Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks on Signing the United States-Soviet Treaty on Underground Nuclear Explosions for Peaceful Purposes.

May 28, 1976

Mr. Secretary, Mr. Ambassador, distinguished guests:

The treaty we are signing today is an historic milestone in the history of arms control agreements. For the first time it provides for extensive cooperative arrangements for on-site inspection and observation in monitoring underground nuclear explosions.

This means that the Soviet Union will allow American observers to witness certain larger tests on their territory, and if we should have such a test, we would reciprocate and allow Soviet observers here in order to verify at firsthand that our control agreements are being adhered to.

This accomplishment in agreeing to on-site observation demonstrates that our two countries can soberly negotiate responsible and beneficial agreements despite the difficulties of the challenge. The negotiations culminating in this treaty raised very unique problems. The discussions were long and complex. But the result: Real progress has been made in the field of arms control. A significant step has been taken toward a more stable, peaceful world and a more constructive relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The new treaty, together with the Threshold Test Ban Treaty, will govern the conduct of every underground nuclear explosion for military or peaceful purposes for both parties. The two treaties impose the same limit of 150 kilotons on all individual underground nuclear explosions.

The ultimate purpose of the network of arms control agreements we have already negotiated and which are currently being negotiated, is to bring about a more peaceful world. Pushing back the shadow of nuclear war must be our constant concern. That, indeed, is the underlying purpose of all of the numerous agreements for constructive cooperation which our two countries have concluded in recent years.

I welcome the accomplishments we mark here today. And I hope it will lead to further achievements in building a stable and a just peace for our two peoples and for all mankind.

I will send these two treaties to the Senate for the earliest possible consideration and urge that the Senate grant its advice and consent to their ratification.

I will now sign the Treaty and the Protocol on Underground Nuclear Explosions for Peaceful Purposes between the United States and the Soviet Union.

I have signed these documents which will contribute significantly to lasting peace and a future of better relations among all nations, and I thank you all for being here today.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 10 a.m. in the East Room at the White House. In his opening remarks, he referred to Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and Soviet Ambassador to the United States Anatoky F. Dobrynin.

A similar ceremony was held simultaneously in Moscow where General Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev signed the treaty on behalf of the Soviet Union.

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks on Signing the United States-Soviet Treaty on Underground Nuclear Explosions for Peaceful Purposes. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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