News

Voice of America 5/13/97

COHEN / RODIONOV

BYLINE=JIM RANDLE
DATELINE=PENTAGON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  RUSSIA'S DEFENSE MINISTER 
SAYS NEWS REPORTS THAT RUSSIA'S
NUCLEAR FORCES ARE IN DISARRAY 
AND AT TIMES HAVE ACCIDENTALLY 
MOVED CLOSER TO LAUNCHING ARE 
WRONG AND IRRESPONSIBLE.  MINISTER 
IGOR RODIONOV'S COMMENTS CAME 
DURING A NEWS CONFERENCE WITH 
(U-S) DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM 
COHEN AT THE PENTAGON -- AFTER THE 
TWO MEN HELD PRIVATE TALKS.  
V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS, THE
RUSSIANS AND AMERICANS 'AGREED TO 
DISAGREE' ON PLANS TO EXPAND THE NATO 
ALLIANCE EASTWARD TOWARD RUSSIA.

TEXT:  QUESTIONS ABOUT RUSSIA'S 
NUCLEAR FORCES STEMMED FROM A 
WASHINGTON TIMES NEWSPAPER STORY,
REPORTEDLY BASED ON A C-I-A REPORT, 
THAT RUSSIA'S NUCLEAR MISSILES HAVE 
ACCIDENTALLY SLIPPED CLOSER TO 
LAUNCH ON MORE THAN ONE OCCASION. 

RUSSIA'S DEFENSE MINISTER, IGOR 
RODIONOV, SAYS HE MONITORS THE 
NUCLEAR SAFETY SYSTEMS 24 HOURS 
A DAY, AND HE HAS NEVER HEARD OF 
SUCH A THING.  HE SPOKE TO REPORTERS 
THROUGH A TRANSLATOR.

        /// RODIONOV  ACT ///

SOMETIMES IN OUR PRESS, WE ALSO 
HAVE STATEMENTS OF SOME IRRESPONSIBLE 
INDIVIDUAL, WHICH TRY TO HEAT THE PUBLIC 
OPINION. (RODIONOV'S RUSSIAN CAN BE 
HEARD HERE; THEN THE TRANSLATOR AGAIN) 
YES, WE DO EXPERIENCE SOME SHORTAGES 
IN FUNDING IN OUR ARMED FORCES, BUT THE 
STRATEGIC NUCLEAR FORCES HAVE THE SAME 
LEVEL OF FUNDING AS THEY USED TO HAVE.  

          /// END ACT  //

MR. RODIONOV AND DEFENSE SECRETARY 
WILLIAM COHEN SPOKE AT LENGTH ABOUT 
INCREASING MILITARY COOPERATION.  
THEY ANNOUNCED A NEW CONTRACT TO 
HAVE AN AMERICAN COMPANY USE 
RUSSIAN WORKERS TO SAFELY GET RID 
OF HUNDREDS OF DECOMMISSIONED 
RUSSIAN MISSILES AND THOUSANDS OF
TONS OF SOLID ROCKET FUEL.

THE GROWING COOPERATION DID  NOT  
EXTEND TO NATO.  ALLIANCE PLANS TO 
MOVE EASTWARD BY ADDING NEW MEMBERS 
CLOSER TO RUSSIA HAVE BEEN A SOURCE OF 
TENSION BETWEEN MOSCOW AND WASHINGTON.  
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE COHEN INDICATED 
THERE WAS LITTLE PROGRESS IN RESOLVING 
THAT PROBLEM.

        /// COHEN  ACT /// 

YES, WE DISCUSSED IT, AND AS THE MINISTER 
SAID, WE AGREED;  WE AGREED TO DISAGREE.  

        /// END ACT  /// 

ASKED ABOUT ANOTHER AGREEMENT, THE 
"START TWO" PACT TO REDUCE NUCLEAR 
WEAPONS ON BOTH SIDES, MR. RODIONOV 
ACKNOWLEDGED THAT HE ONCE OPPOSED 
THE PACT, BUT SAID HE NOW THINKS IT IS A 
GOOD IDEA. 
(SIGNED)

NEB/JR/RRM

13-May-97 2:08 PM EDT (1808 UTC)
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