RUSSIAN TRANSFER OF SENSITIVE TECHNOLOGY TO ROGUE NATIONS (Senate - February 12, 1998)

[Page: S699]

Mr. BROWNBACK. Mr. President, today's article from today's Washington Post is yet more indication, unfortunately, of the bad faith with which Russia has been dealing with us on the transfer of sensitive technology to rogue nations, particularly, dual use and missile technology.

I am on the Foreign Affairs Committee and chair the Middle East Subcommittee. And something that has been very troubling to me is the introduction into the Middle East, particularly into Iran and into Iraq, of technology that can be used for missile development, for use of the delivery of weapons of mass destruction, even the development of weapons of mass destruction like biological warfare, biological and chemical warfare weapons.

Evidence was in the Washington Post, again, today, that once again--not just the first time--but once again Russian companies, with links to the Government, were involved in violating the U.N. authorized embargo on sales to Iraq of dual-use equipment. And this is outrageous. And it is preposterous that they would be doing it.

The transfer to Iraq--which is a rogue nation, with a leader who does not operate under internationally recognized civilized codes--of any dual-use technology is unacceptable. And yet once again today we have another example.

The transfer of equipment, such as the fermentation equipment, which was alluded to today, which can be used to develop biological weapons, and the possible collusion with the Iraqis against UNSCOM to hide technology and weapons, is proof of a cynical bad faith which is untenable.

If this information is true--and I am told it is well grounded--the Russians are making a mockery of a very serious issue, and, more importantly, they are putting U.S. forces at increased risk.

This type of behavior has immense implications for a policy towards Iran as well and the administration's efforts to curb these sales of equipment that can be used to deliver or to develop weapons of mass destruction. This cynicism should not be rewarded.

I understand that we have been holding up Senate bill 1311, the Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act, in deference to the Russians to give them time to prove their good faith and in deference to the Vice President's meeting with them in March. In view of the latest developments and this information, I believe such deference is misplaced. I request that Senate bill 1311 be moved up on the Senate calendar. I will make that request known to the leadership and ask that they proceed forward because this `good faith' that we are offering has obviously been received in a way of making bad-faith steps by the Russians and is further proof today this cannot be allowed to continue. Every day it is allowed to continue, more and more U.S. lives are at risk. It cannot be allowed to continue.

I yield the floor.

Mr. McCAIN. I ask unanimous consent to address the Senate for 10 minutes as in morning business. I do that with the agreement of the Senator from North Dakota.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.