Statement by Assistant
to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater on the Antiballistic Missile
August 8, 1988
third 5-year review called for by the ABM treaty will be held in Geneva beginning on August 24.
The U.S. delegation, headed by
Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Director William F. Burns, will consist of
the U.S. Commissioner to the Standing Consultative Commission, Ambassador
Richard Ellis; the U.S. Ambassador to the defense and space talks, Ambassador
Henry Cooper; and senior officials from the Departments of State and Defense,
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and their advisers. The principal U.S. objective for this
review session is to obtain the Soviet Union's agreement to correct
its violations of the ABM treaty and to satisfy other U.S. concerns regarding
Soviet noncompliance with its obligations under the treaty.
large, phased-array radar at Krasnoyarsk is a significant
violation of a central element of the ABM treaty. The Krasnoyarsk radar will be one of
the key topics of the upcoming review. In preparation for the upcoming review,
the President has issued guidance that the U.S. delegation should
continue to make it clear that the existence of the Krasnoyarsk radar violation calls
into question the viability of the ABM treaty and, therefore, it should be
dismantled without further delay and without condition. Unless resolved, the Krasnoyarsk radar violation will
force the United States to consider the
exercise of its rights under international law to take appropriate and
this context, the United States will also have to
consider whether to declare the Krasnoyarsk radar to be a material
breach of the ABM treaty. The President has also directed that the Department
of Defense, working with other executive branch agencies and the Congress, take
the lead in developing a range of appropriate and proportionate responses for
consideration if the Soviet Union continues to refuse to
correct the Krasnoyarsk violation.
hearing what the Soviet Union has to say at the 5-year ABM treaty review,
should the situation remain unresolved, the President will consult with the
Congress and our allies concerning next steps.