Report on the G8 Global Partnership
St. Petersburg, July 17, 2006
We reaffirm our commitment to the Global Partnership against the Proliferation of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction as set out in the 2002 Kananaskis G-8 Summit documents.
Since 2002, the Global Partnership has become a large-scale international initiative which has contributed to the enhancement of international security and stability. Fourteen States have now joined the Global Partnership. We reaffirm our openness to further expansion of the Partnership to recipient countries, including those from the CIS, and donor countries, which support the Kananaskis documents.
The past year has witnessed continuing progress in turning initial pledges into projects and activities. At the same time, we recognize that more needs to be done by all participants, to enhance effectiveness of cooperation to achieve the Partnership's goals.
The destruction of chemical weapons, dismantlement of decommissioned nuclear submarines, employment of former weapons scientists, and disposal of fissile material were identified as priorities at Kananaskis. The Russian Federation considers the first two areas of cooperation as being of primary importance for the implementation of the GP projects in Russia.
We reaffirm our commitment to raise up to $20 billion through 2012 to support priority projects under this initiative, initially in Russia.
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International assistance in the construction of chemical weapons destruction facilities was recognized at Kananaskis as a key requirement to help Russia to eliminate its stockpiles of chemical weapons, pursuant to its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Russia has also substantially increased its own funding for CW destruction Programme in Russia, while stressing the importance of foreign assistance to accelerate the implementation of this Programme.
Two chemical weapons destruction facilities have been built. The facility at Gorny operated from 2002-2005 and destroyed all chemical weapons stored at this facility. Assistance was provided by Germany, the EU, the Netherlands, Finland and Poland. The facility at Kambarka has become operational by the end of December, 2005. It has been built with assistance of Germany, the EU, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, and Finland.
Work has also advanced on the construction of the facility at Shchuch'ye, involving the US, Canada, UK, Italy, Switzerland, Czech Republic, the EU, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand, Ireland, and Belgium. This facility is scheduled to become operational in 2008. France is planning to provide funding for the process of chemical weapons destruction in Russia, initially in Shchuch'ye, after ratification of the bilateral agreement of February 14, 2006.Italy will provide assistance for the construction of the chemical weapons destruction facility at Pochep. Germany is prepared to assist in the construction of the facility in Leonidovka; an exchange of Verbal Notes is under way. Great Britain and Canada are considering assistance for the facility at Kizner.
Canada, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Finland, and Switzerland are funding public outreach centres in the vicinity of some facilities.
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Dismantlement of nuclear submarines withdrawn from the Russian Navy is another priority area identified at Kananaskis. This is a complex activity, including transport of the submarines, defuelling, dismantlement and safe storage of the reactor compartments.
Substantial progress has been made since 2002, with 61 submarines dismantled, including 17 with foreign assistance from the US, Canada, the UK, Japan, Norway. The activities have taken place mainly in the North West of Russia while they have also taken place in the Russian Far East.
In addition to the dismantlement of submarines, the Global Partnership projects also addressed the development of infrastructure to ensure nuclear material from the dismantlement process is made safe and secure. Key projects underway include: the German-financed construction of a long-term interim storage facility for 150 reactor compartments at Sayda Bay - the operation of the first section of the storage facility will start on July 18, 2006; the rehabilitation of the temporary storage facility for spent nuclear fuel at Andreeva Bay funded by the UK, Norway and Sweden; refitting of the nuclear waste incinerator in Zvezdochka shipyard funded by France; a multi-use naval vessel for the transport of nuclear (and related) materials funded by Italy; and a Spent Nuclear Fuel storage facility at the Atomflot site, Murmansk funded by the UK. Canada funded environmental improvements at Zvezdochka.
The parties continue to use successfully the Framework Agreement on a Multilateral Nuclear Environment Programme in the Russian Federation, which provided the basis for the implementation of the Northern Dimensional Environmental Programme's (NDEP) "Nuclear Window", that includes a number of nuclear multilateral and bilateral projects, such as rehabilitation programmes at Gremikha funded by France, the NDEP and the EU.
As of December 1, 2005, the parties have accumulated 70,114 mln. euro in the NDEP's "Nuclear Window". Up to now, three contracts have been concluded for the 19,1 mln. euro. The parties are planning to provide up to 150 mln. euro for this Programme by the end of 2008.
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In 2000 the US and the Russian Federation agreed to each convert 34 tonnes of weapons-grade plutonium designated as no longer required for defence programmes into forms not useable for weapons. As a number of countries have put aside funds for this purpose, it is hoped that the outstanding issues will be resolved to enable this important activity to commence.
The US and Russia have agreed on a common approach to resolve the question of liability protections, which will help put this and other programmes on solid ground for the long term.
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Since 2002 more than 1400 research projects have been funded through the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) in Russia and the Science and Technology Centre in Ukraine (STCU) by the US, the EU, UK, Canada, Japan, and other countries, involving more than 17,000 former weapon scientists. In the coming year, the funding parties will analyse the activities and ways to improve further the effectiveness of the two Centers.
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The G8 Gleneagles Statement and the Sea Island G8 Action Plan on Non-Proliferation highlighted the importance of addressing the security of nuclear materials, equipment and technology as well as radioactive sources.
A number of donors have now established programmes with Russia and Ukraine to upgrade the physical protection of and account for nuclear materials. These include the US, UK, Germany, Canada, Norway, Sweden, and the EU.
There is also increasing cooperation among those engaged in securing radiological sources. A number of donors, including the US, Norway, Denmark, the Nordic Environmental Finance Corporation (NEFCO), Germany, Canada, and France are supporting dismantling, storing and replacing some 700 highly radioactive radioisotopic thermoelectric generators (RTGs) which have been used to power Russian lighthouses. With Canadian assistance, a Russian "RTG Master Plan" is being developed and efforts are under way to increase co-ordination among participating countries
Global Partnership countries are also cooperating in other important spheres. The United States is cooperating with Russia and Ukraine on the dismantlement of strategic weapons systems, and enhancing the security of weapons transportation and storage. Some bio-security projects are being implemented by several Global Partnership members.
The US and Russia, with additional financial support from several other countries, are co-operating on the construction of fossil fuel power plants that, when completed, will allow the permanent closure of the three remaining Russian reactors that are producing weapon-grade plutonium. Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, the UK and New Zealand have also contributed funds to support these projects.
In Ukraine, a further step towards nuclear safety has been made with the replenishment of the Chernobyl Shelter Fund providing the necessary financial resources for completion of the new shelter. A number of donors are engaged in projects with Ukraine to enhance export control and border security systems to help prevent the illicit trafficking in WMD across national borders.
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Coordination and Transparency: The growing pace of interaction and number of projects and other activities demands close cooperation, coordination and transparency. This has led to the creation of various informal structures between Russia and individual donor countries or a number of donor countries active in the same area. As an example, groups are in place to facilitate coordination for nuclear submarine dismantlement projects in Andreeva Bay, Gremikha, elimination of RTGs, and construction of the chemical weapons destruction facility at Shchuch'ye. This practice can be emulated for other activities.
Close consultation, coordination and exchange of information on current and planned activities contribute to improving projects, reduce duplication and gaps, and enable best use of each country's resources.
Legal issues: The legal basis for the Global Partnership has continued to expand. Since the last year one bilateral agreement in the area of chemical weapons destruction was concluded between Russia and France. Three other agreements involving dismantlement of nuclear submarines were signed with France, Japan and EBRD. As well, the practice of "piggy-backing", whereby a third country or organisation uses an established bilateral agreement between another donor and Russia, has proven useful.
Access: The partners make every effort to resolve issues related to access as quickly as possible, in accordance with Russian legislation and bilateral agreements. Many problems have been resolved through cooperation with Russian authorities and site personnel. The parties agree to continue to resolve any possible issue related to access that may arise in the spirit of cooperation and partnership bearing in mind the common goals of the GP.
Taxation: In 2006, the Government of the Russian Federation introduced an amendment to its national legislation to improve the system of tax exemption for organizations receiving foreign assistance for the destruction of WMD.
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It is essential for the success of the Partnership that all participants continue to turn financial pledges into concrete activities. The partners welcome that Russia has substantially increased its own funding for the GP since the commencement of the initiative. Russia has already expended more than $1 billion for chemical weapons destruction and near $220 million for nuclear submarine dismantlement. The partners acknowledge that one of the essential factors of successful projects is a predictable, coordinated, targeted and efficient assistance.
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Significant work remains to be done to complete successfully current programmes by 2012 to address all Kananaskis priorities. The GP participating countries agree on the need to reflect more widely the entire set of priorities set out at Kananaskis. The GP countries recognize that financial assistance for chemical weapons destruction in the Russian Federation will be needed mainly in the years 2006-2009. They take note of the interest of some partners to expand cooperation in the field of dismantlement of nuclear submarines in the Far East of the Russian Federation.
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The Global Partnership is open to further expansion in accordance with the Kananaskis documents. Taking into account the ongoing focus on projects in Russia, we continue to review the eligibility of other countries, including those from the CIS, to join the Partnership. Formal confirmation of their readiness to meet the conditions established in the Kananaskis documents, as well as detailed information on the projects they would request be addressed under the Global Partnership are required. The work in this area will continue.
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Conscious of the need for ongoing attention to specific issues affecting implementation, and of the value of regular exchanges among all participants, the Global Partnership Working Group will continue to serve as the forum to identify and resolve any problems that arise. The Group, which brings together all countries participating in the Global Partnership, G8 and non-G8 alike, will also continue to provide an appropriate forum to exchange information and best practices.
Nearing the mid point in the lifespan of the Global Partnership it is recognized that there is a need to undertake an unbiased qualitative and quantitative assessment of the Global Partnership in order to provide a clear picture of what remains to be done. Such an assessment can help clarify how each country can best define its participation, and how each can benefit from the expertise developed. The Global Partnership Working Group intends to undertake such a review during the coming year. Both recipient and donor countries welcome such a review guided by the central goals of the Kananaskis pledges.
Source: Official website of the Russian G8 presidency