THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS
December 1, 1994
The Briefing Room
2:01 P.M. EST
MR. SPALTER: Good afternoon. And, yet, more briefing.
Today we will be reviewing the upcoming CSCE Summit and the
trilateral signing of the NPT accession.
Let me just give you a very brief logistical overview of
what the day will look like. The President will arrive in Budapest
after leaving here Sunday evening, arriving Monday morning. There
will be a brief opening ceremony at the CSCE plenary. He will then
speak, he will listen to President Yeltsin's speech. He will then go
directly to the trilateral signing ceremony on NPT accession,
following which -- excuse me -- he will then do a group photo, a
bilateral with the Hungarian leadership, and then it will be wheels
up. It is likely that a statement will be made by the President on
departure, and will return to Washington Monday evening.
Today we have a BACKGROUND briefing with senior
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SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Okay, good afternoon.
This is going to be, as you all know, a very brief trip, but it's
also a very important one. It is part of a broader effort that we
have been making since the beginning of this year in particular to
develop the whole European security system, and if one goes back to
January with the NATO summit, with the launching of the Partnership
for Peace and the decision in principle by the Allies regarding the
expansion of the Alliance, the events in Budapest will be a kind of a
culmination in our efforts to build an inclusive European security
system that we hope can provide for greater stability and prevent
future crises of the kind that we're seeing in former Yugoslavia.
The President's attendance at the Budapest Summit will
come on the heels of the decision today in Brussels by the NATO
foreign ministers on the expansion of the Alliance where the allies
agreed to initiate a process of deliberations within the Alliance on
the issues relating to expansion, and they laid out some important
principles that will be guiding that process, making clear that NATO
will expand, but this is going to be part of a larger European
security structure that involves many different institutions -- the
European Union and in particular the CSCE.
So CSCE has been around, of course, since the Helsinki
Accords in 1975, but no one would say it's a household word. But we
see it as an increasingly important mechanism for dealing with
conflict and the worst effects of nationalism in post-Cold War
Europe, and we want to see the CSCE strengthened to be even more
effective in preventing conflicts, in providing mediation efforts
before conflicts get out of control, and in overseeing peacekeeping
efforts in Europe when preventive measures fail.
And in this regard, we want to see the CSCE evolve
increasingly into becoming kind of the first line of defense for
European security problems, consistent with the notion in the U.N.
Charter that regional organizations should take the lead in
addressing problems in their region.
The President will give an important address on arrival
which will address our overall approach to European security, the
tasks that we see for the CSCE as it is further strengthened, how
this relates to the continued importance of NATO as the primary
instrument for U.S. engagement in Europe, how it relates to the
process of NATO expansion, and how we want to see the CSCE become
more capable of preventing future Bosnias.
Among the specific results of the summit that we're
looking toward are, first of all, agreement on principles to guide
peacekeeping operations in Europe, and this is an important element
of building a better relationship with Russia in the post-Soviet era.
We're hoping that the summit will establish certain rules of the road
for the conduct of peacekeeping operations so that these are
consistent with international standards and under the political
oversight of the CSCE, rather than carry it out unilaterally.
We also expect that the summit will strengthen the
CSCE's efforts in protecting national minorities, where it has
already done some good work in the Baltic States and in Moldova in
defusing tensions before they become a serious crisis.
The CSCE will agree on the new framework for arms
control measures and confidence-building measures in Europe, focusing
on regional measures, given that we already have the CFE Treaty and
other continent-wide regimes. We hope to establish a role for the
CSCE in the former Yugoslavia, not so much in dealing with the
immediate crisis which is in the hands of the Contact Group, but over
time to provide for a regime after a settlement has been reached for
reducing armaments in the region and for promoting reconciliation and
reconstruction in the region. We also hope to enhance the CSCE's
role in the economic area as part of our larger efforts at promoting
reform and economic integration.
Again, I'll turn it over to the folks who will explain
about the denuclearization aspect of the President's visit. But,
again, to emphasize: The CSCE is already doing important work, some
of it little-known, but we do feel that the crisis in former
Yugoslavia, which will, of course, be very much in the background of
the discussions, illustrates the need to come up with a more
effective approach to managing European security problems, and at the
same time, as NATO expands, to develop other institutions which are
inclusive, which are universal, include all of the states of Europe
and the former Soviet Union, so that we are able to deal with the
crises in a more proactive, preventive manner.
Q Are these peacekeeping forces instead of U.N.
forces, or do they go --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The goal that we have
set forth -- and it's being pursued in the context of the Nagorno-
Karabakh situation right now -- is that the CSCE, which decided in
1992 that it could lay down the mandate for the conduct of
peacekeeping operations in Europe and organize and run the
peacekeeping mission, that this should become increasingly the model
that is applied in Europe. This doesn't necessarily preclude the use
of the U.N., but we would like to see the CSCE developed as the
overseeing body in Europe for this kind of thing.
Why don't we go to the statements from the other
briefers, and then we'll all answer questions.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I wanted to do two
things this afternoon. First to briefly tell you about the ceremony
that will bring Ukraine into the NPT and bring into force the START I
Treaty, and then talk a little bit about where we are on force
structure for each of the countries in the former Soviet Union where
nuclear weapons are deployed. There were quite a few questions on
that when we had the Ukrainian President visiting 10 days ago, so I
thought it would be of some interest; we've had some recent figures
come in on that.
First of all, the ceremony at which Ukraine will accede
to the NPT and START I will be brought into force is the culmination
of the President's efforts over the last two years to ensure that
after the breakup of the Soviet Union, three new nuclear weapon
states -- Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine -- did not emerge from that
breakup. Those are the three countries where nuclear weapons were
left, essentially, when the Soviet Union broke up.
This ceremony, in essentially ensuring that those three
countries become non-nuclear weapon states, represents a major
victory for nonproliferation worldwide. It really, I think,
addresses in a major way the threat of nuclear war in the future. We
might, instead of having this situation, seen emerging a group of
nuclear weapon states in Eurasia where we have seen some
destabilizing situations and dangers developing in terms of how
nuclear weapons are controlled and overall maintained in secure
situations; and, instead, we have countries both committed and
actively participating, as we saw last week in the case of
Kazakhstan's cooperation with us, to get nuclear materials under
safeguards here in the United States. Instead, we have countries who
are truly committed to the goal of denuclearization and truly
committed to a responsible future in this regard.
The mechanism for accomplishing this has been the Lisbon
Protocol. In May of 1992 during the Bush administration, these five
countries -- Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and the United
States, signed up to an arrangement that essentially turned the START
I Treaty into the mechanism for ensuring that the weapons would be
removed from these countries, their launchers destroyed, and they
would not remain with nuclear weapons on their territory.
The second part of the Lisbon Protocol was that Belarus,
Kazakhstan and Ukraine agreed to accede to the Nonproliferation
Treaty as non-nuclear weapon states. But these were all steps that
had to be agreed to by their national parliaments. And over the last
two years, an emphasis of the Clinton administration has really been
to work very closely with these countries to ensure that they did, in
fact, move forward with their denuclearization commitments.
Now, as far as the ceremony in Budapest is concerned,
the last of the three countries to accede to the NPT -- Ukraine --
will, in fact, hand over its instrument of accession to the NPT.
Ukraine's parliament voted on this only two weeks ago, and we are
extremely pleased that happened, as you'll recall, before President
Kuchma arrived for his visit on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. So
that will be a really excellent, I think, step at this ceremony.
Just to remind you -- Kazakhstan acceded to the NPT in
February of 1994, and Belarus was the first that acceded to the NPT
in July of 1993. President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan visited
Washington in February at the time of the Kazakhstani accession, and
Mr. Shushkevich, who was at that time the head of state of Belarus
visited Washington in July of 1993 when the Belarusian accession took
So Ukraine will join in Budapest, and then each of these
three countries will formally receive from the United States, the
United Kingdom and Russia security assurances. And this will be, I
think, important because it really recognizes these three countries
in their overall independence and sovereignty, territorial integrity
as being an important focal point for the three NPT depositary states
-- the U.K., the United States and Russia.
So those security assurances will be the second piece of
the ceremony, and then finally, the five Lisbon Protocol
countries -- U.S., Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan -- will
bring the START I Treaty into force. So those are the three parts of
the ceremony that will take place in Budapest.
Now, let me just close by saying a few words about where
are on force structure overall. Ukraine, at its high-water mark,
right at the time of the breakup of the Soviet Union, had 1840
warheads on its territory. Seven hundred of those have now been
deactivated by taking them off the missiles or otherwise removing
them from operational status. You may recall there are some air-
launched Cruise missiles in Ukraine. So there are 700 that have been
deactivated; of those, 360 have gone back to Russia, and that was
under the trilateral statement that was signed in January of 1994 in
Moscow. An additional 340 are in storage and are being prepared for
There are a series of trains that have been taking these
warheads back to Russia to be destroyed, and so the remaining
warheads are in that cue, so to speak.
Kazakhstan is down from its high-water mark of 1,410 to
600 at the present time. All of the 370 bomber warheads in
Kazakhstan have now gone back to Russia for dismantlement, and 440 of
the 1,040 SS-18 warheads have gone back to Russia for dismantlement.
Belarus -- the 81 SS-25 warheads are down now to 36
still in Belarus; 45 overall have been removed and taken back to
Russia. Russia -- the current number is 7,074 warheads at the
present time. So those are just some basic facts and figures. Since
I got a lot of interest in that last time, I thought I would lay them
out, and I'll be happy to answer any questions.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: My comments pertain to
the entry into force of the START I Treaty, and I wanted to focus
them briefly in three areas. First, an historical perspective on how
we got here with START I; second, a little bit on what START I does
itself, why it's important in its own right; and, third, and perhaps
most important, to emphasize the extent to which the entry into force
of START I opens the door to much more far-reaching progress.
In terms of the history, entering the START I Treaty
into force really sort of completes a saga that began four
presidential terms ago, almost two decades ago. The START I
negotiations began in 1982. You will recall that the birth of START
I really was the failure of the Carter administration's effort to get
the United States Senate to ratify the SALT II Treaty. President
Reagan had campaigned against SALT II, saying it wasn't real arms
reduction, it was simply arms limitation, and he made a great deal of
putting the R in the word "START," the word R meaning reductions.
With the start of the negotiations in 1982, however, it
wasn't an easy road ahead, and the negotiations to complete the
treaty ended up taking 10 years and spanning both Reagan terms and
well into the Bush term of office. In fact, the initial U.S.
proposals in START I were so one-sided that the talks quickly bogged
down and many in Congress themselves had great concern about whether
this was going to work out.
So the story of START I through the '80s is a story of a
lot of issues that most of you covered -- the MX Missile debates, the
nuclear freeze, the nuclear build-down -- a lot of executive
congressional interaction trying to come up with a flexible position
that still achieved reductions.
And that was finally culminated in the signing of the
START I Treaty by President Bush in 1991. The United States Senate
moved within a year in 1992 to approve the START I agreement. But it
waited until the circumstances that arrived simultaneous with the
completion of START I were settled. Those circumstances being that
START I was completed just as the Soviet Union broke up.
So it took another six months after the START I Treaty
was signed in 1991 to complete the Lisbon Protocol five-nation
agreement that my colleague described that turned this bipolar U.S.-
Soviet treaty into a multi-party, five-nation treaty. But even then,
of course, the work still wasn't done. And what the Clinton
administration has concentrated on at the highest-priority level for
the last two years is trying to realize the benefits of this treaty
by completing this meticulous process of checking off not only the
ratification of START I in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan,
but those countries' accession to the NPT. And, as my colleagues
emphasized, with Ukraine's action two weeks ago, we've finally come
to this end of the road for START I, 14 years after General Rowny was
sent to Geneva was sent to begin these negotiations.
What does it matter, might be your second question,
because a most of you know, even though START I has not been formally
in force since the Lisbon Protocol, both the United States and Russia
and in related ways through the trilateral agreement and others, the
other three countries have been moving to either deactivate or remove
nuclear weapons in a very steady process.
The significance of START I being entered formally into
force in terms of the treaty itself is threefold: First, because the
treaty is now formally in force, countries will have to physically
destroy the launchers rather than just take warheads off of missiles
or take missiles out of silos. So it's the irreversibility of this
process of actually destroying the launchers.
Second, with START I comes an extremely complex
notification system where virtually all movements of strategic forces
on either side here has to be reported through the nuclear risk
reduction centers. So with the entering the force of START I, we
make a giant step for transparency, and through transparency,
confidence-building and stability.
And the third issue has to do with the verification
regime, which is unprecedented in terms of its level of detail and
complexity -- twelve separate kinds of inspections that will now kick
into action with the entry into force of this treaty. The treaty
itself reduces strategic nuclear delivery vehicles from the peak
levels of the Cold War by about 40 percent. It will remove,
physically, the launchers that account for about 10,000 nuclear
warheads, and that's a giant step under anyone's measure.
But I would like to close, then, with turning to the
third part of my presentation, which is the real payoff from entering
START I into force formally, and that is the opening of the door to
the road ahead, because we've been stuck, if you will, with regard to
START II, an even more far-reaching treaty than START I, since it was
completed and signed by President Bush in January of 1993 by the fact
that the Russian parliament had refused to consider ratification of
START II until START I was in force.
With this step Monday in Budapest, both President
Yeltsin and President Clinton have pledged, in their summit
communique in September, to set the objective of exchanging the
instruments of ratification of the START II Treaty by the next
summit, which would be in the late spring or early summer of next
year. So we will now be turning to the new Senate, and President
Yeltsin will be turning to the Russian Duma, in each case to ask
those legislative bodies to proceed with ratification of START II as
the first priority in the coming year.
If we achieve that, and can exchange the instruments of
ratification of the START II Treaty next year, President Clinton and
President Yeltsin agreed at the September summit that both sides
would move immediately to begin deactivating or otherwise removing
from combat status the warheads whose elimination will be required by
the START II Treaty without waiting for the full START II Treaty to
run its course through the year 2003.
So we could be in a position late next spring of having
START II in hand and having both countries moving immediately to
of the Soviet Bloc and at least we hope permanent triumph of
democracy in the former communist world. It was the -- the ideals
and the principles that CSCE represented that had that effect. And
those same principles, I think, give CSCE its moral authority. What
we're trying to do now is to give it more practical teeth to bring
those into effect.
Q Do you have anything on this report coming out of
Brussels that Kozyrev is saying that he's going to put off signing
the partnership agreement between Russia and NATO out of concern that
they're bringing in the Central Europeans too fast, I guess?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I don't know
about that because supposedly that meeting with Kozyrev and the North
Atlantic Council was supposed to happen about an hour and half ago.
So either it happened, or it didn't. I don't know.
Q So you don't have anything --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I'm just not up to
date. But I think that we have been quite open with the Russians and
consulted with them during President Yeltsin's visit in September,
and intensively since then, explaining exactly what we were trying to
do at this NATO meeting. We are beginning a process which will be a
gradual, evolutionary one. It will be transparent. It will focus on
the, as we say, the why and how of NATO membership. It's not going
to set any timetable at this stage. We're not choosing candidates,
and indeed, the U.S. position is that all members of the Partnership
for Peace are potential candidates for NATO membership -- and that
At the same time the NATO ministers reached agreement on
an important intensification of NATO's direct partnership with
Russia, both within Partnership for Peace, and beyond it -- given
Russia's importance and political weight, and taking into account
areas where it has a special contribution to make to global security.
So we think that this is a strategy that emphasizes our desire to
have an inclusive relationship between NATO and all the Partners for
Peace, that when NATO expansion occurs, it's not going to be directed
against Russia, but part of the broader policy of integration.
CSCE fits into this larger policy as an institution
where Russia is a member. Other institutions are expanding in their
own fashion -- the European union has more limited geographic
horizons as far as it's expansion, but when you take it all together,
we think that we can achieve an overall European security system in
which Russia feels a part, and not the odd man out.
Q I have one question. Just in general, it takes a
tremendous effort to get the President overseas for basically seven
hours of meetings, and it was a decision so late -- that they made
rather lately to go in the first place. And some people in the White
House were arguing that he shouldn't have gone. My question is, what
is going to be accomplished by taking him and all his entourage over
there for seven hours that could not have been accomplished
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, by not staying
overnight of course, we save on hotel bills. (Laughter.)
The reason he decided to go -- and it was a difficult
decision because of the pressures on his schedule -- the Summit of
the Americas coming up a few days later, other important political
commitments here at home. But he decided that it was important both
for the symbolic demonstration of the U.S. commitment to the CSCE and
to a broader engagement in dealing with European security problems, I
think particularly because of the continuing agony we face in trying
to grapple with the Bosnian crisis, to show that we are very much
seized with developing mechanisms that can do better in the future.
And at the same time, he sees this as a platform to personally
deliver, in the most authoritative terms, our vision of how European
security, transatlantic security, should be handled in the future.
So he can --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Can I add to that, too?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I'll finish this point.
I think the short time permits him to accomplish a hell of a lot.
The speech will only take 10 or 15 minutes, but that will -- and then
52 other leaders will follow him in succession. But that statement,
I think, will be a very important one to chart the course for the
future. And if he had stayed longer, certainly he could have had
some additional meetings on the side with other leaders, but there
will be other opportunities for that. But he felt that the
importance of CSCE and our engagement in Europe justified even the
brief flying visit that he's going to make.
Q Is there only one bilat?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: There is a bilateral --
a formal bilateral with the Hungarian President and Prime Minister
Q And that's the only one --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: That's the only one
Q Is there a lunch --
Q Why no meeting with Yeltsin?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The schedule didn't
Q When you say one formal bilateral, do you mean
there will be other informal meetings or --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: There have been no
other meetings formally scheduled. We would anticipate that he'll
have conversations with the other leaders as they move about between
sessions and to the so-called family photo that they will be taking
that there will be opportunities for at least brief conversations.
Q So there will be time to talk to Yeltsin a little
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: A little bit. It will
just -- of course, during the ceremony, which is the other big reason
why he's going, there will be at least a few moments for idle
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: My colleague's last
comment is the other half of this. Certainly an important
consideration in the President's decision was this moment in history
that will be culminated on Monday. My colleague can talk to the
historical significance of a ceremony at which three countries that
found themselves with very large nuclear stockpiles on their soil are
willingly agreeing to divest themselves of all nuclear weapons and
accede to the NPT as non-nuclear weapon states.
That is a phenomenal advance for our nonproliferation
policy and the future of the Nonproliferation Treaty and one on which
President Clinton's been working hard with the highest priority for
two years. He would naturally want to see that through to the final
And the other part of it, as I tried to stress with
regard to START I, is the fact that at this point in history they can
exchange the instruments of ratification at the head-of-state level
and nail down this achievement in START I and open the door for START
II and START III. And all of that is possible because he is going to
go there and make it happen at the head-of-state level.
Q precisely would be diverting of the security
guarantees to Ukraine and how would they be different from the
trilateral agreement they already subscribed --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Let me be clear that
the security assurances will be extended not only to Ukraine but also
to Belarus and Kazakhstan as well. Each of these countries will
receive equal security assurances. They are the positive and
negative security assurances of the NPT. And, shorthand form, if one
of those countries was threatened with attack by nuclear weapons or
attacked, we would undertake immediate action with the U.N. Security
Council on their behalf, in addition to which we pledge not to be
involved ourselves in an attack using nuclear weapons on their
territory. So those are the positive and negative security
assurances under the NPT.
In addition, there are a number of assurances that get
to the independence of sovereignty and territorial integrity of those
countries assuring them of that, assuring them against economic
coercion. And finally -- and this is where these assurances differ
from what was in the trilateral statement -- Ukraine asked for,
sought and received the possibility of a consultative mechanism under
these assurances. And we believe that is indeed very important. It,
in fact, adds an additional mechanism for Ukraine, Belarus and
Kazakhstan should they feel in any way a sense of concern about
economic coercion, about threats to their sovereignty, that they can
return to the forum involving Ukraine -- involving the United
Kingdom, the United States and Russia, and seek to redress whatever
they perceive to be as a problem. So that is a very important
advance, I think, beyond where we were with the trilateral statement.
Q Are all three presenting their accession papers to
the NPT, or just Ukraine.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Just Ukraine. As I
said, when the President of Kazakhstan, Nazarbayev, came here in
February '94, he brought with him his instrument of accession and
deposited it with the United States. The same was true when Mr.
Shushkevich came here in July of '93. So they have acceded at this
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END2:44 P.M. EST
A tovabbterjesztest a New York-i szekhelyu Magyar Emberi Jogok
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