Russia: May 24, 2002

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President Bush and president Putin signed a treaty that limits the United States and Russia (within 10 years) to between 1,700 and 2,200 deployed (on missiles or in bombers) strategic nuclear warheads each, down from about 6,000 apiece now. Russia cannot afford to maintain the missiles for all of its warheads and would prefer to dismantle the warheads (which cost a lot less to store, but then become a target for terrorists looking to steal a weapon.) The weapons in storage can be partially dismantled, so that a thief would  have to grab all the right components to obtain a working weapon. The US insisted on storage, rather than destruction, because of a belief that it would be too uncertain to monitor the Russian destruction of warheads.

For the second time in a week, a Russian conscript soldier has illegally crossed into Finland and asked for political asylum. The Finns send the soldiers back.

 

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