April 23, 1998

THE HONORABLE JOHN D. HOLUM ACTING UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE, ARMS CONTROL AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS AND DIRECTOR, ARMS CONTROL AND DISARMAMENT AGENCY

Remarks to the Carnegie Moscow Center
Moscow

It is my great pleasure to be here tonight. I want to thank the Carnegie Center for their gracious hospitality as our host.

For the past five years, this Center has been a leading voice in U.S.-Russian relations and has created a productive forum for the most important issues facing Russia, her emerging democracy, and her place in the world.

Then again, when you consider the source, it is no wonder the Moscow Center is achieving so much. After all, the Carnegie Endowment has been a giant on the global stage for nearly 90 years and has given us Foreign Policy as one of the great fora for academic and intellectual discussion.

I could say this is an interesting time to be in Moscow, but the truth is every day is an interesting day to be here. This city was, naturally, one of the crossroads of history for two Cold War generations. And now it is a crossroad of the new history of Russian and U.S.-Russian relations being written every day.

Part of this new relationship is the shared realization that in a world of more diffuse power, where the most dangerous weapons are harder to contain, and where the need for regional stability has emerged as the key to post-Cold War peace, arms control and nonproliferation efforts carry more weight than ever before.

Now that is quite a statement, given the ambitious arms control agendas of the 1960s, '70s, and '80s. But consider that during those decades, arms control largely focused on the United States and Soviet Union. Today -- given the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons, the spread of missile technology, and the diminished control over nuclear know-how -- arms control requires not only the leadership of the world's traditional military powers, but also the participation of nations large and small, rich and poor, around the world.

So my purpose in coming to Moscow is to advance the Russian-American arms control agenda and to re-enforce our shared commitment to arms control leadership.

Any discussion of arms control must recognize the profound importance of START II. Here is what's at stake: if START II moves forward in the Duma we open the door to opportunities for even deeper cuts, offering dramatic savings, greater security and broader cooperation; if START II fails then our disarmament efforts will be stalled and we put the wider U.S.-Russian relationship at risk. This is not hyperbole -- START II is an important barometer for ties and ongoing work between our two nations, and its success will send an important signal.

I don't think you need me to make the case for why START II is good for both Russia and the United States. President Yeltsin and his administration are currently working with the Duma to advance the case for Russian security interests -- and the President and his Defense and Foreign Ministers are far more effective advocates for the Treaty than I might be.

However, let there be no doubt that we have worked hard to address Russian concerns about the costs of implementing START II, including the perceived need to build a large number of new single-warhead missiles to maintain parity, while destroying multiple warhead ICBMs. Our Presidents at Helsinki last year agreed first to extend the time period for full implementation of START II, and second, that immediately after START II is ratified we will begin negotiations on a START III Treaty that will further reduce deployed warheads down to a level of 2,000 to 2,500.

To help the process along, the United States has put in place the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program to provide assistance for Russia's elimination of strategic offensive weapons in accordance with START II. And, we have provided $300 million in START I-related dismantlement assistance.

In expectation of the eventual success of START II, START III has moved from a proposition to a possibility. In a first for arms control, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin have also agreed that START III will address not only the elimination of means of delivery, but also the dismantlement of strategic nuclear warheads themselves. It will also embrace measures for transparency of nuclear warhead inventories and the irreversibility of deep reductions.

Beyond that, we have agreed that under the START III standard, U.S. and Russian experts will explore possible confidence-building and transparency measures for tactical nuclear systems and long-range sea-launched nuclear cruise missiles. This is an ambitious agenda, but one that Russian and American leaders are committed to.

There is also much on our agenda beyond strategic arms reduction. Biological weapons proliferation is one of the most serious threats we face and we need to intensify our efforts against the mounting danger that weapons of mass destruction will fall into the wrong hands. To counter the efforts of would-be proliferators, we need to strictly enforce the international standards we have -- and build stronger ones where they are needed.

Humanity has labored for centuries to banish such diseases as plague, anthrax and botulism. Saddam Hussein and a number of others are engaged in perverse efforts to preserve and multiply those same deadly organisms for use as weapons of terror and war. The 1972 Biological Weapons Convention is a thin reed, depending heavily on voluntary reporting and compliance. It needs teeth, and we must work together to supply them.

President Clinton, in his State of the Union address early this year, specifically noted the spreading threat of biological weapons and made addressing this a priority for American arms control policy. The President has called for completing the framework of a legally-binding protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention by the end of 1998. What we seek are provisions that call for the declaration of relevant BW facilities and activities, will allow for voluntary visits to gather information, and will enforce on-site activities to resolve ambiguities or inaccuracies about declarable activities and challenge investigations to address concerns about noncompliance with the Convention.

BWC is a complicated issue -- but complexity should not be a deterrent to tackling biological weapons head on. Revelations in Iraq, the arrest of the father of the Iraqi BW program, and UNSCOM's work are just the most recent reasons for vigilance. But we have concerns about nearly a dozen countries we suspect of pursuing BW capability, and the threat of terrorist use of biological weapons remains very real. So our charge is clear and we look to Russia for support in building a BWC with muscle.

One other issue we must continue working on is controlling exports that could serve to undermine our best nonproliferation and arms control efforts. The fact remains that we can agree not to spread weapons or their components, but if we allow the basic weapons technology or expertise needed to start weapons programs from their first steps to proliferate, then we have effectively subverted our own good efforts.

Clearly defined and strictly enforced export controls are another important policing component to arms control and nonproliferation objectives. The United States is eager to expand and coordinate the programs for export control consultations that we recently agreed to -- beginning with the first round of export control experts' talks earlier this month and the next round possibly next month.

One very positive sign are steps recently taken by Russia to strengthen its export control system, particularly President Yeltsin's January 22 executive order on "catch-all controls" and the outreach program undertaken to inform exporters of new requirements.

Of course any system of controls is only as good as its implementation -- and we fully expect the Russian government to energetically enforce these new laws. Promptly submitting this export control legislation to the Duma, and that body's prompt action on it, will go far in signaling that Russia is committed to nonproliferation and will show the world that our nations stand shoulder-to-shoulder for serious and far-reaching arms control.

Again, we have a full agenda between our two nations. I am optimistic that Russian and American goals are in synch and that we have much common ground upon which to build strong arms control efforts.

I have gone on long enough, so with these issues as starters, I'd be happy to open our program up for questions in the time we have left.

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