Responding to a question from Senator Lugar at her confirmation hearings, Condoleezza Rice mentioned the willingness of the U.S. administration to reconsider its approach to a taxes and liabilities agreement with Russia. If this happens, it will be quite a positive step for many joint U.S.-Russian programs. And it seems to be happening - some Russian news agencies report that the State Department sent an envoy to Moscow to present a set of proposals concerning Russian weapon-grade plutonium, which include some new ideas on liabilities.

Ironically, it may be exactly this proposal that gave raise to bizarre rumors about the U.S. taking control over Russian nuclear arsenal.