October 5, 1998

AMBASSADOR STEVEN E. STEINER
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE TO THE JOINT
COMPLIANCE AND INSPECTION COMMISSION

Statement Before the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee
Washington, D.C.

"Implementation of the START Treaty"

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, I welcome this opportunity to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to discuss the implementation of the START I Treaty.

The START Treaty, which was negotiated in the Reagan and Bush Administrations, is a critical element in the long-term effort of the United States to stabilize the strategic balance, reduce the risk of nuclear conflict and lower nuclear arms levels. In implementing the Treaty, we have accomplished these objectives and enhanced strategic stability.

Implementation of the START Treaty has been an overall success and has contributed significantly to U.S. national security. Under START, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan already have verifiably eliminated more than 300 former Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles, 290 ICBM launchers, 170 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, 130 SLBM launchers and 47 heavy bombers. By July 1998, the former Soviet side already had gone below the final phase reduction requirement of the Treaty for the number of deployed strategic offensive arms (1,600). They were not required to reduce to this level until the end of the seven-year START reduction period in December 2001.

Moreover, all nuclear weapons have now been removed from Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, and these three countries have acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as non-nuclear weapon states. And, all strategic offensive arms, that is, launchers, deployed missiles and heavy bombers, already have been eliminated in place or removed from Belarus and Kazakhstan. With the help of the U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction program, Ukraine, too, is well on its way to eliminating all of its launchers, missiles and heavy bombers.

Under START, we have achieved a more thorough understanding of the strategic forces of Russia through the regular exchange of data on strategic offensive arms, along with the receipt of over 3,700 Treaty notifications on the disposition of former Soviet strategic assets and the exchange of telemetry tapes for almost 60 flight tests of Russian ICBMs and SLBMs.

To assist in START monitoring, the Treaty also provides for 12 kinds of on-site inspections. The United States has carried out to the full all of its inspections in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, conducting over 190 on-site inspections since the Treaty's entry into force in December 1994.

Notwithstanding the overall success of START implementation, a number of issues related to compliance with START have arisen since the Treaty entered into force, and concerns have been raised by both sides. This is to be expected under a Treaty as comprehensive and detailed as START, with over 300 pages of Treaty text which govern all facets of two widely disparate strategic nuclear force structures.

The negotiators of the Treaty anticipated that such issues would arise. Article XV of the Treaty establishes the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission (JCIC) for the purpose of promoting the objectives and implementation of the Treaty. As part of its charter, the JCIC has the responsibility to resolve questions relating to compliance with the Treaty. The Parties work through the JCIC process to ensure smooth implementation of the Treaty and effective resolution of compliance issues.

The JCIC Protocol, which was signed by Presidents Bush and Gorbachev and approved by the Senate as an integral part of the Treaty, regulates how the JCIC is to function and requires that discussions in the JCIC proceed on a confidential basis, unless otherwise agreed by the Parties to the Treaty. We have been careful to respect this requirement.

The Executive Branch carries out its work in implementing the START Treaty on an interagency basis. We have provided classified briefings for the SFRC and other Congressional staff from the first days of JCIC work during the Bush Administration, just as we did from the beginning of INF implementation during the Reagan Administration. From the beginning of this work, we have taken Senate concerns seriously, and have kept them very much in mind as we have proceeded with discussions in the JCIC. We also have been careful to respect the Senate's prerogatives and have made certain that our implementation work does not change the substantive rights and obligations of the Treaty.

(The remainder of the testimony was conducted at the SECRET level).

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