Disarmament DiplomacyIssue No. 52, November 2000
Slovakia Destroys SS-23 Missiles
On October 27, Slovakia completed the destruction of its inventory of SS-23 missiles, inherited by the state when it obtained its independence in 1993. The elimination programme cost around $300,000, paid for by the United States. The final destruction of missile components, at a military repair facility in Novaky, was witnessed by John Holum, US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. Mr. Holum observed:
"On behalf of the United States, I would like to congratulate Slovakia on following through with its decision to destroy SS-23 missiles, launchers, and related support equipment. ... The US has serious interests in eliminating this type of missile from Central and Eastern Europe. When the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed in 1987, we expected that it would achieve the destruction of an entire class of weapons, including SS-23s. Slovakia is not party to the treaty and had no legal obligation to destroy these missiles. But it has chosen to do so. Slovakia has thus made a huge contribution toward realising the goal of the INF Treaty, and to improving European security."
Report: Transcript - State' Holum on Slovak missile reduction, US State Department (Washington File), October 27; SS-23 missile systems destroyed in Slovakia, Xinhua, October 27.
© 2000 The Acronym Institute.