Friday December 3, 1999

U.S. May Send Y2K Military Team to Russia

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A senior Russian military official said Friday that U.S. experts might be stationed in Russia over the Y2K period as part of a joint missile monitoring program with the United States.

Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov told a news conference it was understandable that Washington and Moscow would want their nuclear experts to sit side by side over New Year to make sure there were no misunderstandings because of the millennium bug.

Computers may go wrong as the world reaches 2000 because older programs store the year as two digits and may read 2000 as 1900.

``We will be there at the critical moment,'' Ivashov said, referring to the Colorado Springs monitoring base where specialists from both countries will work for three weeks.

``It has already been announced that our people will be there in Colorado Springs,'' he said. ``Talks will be held and if the need arises they (the Americans) will be here too.''

Asked where the U.S. team would be based in Russia, he said: ``Outside Moscow. I can't be more precise.''

The U.S. embassy in Moscow was not available for comment.