- The complete deactivation of the Advanced Cruise Missile
force will take several years.
Total U.S. Operationally Deployed Strategic Nuclear Warheads
- For purposes of the Moscow Treaty, the United States
considers Operationally Deployed Strategic Nuclear Warheads
-- Reentry vehicles on intercontinental ballistic missiles
in their launchers
-- Reentry vehicles on submarine-launched ballistic
missiles in their launchers onboard submarines, and
-- Nuclear armaments loaded on heavy bombers or stored in
weapons storage areas of heavy bomber bases
- A small number of spare strategic nuclear warheads, to
include spare ICBM warheads, are located at heavy bomber
-- The U.S. does not consider these warheads to be
operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads.
- As of May 31, 2008, the aggregate number of U.S.
Operationally Deployed Strategic Nuclear Warheads was 2647.
- As we stated previously, this is the U.S. definition of
operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads.
- The U.S. does not consider spare warheads to be
operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads.
- During BIC VIII, the U.S. reported that, as of September
30, 2007, the aggregate number of U.S. ODSNW was 3079.
- As of May 31, 2008, the aggregate number of U.S. ODSNW was
- Current and planned strategic nuclear force structure and
activities are consistent with the current strategic
- Our operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads
continue to be reduced consistent with the terms of the
- The Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) recommended reducing
the MM-III ICBMs to 450 and the B-52 fleet to 56.
- However, Congress expressed its view that only 18 of 94
B-52 bombers could be retired, so the B-52 fleet may number
- We are deactivating all AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missiles.
- We have a number of activities in progress related to
sustainment of our strategic forces and implementation of our
- These activities, and our strategic nuclear forces, are
consistent with the new strategic environment.
- Our intention is to continue to provide transparency and
predictability on our activities and forces through actions
such as this briefing.
10. (C) Koshelev sought clarification concerning the
classification of the U.S. presentation, asking whether it
could be used publicly. Taylor confirmed that the U.S.
presentation was unclassified, and asked whether Russia could
provide an unclassified briefing. Koshelev responded that
Russia approached the work of the BIC in the same manner as
that of the JCIC, and that the information exchanged was con
fidential. The only treaty for which Russia provides
information in a public forum is the Nuclear Nonproliferation
Treaty. Taylor assured Koshelev that the United States would
continue to handle as con fidential the information provided
by Russia through the BIC.
11. (C) The only additional question raised came from
Novikov, who asked when the deactivation of the AGM-129
Advanced Cruise Missile will be completed. Yaguchi explained
that it will take several years to deactivate all missiles as
there is a technical process that must be completed within a
set of control procedures to ensure safety. When asked
whether deactivation would be completed by the expiration of
the Moscow Treaty on December 31, 2012, Yaguchi said he did
not know, but would ask whether Washington could provide a
more definitive answer. After querying Washington,
Delegation was provided with the following response: "The
United States plans to complete the deactivation of the
AGM-129 by December 31, 2012." That response was provided to
Novikov in the form of a Delegation paper.
12. (C) The U.S. delegation had no questions concerning the
13. (C) Taylor expressed appreciation for the information
provided by the Russian Federation, and noted that Russia was
within the limits set by the Moscow Treaty and the United
States was well on its way. He concluded by stating that
meetings of the BIC are useful and demonstrate the ability of
the United States and Russia to work cooperatively within the
strategic relationship they have developed, and that each
side can take lessons from the examples set by the U.S. and
Russian presidents in their ability to work together in a
14. (C) Koshelev agreed, and noted that the working
relationship between Deputy Foreign Minister Kislyak and
Under Secretary Rood, particularly within the framework of
the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, provides
another example of the ability of Russia and the United
States to work constructively on issues of importance. This
is true also within the BIC, which contributes to Moscow
Treaty implementation. Regarding the next meeting, Koshelev
suggested that Russia and the United States consider a
regularization of the information exchanged, as this was
important considering the upcoming expiration of the START
Treaty. Deferring any specific proposals, Koshelev suggested
that this issue simply be considered.
15. (U) Documents exchanged.
-- U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces Presentation, dated July
2008, (briefing only); and
-- U.S. Delegation paper "U.S. plans to deactivate the
AGM-129," dated July 21, 2008.
-- Russian Presentation on Reductions of Strategic
Nuclear Forces of the Russian Federation under the SOR
Treaty, dated July 2008.
16. (U) Participants:
Lt Col Comeau
Dr. Hopkins (Int)
CAPT (1st Rank) Kuz'min
Ms. Yevarovskaya (Int)
17. (U) Taylor sends.
End Cable Text