June 25, 1996
STANDING CONSULTATIVE COMMISSION SESSION ENDS
On June 24 in Geneva, the Standing Consultative Commission (SCC) completed a session that began May 20 -- its second session of 1996 and the 52nd since its establishment.
During this session, Belarus, Kazakstan, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States continued negotiations in four areas:
- Arrangements by which those states of the former Soviet Union that wish to succeed to the rights and obligations of the USSR under the ABM Treaty may do so,
- Regulations governing the multilateral operation of the SCC in light of changes brought about by dissolution of the Soviet Union,
- An initial demarcation agreement distinguishing between defenses against strategic ballistic missiles (ABM systems) limited by the Treaty, and certain defenses against non-strategic ballistic missiles, i.e., so-called "lower velocity" theater missile defenses (TMD). This agreement would make clear that all TMD systems with interceptor velocities up to and including 3 km/sec are permitted under the ABM Treaty, as long as they are not tested against target missiles with velocities above 5 km/sec or ranges greater than 3,500 km. The sides will continue discussions on demarcation of higher-velocity TMD systems. Pending an agreement on such systems, each side will continue to make its own decisions on compliance with the ABM Treaty. Finally,
- An agreement on TMD confidence-building measures, including notification and information exchanges.
As of the end of this session, there is preliminary agreement among all the SCC participants on the texts of two documents: a Memorandum of Understanding on succession and an Agreed Statement relating to demarcation. In addition, after the Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakstan delegations had departed Geneva, the United States and Russia reached agreement on the other two documents. Consultations with those states will continue, and we are hopeful that they will soon be able to join the accord reached by the United States and Russia. Thereafter, the documents will be referred to governments for internal review and approval prior to beginning the formal process leading to entry into force.