Message to the Senate Transmitting the Soviet-United States Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

 

January 25, 1988

 

To the Senate of the United States:

 

I am transmitting herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, the Treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (the Treaty). The Treaty includes the following documents, which are integral parts thereof: the Memorandum of Understanding (the MOU) regarding the establishment of a data base, the Protocol on Elimination governing the elimination of missile systems, and the Protocol on Inspection regarding the conduct of inspections, with an Annex to that Protocol on the privileges and immunities to be accorded inspectors and aircrew members. The Treaty, together with the MOU and the two Protocols, was signed at Washington on December 8, 1987. The Report of the Department of State on the Treaty is provided for the information of the Senate.

 

In addition, I am transmitting herewith, for the information of the Senate, the Agreement Among the United States of America and the Kingdom of Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Italy, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Regarding Inspections Relating to the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (the Basing Country Agreement), which was signed at Brussels on December 11, 1987. The Basing Country Agreement confirms that the inspections called for in the Treaty will be permitted by the five Allied Basing Countries. The Report of the Department of State discusses in detail the terms of the Basing Country Agreement. Also attached for the information of the Senate are the notes exchanged between both the German Democratic Republic and Czechoslovakia and the United States. The notes acknowledge that these countries agree to the United States' conducting inspections, under the Treaty, on their territory. Identical notes also are being exchanged between the Soviet Union and the five Allied Basing Countries.

 

The Treaty is an unprecedented arms control agreement in several respects. It marks the first time that the United States and the Soviet Union have agreed to eliminate, throughout the world, an entire class of their missile systems. Significantly, the eliminations will be achieved from markedly asymmetrical starting points that favored the Soviet Union. The Treaty includes provisions for comprehensive on-site inspections, including the continuous monitoring of certain facilities, to aid in verifying compliance. To a much greater extent than in earlier arms control agreements between the United States and the Soviet Union, detailed information has been, and will continue to be, exchanged by the Parties in order to facilitate verification of compliance. Finally, the United States and the Soviet Union have agreed on cooperative measures to enhance verification by national technical means.

 

The missile systems to be eliminated consist of all U.S. and Soviet ground-launched ballistic missiles and ground-launched cruise missiles having a range capability between 500 and 5500 kilometers. The launchers for such missiles and unique elements of their related support structures and support equipment also will be eliminated. The shorter-range missiles to be eliminated under this Treaty are those with a range capability between 500 and 1000 kilometers. They must be eliminated within 18 months after the entry into force of the Treaty. Intermediate-range missiles, having a range capability between 1000 and 5500 kilometers, are to be eliminated in two phases within three years after entry into force of the Treaty. Elimination will take place at designated locations and will be subject to on-site inspection as an aid to verifying compliance.

 

In the MOU, the United States and the Soviet Union have provided detailed information on the location of all missiles, launchers, and related support structures and support equipment subject to the Treaty. Each Party is required to provide updated data on a routine basis after the Treaty enters into force.

 

The Treaty provides that on-site inspections are permitted at specified locations in the United States and the Soviet Union as well as in the Basing Countries in Western and Eastern Europe where U.S. or Soviet missiles, launchers, and related support structures and support equipment subject to the Treaty are or have been located. The different types of ``short-notice'' on-site inspections for which the Treaty provides are designed to contribute to our ability to verify Soviet compliance, while protecting all U.S. and Allied nuclear and conventional forces not subject to the Treaty as well as other sensitive intelligence and defense facilities.

 

In addition to ``short-notice'' on-site inspections, the Treaty provides for other types of on-site inspections, including the continuous presence of U.S. inspectors at the Soviet facility at Votkinsk, at which SS - 25 and SS - 20 missiles have been assembled, and a continuous Soviet presence at the identified facility at Hercules Plant #1, located at Magna, Utah, at which stages of Pershing II missiles formerly were produced.

 

The Treaty is the culmination of six years of negotiations with the Soviet Union. To a large extent, the Treaty is the result of Allied solidarity in support of the fundamental objectives established by NATO's ``dual-track'' decision in 1979. Our Atlantic and our Asian and Pacific Allies have been closely involved throughout the period of negotiation, and they fully support the Treaty. The Treaty enhances our collective security by eliminating an entire class of Soviet missile systems that has been a major concern for over a decade. Our European Allies will continue to be well protected by the significant U.S. nuclear forces remaining in Europe, by the independent British and French nuclear deterrents, and by conventional forces, which include over 300,000 U.S. troops.

 

I believe that the Treaty is in the best interests of the United States and represents an important step in achieving arms reductions that strengthen U.S. and Allied security. Therefore, I urge the Senate's advice and consent to its ratification.

 

Ronald Reagan

 

The White House,

 

January 25, 1988.