Two Senators Warn on Nuclear Weapons

Article excerpt

THE United States needs to take urgent action to help four former Soviet republics dismantle their nuclear weapons, according to Sens. Sam Nunn (D) of Georgia and Richard Lugar (R) of Indiana.

In an appearance last week in Cambridge, Mass., along with foreign-policy experts from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, the two senators called on both President Bush and President-elect Clinton to cooperate on the issue during the next 60 days.

Senator Nunn, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said:"This is a unique and unprecedented moment in history. It's a moment of great opportunity. For the first time in history, we have countries who want to get rid of {their} nuclear weapons." He then added: "But they may not have this view in six months, so this is a unique time."

The two senators recently returned from a trip to the former Soviet Union where they visited a total of seven countries. They traveled to all four of the countries of the former Soviet Union that have strategic nuclear weapons deployed on their lands: Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Belarus. Three of these countries want to get rid of their weapons, while Russia wants to reduce them.

Senator Nunn said the US cannot afford to take a recess on this issue during the presidential transition. The US needs to act during the next 60-day period because the Ukraine parliament will be making decisions about the US-Soviet Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and the nonproliferation treaty within the next two weeks. …

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