Disarmament DiplomacyIssue No. 47, June 2000
Clinton Visit to EuropeI. Visit to Russia
Agreements, Statements & Fact Sheets
Joint Statement on Principles of Strategic Stability
'Joint Statement by the Presidents of the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Principles of Strategic Stability,' The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, June 4, 2000.
"1. The Presidents of the United States of America and the Russian Federation agree on the need to maintain strategic nuclear stability. Agreements between them help accomplish this objective.
2. They are dedicated to the cause of strengthening strategic stability and international security. They agree that capability for deterrence has been and remains a key aspect of stability and predictability in the international security environment.
3. The Presidents, welcoming the ratification of START II Treaty and related documents by the Russian Federation, look forward to the completion of the ratification process in the United States.
4. They announce that discussions will intensify on further reductions in the strategic forces of the United States and Russia within the framework of a future START III Treaty, and on ABM issues, in accordance with the Moscow Statement of 1998 and Cologne Statement of 1999 by the Presidents.
5. They agree on the essential contribution of the ABM Treaty to reductions in offensive forces, and reaffirm their commitment to that Treaty as a cornerstone of strategic stability.
6. They agree that the international community faces a dangerous and growing threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, including missiles and missile technologies, and stress their desire to reverse that process, including through existing and possible new international legal mechanisms. They agree that this new threat represents a potentially significant change in the strategic situation and international security environment.
7. They agree that this emerging threat to security should be addressed and resolved through mutual cooperation and mutual respect of each other's security interests.
8. They recall the existing provision of the ABM Treaty to consider possible changes in the strategic situation that have a bearing on the provisions of the Treaty, and, as appropriate, to consider possible proposals for further increasing the viability of the Treaty.
9. The Presidents reaffirm their commitment to continuing efforts to strengthen the ABM Treaty and to enhance its viability and effectiveness in the future, taking into account any changes in the international security environment.
10. In reinforcing the effectiveness of the ABM Treaty under present and prospective conditions the United States of America and the Russian Federation attach great importance to enhancing the viability of the Treaty through measures to promote greater cooperation, openness, and trust between the sides.
11. The United States of America and the Russian Federation note the importance of the consultative process and reaffirm their determination to continue consultations in the future to promote the objectives and implementation of the provisions of the ABM Treaty.
12. The key provisions recorded in our agreements and statements, including at the highest level, create a basis for both countries' activities regarding strategic arms under present-day conditions.
13. Such an approach creates confidence that the further strengthening of strategic stability and further reductions in nuclear forces will be based on a foundation that has been tested over decades and advances both countries' interests and security.
14. The Presidents have directed the development of concrete measures that would allow both sides to take necessary steps to preserve strategic stability in the face of new threats, and called on their Ministers and experts to prepare a report for review by the Presidents.
15. They agree that issues of strategic offensive arms cannot be considered in isolation from issues of strategic defensive arms and vice versa - an interrelationship that is reflected in the ABM Treaty and aims to ensure equally the security of the two countries.
16. The United States of America and the Russian Federation intend to base their activities in the area of strategic offensive and defensive arms on the principles set forth in this document."
Plutonium Disposition Agreement
'Joint Statement Concerning Management and Disposition of Weapon-Grade Plutonium Designated as No Longer Required for Defense Purposes and Related Cooperation,' The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, June 4
"The Presidents of the United States and the Russian Federation announced today completion of the bilateral Agreement for the management and disposition of weapon-grade plutonium withdrawn from their respective nuclear weapon programs and declared excess to defense purposes. This Agreement will ensure that this plutonium will be changed into forms unusable for nuclear weapons by consumption as fuel in nuclear reactors or by immobilization rendering it suitable for geologic disposal.
Based on the 1998 Summit Joint Statement of Principles for Management and Disposition of Plutonium, this Agreement charts the course and sets the conditions for such activities. It reconfirms our determination to take steps necessary to ensure that it is never again used for nuclear weapons or any other military purpose and is managed and disposed of in a way that is safe, secure, ecologically sound, transparent and irreversible. It reaffirms our commitment to nuclear disarmament.
This Agreement will ensure that the management and disposition activities are monitored and, thus, transparent for the international community. It provides for International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verification once appropriate agreements with the IAEA are concluded.
This Agreement builds on the approaches to such plutonium management and disposition agreed at the 1996 G-8 Moscow Nuclear Safety and Security Summit. We reaffirm our intentions to continue to work closely with other countries, in particular other G-8 leaders, who have provided strong support over past years for initiation and implementation of these programs. In this regard, we hope that significant progress will be made as well at the G-8 Summit this July in Okinawa.
This Agreement will enable new cooperation to go forward between the United States and the Russian Federation. We note that the United States Congress has appropriated 200 million USD for this cooperation and the US Administration intends to seek additional appropriations.
This Agreement will soon be signed by Vice President Gore and Prime Minister Kasyanov."
White House Fact Sheet
'Fact Sheet: United States-Russian Federation Plutonium Disposition Agreement,' The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, June 4
"President Clinton and President Putin today announced that the United States and the Russian Federation have completed a key arms control and non-proliferation agreement providing for the safe, transparent and irreversible disposition of 68 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium - enough plutonium to make thousands of nuclear weapons.
The United States and Russia have already agreed to nuclear arms reductions that have led to the removal of weapons-grade plutonium from their military programs. This new agreement details the goals, schedules, monitoring principles and conditions for the irreversible disposition of that plutonium.
Unlike weapons-grade uranium, which is being blended down for use as nuclear power fuel both in the United States and in Russia, plutonium cannot be blended with other materials to make it unusable in weapons. Under the agreement, each Party must dispose of at least 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium by irradiating it as fuel in reactors or by immobilizing it with high-level radioactive waste, rendering it suitable for geologic disposal. The United States intends to use 25.5 tons as fuel and to immobilize 8.5 tons; the Russian Federation intends to use 34 tons as fuel.
Both Russia and the United States will accelerate their work leading toward construction of new industrial-scale facilities for conversion of the plutonium and its fabrication into fuel. The Agreement requires each Party to seek to begin operation of such industrial-scale facilities by 2007, to achieve a disposition rate of at least 2 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium per year and, working with other countries, to identify additional capacities at least to double that disposition rate.
The agreement establishes certain rights, obligations and principles for monitoring and inspecting the disposition and the end products to ensure the plutonium can never again be used for nuclear weapons or any other military purposes. The agreement bans reprocessing of this plutonium until the entire 34 metric tons have been disposed. After that, any reprocessing of this plutonium must be done under effective, mutually agreed monitoring measures.
The agreement also anticipates that any additional plutonium designated in the future as excess to defense needs can be disposed under these same terms and conditions.
The Russian program is estimated to cost over $1.7 billion over twenty years. The US program, which includes immobilization facilities as well as conversion and fuel fabrication facilities, is estimated to cost $4 billion.
The agreement recognizes the need for international financing and assistance for the Russian Federation to fulfill the obligations of the agreement. There is strong international support, particularly among G-8 nations, for the initiation and implementation of plutonium disposition. The United States and the Russian Federation will work with other countries to develop an international financing plan for the Russian program and multilateral arrangements to integrate and coordinate this extensive cooperation with Russia. This will be on the agenda for the G-8 Summit in Okinawa in July.
The US Congress has already appropriated $200 million for plutonium disposition in Russia, which will now be used for pre-construction design work for industrial-scale facilities in Russia. Today's agreement will also accelerate research, development and demonstrations under the 1998 technical agreement for plutonium disposition between the United States and Russian Federation.
The agreement is a critical, indispensable step toward the goal of ensuring proper disposition of this plutonium from weapons programs. Next steps include negotiating multilateral cooperation arrangements, establishing international financing, and developing plans to accelerate plutonium disposition."
Joint Early Warning Centre on Missile Launches
White House Fact Sheet
'Fact Sheet: Agreement on the Establishment of a Joint Warning Center for the Exchange of Information on Missile Launches and Early Warning,' The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, June 4
"President Clinton and President Putin today signed the Memorandum Of Agreement Between The Government Of The United States and Government Of The Russian Federation On The Establishment Of A Joint Center For The Exchange Of Data From Early Warning Systems And Notifications Of Missile Launches.
This agreement - which is the first time the United States and Russia have agreed to a permanent joint operation involving US and Russian military personnel - is a significant milestone in ensuring strategic stability between the United States and Russia. It establishes a Joint Data Exchange Center (JDEC) in Moscow for the exchange of information derived from each side's missile launch warning systems on the launches of ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles.
The exchange of this data will strengthen strategic stability by further reducing the danger that ballistic missiles might be launched on the basis of false warning of attack. It will also promote increased mutual confidence in the capabilities of the ballistic missile early warning systems of both sides.
The JDEC will build upon the successful establishment and operation during the millennium rollover of the temporary joint center for Y2K Strategic Stability in Colorado Springs. The JDEC will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with American and Russian personnel.
The JDEC is also intended to serve as the repository for the notifications to be provided as part of an agreed system for exchanging pre-launch notifications on the launches of ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles. This agreement is currently being negotiated separately."
Expanded Threat Reduction Initiative
White House Fact Sheet
'Fact Sheet: Expanded Threat Reduction Initiative,' The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, June 4
"President Clinton proposed the Expanded Threat Reduction Initiative (ETRI) in January 1999, which significantly increased funding for cooperation with Russia, Ukraine and other New Independent States (NIS) to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the materials to make them. The August 1998 economic crisis in Russia and related regional economic turmoil jeopardized efforts to reduce weapons to desired levels, impoverished weapons scientists, increased temptations for illicit trafficking and created new obstacles to military downsizing.
Progress in Bilateral Assistance
Over the past year, ETRI has provided a solid framework for expanding and coordinating bilateral and international threat reduction assistance efforts in Russia and the NIS. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2000, there is an estimated $888 million available for Departments of Defense, Energy and State high priority security programs in the NIS under ETRI in four priority areas:
1) Nuclear Security - deactivating and dismantling former Soviet strategic weapons and ensuring the security of Russian nuclear materials;
2) Chemical and Biological Weapons - redirecting former Soviet biological and chemical weapons activities to civilian purposes as well as chemical weapons destruction;
3) Science and Technology Non-Proliferation - engaging former Soviet weapons scientists in peaceful, collaborative research; and
4) Military Relocation and Other Security Cooperation - helping facilitate withdrawals of Russian military forces and equipment from Georgia and Moldova.
The Administration is seeking increases for ETRI and related activities in 2001 with a total request of $974 million.
Progress in Multilateral Assistance
The United States is urging other nations to increase their NIS security assistance. At the Cologne Summit in June 1999, the G-8 committed to increase threat reduction assistance for Russia and other NIS."
Comment, Speeches & Interviews
Clinton-Putin Press Conference
'Press Conference by President William Clinton and President Vladimir Putin, St. George's Hall, The Kremlin,' The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, June 4
Remarks by President Putin
"… We discussed the issues of new global threats, threats such as terrorism, narcotics, crime. We talked about issues which, to our mind, have a certain solution; in the estimation of our American colleagues, maybe have a different kind of a solution. We exchanged ideas and opinions on issues to which we had different solutions in the past. These talks were very candid, very open and very topical.
As you know, with my colleague, with the President of the United States, I signed several documents, including statements on security. And many things are determined and defined there, and much is said in these documents. The result, I think, can be summed up by saying that we not only confirmed the high level of our relations, but we also expressed the trend of the development of our relations between our two countries for the near future. …"
Remarks by President Clinton
"We've had good discussions, both last night and today, on a range of common interests, including nonproliferation and arms control. We expressed our differences with clarity and candor. And I, for one, appreciate that. The importance of this relationship to ourselves and the world demands that we take every opportunity we can to find common ground, and that where we cannot find it, we express our differences with clarity and candor.
I congratulated President Putin on the key role he played in the Duma's ratification of START II and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The United States ratified START II first, and I hope we will now follow Russia in ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. I also look forward to the ratification of the START II protocols by our Senate so that we can get about the business of further reducing the number of nuclear missiles that we have.
I am very pleased today we agreed on two other major steps to reduce the nuclear danger. We reached an important agreement, each to destroy 34 tons of military grade plutonium, enough to make thousands of warheads. This raw weapon material…will now never fall into the wrong hands.
We also agreed to establish a joint data exchange center in Moscow to share early warning information on missile and space launches. This is terribly important. It is the first permanent US-Russia military operation ever. In this new center, Russian and American military officials will be working side by side, 24 hours a day, to monitor missile warning information. It is a milestone in enhancing strategic stability, and I welcome it.
The President and I also discussed our common commitment to prevent the proliferation of missile technology, and our determination to exert firm control over exports of sensitive technology, and strictly enforce export control laws and regulations.
We discussed our common interest in commercial space cooperation, including the successful joint venture that launches commercial satellites. We agreed that our teams would soon meet to discuss future cooperation in the commercial space area, with the aim of moving toward eliminating existing constraints on commercial space launches.
We also had a thorough discussion of our work on the START III treaty, and the issue of national missile defense. We have agreed to a statement of principles, which I urge you to read carefully. It makes clear that there is an emerging ballistic missile threat that must be addressed, though we have not yet agreed on how best to do so.
We have acknowledged that the ABM Treaty foresees the possibility of changes in the strategic environment that might require it to be updated. We have reaffirmed our commitment to pursue further reduction in offensive arms in parallel with our discussions on defense systems, underscoring the importance of the doctrines of strategic stability and mutual deterrence as the foundation for this work.
We've asked our experts to keep working to narrow the differences, and to develop a series of cooperative measures to address the missile threat. And we have agreed that we will continue to discuss it in our next meeting. …"
Questions and Answers
"Question: 'Mr. President, do you see the chance that the United States would exercise its option to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty if it is not possible to negotiate changes to permit a national missile defense? And was this possibility raised in your discussions with President Putin?'
Clinton: 'Well, first of all, I have not made a decision on the national missile defense stage one. It is premature. The statement of principles that we have agreed to I thought reflected an attempt to bring our positions closer together. I do not believe the decision before me is a threat to strategic stability and mutual deterrence. The Russian side disagrees. But we had a lot of agreement here. … I do not want the United States to withdraw from the ABM regime because I think it has contributed to a more stable, more peaceful world. It has already been amended once, and its framers understood that circumstances might change and threats might arise which were outside the context of US-Russian relations. We acknowledge that there is a threat; it needs to be met; and we're trying to bridge our differences. And I think that's where we ought to leave it.'
Question: 'President Clinton…what do you feel about Russia's [proposal for] reducing within START III the number of warheads down to 1,500 warheads? …'
Clinton: 'Well, I - we had previously agreed to a range of 2,000 to 2,500 on START III. If we were to come down below that, it would require us to change our strategic plan. And we believe it would be much better, if we were going to do that, if we could also know that we were defending ourselves against a new threat, which we believe is real. So we will continue to discuss all these things. Let me say, I am certain - I am eager to get down to the START II levels, and I am eager to go below the START II levels, but I also want to try to solve the new threat, as well. And I will do whatever I can to achieve both objectives.'
Question: 'This is for both Presidents. Now that you have met together as Presidents, how would you describe each other's personalities and leadership qualities? …'
Putin: '… I think that if…everyone behaves the way President Clinton has behaved, not trying to find dead ends and problems, but to seek ways of moving ahead, I think, between us in the future our relations really will be successful. Take a look at the ABM Treaty. There are a lot of problems there. We've written down in our statement, about which Mr. Clinton just spoke, a basis, a principle of basis for maintaining the ABM Treaty as a major key point in the whole strategic balance, and for maintaining security. … We're against having a cure which is worse than the disease. We understand that there are ways and a basis that we can build upon in order to solve even this issue, an issue which seems to be one of the most difficult to solve. …'"
Putin Television Interview
Interview with Tom Brokaw, NBC Television News, Moscow, June 1
"Question: 'Mr. President, I want to ask you about nuclear weapons. When President Clinton comes here next week he's going to be defending the building in America of a missile defense system. Both presidential candidates in America...favor the building of a missile defense system. President Clinton says he's willing to share that technology with you. Why wouldn't you endorse that given the fact that you too could be the target of a so-called "rogue" state?'
Putin: 'Well, it seems to me that the architecture of international relations in the security area has been developing for a long time and this…process has not been easy. It has reached a level - and a quality - that all of us are obligated to cherish. And have to approach these problems very judiciously and carefully. You know along the principle of medical workers - thou shall not harm. And do everything to make it better but do no harm. And [in] that connection we have given and will give a lot of our attention to our cooperation with the United States about questions of security. …
We propose a significant…mutual reduction of offensive nuclear weapons, keeping the foundation…of the ABM Treaty… We believe that is an important foundation agreement in this area. And we think that, bearing our joint will in mind, considering both each other's interests and the changing world, we can by combining our efforts in this area find a solution without destroying the ABM treaty…because if we do that…we will undoubtedly lower the level of our people's security both in the Russian Federation and the United States of America. We will lower that level of security because someone gets the impression he could act without facing punishment. … [B]ut we respect the opinions of our partners in negotiations, we think that what they say has a certain logic and to a great degree we agree with that logic. There are new threats arising that we must address but our proposal is to answer them together. …'
Question: 'Let me be clear and understand. Would you like to reduce the nuclear arsenals in both countries to 1,500 nuclear missiles but not have a ABM missile system of some kind?'
Putin: 'We don't want anything. We are proposing this for discussion. We are proposing to lower as far as possible this threshold of joint threat and we think…lowering that threshold will be to the good of all nations of the world. The United States and Russia have built up so many nuclear weapons that we could many times over and without fail destroy each other and the vast majority of humanity. Why? Why do we need that level, why do we need such a threshold of mutual threat? To what number we should lower the warheads on each side that is a point of negotiation. In our opinion, the fewer the better. There is a system of agreement that has been created in the area of anti-ballistic missiles. It works and it works efficiently. And we believe that it shouldn't be destroyed. But we are in agreement that there are new threats arising. And we think we must react to that. We have a proposal to do it together. … [I]f you are talking about threats that are directed or could be directed at Russia or at the United States…there are countries that have that capability today…[but only by launching missiles] from their own land. They don't have nuclear submarines or they don't have planes with atomic weapons on board, so we could put up these umbrellas above potential areas of threat. We could jointly with this umbrella protect all of Europe. We have these possibilities both technically, and politically. We would like to propose them and we would like to discuss that issue with President Clinton.'
Question: 'Mr. President, I want to be clear - you would like both the United States and Russia to have substantial reductions in their nuclear arsenals. But you think there is a better way of dealing with other nuclear powers than building a missile defense system?'
Putin: 'First of all, I believe that we an all agree that reducing the nuclear confrontation is a benefit. Both for Russia and the United States and for all of mankind. It is a benefit because our countries have accumulated so many nuclear weapons that we could destroy each other many times over and do irreparable damage to the planet. And I think we are on agreement on that point. As, to new threats that they talk about in the United States, we agree with that. We accept our partner's logic, but we believe that [what] has been achieved in the area of our agreements in the strategic sphere…shouldn't be destroyed. … We should create new mechanisms that will protect us from those threats. … And such mechanisms are possible if we unite our efforts and direct them at the neutralization of those threats that could be directed at the United States, or against Russia, or say, directed our allies or, Europe, in general. We have those proposals and we intend to discuss them with President Clinton.'"
Source: Putin warns US on missile shield, MSNBC website, http://www.msnbc.com/news/386479.asp.
Clinton Speech to the Duma
'Remarks by the President to the Duma,' The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, June 5
"… [A] fundamental question [before us] is: How shall countries define their strength in relation to the rest of the world today? Shall we define it as the power to dominate our neighbors or the confidence to be a good neighbor? Shall we define it by what we are against, or simply in terms of what others are for? Do we join with others in common endeavors to advance common interests, or do we try to bend others to our will?
This federal assembly's ratification of START II and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty suggests you are answering these questions in a way that will make for both a stronger Russia and a better world, defining your strength in terms of the achievements of your people and the power of your partnerships, and your role in world affairs. …
The same advances that are bringing the world together are also making the tools of destruction deadlier, cheaper, and more available. As you well know, because of this openness of borders, because of the openness of the Internet, and because of the advances of technology, we are all more vulnerable to terrorism, to organized crime, to the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons - which themselves may some day be transferred, soon, in smaller and smaller quantities, across more and more borders, by unscrupulous illegal groups working together. In such a world, to protect our security we must have more cooperation, not more competition, among like-minded nation states.
Since 1991, we have already cooperated to cut our own nuclear arsenals by 40 percent; in removing nuclear weapons from Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan; in fighting illicit trafficking in deadly technology. Together, we extended the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, banned chemical weapons, agreed to end nuclear testing, urged India and Pakistan to back away from nuclear confrontation.
Yesterday, President Putin and I announced two more important steps. Each of us will destroy 34 tons of weapons-grade plutonium, enough to build thousands of nuclear weapons. And we will establish a system to give each other early warning of missile tests and space launches to avoid any miscalculation, with a joint center here that will operate out of Moscow 24 hours a day, seven days a week - the first permanent, joint United States-Russian military cooperation ever. I am proud of this record, and I hope you are, too.
We will continue to reduce our nuclear arsenals by negotiating a START III treaty, and to secure the weapons and materials that remain. But we must be realistic. Despite our best efforts, the possibility exists that nuclear and other deadly weapons will fall into dangerous hands, into hands that could threaten us both - rogue states, terrorists, organized criminal groups.
The technology required to launch missiles capable of delivering them over long distances, unfortunately, is still spreading across the world. The question is not whether this threat is emerging; it is. The question is, what is the best way to deal with it? It is my strong preference that any response…strengthen[s] the strategic stability and arms control regime that has served our two nations so well for decades now. If we can pursue that goal together, we will all be more secure.
Now, as all of you know well, soon I will be required to decide whether the United States should deploy a limited national defense system designed to protect the American people against the most imminent of these threats. I will consider, as I have repeatedly said, many factors, including the nature of threat, the cost of meeting it, the effectiveness of the available technology, and the impact of this decision on our overall security, including our relationship with Russia and other nations, and the need to preserve the ABM Treaty.
The system we are contemplating would not undermine Russia's deterrent, or the principles of mutual deterrence and strategic stability. That is not a question just of our intent, but of the technical capabilities of the system. But I ask you to think about this, to debate it…to determine for yourselves what the capacity of what we have proposed is - because I learned on my trip to Russia that the biggest debate is not whether we intend to do something that will undermine mutual deterrence... The real question is a debate over what the impact of this will be, because of the capacity of the technology involved. And I believe that is a question of fact which people of good will ought to be able to determine. And I believe we ought to be able to reach an agreement about how we should proceed at each step along the way here, in a way that preserves mutual deterrence, preserves strategic stability, and preserves the ABM Treaty. That is my goal. And if we can reach an agreement about how we're going forward, then it is something we ought to take in good faith to the Chinese, to the Japanese, to others who are interested in this, to try to make sure that this makes a safer world, not a more unstable world. I think we've made some progress, and I would urge all of you who are interested in this to carefully read the Statement of Principles to which President Putin and I agreed yesterday. …"
Clinton Radio Interview
'Interview of the President in live national radio program with Ekho Moskviy,' The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, June 4
"Question: 'Now let's go to the questions that ordinary people have asked. Some questions came over the Internet - from St. Petersburg, from Moscow - and they basically all ask the same question: Why don't you want, together with Mr. Putin, together with Russia, to create a joint…anti-ballistic missile system? Why have not you accepted this proposal…?'
Clinton: 'Well, let me explain the issue here. … First of all, I have no objection to working with Russia on a joint missile defense that would intercept a missile directed at Russia or the United States from a hostile power in the Middle East or anywhere else, in the so-called boost phase. I have no objection to doing that. I think we should work together on it. The problem is, we think it will take 10 years or more to develop; the technology is not yet available. Now, by contrast, we expect to face this threat in the United States within five years, and we think the other technology for the limited national missile defense will be available within that time. So that's why I haven't agreed to scrap what seems to be a clear way of defending our country for an unclear way. But I think it's important that the Russian people and the American people understand the exact nature of the dispute here.'
Question: 'But it frightens Russians, obviously.'
Clinton: 'Yes, I understand. But I think they won't be frightened if they understand the exact nature of the difference, even if we can't resolve the difference. The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972 enshrined a theory of our security - that is, Russian security and American security - based on strategic stability and mutual deterrence. That is, we would never have so many defensive weapons and we wouldn't have national missile defenses that could interfere with our offensive weapons, so that neither of us would ever launch nuclear missiles at each other because of that. Okay. Now, we recognized that things might change and threats might come from other places, even way back then. So there was a possibility of amending the missile defense treaty. Now, we recognize - just today, President Putin and I signed a statement of principles that said, okay, there is a new threat, the treaty may be able to be amended, but we disagree right now on how to meet the threat. That's what we said.
The narrow issue is this: If the US has a missile defense that can stop a couple of missiles from North Korea, does it have the potential to upset what has kept us safe all these years, which is mutual deterrence and stability. We say, no, they say - the Russians say it might. So we're trying to work through that. But the point is, neither side believes the other side is trying to hurt them directly. There is an honest difference of opinion here. And we closed some of the gaps in our two positions, and we promise to keep working on it. Believe me, I did not want to scrap the ABM Treaty or the theory of mutual deterrence or strategic stability. Both President Putin and I want to reduce the number of offensive missiles, but keep the theory that has kept us safe all these years.' …"
II. Visit to Western Europe
Lisbon Press Conference
'Press Conference of President William Clinton, Prime Minister Antonio Guterres, and European Union President Romano Prodi, Lisbon, Portugal' The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, May 31
"Question: 'Prime Minister Guterres and President Prodi, in a few months President Clinton will make a decision about a national missile defense system for the United States. For an American audience, can you explain any European concerns about deploying such a system, and whether, in your just-completed trip to Moscow, President Putin expressed any flexibility about amending the ABM to allow such a system? And President Clinton, in the system that you envision, would that allow for the missile protection system to protect Europe and our NATO allies, as Governor Bush has suggested?'
Guterres: 'Well, President Clinton was kind enough to inform us about what he thinks about the matter. I think he'll express that better than myself. I'd like to say that this is a matter in which the European Union has not an official position, but we have - I'll say all of us - a main concern. We live in the Northern Hemisphere where…we want to have a strong security situation. We believe we have built a lot on the process to create that. And we believe that every new move to strengthen these must be as comprehensive as possible, as agreed by everybody as possible, and as corresponding as possible to everyone's concerns and to everyone's preoccupations in this matter.'
Prodi: '… [W]e discussed it on the general principle that there was no decoupling, that there is no division between the two sides of the Atlantic. We are still, and we are more and more joined together in our defense purpose, not only in our economic purposes. … [It] was a constructive and friendly talk. … [T]he Russian President didn't touch the problem two days ago. The program was not on the agenda…'
Clinton: 'First, let me just very briefly reiterate the criteria that I have set out for making a decision. First of all, is there a threat which is new and different? The answer to that, it seems to me, is plainly, yes, there is and there will be one. That is the danger that states that are not part of the international arms control and nonproliferation regime would acquire nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them, and that they might make them available to rogue elements not part of nation states, but allied with them. Secondly, is the technology available to meet the threat? Thirdly, what does it cost? Fourthly, what is the impact of deploying a different system on our overall security interests, included but not limited to arms control? So that is the context in which this decision must be made and why I have worked so hard to try to preserve the international framework of arms agreements. Now, I have always said that I thought that if the United States had such technology, and if the purpose of the technology is to provide protection against irresponsible new nuclear powers and their possible alliances with terrorists and other groups, then every country that is part of a responsible international arms control and non-proliferation regime should have the benefit of this protection. That's always been my position. So I think that we've done a lot of information sharing already with the Russians. We have offered to do more, and we would continue to. I don't think that we could ever advance the notion that we have this technology designed to protect us against a new threat, a threat which was also a threat to other civilized nations who might or might not be nuclear powers but were completely in harness with us on a non-proliferation regime, and not make it available to them. I think it would be unethical not to do so. That's always been my position and I think that is the position of everyone in this administration.'"
Remarks by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
Speech in Aachen, after presentation of the Charlemagne Prize to President Clinton, June 2: "Of course, it is the sovereign right of our American allies to take those decisions they consider appropriate… [But] as this issue could have effects well beyond the USA, it is in the sense of the Alliance that it be treated in a spirit of partnership… Among those [implications of the issue] are the effects on other important states, and also the possible consequences for the cohesion of the Atlantic alliance."
Source: Schroeder cautions Clinton on missile defense, Reuters, June 2.
Article in Berliner Zeitung, June 2: "Neither economically nor politically can we afford a new round of the arms race. … No one can dispute the Americans' right to develop what they believe is right for national defence. On the other hand, we are partners in a common alliance."
Source: Germany warns guest Clinton against arms race, Reuters, June 1.
Remarks by French President Jacques Chirac
Comments to representatives of the Western European Union (WEU), Paris, May 30: "[P]utting this [ABM] agreement into question might deal a blow to efforts toward non-proliferation and could re-launch the arms race. … How do you convince [states] to stop piling up new arms when more powerful countries say it's necessary to develop technologies that put hard-won strategic balances into question?"
Source: Chirac chides US on ABM changes, Associated Press, May 30.
© 2000 The Acronym Institute.