At their September 1-3 summit in Moscow, Presidents Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton reaffirmed their commitment to push for a further reduction of strategic nuclear weapons, but were unable to report on concrete steps towards the ratification of START II by the Russian Duma. A joint statement by the two leaders said: “Russia and the United States will continue to fulfill their obligations under the ABM and START arms reduction agreements and work together to accelerate Russia`s ratification of START II.” The two Presidents also reiterated the commitment they had made at their Helsinki Summit in March 1997 that talks on START III would begin once START II had been ratified. Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin have given the general impression that US and Russian strategic missiles no longer pose an immediate nuclear threat to the population of each country, since an agreement was signed in early 1994 to stop directing these missiles at each other after May 1994. In reality, the steps they took to implement their promise were purely cosmetic and symbolic. Neither removed war targets from their missile portfolios of pre-programmed targets. None of them extended the time needed to launch a deliberate missile attack. And the risk and consequences of an accidental or unauthorized launch were not significantly affected by their promise. Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin reached an agreement in 1994 on the descaling of nuclear weapons targeting each country, but both sides conceded that they could easily realign their missile forces in minutes if political or military conditions changed. The day after President Bush`s speech, Russian President Yeltsin proposed a warhead limit of 2,000 to 2,500 warheads in a special televised statement, allegedly with the dismantling of ICBMs and SLBMs. Yeltsin also said that Russia had unilaterally stopped the production of its heavy bombers (Tu-160 and Tu-95MS) as well as long-range airborne cruise missiles (ALCM) and proposed: to refrain from creating new types of such missiles on a bilateral basis. He announced that Russia would no longer conduct exercises with more than 30 heavy bombers and had halved the number of submarines with SLBMs on patrol.
He suggested that Russia and the United States agree on the descaling of their nuclear weapons. At a summit in Washington in June, also amid the START I negotiations, US President George Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed a joint statement outlining the two sides` approach to the upcoming START Treaty. The declaration expressed the intention to reduce strategic offensive weapons “in a manner consistent with improving strategic stability,” in particular by reducing the “concentration of warheads on strategic delivery systems” and increasing the viability of systems. They agreed that the agreement would include “measures related to the issue of heavy missiles and MIRVed intercontinental ballistic missiles.” The United States and China are trying to reach an agreement that would allow President Clinton and President Jiang Zemin to announce at an upcoming summit that the two countries will no longer attack each other with nuclear weapons, according to government officials. The protocol and letters formally codified the agreement reached by Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin at the Helsinki Summit in March 1997. The United States and Russia also issued a joint statement authorizing the United States to download (remove) the warheads of its Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles “at any time” before December 31, 1997. Under the terms of START I, Washington would have previously had up to 5. In December 2001, it had to download two warheads of its Minuteman III missiles with three warheads, converting them into single-warhead ICBMs. The effects of de-escalation agreements are mostly symbolic, some experts say.
The United States maintains two Trident submarines in the Pacific Ocean, each carrying 24 supported ballistic missiles, each carrying up to eight nuclear warheads. These can be targeted in a matter of minutes. At a press conference on December 19 following the conclusion of a NATO conference in Brussels, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said that START II would never enter into force due to the US decision to withdraw from the ABM Treaty. According to Ivanov, the US decision not only caused the “disappearance of the entire legal mechanism governing the reduction of strategic offensive weapons,” but also undermined all existing non-proliferation agreements and nuclear test treaties, as well as even the Additional Protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention. Another reason the deconcentration will make little strategic distinction between Beijing and Washington is that China`s roughly 18 liquid-fuel nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that are supposed to target the United States are not maintained on a ready-to-fire status, according to the Pentagon and intelligence sources. That`s a far cry from the hundreds of U.S. and Russian solid fuel systems that are kept on alert 24 hours a day. So what has been done to comply with the agreement? In the case of Russia, no one knows for sure, because no review was planned. But let me clarify some of the crucial details based on the results of my research. 2002-1999 2002-1999 1998-1997 1998-1997 1996-1995 1996-1995 1994-1992 1994-1992 1991-1990 1991-1990 To be more precise, the Russian General Staff can use a computer network called Signal-A from its war command posts in Moscow, Chekhov, Penza and elsewhere to bypass the Clinton-Yeltsin agreement and point all its missiles in silos at the United States in 10 seconds. Paul Godwin, a Chinese military specialist at National Defense University, said Clinton`s retargeting efforts have made China`s limited nuclear force larger than it actually is. He added that the Chinese and Soviets had a “no-use first” agreement for years, but that the Russian government had recently withdrawn the agreement to reflect the downgraded state of Moscow`s conventional armed forces.
The revised draft law ratifying START II prepared by the Duma was published in the PIR Center`s arms control letter on 9 December. As provided, Article II of the Law specifies a series of “extraordinary events” that “would give the Russian Federation the right to withdraw from the [START II] Treaty”. These include the violation of START II by the United States; the development of nuclear weapons by States that are not parties to START II; US or NATO decisions on “military stationing” that “threaten the national security of the Russian Federation”, including the stationing of nuclear weapons in countries that have joined NATO since 1993; the stationing by a country of weapons that threaten the Russian early warning system; and “technical” or “economic” events that prevent Russia from implementing the treaty or endanger its “environmental security”. The Duma`s version of the bill also contains a number of conditions that must be met before Russia exchanges instruments of ratification with the United States, the final step that would allow START II to enter into force. This includes the ratification by the United States of the ABM demarcation agreements signed by the United States and Russia in September 1997. These agreements face opposition from the U.S. Senate, which may refuse to ratify them, creating another potential obstacle to the implementation of START II. Clinton`s negotiators, who are currently meeting in Beijing, hope that Chinese officials will change their position before Clinton leaves for the summit next week, because “they might need something that points to a step forward and deconcentration could be seen as an important move.” The de-escalation agreement was concluded by Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin in January 1994 and implemented on 30 May 1994. Rockets can be realigned relatively quickly, if necessary from seconds to minutes. The British made the unilateral decision to push back their strategic missiles, and they did. In addition, in 1994, China and Russia signed the Joint Statement of the President of the People`s Republic of China and the President of the Russian Federation on the Non-First Use of Nuclear Weapons and the Unmasking of Strategic Nuclear Weapons against Each Other. Between January 12 and 15, 1994, the President of the United States, Bill Clinton, and the President of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin, negotiated an agreement between their respective countries not to point strategic nuclear missiles at each other.