Statement on the
Soviet-United States Arms Control Negotiations
November 16, 1988
marks the close of round 10 of the nuclear and space talks between the United States and the Soviet Union. Throughout these
negotiations, my objective has been to achieve agreement with the Soviet Union on deep, equitable, and
verifiable reductions in the strategic nuclear arsenals of both sides as part
of a comprehensive effort to enhance strategic stability and reduce the risk of
have made significant progress in these negotiations. We have concluded and
begun implementation of the INF treaty, the first to eliminate an entire class
of U.S. and Soviet missiles,
with the most extensive verification provisions in any arms control agreement.
In the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START), we have also made progress toward
our goal of securing reductions in the most destabilizing of nuclear forces,
fast-flying ballistic missiles, especially heavy intercontinental ballistic
missiles with multiple warheads. The negotiators have recorded extensive and
significant areas of agreement, as well as remaining areas of disagreement, in
a joint START draft treaty text. This joint draft treaty also reflects the
areas of agreement which General Secretary Gorbachev and I reached during our
meetings in Geneva and Reykjavik and at the Washington and Moscow summits, as well as
progress made at the U.S.-Soviet ministerial meetings and in 10 rounds of
negotiation in Geneva.
START we are well on our way toward an agreement which will significantly
reduce the levels of U.S. and Soviet strategic
nuclear arsenals. We have agreement on 50-percent reductions in deployed
strategic forces, to a ceiling of 6,000 warheads on 1,600 strategic nuclear
delivery vehicles, and sublimits of 4,900 ballistic
missile warheads, and 1,540 warheads on 154 heavy missiles. Both sides have
agreed that there will be approximately 50-percent reduction in throw-weight
for Soviet ballistic missiles, to equal ceilings for both sides. Agreement has
been reached on the number of warheads attributed to each existing type of
ballistic missile and on some of the counting rules for heavy bomber armaments.
Agreement has also been reached on the outlines of a verification regime,
including several kinds of on-site inspection, data exchange, and measures to
reduce the possibility of cheating. Both sides have presented detailed
proposals in these areas.
areas of disagreement remain, including -- with respect to mobile
intercontinental ballistic missiles, sea-launched cruise missiles, rules of
accounting for air-launched cruise missiles, sublimits
on ICBM warheads, modernization of heavy ICBM's, and Soviet attempts to link a
START treaty to provisions that would cripple SDI.
the defense and space talks, we have continued to seek agreement on how we and
the Soviets could jointly manage a stable transition to increased reliance on
effective defenses, should they prove feasible. SDI is our best hope for a
safer world, one in which deterrence is increasingly based on defenses -- which
threaten no one -- rather than on the threat of retaliation. It has also been
an important incentive for the Soviets to negotiate for nuclear arms
reductions. We will not bargain SDI away or accept restrictions on SDI beyond
those actually agreed in the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty.
continued Soviet unwillingness to dismantle the large phased-array radar at Krasnoyarsk, which is a significant
violation of a central element of the ABM treaty, remains a matter of deep
concern. We have made it clear to the Soviets that we will not accept less than
full compliance with the treaty, and that we will not be able to conclude any
further strategic arms control agreements until that violation is corrected in
a verifiable manner that meets our criteria.
this round concludes, I want to express my appreciation to Ambassadors Max Kampelman, Reed Hanmer, and Henry
Cooper and their teams for the outstanding job they have done in these
the nuclear and space talks we have come a long way toward agreements that will
strengthen our security and that of our allies. But we want good treaties, not
quick ones, and we will not take shortcuts. We leave the next administration a
solid foundation upon which to build in the future, and I am confident that, if
the Soviets are prepared to make further progress, we will be able to resolve
the difficult remaining issues.