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

By Glenn E. Schweitzer | Go to book overview
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Chapter 10

Replicating the ISTC Model

Model: set an example, set the pace, lead the way. Roget's International Thesaurus, Fifth Edition, 1992


The Closing Political Window in Russia

During a visit to Washington in early 1995, a senior Russian official who had been instrumental in the establishment of the ISTC stated, "Because of rising nationalist sentiment throughout the country, Russia will never be able to negotiate that kind of agreement again." He added, "We had better take full advantage of the ISTC now that we have it."

This diplomat clearly believed that the Russian government had made unusual concessions in exchange for the financial contributions of the foreign parties to the ISTC Agreement. In his eyes, it would no longer be possible to agree anew on the provisions of the ISTC Agreement relating to tax exemptions, customs waivers, and diplomatic privileges for persons associated with the Center's activities, nor to agree on the provisions of the ISTC Statute concerning intellectual property rights and access to closed facilities.

These issues had dominated debates in the Supreme Soviet. Then the state Duma wrestled with ratification of such concessions. "Even if ratification is achieved, this should not be considered a precedent for other agreements," warned the diplomat.

In both the old and new parliaments, loud voices have opposed foreign infringement on the internal affairs of Russia. To many Russian politicians, the continuing economic crisis within the country and the ever-growing restlessness of scientists are less and less important in comparison with the legislators' publicly popular outcries to defend sovereign rights and prevent foreign influence on national security de CISions. In any event, continued political bickering among the many

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