June 1, 2006
STATEMENT REGARDING CLOSED CONTAINERS AT BERSHET'
The United States notes the statement by the Russian Federation that Russia will supplement existing procedures for the conduct of data update inspections at the Bershet' Conversion or Elimination Facility with respect to the inspection of SS-25 ICBM first stages in containers used for transportation and storage at that facility. Such procedures will include the following:
Russia will provide the United States with photographs of each type of container used for transportation and storage of SS-25 ICBM first stages at the Bershet' Conversion or Elimination Facility, for use by U.S. inspection teams during data update inspections at Bershet'.
The unique identifier from the missile which the stage was originally a part of, will be applied to the outside of the container used for transportation and storage of that SS-25 ICBM stage before it is sent to the Bershet' Conversion or Elimination facility.
During the pre-inspection procedures for data update inspections at the Bershet' Conversion or Elimination Facility, the in-country escort will provide to the inspection team a list of the containers with SS-25 ICBM first stages located within the inspection site, and their unique identifiers.
The U.S. inspection team will be allowed to view, using the Russian-provided photographs, all such containers located within the inspection site, and to read and record the unique identifier on each container.
A U.S. inspection team will not declare an ambiguity in the official inspection report based on the fact that the containers used for transportation and storage of the SS-25 ICBM first stages had not been opened, provided the inspectors are satisfied, using the photographs and unique identifiers provided, that the containers match the type of container used for transportation and storage of SS-25 ICBM first stages and the unique identifiers correspond to missiles attributed to the Votkinsk Machine Building Plant.
The United States notes that this arrangement is without prejudice to the right of the United States to view and measure the contents of containers large enough to contain items of inspection, as set forth in Paragraph 5 of Annex 1 to the Inspection Protocol. In the event inspectors are unable to identify an object declared by the escort to be a container containing an SS-25 ICBM first stage, the inspectors have the right to request to view and measure the contents of the container in accordance with Paragraph 5 of Annex 1 to the Inspection Protocol.