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Global Security Newswire

Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

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U.S. Briefs Russia on Nuclear Alert Center Upgrades

The United States on Wednesday briefed a visiting Russian delegation on systems upgrades at a 25-year-old facility designed to exchange nuclear treaty information with Moscow, the State Department announced.

The Russian specialists also received details on the connection used by the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers for correspondence, as well as its dependability in the last 12 months.

A campaign to update equipment at the U.S. facility is close to completion, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton indicated on Wednesday in released remarks.

"Despite all the tensions during the Cold War, our two governments -- then the Soviet Union and the United States -- were able to agree to come together to set up these centers. And we knew that we had to do that to keep faith with the future of our own people and the world," Clinton stated. "We determined that we had to have better systems in place when it came to our nuclear arsenals because the consequences of getting something wrong, of misreading some kind of signal, would have potentially catastrophic consequences."

"So on April 1, 1988, we opened NRRCs in both Moscow and Washington. And from that day until today, they have been manned 24/7. And that has kept open the lines of communication. It’s also built trust between our two governments," she said.

"Over the past now nearly 25 years, the habits of communication between our teams formed around nuclear threats have expanded to promote transparency across the broad spectrum of arms control," she said. "And today, the NRRCs report on 13 different agreements and confidence-building measures. This new center will enhance our notification and communication structures with the benefit of modern technology, so we can keep evolving to meet the arms control needs of the future."

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