Statement on the Proposed Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Reduction Treaty

 

September 14, 1987

 

I have directed the U.S. INF negotiator in the nuclear and space talks at Geneva to present to the Soviet Union at today's meeting of the INF negotiating group our proposal for implementing a double global zero treaty, eliminating all U.S. and Soviet ground-based INF missiles. Our negotiator will also present an inspection protocol which details the procedures which we consider necessary to effectively verify compliance with the treaty.

 

The draft we are presenting is a logical progression from a draft text designed to reduce INF missiles to a specified level to a draft treaty which would eliminate an entire class of U.S. and Soviet missiles. Key elements of our proposal to implement the double global zero outcome include:

 

 -- the elimination of all U.S. and Soviet INF missiles and launchers -- longer range INF missiles and launchers would be eliminated within 3 years; shorter range within 1 year;

 

 -- a ban on the modernization, production, or flight testing of any INF missile system;

 

 -- a comprehensive and effective verification regime tailored to a double global zero outcome.

 

I have always made clear my firm belief that not having a treaty is better than having one which cannot be effectively verified. Accordingly, we are proposing the most stringent verification regime of any arms control agreement in history. The most effective verification possible is vital to ensure that an INF agreement makes a lasting contribution to peace and stability. We will not settle for anything less.

 

We have come a long way in our efforts to remove the threat posed by Soviet INF missiles. NATO resolve to deploy U.S. INF missiles to counter this unprovoked Soviet threat, while at the same time seeking negotiations with the Soviets, laid the foundation for the historic agreement which is now within reach. Difficult issues remain to be resolved, including verification. We have presented a comprehensive and effective verification regime. The Soviets have said they agree in principle with a number of our verification requirements but have yet to provide some key details. Further, some of the details they have provided have not met the test of ensuring verification and confidence in compliance.

 

It is up to the Soviet Union now to demonstrate whether it shares our determination to conclude a treaty eliminating all U.S. and Soviet INF missiles. And I also call upon the Soviet Union to get down to serious business with us, as well, in completing an agreement on a 50-percent reduction in U.S. and Soviet strategic arms.