Soviet-United States Joint Statement on the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms
The President of the United States George Bush and the President of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Mikhail S. Gorbachev discussed the status of the Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. The two Presidents expressed their satisfaction with the great progress which has been made in the negotiations on this Treaty. In particular, they welcomed the mutually acceptable solutions which have been found in major issues in the talks and reaffirmed their determination to have the Treaty completed and ready for signature by the end of this year. They instructed their negotiating teams in Geneva to accelerate their work to complete the Joint Draft Text recording the details of these solutions in order to fulfill this goal.
The START Treaty will be a major landmark in both arms control and in the relationship between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It results from the recognition by both sides of the special obligation they bear to reduce the risk of outbreak of nuclear war, enhance strategic stability, and strengthen peace and international security. As such, the START Treaty will signal a turning point in U.S.-Soviet arms control efforts toward a more rational, open, cooperative, predictable and stable relationship. The Treaty will complement to a remarkable degree the important political changes which have recently begun to remove the hostility and suspicion and will facilitate the reduction of the sizeable stockpiles of strategic offensive arms which now exist.
The benefits of this Treaty are many. For the first time ever, both sides will carry out significant reductions in strategic offensive arms -- up to 50 percent in certain categories. More importantly, these reductions will be designed to make a first strike less plausible. The result will be greater stability and a lower risk of war.
Major agreed provisions of the Treaty are as follows:
The total number of deployed ICBMs and their associated launchers, deployed SLBMs and their associated launchers and heavy bombers will be reduced to no more than 1600; within this total deployed heavy ICBMs and their associated launchers will be reduced to no more than 154;
The total number of warheads attributed to deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and heavy bombers will be reduced to no more than 6000. Of these, no more than 4900 will be warheads on deployed ICBMs and deployed SLBMs, no more than 1540 will be warheads on heavy ICBMs, and no more than 1100 will be warheads on mobile ICBMs;
The aggregate throw-weight of the deployed ICBMs and SLBMs of each side will be limited to an agreed level which will be approximately 50 percent below the existing level of the aggregate throw-weight of deployed ICBMs and SLBMs of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as of a date to be determined. This limit will not be exceeded for the duration of the Treaty;
Heavy bombers equipped for long-range nuclear air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs) will be distinguishable from other heavy bombers. Heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments other than long-range nuclear ALCMs will be counted as one delivery vehicle against the 1600 limit and will be attributed with one warhead against the 6000 limit;
Heavy bombers equipped for long-range nuclear ALCMs will be counted as one delivery vehicle against the 1600 limit and shall be attributed with an agreed number of warheads against the 6000 limit. Existing and future U.S. heavy bombers equipped for long-range nuclear ALCMs will be attributed with 10 warheads each. Existing and future Soviet heavy bombers equipped for long-range nuclear ALCMs will be attributed with 8 warheads each;
Within the 1600 limit on delivery vehicles the United States of America may have no more than 150 heavy bombers equipped for long-range nuclear ALCMs that are attributed with 10 warheads each. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics may exceed that number of heavy bombers by 40 percent. If the United States of America exceeds the 150 number, each additional heavy bomber equipped for long-range nuclear ALCMs will be attributed with the number of long-range nuclear ALCMs for which it is actually equipped. If the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics exceeds 210 heavy bombers equipped for long-range nuclear ALCMs, each such heavy bomber will be attributed with the number of long-range nuclear ALCMs for which it is actually equipped;
Existing and future U.S. heavy bombers may be equipped for no more than 20 long-range nuclear ALCMs; existing and future Soviet heavy bombers may be equipped for no more than 12 long-range nuclear ALCMs;
Long-range ALCMs will be considered those with a range in excess of 600 kilometers. Future long-range non-nuclear ALCMs will not be considered nuclear if they are distinguishable from long-range nuclear ALCMs. There will be no restrictions on deploying such ALCMs on aircraft not limited by the Treaty.
Reductions will be carried out in three phases over a period of seven years. Specific, equal interim levels for agreed categories of strategic offensive arms will be achieved by the end of each phase of reductions;
The numerical limitations provided for by the Treaty will be achieved and complied with through conversion or elimination in accordance with agreed procedures.
Sea-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs) will not be constrained in the START Treaty. Each side will provide the other with a unilateral declaration of its policy concerning nuclear SLCMs and, annually for the duration of the Treaty, with unilateral declarations regarding its planned deployments of nuclear long-range SLCMs, i.e., those with a range in excess of 600 kilometers. Those declarations will be politically binding. In the annual declarations the maximum number of deployed nuclear SLCMs for each of the following five Treaty years will be specified, provided that the number declared will not exceed 880. In the declarations of policy it will be specified that the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics will not produce or deploy nuclear sea-launched cruise missiles with multiple independently targetable warheads. The sides reaffirmed their 1987 Washington Summit Joint Statement to continue to seek "mutually acceptable and effective methods of verification".
Except as specifically prohibited, modernization and replacement of strategic offensive arms may be carried out.
The START Treaty will include specific prohibitions on certain categories of strategic offensive arms, basing modes and activities. The following are among the bans under the START Treaty:
-- new types of heavy ICBMs;
-- heavy SLBMs and launchers of heavy SLBMs;
-- mobile launchers of heavy ICBMs;
-- new types of ICBMs and SLBMs with more than 10 reentry vehicles;
-- flight testing and deployment of existing types of ICBMs or SLBMs with a number of reentry vehicles greater than the number specified in the Washington Summit Joint Statement of December 1987;
-- rapid reload of ICBM launchers;
-- long-range nuclear ALCMs equipped with multiple independently targetable warheads.
The far-reaching reductions and other constraints contained in the Treaty will be accompanied by the most thorough and innovative verification provisions ever negotiated.
Taken together, the START Treaty's comprehensive verification regime will create a degree of transparency in the military sphere which would have been unthinkable only a short time ago. It will not only provide for effective verification of the obligations of the Treaty, but will also greatly increase the mutual confidence which is essential for a sound strategic relationship. In addition, this verification system can provide a model which may be incorporated into future agreements. The verification regime under development includes:
On-site inspections: For the purpose of ensuring verification of compliance with the Treaty, each side will, on the basis of reciprocity, conduct twelve kinds of on-site inspections, as well as continuous monitoring of mobile ICBM production facilities, in accordance with agreed procedures. Inter alia, each side will conduct short-notice inspections at facilities related to strategic offensive arms, including inspections to verify the numbers of reentry vehicles on deployed ballistic missiles, inspections to verify elimination of strategic offensive arms and facilities related to them, suspect site inspections, and various exhibitions.
National technical means of verification: For the purpose of ensuring verification, each side will use national technical means of verification at its disposal in a manner consistent with generally recognized principles of international law. The Treaty will include a series of cooperative measures to enhance the effectiveness of national technical means of verification. There will be a ban on interference with such means;
Ban on denial of telemetric information: The sides agreed to make on-board technical measurements on ICBMs and SLBMs and to broadcast all telemetric information obtained from such measurements. Except for strictly limited exceptions, there will be a ban on any practice, including the use of encryption, encapsulation or jamming, that denies full access to telemetric information;
Information exchange: Before signature of the Treaty the sides will exchange data on the numbers, locations and technical characteristics of their strategic offensive arms. These data will be updated on a regular basis throughout the lifetime of the Treaty;
A comprehensive agreement on the manner of deployment of mobile ICBM launchers and their associated missiles and appropriate limitations on their movements so as to ensure effective verification of adherence to the numerical limitations provided for in the Treaty. In addition, the number of non-deployed ICBMs for mobile launchers will be limited and mobile ICBMs will be subject to identification through the application of unique identifiers, or tags.
To promote the objectives of the Treaty, the sides will establish the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission.
The sides have agreed that the Treaty will have a duration of 15 years, unless superseded earlier by a subsequent agreement. If the sides so agree, the Treaty can be extended for successive five year periods, unless superseded.
The progress outlined above fulfills the aim, set forth by the Presidents of the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during their Malta meeting, of agreeing upon the basic provisions of the strategic offensive arms Treaty by the time of their Washington meeting. The two Presidents express confidence that the Foreign Ministers and the delegations of the two countries at the Geneva talks will be able to reach agreement in the remaining months on the outstanding issues that are still being negotiated.
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 the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/263948