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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 29, August - September 1998

US-Russia Summit

Summit meeting between President Yeltsin and President Clinton, Moscow, 1-2 September 1998

Press Conference

'Press Conference by President Clinton and President Yeltsin,' Catherine Hall, The Kremlin, 2 September; White House transcript.

Extracts from Remarks by President Yeltsin

"Responsibility of our two countries for maintaining and strengthening peace and stability is obvious. That is why we have paid special attention to the discussion of the entire spectrum of security issues in the world.

The discussion has included the implementation of international and bilateral treaties and agreements concerning the weapons of mass destruction, as well as the elaboration of common approaches to dealing with the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation and their delivery means.

Unfortunately, this is not the only major task the humanity struggles to resolve. That is why President Clinton and I have discussed global threats and challenges. Our positions on this issue have coincided and this closeness of approaches is reflected in the joint statement on common security changes on the threshold of the 21st century. I consider this document to be a significant step towards strengthening strategic partnership between Russia and the United States.

We have also had substantial talks on the most topical international issues. And there are quite a few such issues. I'll put it frankly; here our approaches have not always completely coincided. Russia rejects the use of power methods as a matter of principle. Conflicts of today have no military solutions, be it in Kosovo or around Iraq or Afghanistan or others. Also we do not accept the NATO centrism idea for the new European security architecture. Nevertheless, our talks have been conducive to greater mutual understanding on these issues. ..."

Extracts from Remarks by President Clinton

"We discussed also at length common security concerns. We've reached an important agreement to increase the safety of all our people, an arrangement under which our countries will give each other continuous information on worldwide launches of ballistic missiles or space-launched vehicles detected by our respective early warning systems. This will reduce the possibility of nuclear war by mistake or accident, and give us information about missile activity by other countries.

We've also agreed to remove from each of our nuclear weapons program approximately 50 tons of plutonium - enough to make literally thousands of nuclear devices. Once converted, this plutonium can never again be used to make weapons that become lethal in the wrong hands. Our experts will begin meeting right away to finalize an implementation plan by the end of this year. ...

Next let me say I look forward to, and hope very much that the Russian Duma will approve START II so that we can negotiate a START III agreement that would cut our levels of arsenals down to one-fifth of Cold War levels. I think that would be good for our mutual security and good for the Russian economy.

In recent months Russia has taken important steps to tighten its export controls on weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them, and to penalize offenders. This week Russia barred three companies from transactions with Iran. Today we agreed to intensify our cooperation by creating seven working groups on export controls to further strengthen Russia's ability to halt the spread of dangerous weapons. Also, we renewed our commitment to persuade India and Pakistan to reverse their arms race. And we pledged to accelerate international negotiations to establish a tough inspection regime of the Biological Weapons Convention. I don't believe it's possible to overstate the importance of this initiative for the next 20 years.

Russia and the United States share a commitment to combat terrorism. We agree that there is no possible justification for terrorism; it is murder, plain and simple. Today, we instructed our Foreign Ministers to develop a plan to deepen our cooperation against this danger to our own people and to innocent people around the world. We agreed on the importance of further strengthening the partnership between NATO and Russia through practical cooperation. We plan to accelerate talks on adapting the treaty that limits conventional military forces in Europe, the CFE, to reflect changes in Europe since the treaty was signed in 1990, with an aim to complete an adapted treaty by the 1999 summit of the OSCE. ...

President Yeltsin and I also agreed that Iraq must comply fully with all relevant UN Security Council resolutions imposed after the Gulf War, and in particular, must agree to allow the international weapons inspectors to again pursue their mission without obstruction or delay. Far from advancing the day sanctions are lifted, Iraq's most recent efforts to undermine the inspectors will perpetuate sanctions, prevent Iraq from acquiring the resources it needs to rebuild its military, and keep Iraq's economy under tight international control. ..."

Extracts from Questions-and-Answers

"Question: 'The question has to do with the relationship between Russia and NATO. I understand you had time to discuss this issue with the US President. It's known that the next NATO summit will take place in Washington, where important decisions will be taken regarding the European security architecture. How do you think this relation should evolve in the future?'

President Yeltsin: 'Yes, we have discussed with President Clinton the question concerning the relationship between Russia and NATO. We're not running away from the position which has been that we are against NATO expanding eastward. We believe this is a blunder, a big mistake, and one day this will be a historic error.

Therefore, at this point in time, what we necessarily would like to do is to improve relations so that there be no confrontation. Therefore, we have signed an agreement between Russia and NATO. And in accordance with that agreement we want to do our job. However, no way shall we allow anybody to transgress that agreement, bypass that agreement, or, generally speaking, put aside it. No, this will not happen.

And, naturally, we shall participate in the [Washington] meeting and there we shall very closely follow the vector of NATO and what they intend to do in regards to, so to say, deploying their forces and their power.

We still are in favor of being cautious with regards to NATO. We don't have any intentions to move towards the West, ourselves; we don't intend to create additional forces. We're not doing that, and we're not planning to do that. This is what really matters.'

President Clinton: 'I would like to say one word about that. We obviously, President Yeltsin and I, have a disagreement about whether it was appropriate for NATO to take on new members or not. But I think there is a larger reality here where we are in agreement, and I would like to emphasize it.

Russia has made historic commitments in the last few years to essentially redefine its greatness, not in terms of the territorial dominance of its neighbors, but instead, of constructive leadership in the region and in the world. The expansion of NATO, therefore, should be seen primarily as nations interested in working together to deal with common security problems, not to be ready to repel expected invasions. ..."

Joint Statement on Common Security Challenges at Threshold of the 21st Century

'Joint Statement on Common Security Challenges at Threshold of the 21st Century,' 2 September

"We, the Presidents of the United States of America and of the Russian Federation, declare that cooperation between the US and Russia will be of the greatest import in the twenty-first century for promoting prosperity and strengthening security throughout the world. In this connection, we reaffirm that the United States of America and the Russian Federation are natural partners in advancing international peace and stability. We have devoted particular attention to intensifying joint efforts to eliminate threats inherited from the Cold War and to meet common security challenges at the threshold of the twenty-first century.

We understand that the most serious and pressing danger is the proliferation of nuclear, biological, chemical, and other types of weapons of mass destruction, the technologies for their production, and their means of delivery. Given the increasing interdependence of the modern world, these threats are becoming transnational and global in scope; they affect not only the national security of the United States and the Russian Federation, but also international stability. We reaffirm the determination of the US and Russia to cooperate actively and closely with each other, as well as with all other interested countries, to avert and reduce this threat by taking new steps, seeking new forms of collaboration, and strengthening generally recognized international norms.

We recognize that more must be done and today we have taken a number of steps to enhance not only our security, but global security as well. We are declaring our firm commitment to intensifying negotiations toward early completion of the Biological Weapons Convention Protocol. We are embarking on new and important cooperation to further lessen the risks of false warnings of missile attacks. And, we have agreed on principles to guide our cooperation in the management and disposition of plutonium from nuclear weapons programs so that it can never again be used in a nuclear weapon.

Common commitments have made the US and Russia partners in developing the foundations of an international non-proliferation regime, including the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, IAEA safeguards, the Convention on Biological and Toxin Weapons, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Russia and the US reaffirm their commitment to the goal of having all countries accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in its present form, without amendments. They are also committed to the strengthened guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. As participants in the Conference on Disarmament, they jointly achieved success in the negotiations of the Chemical Weapons Convention and of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and call upon all countries to accede to these treaties. Guided by these obligations, they have taken substantial practical steps to reduce the global nuclear threat and control transfers of sensitive technology. They remain deeply concerned about the nuclear tests in South Asia and reaffirm US and Russian commitments to coordinate closely support for all steps set forth in the Joint Communiqué of the 'P-5', as endorsed by the G-8 and the UN Security Council.

The START Treaty and Presidents' nuclear arms reduction initiatives in 1991-92 will help to ensure the ultimate goal of nuclear disarmament and enhance international security. We have together eliminated more than 1,700 heavy bombers and missile launchers, including more than 700 launch silos, 45 submarines capable of launching nuclear missiles, and deactivated or eliminated more than 18,000 strategic and tactical nuclear warheads. Reaffirming our commitment to strict compliance with our obligations under the START I and ABM Treaties, we declare our resolve to collaborate in expediting the entry into force of the START II Treaty. Immediately after Russian ratification of START II, the US and Russia will begin negotiations regarding lower levels within the framework of a START III Treaty.

As a result of significant reductions in their nuclear forces, the United States and Russia have large stockpiles of nuclear materials that are no longer needed for defense purposes. They remain committed to providing the maximum degree of security and accountability for these and other stockpiles of weapons-grade fissile materials and reaffirm the importance of implementing the US Vice President's and Russian Prime Minister's July 1998 Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation in the Management of Plutonium that has been Withdrawn from Nuclear Military Programs.

We reaffirm our commitment to further cooperation on export controls as an essential part of ensuring non-proliferation. Our governments recently created an additional mechanism for cooperation in the field of exports of sensitive technology. To this end, at our meeting today we agreed to establish expert groups on nuclear matters, missile and space technology, catch-all and internal compliance, conventional weapons transfers controls, as well as law enforcement, customs matters, and licensing in order to enhance cooperation and to implement specific bilateral assistance and cooperative projects. These groups will be formed within the next mouth and begin practical activities without delay. A protected communications channel between senior officials of both countries has also been established, which will ensure the rapid and confidential exchange of information on non-proliferation matters.

We reaffirmed the importance of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty and its fundamental contribution to stability, predictability and cooperation in Europe. As we work together to build a more integrated and secure Europe, we are committed to accelerating the negotiations to adapt the Treaty to changing circumstances. We consider it necessary to complete work on adapting the Treaty in the nearest future, We reaffirm our commitment to comply with the Treaty's provisions during the process of its adaptation.

The US and Russia remain committed to jointly building an enduring peace based upon the principles of democracy and the indivisibility of security. They reaffirm the common objective of strengthening security and stability in the interest of all countries, and combating aggressive nationalism and preventing abuses of human rights. They will consult with each other and strive to cooperate in averting and settling conflicts and in crisis management. In this regard, we attach great importance to operational military cooperation, in both bilateral and multilateral settings, between the armed forces of the US and Russia. We are pleased to note that definite progress has been achieved in the area of defense cooperation, particularly in strengthening nuclear security and in implementation of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program.

We recognize that the soundness of an increasingly interdependent world financial and economic system affects the well-being of people in all countries. We agree on the importance to the international community of the success of economic and structural reform in Russia.

Strengthening environmental protection in the 21st century is imperative in order to protect natural systems on which humanity depends. Russia and the US will work together to resolve the global climate problem, to preserve the ozone layer, to conserve biodiversity, and to ensure the sustainable management of forests and other natural resources. We underscored the necessity of deepening broad based international and bilateral cooperation in this area.

We declare that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, irrespective of its motives, is utterly unacceptable. The US and Russia harshly condemn the recent terrorist bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. At our meeting today we agreed on a series of actions that respond to this growing scourge.

We agreed to intensify joint efforts to counteract the transnational threats to our economies and security, including those posed by organized crime, the narcotics trade, the illegal arms trade, computer and other high-technology crime, and money laundering. We agreed to establish a bilateral law enforcement working group that will meet on a regular basis, and we agreed to step up law enforcement efforts and improve the public information system to eradicate trafficking in women and children. We agreed that the United States and Russia will take an active part in working out an effective UN convention to combat transnational organised crime. We welcome Russia's hosting of a G-8 transnational crime conference at the ministerial level in Moscow in 1999.

We recognize the importance of promoting the positive aspects and mitigating the negative aspects of the information technology revolution now taking place, which is a serious challenge to ensuring the future strategic security interests of our two countries. As part of the efforts to resolve these problems the US and Russia have already held productive discussions within the framework of the Defense Consultative Group on resolving the potential Year 2000 computer problem. The US and Russia are committed to continuing consultations and to studying the wider consequences of this computer problem in order to resolve issues of mutual interest and concern.

We declare that the common security challenges on the threshold of the twenty-first century can be met only by consistently mobilizing the efforts of the entire international community. All available resources must be utilized to do so. In the event that it is necessary, the world community must promptly take effective measures to counter such threats. The US and Russia will continue to play a leadership role bilaterally and multilaterally to advance common objectives in the area of security."

Source: Text - Common Security Challenges at Threshold of the 21st Century, United States Information Service, 2 September.

Joint Statement on Plutonium Disposition

'Joint Statement of Principles For Management and Disposition of Plutonium Designated as No Longer Required for Defense Purposes,' 2 September

"The Presidents of the United States and the Russian Federation affirm the intention of each country to remove by stages approximately 50 metric tons of plutonium from their nuclear weapons programs, and to convert this material so that it can never be used in nuclear weapons. Recognizing that further arms reductions will increase such plutonium, measures to manage and reduce such stockpiles are an essential element of irreversible arms reduction efforts and are necessary to ensure that these materials do not become a proliferation risk.

As an essential step in achieving this goal, at the July 1998 meeting of their Joint Commission, the US and Russia reached agreement on scientific and technical cooperation in the management of plutonium that has been withdrawn from nuclear military programs. We have agreed on principles that will guide our governments in cooperating to achieve the objectives set forward in this statement. Our work today builds on the achievements of the 1996 Moscow Summit on Nuclear Safety and Security, and of the 1997 and 1998 G-8 Summits.

We have agreed on the following principles:

  • The US and Russia will each convert approximately 50 tons of plutonium withdrawn in stages from nuclear military programs into forms unusable for nuclear weapons. We recognize that interim storage will be required for this material.
  • The two governments will cooperate to pursue this goal through consumption of plutonium fuel in existing nuclear reactors (or reactors which may enter into service during the duration of our cooperation) or the immobilization of plutonium in glass or ceramic form mixed with high-level radioactive waste.
  • The US and Russia expect that the comprehensive effort for the management and disposition of this plutonium will be a broad-based multilateral one, and welcome close cooperation and coordination with other countries, including those of the G-8. They further intend to encourage partnership with private industry.
  • In cooperation with others, the US and Russia will, as soon as practically feasible and according to a time frame to be negotiated by the two governments, develop and operate an initial set of industrial-scale facilities for the conversion of plutonium to fuel for the above-mentioned existing reactors.
  • Conditions on cooperative projects for plutonium management and disposition will be determined by mutual consent of the parties participating in those projects.
  • In the plutonium management and disposition effort, the US and Russia will seek to develop acceptable methods and technology for transparency measures, including appropriate international verification measures and stringent standards of physical protection, control, and accounting for the management of plutonium.
  • We also recognize that in order for this effort to be carried out, it will be necessary to agree upon appropriate financing arrangements.
Both sides will develop strategies for the management and disposition of plutonium, taking into account the July 1998 agreement as well as a bilateral agreement, based on the principles set forth in this statement. They will initiate negotiation of this bilateral agreement promptly with the intention of concluding the agreement by the end of this calendar year."

Source: Text - Clinton/Yeltsin Statement on plutonium disposal, United States Information Service, 2 September.

Joint Statement on Exchange of Information on Missile Launches

'Joint Statement on the Exchange of Information on Missile Launches and Early Warning,' 2 September

"Taking into account the continuing worldwide proliferation of ballistic missiles and of missile technologies, the need to minimize even further the consequences of a false missile attack warning and above all, to prevent the possibility of a missile launch caused by such false warning, the President of the United States and the President of the Russian Federation have reached agreement on a cooperative initiative between the United States and Russia regarding the exchange of information on missile launches and early warning.

The objective of the initiative is the continuous exchange of information on the launches of ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles derived from each side's missile launch warning system, including the possible establishment of a center for the exchange of missile launch data operated by the United States and Russia and separate from their respective national centers. As part of this initiative, the United States and Russia will also examine the possibility of establishing a multilateral ballistic missile and space launch vehicle pre-launch notification regime in which other States could voluntarily participate.

The Presidents have directed their experts to develop as quickly as possible for approval in their respective countries a plan for advancing this initiative toward implementation as soon as practicable.

Russia, proceeding from its international obligations relating to information derived from missile attack warning systems, will reach agreement regarding necessary issues relating to the implementation of this initiative."

Source: Text - Clinton/Yeltsin on exchange of info on missile launches, United States Information Service, 2 September.

Joint Statement on Biological Weapons Convention

'Joint Statement on a Protocol to the Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,' 2 September

"The Presidents of the United States and the Russian Federation, recognizing the threat posed by biological weapons, express strong support for the aims and tasks of the Ad Hoc Group of States Parties to establish a regime to enhance the effective implementation of the 1972 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction. We urge the further intensification and successful conclusion of those negotiations to strengthen the Convention by adoption of a legally binding Protocol at the earliest possible date.

We have agreed to contribute to accomplishing these tasks. Consequently, the United States of America and the Russian Federation will make additional efforts in the Ad Hoc Group to promote decisive progress in negotiations on the Protocol to the Convention, to ensure its universality and enable the Group to fulfill its mandate.

We agree that the Protocol to the Convention must be economical to implement, must adequately guarantee the protection of national security information, and must provide confidentiality for sensitive commercial information. We also consider it extremely important to create a mechanism for implementation that will be consistent with the scope of the measures provided for in the Protocol.

We recognize the necessity for the Protocol to include those measures that would do the most to strengthen the Convention.

We express our firm commitment to global prohibition of biological weapons and for full and effective compliance by States Parties with the Convention prohibiting such weapons.

We support the language in the Final Declaration of the Fourth Review Conference of the States Parties to the Convention (1996) that the Convention forbids the use of bacteriological (biological) and toxin weapons under any circumstances."

Source: Text - Clinton/Yeltsin on Protocol to Bio weapons, United States Information Service, 2 September.

Export Control Cooperation:
Fact Sheet

'US-Russian Export Control Cooperation,' White House Fact Sheet, 2 September

"At their meeting today, President Clinton and President Yeltsin agreed to expand cooperation on export controls to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. The two presidents agreed to regularize and develop a series of interagency subgroups to enhance export control cooperation in seven principal areas: missile technology, nuclear weapons and material, implementation of so-called 'catch-all' legislation, conventional arms transfers, law enforcement, customs and licensing.

The subgroups will begin meeting this month to share information, experience and expertise on export control issues and practices. Expanded working-level cooperation will enhance the effectiveness of Russia's export control system. To facilitate rapid and reliable means of communication when faced with fast-breaking cases of export control concern, the United States and Russia have agreed to establish a protected communications capability channel between senior officials of both countries. This communications capability channel ensures the immediate and confidential exchange of information on a broad range of non-proliferation matters.

This expanded cooperation on non-proliferation will strengthen Russia's capacity to sustain recent progress on clamping down on export control violations.

After extensive bilateral consultations, in July, Russia initiated investigations of nine Russian entities that may have violated Russian export controls by assisting Iran's ballistic missile program. In response to this Russian action, the Administration applied tough economic penalties on seven of those entities. On Monday, Russia announced the preliminary results of its investigations, ordering several entities to halt exports to Iran's missile program. We encourage the Russian government to take additional steps to investigate suspect entities and strengthen export control laws and regulations."

Nuclear Detection Technology: Press Release

'Richardson, Russian Federation dedicate "second line of defense": US Nuclear Detection Technology to Help Secure Russian Borders,' Department of Energy (DOE) Press Release, 2 September

"US Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson and Russian Federation State Customs Committee Chairman Valeriy Draganov dedicated the installation of equipment to combat the trafficking of illicit nuclear materials at Russian borders in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Moscow's Sheremetyevo-1 international airport today. Secretary Richardson is in Russia accompanying President Clinton, whose summit with Russian President Boris Yeltsin underscores the United States' stake in the success of a peaceful, stable, democratic Russia.

With the assistance of technical experts from several Energy Department laboratories, Russia recently installed equipment to detect nuclear materials at the Moscow airport which serves domestic and international flights to countries which may pose a proliferation concern.

'Preventing nuclear smuggling is crucial to preserving a world free of nuclear terrorism,' said Secretary Richardson. 'This historic cooperation demonstrates the United States and Russia's commitment to reducing the proliferation of nuclear weapons not only at production and storage sites but at the borders as well.'

While the Energy Department's material protection, control and accounting (MPC&A) program helps Russia control its fissile or nuclear materials at the source, DOE's 'Second Line of Defense' program assists Russia in preventing illicit nuclear materials and equipment from crossing the border. (US-Russian cooperation to improve security at Russian nuclear facilities represents the 'first line of defense' in addressing this threat.)

The Department of Energy signed a protocol with Russian Federation Customs in June calling for cooperation to reduce smuggling of nuclear and 'dual-use' equipment, materials and technology from Russia. DOE has agreed to provide initial funding to purchase and install Russian-manufactured equipment to demonstrate the applicability of nuclear detection technology at key Russian ports, airports and border crossings.

The overall collaborative program between DOE and the Russian customs agency includes participation from several Energy Department laboratories and facilities. To install nuclear detection equipment at the Moscow airport, technical experts from the Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory assisted the Russian Federation State Customs Commission in identifying a system of portal monitors and video surveillance equipment that can detect nuclear smuggling activity. A Russian company called Aspect built the portal monitors; Los Alamos previously worked with Aspect to test and certify its equipment for portal monitoring and other applications.

In coming months, DOE and its multi-laboratory team will cooperate with Russian agencies to provide equipment and training for Second Line of Defense objectives. In the near term, equipment will be installed at a seaport on the Caspian Sea as well as Sheremetyevo airports in Moscow. A training program for Russian customs officials leveraging existing US and Russian training experience and resources will be developed in FY 1998 and implemented in FY 1999."

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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