HL Deb 15 October 1998 vol 593 c122WA
Lord Judd

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their latest estimate of the Russian Government's ability to control and protect the safety of their 23,000 nuclear weapons; and what negotiations are taking place between NATO and Russia on measures to de-alert nuclear forces. [HL3330]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

Russia has assured us that it continues to maintain robust command and control arrangements for, and to ensure the security of, its large numbers of nuclear weapons. It is clear that the Russian authorities are themselves very aware of the potential dangers of any diversion of nuclear weapons. We are watching the situation closely.

The NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council has discussed reductions in tactical nuclear weapons, detargeting and nuclear weapons safety and security. There are no plans for NATO-Russia negotiations on nuclear issues.