Chronology of U.S.-Soviet-CIS Nuclear Relations

Arms Control Today, June/July 1997 | Go to article overview

Chronology of U.S.-Soviet-CIS Nuclear Relations


The following is a continuation of a chronology of key developments in nuclear relations between the United States and the former Soviet Union that first appeared in the June 1994 issue of ACT.

August 11, 1995: President Clinton announced that the United States would support a "zero-yield" CTB treaty, which he said "would ban any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion immediately upon entry into force."

September 28, 1995: At a meeting of the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission (JCIC)-which oversees the implementation of START I-the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakstan signed a joint statement reaffirming that space launch vehicles using the first stages of ICBMs and SLBMs are treaty-accountable and subject to START I limitations.

October 23,1995: During their summit meeting in Hyde Park, New York, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin affirmed their support for START II ratification, agreed to work together to achieve a zeroyield CTB treaty in 1996 and announced the continuation of cooperative efforts on nuclear security issues.

November 17,1995: Undersecretary of State Lynn Davis and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgi Mamedov agreed on a framework for establishing a "demarcation line" between permitted TMD and restricted ABM systems. Under the agreed framework, TMD systems with interceptor velocities of 3 kilometers per second or less will be considered treaty-compliant provided that they are not tested against ballistic missile targets with ranges greater than 3,500 kilometers or velocities above 5 kilometers per second.

December 12,1995: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved the START II resolution of ratification, clearing the way for Senate floor action.

January 26,1996: The Senate overwhelmingly approved the START II resolution of ratification by a vote of 87-4.

January 29-30,1996: The Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission met in Washington for its sixth session, during which Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary and Russian Minister of Atomic Energy Viktor Mikhailov signed a joint statement extending nuclear material protection, control and accounting (MPC&A) controls to six Russian facilities where weapons-usable nuclear material is stored. O'Leary and Mikhailov also agreed to continue studying the feasibility of converting the reactor cores of Russia's three plutonium-producing reactors, which Moscow previously agreed to shut down by 2000.

April 19-20,1996: Leaders of the G-7 industrialized countries and Russia met in Moscow for a summit on nuclear safety and security. Yeltsin reaffirmed Russia's commitment to a zero-yield CTB treaty initially announced at the Hyde Park summit in 1995. The eight leaders also agreed to a program to enhance cooperative efforts in preventing and combatting the illicit trafficking of nuclear materials; called for the strengthening of MPC&A efforts; and expressed their support for the safe and effective management of fissile material no longer required for military purposes.

April 21,1996: In their bilateral summit meeting, which followed the nuclear safety and security summit in Moscow, Presidents Clinton and-Yeltsin reaffirmed their support for the START II ratification process and announced that they had made progress toward resolving the ABM-TMD demarcation dispute.

June 1,1996: Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma announced that Ukraine had transferred the last of the former Soviet strategic nuclear warheads on its territory to Russia, thereby making it the second republic of the former Soviet Union to become completely nuclear-free. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Ukraine inherited roughly 1,900 strategic warheads and 2,500 tactical warheads-the equivalent of the world's third largest nuclear arsenalalthough Kiev never had operational control over the weapons.

June 24,1996: The Standing Consultative Commission (SCC) ended its second session of 1996, during which the United States, Russia, Belarus, Kazakstan and Ukraine reached a preliminary agreement to permit the deployment of TMD systems with interceptor speeds of 3 kilometers per second or less provided that the systems are not tested against ballistic missile targets with velocities above 5 kilometers per second or ranges that exceed 3,500 kilometers.

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