Viewing cable 08GENEVA589
Title: JCIC-XXXII: HEADS OF DELEGATION MEETING ON B-1

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08GENEVA5892008-07-25 08:10:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 SECRET US Mission Geneva
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SUBJECT: JCIC-XXXII:  HEADS OF DELEGATION MEETING ON B-1 
ISSUES, JULY 22, 2008 
 
REF: A. RUSSIAN FEDERATION AIDE-MEMOIRE - "THE SITUATION 
        RESULTING FROM U.S. ACTIONS INVOLVING 
        CONVERSION OF B-1" - DATED FEBRUARY 15 
        2008 (E-MAILED TO WASHINGTON -- NO 
        REPORTING CABLE) 
     ¶B. STATE 13656 (JCIC-DIP-08-001) 
 
Classified By:  Jerry A. Taylor, United States 
Representative to the Joint Compliance and Inspection 
Commission. Reasons:  1.4(b) and (d). 
 
¶1.  (U) This is JCIC-XXXII-012. 
 
¶2.  (U) Meeting Date:  July 22, 2008 
                Time:  10:30 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. 
               Place:  Russian Mission, Geneva 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
¶3.  (S) A Heads of Delegation (HOD) Meeting was held at the 
Russian Mission on July 22, 2008, to discuss B-1 issues.  All 
Parties were present.  On the issue of B-1 conversion, the 
Russian Delegation presented points centering on paragraph 11 
of Section VI of the Conversion or Elimination (C or E) 
Protocol.  Specifically, the Russian Delegation questioned 
whether the United States had sufficiently fulfilled the 
Treaty requirements to:  1) modify all the weapons bays 
equipped to carry nuclear armaments so as to render them 
incapable of carrying nuclear armaments and, 2) remove or 
modify all external attachment joints for nuclear armaments 
and all external attachment joints for pylons for nuclear 
armaments so as to render them incapable of carrying nuclear 
armaments.  The Russian Delegation stated that Russia 
proceeded on the idea that a B-1 heavy bomber equipped for 
nuclear armaments other than LRNA, once converted to a B-1 
heavy bomber equipped for non-nuclear armaments, would be 
incapable of "carrying" nuclear armaments.  The U.S. 
Delegation assured all Parties that the conversion activities 
involving B-1 heavy bombers equipped for non-nuclear 
armaments were in full compliance with the START Treaty. 
 
¶4.  (S) On the issue of B-1 Basing, the Russian Delegation 
presented points centered on the Treaty definition of 
"airbase" and on the requirements of paragraph 23 of Articlee 
V of the Treaty.  The Russian Delegation did not understand 
how the United States was able to:  1) base the converted 
B-1s at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (AFB) C or E Facility 
since it was not an "airbase," as defined in the Definitions 
Annex of the Treaty, or 2) base the converted B-1s at Dyess 
AFB, since Parties were not allowed to base heavy bombers 
equipped for non-nuclear armaments and heavy bombers equipped 
for nuclear armaments other than LRNA at the same facility. 
The Russian Delegation stated that all heavy bombers must be 
based at an airbase, and sought an answer to the question of 
where the converted bombers were actually based. 
 
¶5.  (S) The U.S. Delegation stated that the Treaty did not 
prohibit locating heavy bombers at a conversion or 
elimination facility for heavy bombers and, in fact, the 
United States had been providing notification of heavy 
bombers at Davis-Monthan AFB C or E Facility since the Treaty 
entered into force.  The converted B-1s were accountable in 
the MOU as being located at Davis-Monthan AFB C or E Facility 
and those converted B-1s located at Dyess AFB were visiting, 
as notified by the United States through the U.S. Nuclear 
Risk Reduction Center (NRRC). 
 
------------------- 
WHEN WAS CONVERSION 
NOT CONVERSION 
------------------- 
 
¶6.  (S) Koshelev opened the HOD Meeting by passing the 
condolences of the Russian Delegation to the United States on 
the loss of the B-52 near Guam on July 20, 2008.  He stated 
that it was truly a tragedy when loss of life was concerned. 
Taylor thanked Koshelev for his statement of condolence for 
the loss of life in the accident.  Moving on to the issue of 
B-1 conversion, Koshelev stated that the Russian Federation 
paid particular attention to the conversion of the B-1s since 
the number of warheads attributed to the non-converted B-1 
was different from that of a converted B-1.  During the 
intersession, Russia had sent the United States its concerns 
through diplomatic channels and had conducted a thorough 
Treaty analysis of the issue.  He believed that analysis of 
the Treaty, relative to heavy bomber conversion, would help 
the United States understand Russian concerns. 
 
¶7.  (S) Koshelev stated that, to consider the B-1 converted 
to a heavy bomber equipped for non-nuclear armaments, all of 
the requirements of paragraph 11 of Section VI of the C or E 
Protocol had to be met.  Specifically, the United States was 
required to:  1) modify all the weapons bays equipped to 
carry nuclear armaments so as to render them incapable of 
carrying nuclear armaments and, 2) remove or modify all 
external attachment joints for nuclear armaments and all 
external attachment joints for pylons for nuclear armaments 
so as to render them incapable of carrying nuclear armaments. 
 Russia questioned whether the United States had sufficiently 
fulfilled these requirements.  Most important to Russia was 
that a B-1 heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments other 
than LRNA converted to a B-1 heavy bomber equipped for 
non-nuclear armaments would be incapable of carrying nuclear 
armaments.  Koshelev stated that the Russian specialists, who 
attended the Distinguishability Exhibition for the converted 
B-1, did not believe the United States demonstrated any 
distinguishing features that prevented the carrying of 
nuclear armaments and, thus, Russia was not convinced the 
converted B-1s were incapable of carrying nuclear armaments. 
To be sufficient to confirm conversion, the conversion 
procedures and the distinguishing features must convince 
Russian inspectors that both the weapons bays and the 
external pylon attachment joints were incapable of physically 
carrying nuclear armaments. 
 
¶8.  (S) Koshelev remarked that Russia believed that to meet 
the intent of the C or E Protocol, all modifications made to 
convert the B-1 to a non-nuclear heavy bomber had to be 
permanent and irreversible.  Since the issue was highly 
technical in nature, the Russian Delegation had produced a 
briefing that experts would present at the working group 
level. 
 
¶9.  (S) Taylor stated that the United States had reviewed the 
Russian Federation's Aide-Memoire, of February 15, 2008, on 
"The Situation Resulting from U.S. Actions Involving 
Conversion of B-1 Heavy Bombers" and assured the Russian 
Federation that the conversion activities involving the B-1 
heavy bomber equipped for non-nuclear armaments were in full 
compliance with the START Treaty (Ref A).  The conversion 
procedures used to convert the B-1 heavy bomber from the 
category of heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments other 
than long-range nuclear air-launched cruise missiles (LRNA) 
to the category of heavy bomber equipped for non-nuclear 
armaments fully satisfied the requirements of paragraph 11 of 
Section VI of the C or E Protocol.  He continued by stating 
that the B-1 pylon attachment joints would be converted in a 
manner which precluded the attachment of the long-range 
nuclear ALCM pylon posts with the pylon attachment joints. 
The nuclear-unique collet receptacle would be removed from 
each pylon attachment joint and a metal sleeve would be 
welded on the inside of the aft attachment joint well.  A new 
fitting would be placed in the forward joint that would not 
allow for attachment of the long-range nuclear ALCM pylon. 
 
¶10.  (S) As for the weapons bays, Taylor stated that 
conversion in the B-1 weapons bays involved the removal of 
the two nuclear armament-unique cable connectors from each of 
the three weapons bays and covering the connector location. 
These conversion procedures rendered the converted B-1 heavy 
bombers incapable of carrying nuclear armaments in accordance 
with the requirements of paragraph 11 of Section VI of the C 
or E Protocol. 
 
¶11.  (S) Taylor stated that the phrase "incapable of 
carrying," in its ordinary meaning, as well as in the context 
of the C or E Protocol, meant that, with respect to the 
modifications carried out on the pylon attachment joints and 
in the weapons bay, the converted B-1 heavy bomber was no 
longer capable of, or suited for, the operational deployment 
of nuclear armaments.  Further, it was clear in both the 
Russian and English language texts that the phrase "carrying 
nuclear armaments" did not mean simply the ability to load or 
to hold an object the size and weight of a nuclear weapon. 
The criterion of capability or suitability to support the 
operational use of the nuclear armaments, as being inherent 
in the phrase "incapable of carrying nuclear armaments," was 
consistent with the meaning of "carry" as used in the START 
Treaty. 
 
¶12.  (S) Taylor stated that, with regard to the Russian 
Delegation statement that the Russian Federation could not 
agree to the U.S. conversion procedures for the B-1 heavy 
bomber, it was for the Party conducting the conversion to 
determine the conversion procedures used.  There was no 
Treaty requirement to agree on additional conversion 
procedures other than those in Section VI of the C or E 
Protocol.  Taylor directed Koshelev to the procedures, as 
stated in paragraph 11 of Section VI of the C or E Protocol, 
to answer his rhetorical question on what procedures were 
required and what procedures were enough for conversion. 
 
¶13.  (S) Taylor reiterated that the United States was very 
clear as to the procedures it used for converting the B-1 to 
the non-nuclear category.  As to Koshelev's comment on the 
distinguishing features of the converted B-1, Taylor stated 
that the distinguishing features were demonstrated at the 
Distinguishability Exhibition and that, during future Data 
Update inspections, Russian inspectors would be able to 
confirm that the conversion procedures were still in place. 
He stated that the U.S. Delegation did not understand what 
more could be done to clarify the issue.  Taylor concluded 
discussion of this issue by agreeing to send it to a working 
group; however, he said he did not believe that anything more 
could be accomplished at that level of discussion. 
 
---------------------------- 
JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS 
SAFE TO GO INTO THE WATER 
---------------------------- 
 
¶14.  (S) Shevtsov said that this was a difficult technical 
issue.  The Parties had talked for a long time on the 
definition of "process equivalent to welding."  Talks were 
completed and agreement was finally made on the definition. 
Now the Parties had this issue of B-1 conversion to discuss. 
He opined that it would be difficult to resolve this 
technical issue within the days remaining in the session and 
he hoped discussions would not hamper completion of the 
Ukrainian SS-24 elimination documents. 
 
¶15.  (S) The Kazakhstani and Belarusian Delegations agreed to 
send the issue to a working group. 
 
-------------------------- 
WHEN IS BASING NOT BASING? 
WHEN IT IS LOCATING 
-------------------------- 
 
¶16.  (S) Koshelev stated that the Russian Federation placed 
the issue of basing of the B-1s on the agenda because of the 
creation of a new category of heavy bomber.  The Russian 
Federation did not understand how the basing of converted 
B-1s fit into the requirements of paragraph 23 of Treaty 
Article V.  Russia had expressed its concerns in the 
Aide-Memoire dated February 15, 2008 (Ref A).  At that time 
only one B-1 had been converted, now 11  B-1s had been 
converted.  Koshelev reminded the Parties that heavy bombers 
of certain categories could only be based at like facilities. 
 
¶17.  (S) Koshelev stated that, in terms of the Treaty, an 
airbase was defined as a facility where heavy bombers are 
based and their operations supported.  Russia believed that, 
under the Treaty, heavy bombers could not be based at 
facilities other than airbases.  In its May 28, 2008 
response, the United States equated deployment to basing. 
Russia believed that this was not correct (Ref B).  The 
Davis-Monthan AFB C or E Facility was not an airbase and, 
therefore, the converted B-1s could not be based there.  He 
asked for clarification of this basing. 
 
¶18.  (S) Taylor stated that the Treaty did not prohibit 
locating heavy bombers at a conversion or elimination 
facility for heavy bombers, listing them at that facility for 
the purposes of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and 
providing the appropriate notification.  In fact, the United 
States had provided notifications concerning the location of 
heavy bombers at the Davis-Monthan AFB C or E Facility for 
heavy bombers since the Treaty entered into force, and had 
accurately reflected the data with respect to the applicable 
heavy bombers through the required notifications and periodic 
MOU updates.  The B-1 heavy bomber, which was specified in 
notification ANC/STR 08-48/30, was located at Dyess AFB as a 
visiting heavy bomber.  Because this B-1 heavy bomber was a 
visiting heavy bomber at Dyess AFB, it was not based at Dyess 
AFB.  Therefore, there was no conflict with the provisions of 
paragraph 23 of Article V.  When this particular B-1 heavy 
bomber completed its visit at Dyess AFB, a Format 31 would be 
provided. 
 
¶19.  (S) Koshelev stated that the United States had provided 
this same response in its May 28, 2008 paper (Ref B).  He 
believed both the Russian questions and the U.S. responses 
needed clarification, which could be accomplished in a 
working group. 
 
 
¶20.  (S) Although he had no objection with sending this issue 
to a working group, Taylor stated that the first priority was 
to complete the conforming on Ukrainian SS-24 elimination. 
 
¶21.  (U) Documents exchanged.  None. 
 
¶22.  (U) Participants: 
 
U.S. 
 
Mr. Taylor 
Ms. Bosco 
Lt Col Comeau 
Mr. Couch 
Mr. DeNinno 
Mr. Dunn 
Mr. Fortier 
Maj Gondol 
Mr. Hanchett 
Mr. Johnston 
Mr. Tessier 
Mr. Vogel 
Mr. Yaguchi 
Mr. Smith 
Mr. Brown 
Mr. Edinger 
Mr. Oppenheim 
Mr. French (Int) 
 
BELARUS 
 
Mr. Ponamarev 
 
KAZKHSTAN 
 
Col Akhmetalin 
 
RUSSIA 
 
Mr. Koshelev 
Col Akulenok 
Mr. Kashirin 
CAPT(1st Rank) Kuz'min 
Mr. Lapshin 
Col Novikov 
Col Ryzhkov 
Mr. Shevchenko 
Mr. Serov 
Mr. Smirnoff 
Ms. Sorokina 
Col Zaytsev 
Ms. Komshilova (Int) 
 
UKRAINE 
 
Dr. Shevtsov 
Mr. Bodarenko 
MGen. Fedetov 
Mr. Demidenko 
 
¶23.  (U) Taylor sends. 
TICHENOR 
 
 
NNNN 
 



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