| Craig Cerniello, " SCC Parties Sign Agreements On Multilateralization,
TMD Systems", Arms Control Today 27 (September 1997): 26/32.
SCC Parties Sigti Agreements On Multilateralization,
IN A SEPTEMBER 26 ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria
Hotel in New York, representatives of the United States, Russia,
Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine signed a set of agreements that
seek to establish a "demarcation line" between theater
missile defense (TMD) systems, which are not limited by the 1972
ABM Treaty, and strategic missile defense systems, which are restricted.
They also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that designates
Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine as the successor states
to the former Soviet Union under the treaty. [...]
These agreements mark the conclusion of nearly
four years of difficult negotiations in the Geneva-based Standing
Consultative Commission (SCC), and are critical to U.S. and Russian
efforts to secure the Russian Duma's approval of START II. The Clinton
administration has indicated that it will submit the demarcation
agreements and the MOU to the Senate for approval, where a tough
battle is expected, after the Duma ratifies START II. Some Russian
legislators have linked further nuclear reductions to constraints
on highly capable U.S. TMD systems.
The "First Agreed Statement" pertains
to so-called "lower-velocity" TMD systems (those with
interceptor velocities of 3 kilometers per second or less). According
to the statement, deployment of such TMD systems will be permitted
under the ABM Treaty provided that they are not tested against ballistic
missile targets with velocities above 5 kilometers per second or
ranges that exceed 3,500 kilometers. The statement will enable the
United States to deploy the Army's Patriot Advanced Capability-3
(PAC-3) and Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems as
well as the Navy's Area Defense system, all of which the United
States had previously declared to be treaty compliant.
Under the "Second Agreed Statement,"
which covers "higher-velocity" TMD systems (those with
interceptor velocities above 3 kilometers per second), the five
states are prohibited from testing such systems against ballistic
missile targets with velocities above 5 kilometers per second or
ranges that exceed 3,500 kilometers. The agreed statement also bans
the development, testing or deployment of space-based TMD interceptor
missiles or space-based components based on other physical principles
that are capable of substituting for such interceptor missiles.
The sides will continue to make deployment decisions on higher-velocity
TMD systems based on their national compliance determinations, and
the United States has already indicated that the Navy's Theater‑Wide
Defense (NTWD) system is consistent with the ABM Treaty. Both agreed
statements on demarcation will enter into force simultaneously with
the MOU on succession.
The United States, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan
and Ukraine also signed an "Agreement on Confidence‑Building
Measures" (CBMs) to govern the deployment of both lower- and
higher-velocity TMD systems. These measures, which include detailed
information exchanges and prior notification of TMD test launches,
apply to the U.S. THAAD and NTWD systems as well as to the Russian,
Belarusan and Ukrainian SA-12 system (Kazakhstan does not possess
the SA-12). This agreement will enter into force simultaneously
with the First and Second Agreed Statements.
Moreover, to facilitate implementation of the CBM
agreement the five countries signed a "Joint Statement"
requiring each party to provide information annually on the status
of its TMD plans and programs. In this regard, the five states each
issued a statement on their TMD plans that reiterates understandings
reached between Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin at the
Helsinki summit in March. (See ACT, March 1997.)
MOU on Succession
The collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991
created a situation in which ABM-related facilities were located
in several of the newly independent states. Although the only operational
ABM interceptor system was deployed in Moscow, a number of early
warning radars and an ABM test range were located outside of Russian
territory. Russia, therefore, sought multilateralization of the
ABM Treaty in order to facilitate its ability to maintain a functional
ABM system. Meanwhile, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine, viewed
treaty membership as an important element of their independent
In June 1996, the United States, Russia, Belarus,
Kazakhstan and Ukraine reached a preliminary agreement that would
have allowed any state of the former Soviet Union to become a party
to the ABM Treaty. However, in the final stages of the negotiations
on ABM succession, the sides agreed to restrict treaty membership
to just the five states.
Under the MOU on succession, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan
and Ukraine will collectively be limited to the terms of the treaty:
ABM deployment at a single site and a total of 15 ABM launchers
at test ranges. Those states that choose to ratify or approve the
MOU will also be bound by both of the agreed statements on demarcation.
In addition, the five states signed an agreement
establishing revised regulations for the multilateral operation
of the SCC. It will enter into force simultaneously with the MOU
Issues May Remain
Despite the demarcation agreements, Russian and
Ukrainian officials have pointed out that the First and Second Agreed
Statements do not resolve all of the ABM-TMD demarcation issues.
During the September 26 signing ceremony in New York, Foreign Minister
Yevgeniy Primakov said the agreements [do] not end the work to prevent
the circumvention of the ABM Treaty." He noted that the agreements
only reflect the status quo and will have to be revisited as TMD
technologies evolve in the future. Likewise, Ukrainian Foreign Minister
Hennadiy Udovenko said the agreements "[do] not remove all
the problems related to the demarcation between the ABM and TMD
systems." That same day, a senior Clinton administration official
responded in a background briefing that "this agreement [on
demarcation] settles the issue of protecting our right to proceed
with the THAAD systems that we are now pursuing."
Before the ABM agreements can enter into force,
they must be ratified or approved by each of the five signatory
states according to their respective constitutional procedures.
Speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on September
8, Robert Bell, senior director for defense policy and arms control
at the National Security Council, said that once [//32] Russia ratifies
START II, the Clinton administration intends to submit a package
of arms control agreements to the Senate for its advice and consent
to ratification. This package will include the MOU on succession,
the First Agreed Statement, the Second Agreed Statement as well
as two other agreements related to the START treaties.
The Senate may have serious resevations; about
the ABM portion of this package. Some conservative Republicans are
likely to argue that the demarcation agreements will restrict future
U.S. TMD capabilities. They are also expected to challenge the MOU
on succession on the grounds that it will make it more difficult
to amend the ABM Treaty in the future. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) has
even suggested that if the Senate rejects the MOU, then the ABM
Treaty will become null and void.
The Clinton administration maintains that the demarcation
agreements do not constrain any planned U.S. TMD systems, and that
in light of the president's responsibility under the Constitution
to implement existing treaties, it was under no legal obligation
to submit the MOU to the Senate and that the treaty remains viable
between the United States and Russia even if the MOU is rejected.
By submitting the START and ABM agreements as a package, the administration
will also be able to argue that if the Senate rejects the ABM accords,
it in effect will be rejecting major Russian nuclear weapons reductions
because the two issues have been linked in the Duma.