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Russians Are Coming: Arizona Depot Gets Surprise Inspection

March 8, 1995

PHOENIX (AP) _ Russian arms experts arrived Tuesday for a surprise inspection of rocket motors taken from decommissioned nuclear missiles.

It was the 10-member team’s second such visit in this country under the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

``For the hosting party, it is always going to be a surprise,″ said Gen. Viacheslav Romanov, the Russian who heads the team. That’s to minimize the possibility of cheating.

Inspectors from the countries that inherited the Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal _ Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus _ headed for Camp Navajo, an Arizona National Guard depot outside Flagstaff that stores solid rocket motors from Minuteman 2 missiles.

Accompanied by a team of 10 Americans, they were to count the stored motors to verify information supplied by the United States.

Over the next four months, the inspectors will visit 36 missile, bomber and submarine bases. U.S. inspectors will visit 65 similar facilities in the former Soviet Union.

The treaty, which took effect Dec. 5, 1994, calls for reducing the arsenals to 6,000 warheads each from a total of about 9,000 each by 2002.

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