Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

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Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Speigel Surveys Economic Challenges Facing World Governments

Posted by proliferationpr on February 11, 2009

Speigel surveys the global impact of the economic crisis, contrasting the challenges facing the United Kingdom, France and Russia and China. While at times perhaps alarmist, I—an American who watches US media coverage on the economic crisis equating to coverage on Obama’s stimulus plan and TARP retooling—appreciated this concise, international economy primer.

And for those eager for India updates, the nation is responding to declining economic growth with a bank bailout plan of their own.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Russia Update: Ailing Economy; Successful Missile Test & Delayed Nuclear Deal with Australia

Posted by proliferationpresswm on September 20, 2008

 

AFP reports that Australia may drag its feet on a nuclear fuel deal with Russia. Meanwhile, Russia keeps up its aggressive posturing: Deutsche Welle reports on Russia’s successful testing of a new ballistic missile.

By the way, the missile can hold up to ten nuclear warheads.

But how does the recent finance-melt and US-led bailout alter Russia’s geo-political outlook. With Asian, European and Russian markets benefiting from the record $700 US tax payer-backed bailout coupled with falling oil-prices, how much saber-rattling can Russia afford?

Here’s a WSJ article examining Russia’s economic troubles. From the article:

 

The market’s collapse, down 57% since May, is linked to the dysfunctional nature of the Russian state and economy. Nearly every aspect of commerce in Russia is deeply entangled with state power, if not with Mr. Putin personally. This, for obvious reasons, does not comfort most investors.

One famous investor in particular was worried about the security of doing business in Mr. Putin’s Russia. Rupert Murdoch, speaking on News Corp.’s earnings call on Aug. 5, had this to say: “The more I read about investments in Russia, the less I like the feel of it. The more successful we’d be, the more vulnerable we’d be to have it stolen from us, so there we sell now.”

The hoped-for liberalization under new Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has turned out to be another case of wishful thinking both in Russia and the West. There’s no doubt in the business community about who’s really in charge. After his cronies’ takeover attempt of steel and coal giant Mechel was rebuffed, Mr. Putin’s public outburst of criticism in late July was enough to destroy the company’s market value.

From AFP:

The west’s relations with Russia are at a turning point after its intervention in Georgia and a pact to sell Australian uranium to Moscow is in the balance, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Thursday. 

Parliament’s treaties committee earlier recommended that the deal signed with former president Vladimir Putin last year be put on hold because of concerns about Russia’s nuclear weapons programme. 

The committee said the government should first satisfy itself that the billion-dollars-a-year (800,000 US dollars) worth of the nuclear fuel would be used solely for civilian nuclear power. 

And it should give more consideration to recent events such as the conflict in Georgia, the committee’s report said.

… 

Australia, which has the world’s largest known reserves of uranium, stipulated in its pact to sell the nuclear material to Russia that it not be used to make nuclear weapons or be sold on to any other country.

And from Deutsche Welle: 

With a range of 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles), the Bulava can be equipped with up to 10 individually targeted nuclear warheads.

The missile test-fire comes during a time when US-Russia relations have hit a post Cold War low after Moscow’s recent military intervention in Georgia. Washington harshly criticized the military move.

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Pakistan Makes Its Own Nuclear Move

Posted by K.E. White on September 19, 2008

Business Standard reports on the liklihood of Pakistan–in clear reaction to the US-India nuclear deal–pushing for a nuclear deal with China. 

In its bid to offset the impact of Indo-US nuclear deal, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari will take up the acquisition of nuclear fuel technology from China during his forthcoming visit.

The Pakistan government has decided to set up two nuclear power plants worth Rs 139 billion to overcome the country’s energy crisis, official sources were quoted as saying by the Aaj Kal Urdu daily.

Zardari, who is expected to visit China in the near future, will discuss the acquisition of fuel technology for the two new plants with the Chinese leadership, the sources said.

While one may consider India a prime candidate for nuclear commerce, many of its attributes–steady regime, peaceful political turnovers, even accepting terrorism probelms–Pakistan’s regimes have not shown themselves durable. While jockeying between weak deomcratic regimes and strong-man dictatorships, expanding Pakistan’s nuclear arsneal and power facilities comes with additional headaches: abrupt regime change and the real and potent presence of radical Islamic terror-groups.

Time will shown if Pakistan’s newly elected President and re-charged (if unity-less) Paraliament can foster the stability, liberalism and security so lacking in Pakistan’s recent past. And–addressing worse-case scenarios–the Pakastani military has shown strong and responsible control over Pakistan’s nuclear hardware. But Pakistan’s four-pronged pressures–economic woes, Kashmir, periodic political upheaval and the worrisome presence & support of Islamic terrorism–keep international concern over this country at a high level.

Posted in China, Diplomacy, India, Nuclear, Pakistan, U.S. India Nuclear Deal, WMD | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »