14 December 2001

Text: U.S. Diplomatic Notes on ABM Treaty

(Nov. 13: Sent to Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine) (440)

State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher released the text of the diplomatic notes on the U.S. decision to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty which were sent to Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine on December 13:

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesman December 14, 2001

Statement by Richard Boucher, Spokesman

TEXT OF DIPLOMATIC NOTES SENT TO RUSSIA, BELARUS, KAZAKHSTAN AND THE UKRAINE

On December 13, 2001

The following is the text of diplomatic notes sent to Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and the Ukraine on December 13, 2001:

The Embassy of the United States of America has the honor to refer to the Treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems signed at Moscow May 26, 1972.

Article XV, paragraph 2, gives each Party the right to withdraw from the Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events related to the subject matter of the treaty have jeopardized its supreme interests.

The United States recognizes that the Treaty was entered into with the USSR, which ceased to exist in 1991. Since then, we have entered into a new strategic relationship with Russia that is cooperative rather than adversarial, and are building strong relationships with most states of the former USSR.

Since the Treaty entered into force in 1972, a number of state and non-state entities have acquired or are actively seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction. It is clear, and has recently been demonstrated, that some of these entities are prepared to employ these weapons against the United States. Moreover, a number of states are developing ballistic missiles, including long-range ballistic missiles, as a means of delivering weapons of mass destruction. These events pose a direct threat to the territory and security of the United States and jeopardize its supreme interests. As a result, the United States has concluded that it must develop, test, and deploy anti-ballistic missile systems for the defense of its national territory, of its forces outside the United States, and of its friends and allies.

Pursuant to Article XV, paragraph 2, the United States has decided that extraordinary events related to the subject matter of the Treaty have jeopardized its supreme interests. Therefore, in the exercise of the right to withdraw from the Treaty provided in Article XV, paragraph 2, the United States hereby gives notice of its withdrawal from the Treaty. In accordance with the terms of the Treaty, withdrawal will be effective six months from the date of this notice.

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