Issue No. 14, April 1997
US-Russia Helsinki Summit:
Summary: Clinton-Yeltsin Press Conference
Arms Control Statements and Supporting Materials
Press Conference, White House transcript, Helsinki, 21 March
Statement by President Clinton
"... Here in Helsinki we have addressed three fundamental
challenges: first, building an undivided, democratic and peaceful
Europe for the first time in history; second, continuing to lead
the world away from the nuclear threat; and third, forging new ties
of trade and investment that will help Russia to complete its
remarkable transformation to a market economy and will bring
greater prosperity to both our peoples.
A Europe undivided and democratic must be a secure Europe. NATO
is the bedrock of Europe's security and the tie that binds the
United States to that security. That is why the United States has
led the way in adapting NATO to new missions, in opening its doors
to new members, in strengthening its ties to non-members through
the Partnership for Peace, in seeking to forge a strong, practical
partnership between NATO and Russia. We are building a new NATO
just as the Russian people are building a new Russia. I am
determined that Russia will become a respected partner with NATO in
making the future for all of Europe peaceful and secure.
I reaffirmed that NATO enlargement at the Madrid summit will
proceed and President Yeltsin made it clear that he thinks it's a
mistake. But we also have an important and, I believe, overriding
agreement. We agreed that the relationship between the United
States and Russia and the benefits of cooperation between NATO and
Russia are too important to be jeopardized.
We didn't come here expecting to change each other's mind about
our disagreement, but we both did come here hoping to find a way of
shifting the accent from our disagreement to the goals, the tasks
and the opportunities we share. And we have succeeded.
President Yeltsin and I agree that NATO Secretary General Solana
and Russian Foreign Minister Primakov should try to complete
negotiations on a NATO-Russian document in the coming weeks. It
would include a forum for regular consultations that would allow
NATO and Russia to work and to act together as we are doing today
in Bosnia. It would demonstrate that a new Russia and a new NATO
are partners, not adversaries, in bringing a brighter future to
We also agreed that our negotiators and those of the other 28
participating states should accelerate their efforts in Vienna to
adapt the CFE treaty to the post-Cold War era by setting new limits
on conventional forces.
The second area of our discussion involved our obligation to
continue to lead the world away from the dangers of weapons of mass
destruction. We have already taken important steps. We signed the
Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. We extended a
nonproliferation treaty. We stopped targeting each other's cities
and citizens. We put START I into force. And we're both committed
to securing ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention before
it goes into force next month, so that we can finally begin to
banish poison gas from the Earth.
Today, President Yeltsin agreed to seek the Duma's prompt
ratification of START II, already ratified by the United States
Senate. But we will not stop there. The United States is prepared
to open negotiations on further strategic arms cuts with Russia
under a START III immediately after the Duma ratifies START II.
President Yeltsin and I agreed on guidelines for START III
negotiations that will cap at 2,000 to 2,500 the number of
strategic nuclear warheads each of our countries would retain, and
to finish the reductions of START III by the year 2007.
Now, think about it. This means that within a decade we will
have reduced both sides' strategic nuclear arsenals by 80 percent
below their Cold War peak of just five years ago.
We also reached agreement in our work to preserve the
Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, a cornerstone of our arms control
efforts. Distinguishing between ballistic missile systems
restricted by the ABM treaty and theater missile defenses that are
not restricted has been a very difficult issue to resolve. Today,
after three years of negotiations, we agreed to preserve the ABM
treaty while giving each of us the ability to develop defenses
against theater missiles. ..."
Statement by President Yeltsin
"... Five joint statements have been signed as a result of our
meeting. President Bill Clinton and I just concluded signing these
- on European security, on parameters of future reductions in
nuclear forces, concerning the ABM missile treaty, on chemical
weapons, and we also signed a US-Russian economic initiative.
But we have not merely stated our positions. We view the signed
statements with the US President as a program of our joint action
aimed to develop Russian-American partnership. I would say that
emotions sometimes get the upper hand in assessing Russian-American
partnership. This is not the approach that Bill and I have. Let's
not forget that establishing the Russian-American partnership
relations is a very complex process. We want to overcome that which
divided us for decades. We want to do away with the past mistrust
and animosity. We cannot accomplish this immediately. We need to be
decisive and patient. And we have both with Bill Clinton.
I firmly believe that we will be able to resolve all issues
which, for the time being, are still outstanding. Today's meeting
with Bill convinced me of this once again. We will be doing this
consistently, step by step. We will have enough patience and
"Question: 'Boris Nikolayevich, our first impression is
that there was no breakthrough on NATO here in Helsinki. Tell me,
can there be some kind of movement forward before the Madrid
President Yeltsin: 'I don't agree with you. It was today
that we had progress, very principled progress, and they consist of
the following - that, yes, indeed, we do maintain our positions. We
believe that the eastward expansion of NATO is a mistake and a
serious one at that. Nevertheless, in order to minimize the
negative consequences for Russia, we decided to sign an agreement
with NATO, a Russia-NATO agreement. And this is the principal
question here. We've agreed on the parameters of this document with
President Bill Clinton.
This is the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, to those new
members of NATO to not proliferate conventional weapons in these
countries. We agreed on non-use of the military infrastructure
which remained in place after the Warsaw Pact in these countries of
Central and Eastern Europe. The decision of joint actions with
Russia alone, this, too, will be included in the agreement with
And finally, we've come to an agreement that this document will
be binding for all. ...'
Question: 'President Clinton, it is known that in your
Congress there's some criticism frequently that you are a supporter
of the ABM treaty. Today's meeting, did that convince you to
strengthen the ABM treaty?'
President Clinton: 'Some people have criticized me in my
Congress because I do support the ABM treaty. Yes, that's accurate;
they have. I do support the ABM treaty. I think it's important. I
believe in it. And we have, I believe, strengthened the chances
that the ABM treaty will survive by the agreement we have made
today and the distinctions we have drawn between the missiles that
are covered by the ABM treaty and by theater defense missiles. I
believe that very strongly.
There are those in the Congress of the United States, but they
are not a majority - let me emphasize, they are not a majority -
who would undermine the ABM treaty because they don't believe it's
in our interest. I believe they're wrong. I believe that the ABM
treaty has served us well and will continue to serve us well,
especially in view of the questions that we have clarified today
Question: '... Boris Nikolayevich, you said that this
meeting started a new phase for these US-Russian relations. What
precisely new was introduced into these relations?'
President Yeltsin: 'Well, first of all, we finally were
able to determine our positions on issues of European security.
We've come to settle our position on NATO, and we have described
for ourselves the parameters of the NATO-Russia agreement.
Secondly, there's an unprecedented reduction of nuclear weapons,
that is of START III. That's 85 percent of the overall arsenal of
warheads is being reduced in connection with that. That is
President Clinton: 'If I might support that question,
because I think that's a question all the Americans and all the
Russians and others will be interested in. What came out of this
meeting that was different. One, the idea that there will be a
NATO-Russia agreement that all the leaders will support. That's a
significant thing. We agreed to disagree about the question of
expansion, but we agreed that there must be a partnership between
NATO and Russia going forward into the future.
Two, the notion that Russia should play a larger role in
international economic institutions, and that if certain internal
changes are made, which President Yeltsin has already announced his
support for, then the United States will make a more vigorous
effort to facilitate investment in Russia.
And, third - and I think almost unexpected even among us, we
were working along here hoping this would happen - we resolved a
number of roadblocks relating to START II and other related issues
which permitted us to say that President Yeltsin would seek prompt
ratification of START II and we would together support guidelines
for START III, which we would hope could be negotiated quickly
after that, which would reduce the Cold War arsenals by over 80
percent from the Cold War height, to more or less 80 percent. These
are dramatic and very substantial results, and I'm very pleased
President Yeltsin: 'Just a moment, I'd like to continue
for a second longer. You've touched on a very current issue which
has to be clarified all the way.
Well, you understand, of course, why is it that the State Duma
has not yet ratified START II - because ABM was suspended. There
was no belief that the treaty from '92 on ABM is not only being
complied with by the Russian administration, but in the future
conditions are being created which would not allow circumvention of
In other words, we, for the State Duma, were able to prepare
grounds so that the Duma could positively look at ratifying START
Nuclear arms control
Joint Statement on Future Nuclear Reductions
'Joint Statement On Parameters On Future Reductions In
Nuclear Forces,' White House text, Helsinki, 21 March 1997
"Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin underscore that, with the end of
the Cold War, major progress has been achieved with regard to
strengthening strategic stability and nuclear security. Both the
United States and Russia are significantly reducing their nuclear
forces. Important steps have been taken to detarget strategic
missiles. The START I Treaty has entered into force, and its
implementation is ahead of schedule. Belarus, Kazakstan and Ukraine
are nuclear-weapon free. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was
indefinitely extended on 11 May, 1995 and the Comprehensive Nuclear
Test Ban Treaty was signed by both the United States and Russia on
24 September, 1996.
In another historic step to promote international peace and
security, President Clinton and President Yeltsin hereby reaffirm
their commitment to take further concrete steps to reduce the
nuclear danger and strengthen strategic stability and nuclear
security. The Presidents have reached an understanding on further
reductions in and limitations on strategic offensive arms that will
substantially reduce the roles and risks of nuclear weapons as we
move forward into the next century. Recognizing the fundamental
significance of the ABM Treaty for these objectives, the Presidents
have, in a separate joint statement, given instructions on
demarcation between ABM systems and theater missile defense
systems, which will allow for deployment of effective theater
missile defenses and prevent circumvention of the ABM Treaty.
With the foregoing in mind, President Clinton and President
Yeltsin have reached the following understandings.
Once START II enters into force, the United States and Russia
will immediately begin negotiations on a START III agreement, which
will include, among other things, the following basic
* Establishment, by 31 December, 2007, of lower aggregate levels
of 2,000-2,500 strategic nuclear warheads for each of the
* Measures relating to the transparency of strategic nuclear
warhead inventories and the destruction of strategic nuclear
warheads and any other jointly agreed technical and organizational
measures, to promote the irreversibility of deep reductions
including prevention of a rapid increase in the number of
* Resolving issues related to the goal of making the current
START treaties unlimited in duration.
* Placement in a deactivated status of all strategic nuclear
delivery vehicles which will be eliminated under START II by 31
December, 2003, by removing their nuclear warheads or taking other
jointly agreed steps. The United States is providing assistance
through the Nunn-Lugar program to facilitate early
The Presidents have reached an understanding that the deadline
for the elimination of strategic nuclear delivery vehicles under
the START II Treaty will be extended to 31 December, 2007. The
sides will agree on specific language to be submitted to the Duma
and, following Duma approval of START II, to be submitted to the
United States Senate.
In this context, the Presidents underscore the importance of
prompt ratification of the START II Treaty by the State Duma of the
The Presidents also agreed that in the context of START III
negotiations their experts will explore, as separate issues,
possible measures relating to nuclear long-range sea-launched
cruise missiles and tactical nuclear systems, to include
appropriate confidence-building and transparency measures.
Taking into account all the understandings outlined above, and
recalling their statement of 10 May, 1995, the Presidents agreed
the sides will also consider the issues related to transparency in
'Joint Statement on Parameters on Future Reductions in
Nuclear Forces,' White House Fact Sheet, Helsinki, 21 March
"In an historic step, President Clinton and President Yeltsin
today issued a Joint Statement on Parameters on Future Reductions
in Nuclear Forces, reaffirming their shared commitment to further
reduce the nuclear danger and strengthen strategic stability and
President Clinton has led the effort to reduce the threat posed
by nuclear weapons to all Americans. Today's statement builds on a
record of unprecedented progress during the President's first term
in curbing the proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction and
the missiles that deliver them, and in reducing the dangerous
legacy of Cold War weapons' stockpiles. Over the past four years,
the Administration has reached agreement with Russia to detarget US
and Russian missiles, so that no Russian missiles are pointed at
American cities; secured the entry into force of the START I Treaty
and the complete denuclearization of Belarus, Kazakstan and
Ukraine; secured the indefinite extension of the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty; and signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test
In today's Joint Statement, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin
underscored the importance of prompt ratification of the START II
Treaty by the State Duma of the Russian Federation and reached an
understanding to begin negotiations on START III immediately once
START II enters into force.
The Presidents also reached an understanding that START III will
establish by 31 December, 2007 a ceiling of 2,000-2,500 strategic
nuclear weapons for each of the parties, representing a 30-45
percent reduction in the number of total deployed strategic
warheads permitted under START II and more than a 65 percent
reduction in the number of total deployed strategic warheads
permitted under START I.
In an important new development promoting the irreversibility of
deep reductions, the Presidents agreed that START III will be the
first strategic arms control agreement to include measures relating
to the transparency of strategic nuclear warhead inventories and
the destruction of strategic nuclear warheads. The Presidents also
agreed the sides will consider the issues related to transparency
in nuclear materials.
In response to Russian concerns over the dismantlement costs of
bombers, missile silos and submarines, the Presidents agreed to
extend the START II deadline for eliminations to 31 December, 2007
subject to the approval of the Russian Duma and United States
Senate. To reduce the extension of the period during which nuclear
forces are above START II levels, all systems scheduled for
elimination under START II will be deactivated by removing their
nuclear warheads or taking other jointly agreed steps by December
31, 2003. The US is providing Nunn-Lugar assistance to facilitate
early deactivation and the elimination of strategic offensive arms
in Russia. Through fiscal year 1996, that assistance has totaled
$230 million. An additional $60 million is planned for this fiscal
To further underscore that the United States and Russia are
committed to a permanent reduction in the nuclear threat, the
Presidents also agreed to the goal of making the current START
Treaties unlimited in duration.
In addition, the Presidents agreed to explore possible measures
relating to long-range nuclear sea-launched cruise missiles and
tactical nuclear systems. These discussions will take place
separate from, but in the context of, the START III
These steps will allow President Clinton, working together with
President Yeltsin, to build on the important progress already
achieved and shape a world that is safer and more secure for
Americans, Russians and all peoples."
Joint statement on ABM Treaty
'Joint US-Russian statement on ABM Treaty,' White House text,
Helsinki, 21 March 1997
"President Clinton and President Yeltsin, expressing their
commitment to strengthening strategic stability and international
security, emphasizing the importance of further reductions in
strategic offensive arms, and recognizing the fundamental
significance of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty for these
objectives as well as the necessity for effective theater missile
defense (TMD) systems, consider it their common task to preserve
the ABM Treaty, prevent circumvention of it, and enhance its
The Presidents reaffirm the principles of their 10 May, 1995
Joint Statement, which will serve as a basis for reaching agreement
on demarcation between ABM systems and theater missile defense
* The United States and Russia are each committed to the ABM
Treaty, a cornerstone of strategic stability.
* Both sides must have the option to establish and to deploy
effective theater missile defense systems. Such activity must not
lead to violation or circumvention of the ABM Treaty.
* Theater missile defense systems may be deployed by each side
which (1) will not pose a realistic threat to the strategic nuclear
force of the other side and (2) will not be tested to give such
systems that capability.
* Theater missile defense systems will not be deployed by the
sides for use against each other.
* The scale of deployment - in number and geographic scope - of
theater missile defense systems by either side will be consistent
with theater ballistic missile programs confronting that side.
In this connection, the United States and Russia have recently
devoted special attention to developing measures aimed at assuring
confidence of the Parties that their ballistic missile defense
activities will not lead to circumvention of the ABM Treaty, to
which the Parties have repeatedly reaffirmed their adherence.
The efforts undertaken by the Parties in this regard are
reflected in the Joint Statement of the Presidents of the United
States and Russia issued on 28 September, 1994, as well as in that
of 10 May, 1995. Important decisions were made at the US-Russia
summit meeting on 23 April, 1996.
In order to fulfill one of the primary obligations under the ABM
Treaty - the obligation not to give non-ABM systems capabilities to
counter strategic ballistic missiles and not to test them in an ABM
mode - the Presidents have instructed their respective delegations
to complete the preparation of an agreement to ensure fulfillment
of this requirement.
In Standing Consultative Commission (SCC) negotiations on the
problem of demarcation between TMD systems and ABM systems, the
United States and Russia, together with Belarus, Kazakstan and
Ukraine, successfully finished negotiations on demarcation with
respect to lower-velocity TMD systems. The Presidents note that
agreements were also reached in 1996 with respect to
confidence-building measures and ABM Treaty succession. The
Presidents have instructed their experts to complete an agreement
as soon as possible for prompt signature on higher-velocity TMD
Neither side has plans before April 1999 to flight test, against
a ballistic target missile, TMD interceptor missiles subject to the
agreement on demarcation with respect to higher velocity TMD
systems. Neither side has plans for TMD systems with interceptor
missiles faster than 5.5 km/sec for land-based and air-based
systems or 4.5 km/sec for sea-based systems. Neither side has plans
to test TMD systems against target missiles with MIRVs or against
reentry vehicles deployed or planned to be deployed on strategic
The elements for the agreement on higher-velocity TMD systems
* The velocity of the ballistic target missiles will not exceed
* The flight range of the ballistic target missiles will not
exceed 3500 km.
* The sides will not develop, test, or deploy space-based TMD
interceptor missiles or components based on other physical
principles that are capable of substituting for such interceptor
* The sides will exchange detailed information annually on TMD
plans and programs.
The Presidents noted that TMD technology is in its early stages
and continues to evolve. They agreed that developing effective TMD
while maintaining a viable ABM Treaty will require continued
consultations. To this end, they reaffirm that their
representatives to the Standing Consultative Commission will
discuss, as foreseen under the ABM Treaty, any questions or
concerns either side may have regarding TMD activities, including
matters related to the agreement to be completed on higher-velocity
systems, which will be based on this joint statement by the two
Presidents, with a view to precluding violation or circumvention of
the ABM Treaty. These consultations will be facilitated by the
agreed detailed annual information exchange on TMD plans and
The Presidents also agreed that there is considerable scope for
cooperation in theater missile defense. They are prepared to
explore integrated cooperative defense efforts, inter alia, in the
provision of early warning support for TMD activities, technology
cooperation in areas related to TMD, and expansion of the ongoing
program of cooperation in TMD exercises.
In resolving the tasks facing them, the Parties will act in a
spirit of cooperation, mutual openness, and commitment to the ABM
Chemical Weapons Convention
'Joint US-Russian Statement on Chemical Weapons,' White House
text, Helsinki, 21 March 1997
"President Clinton and President Yeltsin discussed issues
relating to the entry into force of the Convention on the
Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of
Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction. They stressed the
commitment of the United States and Russia to full and effective
accomplishment of the tasks and objectives of the convention.
The Presidents reaffirmed their intention to take the steps
necessary to expedite ratification in each of the two countries.
President Clinton expressed his determination that the United
States be a party when the Convention enters into force in April of
this year, and is strongly urging prompt Senate action. President
Yeltsin noted that the Convention has been submitted to the Duma
with his strong recommendation for prompt ratification.
Mindful of their special role and responsibility in the matter
of chemical disarmament, the United States and Russia understand
that their participation in the Convention is important to its
effective implementation and universality.
The Presidents noted that cooperation between the two countries
in the prohibition of chemical weapons has enabled both countries
to enhance openness regarding their military chemical potential and
to gain experience with procedures and measures for verifying
compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention. The Parties will
continue cooperation between them in chemical disarmament.
The United States will seek appropriation of necessary funds to
build a facility for the destruction of neuroparalytic toxins in
Russia as previously agreed."
© 1998 The Acronym Institute.
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