Slava Paperno: Was the KGB interested in your relationship with Andy?
G.N. Lepeshkin: No, no.
Paperno: No? Nobody ever asked?
Lepeshkin: Nope. We had a good relationship, and they never asked about it.
Paperno: You had a good relationship with the KGB or with Andy?
Lepeshkin: No, with Andy.
Paperno: And the KGB wasn't interested.
Lepeshkin: Why should they be interested? So somebody comes to visit...
Paperno: A foreigner comes to visit...
Lepeshkin: So what? This was Kazakhstan, they had a completely different attitude toward people there. In Kazakhstan the KGB helped us to work with foreigners. They didn't put up obstacles. In other words, they did their job, but they always, when there were... if you came... I had a deputy from the KGB, a lieutenant colonel named Syzdykov, a very good man. And all this was open there, we didn't have any secrets. We would say: "Some foreigners are coming, here's the work plan." A plan would be drawn up for receiving them and for what we were going to do, this, that and that. In short, we had a very good relationship with them.
Paperno: Not at all like the Soviet KGB?
Lepeshkin: Yes, the system here is completely different. Russia has a different system.
Paperno: Can you talk about it?
Lepeshkin: Well, how am I going to talk about it if I basically don't have any contact with them.
Paperno: With the Soviet KGB?
Paperno: But they, they... Did they have their own man at your plant?
Lepeshkin: When I was working in Kirov, there. Are we talking about Kirov? Or what?
Paperno: About either place, it doesn't matter...
Lepeshkin: When I was working, I am going to talk about Stepnogorsk. When I was working in Stepnogorsk, we had a deputy director for security who was a KGB lieutenant colonel, Zhumagalis Syzdykovich Syzdykov. He was responsible for security, for secure operations among personnel. So that no state secrets got out. And he strictly followed those rules. These were normal operations for a high-security enterprise. Every high-security enterprise has a man who is responsible for this. That man in our case was Syzdykov.
When the Soviet Union broke up, and foreign delegations started coming to visit, the first time was in '95. Then in '96 everyone started coming fairly often. We... We always informed those security agencies. By then it was called the KNB, the National Security Committee, but that didn't change the essence of the matter. And we worked very closely with them, no obstacles were put in our way. So when you say, how did they react then, I say, their reaction was fine.