Moscow DMZ: The Story of the International Effort to Convert Russian Weapons Science to Peaceful Purposes

By Glenn E. Schweitzer | Go to book overview

Chapter 4

The International Center
Goes into Fast Forward

1992 "KGB " Brain Child Finally Stops Nuclear Brain Drain Business World Weekly, Moscow, October 5, 1994


New Members Knocking at the Door

When the United States, the European Union, Japan, and Russia began developing the concept of the ISTC in early 1992, three additional Western countries immediately expressed interest in becoming members of the Center. Canada, Sweden, and Switzerland were ready to join and to commit funds to projects.

However, the four original parties, particularly the United States, were concerned that such additional participation at the outset would complicate the formal negotiations to establish the ISTC. The United States eventually convinced the three aspiring countries to wait until the ISTC Agreement was firmly in place and only then to accede to the Agreement as new members. While this approach was accepted in Ottawa, Stockholm, and Bern, none of the countries anticipated the long delay before the Center would become a reality; nor did they realize that other complications concerning their memberships would arise later.

Throughout the tortuous diplomatic process to establish the Center, both the Canadian and Swedish Foreign Offices were able to protect the funds that had been earmarked by their governments for the ISTC. Once the ISTC came into being, they were poised to contribute $2.5 million and $4 million, respectively. Unfortunately, the Swiss supporters of the Center were less successful; and the Swiss government was not in a position to make a contribution, at least not in 1994.

Despite the prospects of a welcome funding boost, political difficulties arose as both Sweden and Canada linked their accession to the

-77-

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