Washington, 8 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - The U.S. State Department says it believes the Russian government and not former presidential security adviser Alexander Lebed when it comes to accounting for Russia's nuclear arsenal.
Spokesman James Foley said Friday the U.S. does not give much credibility to Lebed's charges that the Russian military has lost track of as many as 100 nuclear devices.
Foley said the U.S. has been assured by the Russian government that it retains control of nuclear weapons and that appropriate security arrangements are in place at facilities and storage sites.
Foley said the U.S. believes these assurances. He added that the U.S. is working with Russia to further strengthen security at nuclear storage facilities.
Earlier Friday, a spokesman for the Russian Defence Ministry, Vladimir Uvatenko, said Lebed never dealt with nuclear security when he was in the Kremlin.
Uvatenko denied there were any bombs out of the control of Russian armed forces.