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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 1997
Briefer: JAMES B. FOLEY

DEPARTMENT OF STATE

DAILY PRESS BRIEFING INDEX

Friday, September 5, 1997

Briefer: James B. Foley

RUSSIA
19Lebed's charge of unaccounted for nuclear weapons


U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
DPB # 128
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 1997, 12:44 P.M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

..............

QUESTION: What credibility do you give to Lebed's charges that there are - that the Russian authorities are unable to account for a number of nuclear --

MR. FOLEY: Not a lot of credibility. Reliable command control in the physical security of nuclear weapons and materials are of key importance to all nuclear powers. The government of Russia has assured us that it retains adequate command and control of its nuclear arsenal and that appropriate physical security arrangements exist for these weapons and facilities.

I would add that through our Nunn-Lugar and other important programs, that we are working with the government of Russia to further enhance the physical security of its nuclear storage facilities.

QUESTION: Has the US Government spoken to the Russians specifically about these Lebed charges?

MR. FOLEY: What I do know is that we've spoken - we speak to the Russian Government about this overall subject of security of nuclear weapons and materials on a very regular basis. I would be surprised if this has not also come up, this specific report. Again, we've been assured by the Russian authorities that there's no cause for concern.

QUESTION: And the US Government, then, is confident the Russians know where their weapons are?

MR. FOLEY: We believe the assurances we've received.

Any other questions.

Thank you.

(The briefing concluded at 1:25 P.M.)

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