US - Russia
Chronology from Jan 2003 to Mar 2003
: Addressing the Duma, Russian FM Ivanov harshly criticizes U.S. actions in Iraq in terms, according to some, “not heard since the end of the Cold War.”
: President Bush telephones President Putin to strongly condemn the supply by a Russian firm to Iraq of jamming technology, antitank missiles, and night-vision goggles.
: U.S. accuses Russian technicians in Iraq of attempting to help set up and operate a system that interferes with U.S. global positioning technology used to guide coalition missiles and aircraft.
: U.S. Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow warns that Russian opposition to U.S. policy in Iraq could cause serious damage to U.S.-Russian relations.
: Russian Minister of Atomic Energy Alexander Rumyantsev and Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham sign three agreements in Vienna, under which Russia will shut down three of its nuclear reactors. The agreements include a provision on financing Russian projects on building new conventional power facilities in Seversk and Zheleznogorsk, the communities in which nuclear reactors are to be shut down.
: Sen. Richard Lugar, Indiana Republican, introduces a bill that would repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment if passed into law, allowing Russia permanent normal trading status with the U.S.
: In a powerful bipartisan endorsement for improved relations with Russia, the U.S. Senate unanimously approves a treaty that would cut active U.S. and Russian long-range nuclear warheads by two-thirds.
: On Russian TV, FM Ivanov warns against a “unilateral” U.S. decision to go to war. Ivanov states, “That would be a violation of the United Nations Charter.”
: Russia joins with France and Germany in pledging to block any UN resolution authorizing war in Iraq.
: GAO releases report highly critical of the Cooperation Threat Reduction program, also known as the Nunn-Lugar program on U.S.-Russian bilateral nonproliferation efforts.
: The State Department officially announces that it is imposing sanctions on three rebel groups in the breakaway Russian republic of Chechnya because of their involvement in terrorism, including participation in an attack on a Moscow theater.
: U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton meets with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgii Mamedov for talks on global strategic security and nonproliferation.
: Russian Presidential Chief of Staff Aleksandr Voloshin travels to Washington, D.C. and meets with National Security Advisor Condeleezza Rice to discuss the Iraq situation. President Bush steps in for a short visit.
: In a nationwide television interview President Putin states that he is very concerned about the “breakdown” of the balance of power in the world and the “growing aggressiveness of influential forces in certain countries.”
: Secretary of State Colin Powell announces U.S. plans to blacklist three Chechen groups suspected of the attack on a Moscow theater in October 2002.
: Russian President Vladimir Putin conducts a three-day state visit to Paris and meets with French President Jacques Chirac. The two announce their opposition to U.S. plans to impose a deadline on Iraq that would lead to military strikes.
: The Bush administration announces that it will cut the aid Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union will receive under the Freedom Support Act. The allocation for Russia will fall to $73 million from $148 million.
: In an interview with Itogi magazine Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov says U.S. plans to develop and deploy a national missile defense system should not present an obstacle in bilateral ties between Moscow and Washington, a reversal of the previous Russian position.
: The New York Times reports that sometime in the early 1990s, Russian SVR agents had installed secret nuclear detection equipment inside the Russian Embassy in the North Korean capital Pyongyang at the request of the Central Intelligence Agency. The equipment was designed to pick up emissions of the isotope krypton, which would signal that North Korea had resumed plutonium reprocessing at its Yongbyon nuclear reactor.
: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans meets with Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref in Davos, Switzerland. Evans promises his personal support to Russia in tackling current bilateral trade problems.
: On a visit to Moscow U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage says that Russia should not rule out the possibility of preventive strikes on Chechen terrorists, even those on Georgian territory. “A country that believes in preventive strikes will find it difficult to criticize another country for doing the same.”
: Russian Defense Minister Ivanov is interviewed on Al-Jazeera TV and concedes that Russia has come under U.S. pressure to abandon nuclear cooperation with Iran. Ivanov says that Russia would continue cooperating with Iran and that two new nuclear reactors would be built in that country.
: A group of congressional Democrats outline a proposal to eliminate the provisions of the Jackson-Vanik amendment, which Congress passed in 1974 preventing Russia from achieving permanent normal trade status.
: U.S. President George W. Bush signs special orders to release more than $310 million in frozen funds to help Russia secure or eliminate nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. The president’s orders free more than $150 million to build a facility to destroy chemical munitions in Shchuch’ye, Russia.
: Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov says in an interview that Russia could collaborate with the U.S. in building a missile defense system under certain conditions.