Soviet-United States Joint Statement on Future Negotiations on Nuclear and Space Arms and Further Enhancing Strategic Stability
The United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, building on the results of the current negotiations, agree to pursue new talks on strategic offensive arms, and on the relationship between strategic offensive and defensive arms. The objectives of these negotiations will be to reduce further the risk of outbreak of war, particularly nuclear war, and to ensure strategic stability, transparency and predictability through further stabilizing reductions in the strategic arsenals of both countries. This will be achieved by seeking agreements that improve survivability, remove incentives for a nuclear first strike and implement an appropriate relationship between strategic offenses and defenses.
In order to attain these objectives, the sides have agreed as follows:
First. This year the sides will complete work on the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. Following the signing of the Treaty, the sides will hold consultations without delay regarding future talks and these important talks will begin at the earliest practical date. Both sides in these future talks will be free to raise any issues related to any strategic offensive arms.
Within the existing negotiating framework on Nuclear and Space Arms in Geneva, the two sides will continue negotiations on ABM and space without delay. Thus, in the future talks the two sides will discuss strategic stability issues of interest to them, including the relationship between strategic offensive and defensive arms, taking into account stabilizing reductions in strategic offensive arms and development of new technologies. The sides will work toward the important goal of reaching an early outcome in these negotiations.
Second. The United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as is the case in the emerging START Treaty, will, in the new negotiations, seek to reduce their strategic offensive arms in a way consistent with enhancing strategic stability. In the new negotiations, the two sides agree to place emphasis on removing incentives for a nuclear first strike, on reducing the concentration of warheads on strategic delivery vehicles, and on giving priority to highly survivable systems.
In particular, the two sides will seek measures that reduce the concentration of warheads on strategic delivery vehicles as a whole, including measures related to the question of heavy missiles and MIRVed ICBMs. Effective verification will be provided by national technical means, cooperative measures, and on-site inspection.
Third. Having agreed on the need to ensure a predictable strategic relationship between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the sides will, for the entire duration of the START Treaty, exchange, at the beginning of each calendar year, information on planned changes in the numbers of strategic offensive arms as of the end of the current year.
Fourth. The sides will pursue additional measures to build confidence and ensure predictability of the military activities of the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that would reduce the possibility of an outbreak of nuclear war as a result of accident, miscalculation, terrorism, or unexpected technological breakthrough, and would prevent possible incidents between them.
Fifth. The sides believe that reducing the risk of outbreak of nuclear war is the responsibility not only of the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and that other States should also make their contribution toward the attainment of this objective, in particular in the field of nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. They call upon all States to consider the new opportunities for engagement in mankind's common effort to remove the risk of outbreak of nuclear war worldwide.
Accordingly, the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics will give these future negotiations the highest priority so that the benefits of strengthened stability can be realized as soon as possible.
Note: The joint statement was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary but was not issued as a White House press release.
George Bush, Soviet-United States Joint Statement on Future Negotiations on Nuclear and Space Arms and Further Enhancing Strategic Stability Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/263949