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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN
JANUARY 31, 1995


                                STATEMENT BY
                  SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER
                                BEFORE THE
                   SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE
                              JANUARY 31, 1995


Mr. Chairman, it is a pleasure to appear before you as the
Committee and the Senate resume consideration of the START II
Treaty.  I will be followed today by Ambassador Linton Brooks,
who will describe the details of START II, and John Holum,
Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, who will
explain how the treaty fits into our overall approach to arms
control in the post-Cold War world.  Before taking your
questions, allow me to begin by discussing how START II supports
our foreign policy goals.

Last week, I testified before committees of the Congress on four
occasions, twice before this Committee.  A common theme running
through my testimony was that it is vital that the United States
stay engaged in the world.  Our engagement is essential to our
security and prosperity, a central lesson of this century.

Your consideration of the START II Treaty comes during a period
of historic opportunity created by the end of the Cold War.
Today, no great power views another as an immediate   military
threat.  Our challenge is to seize this opportunity in a way
that bolsters our security and enhances the prospects for future
cooperation.

Prompt ratification of START II will enable us to start taking
advantage of this opportunity now.  As my colleague Tony Lake
said yesterday, 1995 is a "year of decision" for the United
States and the world on arms control and nonproliferation.  That
year of decision begins with this Committee and this hearing.

START represents a dramatic break from the Cold War arms control
stalemate.  Instead of just controlling nuclear weapons, START
reduces them:  When fully implemented, START I and START II will
cut U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces by two-thirds.

By eliminating U.S. and Russian intercontinental ballistic
missiles with multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles,
START II will enhance stability and lower the chances of a
massive nuclear conflict.  Its deep reductions will enable us to
further a central goal of our foreign policy: curbing the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  And its
implementation will encourage further cooperation between the
United States and Russia.

At the same time, START II will allow us to retain a strong and
capable deterrent.  It has tough, effective verification
procedures that will allow us to effectively monitor compliance.

I first appeared before this Committee to testify in favor of
START II in May of 1993.  At that time I told you that this
Administration had reviewed the details of the START II Treaty
and concluded that the Treaty was sound and should be approved
without change.  That remains the case today.  Subsequent to my
testimony, the Administration and the Committee agreed to
suspend consideration of START II while we worked to overcome
the delays in bringing START I into force.  We needed to do so
because, as you are aware, START I is a precondition for the
implementation of START II.

At their Summit last September, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin
confirmed their intention to bring START I into force and then
to seek early ratification of the START II.  Early last month in
Budapest, the President's efforts to bring START I into force
paid off.  Ukraine presented its instrument of accession to the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).  Ukraine, Belarus, and
Kazahkstan received security assurances from the United States,
the United Kingdom, and Russia--and subsequently from France.
Then the United States, Russia, and three former Soviet states
exchanged instruments of ratification that brought START I into
force.  Not only did we succeed in concluding an important arms
reduction agreement.  We ensured that out of the former Soviet
Union came just one nuclear state, not four.

We must now take another step in strengthening our security by
ratifying START II.  START II completes much of the work we
began in START I.  Where START I reduces the number of ICBMs
with multiple warheads, START II bans them.  Where START I
eliminates half of the Russian SS-18 heavy ICBM force, START II
requires the elimination or conversion of all SS-18 launchers
and the elimination of the missiles themselves.  At the same
time, START II preserves the U.S. force structure needed for
nuclear deterrence.

Taken on its own, START II mandates significant cuts in
strategic forces.  By January 1, 2003, strategic forces on both
sides will be cut to 3,500 warheads, or to about one-third of
their pre-START I levels.

More important than the reductions themselves, however, is the
elimination of ICBMs with multiple warheads.  The ban on these
systems marks the final repudiation of discredited first-strike
strategies symbolized by systems such as the SS-18.  The United
States has long regarded these heavy ICBMs as the greatest
threat to strategic stability.  No single act better symbolizes
the end of the superpower arms race and the Cold War era of
nuclear confrontation than their elimination.

But true to its name, START is only the beginning of a further
possible evolution of our strategic forces envisioned by the
United States and Russia.  At their September Summit, Presidents
Clinton and Yeltsin agreed to examine additional steps to adapt
nuclear forces and practices to the changed international
security situation.  This could include the possibility, after
ratification of START II, of further nuclear force reductions
and limitations and additional confidence- building measures.
We are also already engaged in discussions regarding the
transparency and irreversibility of nuclear warhead reductions.
Moreover, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin also agreed that we
should not wait until 2003 to achieve the full benefits of START
II.  Once the Treaty is ratified, the United States and Russia
will deactivate all strategic delivery systems slated for
reduction under START II by removing their nuclear warheads or
taking other steps to remove them from alert status.

START II strengthens the new relationship we are seeking with
Russia in nuclear arms control.  It builds on the significant
steps we have taken in this area in recent years.  Under
President Bush, these steps included the nuclear initiatives of
late 1991 and early 1992 during the breakup of the Soviet Union,
and the early deactivation of forces slated for elimination
under START I.  Under President Clinton, the United States
worked with Russia to negotiate the January 1994 Trilateral
Statement that was crucial to the denuclearization of Ukraine.
We undertook a mutual commitment not to target each other (or
any country) with our strategic nuclear missiles.  And we
agreed, among other steps, to develop a reciprocal monitoring
regime for inventories of nuclear material resulting from
nuclear arms reductions.

This continuing cooperation on arms reduction is a key component
of the new partnership that the United States and Russia are
forging in those areas where our interests coincide.  Our
relationship with Russia is central to America's security.  Our
steady policy of engagement and cooperation has paid off for
every American -- from reducing the nuclear threat, to stemming
the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, to advancing
peace in the Middle East.

Indeed, the United States has an enormous stake in the outcome
of Russia's continuing transformation.  A stable, democratic
Russia is vital to building a secure Europe, to resolving
regional conflicts, and to fighting proliferation.  An unstable
Russia that reverts to authoritarianism or slides into chaos
would be a disaster -- an immediate threat to its neighbors and,
with its huge nuclear arsenal, a renewed strategic threat to the
United States.

That is why President Clinton has reaffirmed his determination
to maintain our substantial assistance for democratic and
economic reform in Russia and why that assistance merits the
continued support of Congress.  That is also why we have
repeatedly stressed to the Russian leadership the importance of
continued reform.

Like each of you, we are deeply concerned about the conflict in
Chechnya--about the tragic loss of life there, the excessive use
of military force, and the corrosive effect that it has had on
the future of Russian democracy.  As I did once again in my
meeting with Foreign Minister Kozyrev two weeks ago in Geneva,
the United States has repeatedly stressed to Russia that that
bloody conflict must end.  A process of reconciliation must
begin, a process which takes into account the views of the
people of Chechnya and provides them with the humanitarian
relief that they need and deserve.

As you know, we have strongly supported efforts by the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to
address the human rights aspect of the conflict in Chechnya.
Yesterday, the leader of the OSCE mission to Chechnya reported
his conclusion that both sides had committed human rights
violations and that the Russian use of force was
"disproportionate and indscriminate."  We call on the parties to
make sure that these violations end, that human rights are
respected, and that the urgent humanitarian needs of the people
of the region are met.

We do not want to see Russia in a military quagmire that erodes
reform and tends to isolate it in the international community.
We have urged the leaders of Russia to revitalize the democratic
coalition that has made such great strides toward economic and
political reform.

Russia continues to face economic difficulties and the
challenges of constructing a democracy after centuries of
authoritarianism.  A reduction in nuclear arsenals will help
Russia to turn its attention to strengthening democratic
institutions and encouraging free markets rather than focusing
on the strategic nuclear balance and the burden of maintaining a
large and unnecessary nuclear force.

But let me emphasize that whatever the state of reform in
Russia, START II remains firmly in the national interest of the
United States.  While economic pressures may well force Russia
to reduce strategic offensive weapons below START I levels, only
the START II Treaty can ensure that Russia does so in a
stabilizing way, and that it does not return to old force
levels.

The benefits of START II are not confined to the United States
and Russia.  The deep reductions mandated by the treaty will
enhance international security more broadly by reducing the
potential for the diversion of nuclear material and improving
the prospects for extension of the NPT.  As I emphasized two
weeks ago in a speech outlining our foreign policy opportunities
for 1995, curbing the proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction is among the most vital challenges facing the United
States today.

Indeed, with the demise of the Soviet Union, the proliferation
of these weapons poses the principal direct threat to the
survival of the United States and our key allies.  This is a
challenge that this Administration is determined to meet,
through our ratification of START II, the U.S.-DPRK Agreed
Framework, and our support for the United Nations monitoring of
Iraq's weapon programs.  Our global and regional strategies for
1995 comprise the most ambitious nonproliferation agenda in
history.

The centerpiece of our global nonproliferation strategy remains
the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Nuclear Non-
Proliferation Treaty (NPT).  The treaty's greatest achievement
is invisible--weapons not built and material not diverted.  But
the impact of the treaty is clear: the nightmare of a profusion
of nuclear states has not come to pass.  I think that history
will record that the NPT is one of the most important treaties
of all time.

Ratification of START II will send a strong signal to the non-
nuclear weapon states that we are taking significant steps to
live up to our Article VI obligations under the NPT to reduce
our nuclear arsenals.  Prompt endorsement and consent to START
II by the Senate and the Russian Duma will provide a powerful
boost to our attempts to gain indefinite extension of the NPT at
the review conference this spring.

Mr. Chairman, as I noted in my last appearance before you on
this topic, START II is an unusual treaty, negotiated by one
Administration to be ratified and implemented by a successor
Administration of a different party.  It serves as a symbol of
of the bipartisanship that has long been the hallmark of
American foreign policy.  Since my first week in office, I have
consulted closely with both parties in Congress on every
important issue on our agenda.  Our consultations on START will
be no different.  As the Administration and the new Senate begin
to work together to promote American interests and enhance
American security, we could take no better step than the prompt
approval of START II.  Therefore, on behalf of the President, I
urge the Senate to give its advice and consent to the
ratification of this historic treaty.

Thank you.
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