Project Sapphire 20 Years Later: Cooperative Threat Reduction and Lessons for the Future
Twenty years ago, in November 1994, the United States and Kazakhstan completed an unprecedented, highly secret, joint operation removing approximately 600 kilograms of highly enriched uranium from a former Soviet nuclear plant in Ust-Kamenogorsk to permanent storage in the United States. The operation, dubbed "Project Sapphire", was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense's Cooperative Threat Reduction (Nunn-Lugar) Program.
This program helped secure nuclear warheads and fissile materials in the former Soviet Union and ensured their relocation to Russia from Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus. Kazakhstan's early decision to become a nuclear weapon-free state made it a global leader in the non-proliferation movement.
To mark the 20th anniversary of these efforts, please join us for a discussion of the history and lessons of U.S.-Kazakhstan joint efforts.
Welcoming remarks by:
Director and Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, CSIS
Opening remarks by:
Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United States
Keynote speech by:
Senator Richard Lugar
President of the Lugar Center
Debuty Head, Ebola Coordination Unit, U.S. Department of State; Member of the 1994 top-secret "Tiger Team"
Senior Director, WMD Terrorism and Threat Reduction at the National Security Council
Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and its Dangerous Legacy
Director, National Security Archive at the George Washington University
Closing Remarks by:
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, U.S. Department of State