THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
BACKGROUND BRIEFING BY SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS
February 14, 1994
The Briefing Room
3:04 P.M. EST
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Good afternoon. I'd like to give you a report on the one-on-one meeting between President Clinton and President Nazarbayev which took place between approximately 11:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m., 12:20 p.m. in the afternoon before they broke for lunch. President Clinton began by saying essentially what he said to you all in the press conference, and that is that Kazakhstan is one of the most important countries for the United States and the former Soviet Union, one of the key relationships we have. And President Nazarbayev is certainly one of the most impressive leaders with whom the President deals.
The President and Nazarbayev reviewed the following accomplishments at the top of the one-on-one that had taken place over the past couple of months stemming from visits by the Vice President to Almaty in December and Secretary Christopher to Almaty in October.
First, as you know, we have made great progress on the NPT. My colleague will address that in some detail. But the President and Nazarbayev led off the meeting by talking about that -- the fact that Nazarbayev would be bringing the documents of accession to the NPT to the press conference, and you saw that.
Second, on the economic side, Kazakhstan is further along in economic reform than just about any country in the former Soviet Union. The President said at the beginning of this one-on-one that because of that, the United States had decided to expand our assistance to Kazakhstan in 1994. And the numbers are, in '93 our economic aid was approximately $91 million; in '94 it will be approximately $226 million. In addition to that, we will be putting forth approximately $170 million in Nunn-Lugar assistance. So the total is around $396 million, close to $400 million in aid.
If you think about our aid totals to Russia, to Ukraine -- Kazakhstan is right up there in third place, the third highest recipient, level of recipient of U.S. assistance in the former Soviet Union.
They also talked about the fact that they had, the two sides have been negotiating this charter in our bilateral relationship, which was the document that they signed at the top of the press conference. That is a document that speaks about the understandings that we have about the future course of the relationship -- a tight political relationship, considerable amount of economic assistance from the United States to Kazakhstan, and of course, the security dimensions of the relationship as expressed in the NPT and the security assurances that come with the NPT.
The President and Nazarbayev also talked about trade and investment. They spent a lot of time on this in the one-on-one. I think it's fair to say that Kazakhstan has done just about everything right in trying to promote western trade and investment. And, again, I don't think there is a country in the former Soviet Union that has done a better job than Kazakhstan. There may not even be a country that comes really close to what Kazakhstan has been able to do in attracting significant western, and particularly American, trade and investment. The single largest American investment project in all the former Soviet Union is in Kazakhstan, is Chevron's $20 billion Tengiz oil field project.
The Tengiz oil fields, which were referred to in the press conference, was also a subject of discussion in the one-on-one. It is the single largest find since Prudhoe Bay in the 1970s. I think you heard President Nazarbayev say that there are additional deposits of oil in Kazakhstan that exceed in volume the Tengiz oil fields. And there are other American oil companies, Mobil, of course is one, that are involved. And they spent a lot of time talking about this, talking about how they could even expand in the next couple of years American trade and American direct investment in the energy sector and also beyond the energy sector -- in the mining sector, other extractive industries, and also in consumer goods between the U.S. and Kazakhstan.
They agreed at the end of the one-on-one that they would form a joint governmental committee to work on a regular basis in promoting the economic relationship, political ties and security ties.
So that was really the first part of the one-on-one where they reviewed the essence of the bilateral relationship and a lot of things that you heard in the press conference.
The second part, and a lengthy part, was at the invitation of President Clinton, President Nazarbayev talked about the position of Kazakhstan in Central Asia; the kind of future that Kazakhstan wanted to assure for itself in a difficult environment. On the one hand, it is strategically located -- the neighbors are China, Russia, Iran; and President Nazarbayev talked about his relationship -- Kazakhstan's relationship with each of those countries. He had been in China recently; he talked about his discussions with the Chinese and the kind of economic cooperation going on.
He obviously is a very keen observer of Russia. He was one of the more important republic leaders of the Soviet Union before -- until December 1991. He was very closely tied to President Gorbachev, as you know, and now has close ties with President Yeltsin. And the relationship between Nazarbayev and Yeltsin is an important one within the CIS -- the Commonwealth of Independent States. And Nazarbayev talked to the President about the dynamics of the relations between the two, about the importance of those relations. And it's fair to say he spent a lot of time talking about the importance of reform succeeding in Russia -- both the Yeltsin government succeeding and reform in general. And President Clinton --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Excuse me.
Q Did he bring up Zhirinovsky?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: He did. He talked about the Zhirinovsky phenomenon. President Clinton had a lot to say based on his trip to Russia last month; and they traded stories, opinions, views on the future prospects for reform in Russia. But
there was a consensus between them on the critical nature of reform in Russia and how that had an impact on countries like Kazakhstan, Ukraine, the countries in the Caucasus and the other countries in Central Asia. That was a very interesting and very long discussion.
In the course of that discussion, President Nazarbayev did say that Kazakhstan wanted to participate in the Partnership For Peace; that he saw Kazakhstan's future security not only as a function of his relationship with Russia and China, but also his relations with Europe and North America. And President Nazarbayev said a number of times how important it was that the United States remain involved in the affairs of these countries, particularly regarding economics, but also now in terms of security relations through the Partnership For Peace.
The President concluded the one-on-one at the end of this 45-minute session by talking about his very high regard for President Nazarbayev. This was the first time they had met. But, needless to say, during the past year the President had communicated with him numerous times via letter; he had had direct reports from Strobe Talbott, who visited Almaty in September, Secretary Christopher, who was in Almaty in October, and the Vice President, who spent a lot of time with Nazarbayev in Almaty in December.
We had worked long and hard -- and my colleague will go into this -- on the NPT. We also had worked hard on the trade and investment side because it's so important to our relationship with Kazakhstan; and the President wanted to express, and did express, his admiration for Nazarbayev's leadership; for the fact that he had been able to succeed in getting American companies to trust in the longterm stability of the country and the fact that we had worked so well together on security relations.
And the President concluded this session by saying that he thought that the relationship was very strong. He had confidence in his future and he wanted this new committee that was going to be established to play a big role and an active role in furthering that cooperation. So, that is essentially a very general review of the one-on-one.
Maybe the best way to proceed is to have my colleague review the lunch discussion, and my other colleague present some thoughts on NPT, and then we'll be glad to answer questions.
Q Could I just ask you, before you do that, to -- the difference of the numbers that you told us, the date and the numbers that the President mentioned?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes.
Q letter says '85, and you said something else.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes, there are different ways --. Essentially our economic and technical assistance to Kazakhstan in 1993 was roughly $91 million. But as a result of the very rapid economic reforms that took place in Kazakhstan throughout '93, the fact that they now have a standby agreement with the IMF -- they've gone well beyond the first stage in the relationship with the IMF; they're now on the second and the third stage. And the success they have had in attracting foreign investment, we wanted to make a more substantial commitment. And so we are increasing our economic aid -- if you want to break it down this way -- from '91 to $226 million, roughly, $226 million. That includes all types of technical assistance for democratization, for exchanges, privatization, investments, incentives, that kind of thing.
And in addition to that $226 million figure, available in 1994 and '95 but being committed right now is $170 million in Nunn-Lugar assistance. That is -- my colleague can go into that in greater detail, but as you know, that's assistance for the dismantling and destruction of nuclear weapons. And having just acceded to the NPT, that now becomes a very important priority in our relationship to help Kazakhstan to do that.
So that's the basic breakdown of the numbers.
Q Fiscal '94 and '95, $170 million in Nunn-Lugar? That's two years?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: That's right.
Q $226 million is for Fiscal '94.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: $226 million is for Fiscal '94.
Q So why did the President in the first category use the figure, I think, $311 million; and then in the second category he then spoke of $85 million?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Right. If you add $311 million and $85 million, you get $396 million, which was the number that we gave the at the top.
Q Right, but why did he break it up the way he did?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Okay. Because in Fiscal '93 we had obligated the first $85 million of the Nunn-Lugar assistance, but it had not been spent because we had not gotten to the point in our relationship with them on strategic nuclear arms where they could spend the money.
So all that money is available. So if you take all of that, if you take $226 million, you add $85 million, you get $311 million. Then we decided as a result of the prospect of this visit that we would, in addition to the $85 million we had already committed for 1993 in Nunn-Lugar, we would make a second commitment of Nunn-Lugar funds, an additional $85 million; and if you add that to $311 million, you get $396 million.
Q Does that have to be approved, any of it, on Capitol Hill?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The FY '94 funds from Nunn-Lugar are available. They are in the budget for DOD. We have asked for additional $400 million, so that will go to the normal -- process. That's why it's --
Q Can't hear you in the back.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Sorry to confuse you but let me just say one more word about the figures. We had totalled the '93 and '94 assistance. The '93 money that hadn't been spent, the '94 million money in economic assistance, that got you the $311 million figure; but then just recently, in the last couple of days, we had decided to make another commitment of Nunn-Lugar funds and that gets you to the higher figure.
Q Of the $396 million, how much of it has not been previously obligated?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Except for that $85 million in '93, all of it is new. And all of it is unspent, all of
it is money that will be spent in '94; in the case of the Nunn-Lugar money -- '94, '95 in Kazakhstan.
Q You only had $91 million in economic aid designated for the fiscal year that just ended?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes.
Okay, that was essentially what I wanted to say.
Q We're in Fiscal '94 now, aren't we, not Fiscal '93? We're in Fiscal '94, not Fiscal '93.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes, these numbers are Fiscal --
Q You kept saying, "in '93", did you mean Fiscal 93 or 1993?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Okay, the numbers that the President gave you and the numbers I just gave you are U.S. assistance to Kazakhstan in Fiscal Year '94 -- the year that we're currently in. I was referring an answer to -- question though, too -- the first tranche of Nunn-Lugar funding, which came in FY '93. And then the other -- for comparative purposes, we talked about what happened last year -- Fiscal 93 -- $91 million. That's different than this year; we're raising it to $226 million.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Could I just say one word on this? Let me just say a few words on the Nunn-Lugar funds. When the Vice President was in Kazakhstan in December, he signed the implementing agreements that enabled the first Nunn-Lugar monies to be spent. We had laid out $85 million in FY '93 funds for them to spend, but they had to negotiate with us the basic implementing agreements that would allow us legally to spend that. And I can go into all the details about what those various programs were. (Laughter.)
It took until December. So when the Vice President was in Almaty in December, those agreements were signed and so we were then able to begin spending the first tranche of $85 million. We have now committed a second tranche of $85 million that will be spent out in FY '94 and FY '95. Does that help?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I refuse to do anything with figures. At the luncheon, President Nazarbayev and the President basically, I would say, carried on the discussion about Kazakhstans' role in Central Asia and its position with its neighbors; and in a sense, how the United States fits into the world in which Kazakhstan finds itself. The President did repeat a number of the points about the importance of Kazakhstan for our policies in that region that he had done in the one-on-one, and he did it in this case for those who attended the lunch, which was the larger delegations.
I think the principal theme that emerged in the lunch was, first of all, President Nazarbayev's commitment to an active and pro-integrationist role within the broader European Community and with the United States. He discussed at some length his relationship with Russia. And the President and he talked about two or three particular areas where our interests come together with the Russians. In particular those had to do, first of all, with the implementation of the various agreements that will remove nuclear weapons from Kazakhstan, and my colleague will talk about that in a bit.
Secondly, they talked somewhat about the pipeline problem, or to put it quite simply -- once you get the oil out of the ground in Kazakhstan, how do you get it somewhere else? The
Russians, as you heard in the press conference, hold the preferred route so far as the Kazakhs are concerned in terms of getting that oil out to world markets. And there was discussion about U.S. interest in seeing the Kazakh and Russian governments and the Chevron people and so forth come to a mutually acceptable arrangement to get that oil out to world markets.
Another issue that was discussed briefly was the issue of the Baykonur Cosmodrome. This facility is on Kazakhstan's territory. It is largely administered up to this time by Russian space officials. But we will be involved with the Russians and the Kazakhs in any joint space program work that we do with either country using that facility. And there are a number of issues that are being negotiated out between the Russians and the Kazakhstanis over exactly how the future of that facility will be structured, and who will administer it and how it will be arranged.
The second discussion that I thought was a particularly interesting one was President Nazarbayev's discussion of his commitment to see a really pluralistic, multiethnic state emerge and be maintained in Kazakhstan. There have been discussions and issues raised about the Russian minority in Kazakhstan. That's no secret. He made a very impassioned point, I think, that it is the commitment of his government to see that all of the groups that reside in Kazakhstan --and there are something like a hundred of them -- have a home of equality and stability.
He made every commitment that it is in the interest of Kazakhstan to maintain good relations with all its neighbors, because in fact all of those neighbors have co-ethnic populations within his own state. And he made a very strong commitment that the human rights aspects of CSCE and so forth are to be a tenet of the development of Kazakhstan's democracy.
Finally, President Nazarbayev issued an invitation to President Clinton to visit Kazakhstan at some point in the future.
Q And did he accept?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, it's left to be determined at a time -- at a future moment.
Q pro forma acceptance, and you set a time, or just --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: There was no time set and no dates were set.
Q Could you elaborate a bit on this -- was a pipeline -- impression that Nazarbayev in fact preferred the pipeline to go through Iran for economic reasons -- it's cheaper -- it would be cheaper than to go through Russia.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I think he made quite clear that they are looking at proposals for several options to build a pipeline. And as least as he expressed it at lunch, no decisions have been made. Indeed, many of the proposals have not been fleshed out sufficiently to decide what is economically the most viable approach to the problem.
Q If he decided for Iran, what effect would that have on relations with the U.S.?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I think that's hypothetical at this point.
Q Not that much, in fact. I mean, it's a possibility. It's a real possibility.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, it's a possibility, but it's also hypothetical.
Q Have we threatened to block any international financing?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Not to the best of my knowledge -- because we have not really had a proposal on which to base any decisions one way or another.
Q Did the President say anything about this during their lunch to President Nazarbayev?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, he didn't during lunch. I don't know whether he did in --
Q How about in the one-on-one then?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: -- an earlier discussion or not. I mean, essentially the discussion as we will do what we can to work with Kazakhstan to try to arrive at acceptable arrangements for them to get that oil out of Kazakhstan.
Q an acceptable arrangement?
Q a pipeline to Iran?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I simply can't give you an answer to that, to be honest at this point.
Q Would Iran be acceptable in your view?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, as I'm saying, that's a hypothetical I'm not going to give you an answer to.
Q Well, how much more of a proposal do you need? He raised it as the leading alternative at the press conference. What more of a plan do you need? That's clearly where they're thinking of going.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I think the reason -- I agree with my colleague that this is hypothetical because -- this has been a very active issue in the relationship. It's one of the biggest issues in the relationship. But almost --
Q That's what we're asking about.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Right. But almost all the discussion, the private discussion we have had -- and we have an interest because Chevron is an American company and has a direct interest in this because Chevron's already pumping oil -- is in trying to iron out a reasonable relationship between Kazakhstan and Russia and a reasonable use of the existing Russian pipeline system that goes through Novorossiysk to the Black Sea for Chevron and for Kazakhstan. That's been the focal point of our discussion.
We have not had, at least in my experience up to now, long discussions about the alternatives. We're aware of the alternatives. I think we've talked about them, but almost all the discussion today and in previous meetings in which I've taken part in September and October in Almaty have been on the Russian option. That's why we're saying -- the Iranian thing is pretty much hypothetical for us because it hasn't been presented to us as a real option yet.
Q Well, did the President or anyone in the administration make clear to them that we prefer the Russian option, and which they wouldn't --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Not so directly stated, but I think what we are willing to do is work -- what we're willing to do is work with Chevron and Kazakhstan and Russia to see if that option can work. And that's where most of the conversation has --
Q Which option?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, right now -- what is happening is Chevron since the spring has been producing oil at Tengiz in Kazakhstan. That oil has been shipped through the pipeline system to Russia into the Russian pipeline system. And the way it works is the -- Chevron is given a commensurate value at the -- at Novorossiysk for export around the world. So the oil that's actually being pumped out of Tengis into the Russia system is actually taken by the Russians, and the value of that, or an equivalent amount of that is taken at the end point by Chevron into tankers and it goes around the world to their points of origin.
So the whole basis of the discussion has been on Russia. And the Russia option hasn't been on the others.
Q Was there any discussion of Kazakh-Iranian relations beyond the pipeline question -- the broader issue of the --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: In the one-on-one meeting there was a discussion of Iran and of President Nazarbayev's visit to Iran, and I think the visit of Rafsanjani to Almaty. It was very general. And it was pretty much one-way -- it was pretty much President Nazarbayev just relating his view of the Kazakh-Iranian relationship to the President.
Q And did the President make any comment, suggestions?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No, he did not.
Q When they talked about the reform process in Russia, did -- what did President Clinton say about the developments over the past month since he visited Moscow?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: It was rather general. The President talked about his trip and about his meetings with the Russian leadership. Essentially where we came out on the economic questions. He talked about some of his impressions of Russia in general from his trip, and some of the conversations he had. So it was general, but it ended up in a mutual agreement that it was in our best interest and Kazakhstan's best interest to see the process of reform continue, obviously -- both for the United States and Kazakhstan.
Q Was there any -- concern about what's happened?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I wouldn't say it was cast in those terms. I mean, they simply exchanged views. And we talked about what had -- the President talked about what had happened in Russia since the elections. There was some mention made of the fact that two of the reformers have left the government, but President Nazarbayev was quick to say that significant reformers remain in the government. He named Chubays and Shokhin as two leading economic reformers who remain in the government, both as deputy prime ministers.
Q What was Nazarbayev's assessment of Zhirinovsky's threat?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I'm obviously not going to go into all the aspects of the conversation, because some of it remains private. But, essentially, they had a good discussion about Zhirinovsky, about the phenomenon, about his role in Russian politics.
Q Did he offer any prognosis about Zhirinovsky's political future? Did he say he saw him as a real threat to Yeltsin in the elections of '96?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I really don't want to characterize too much what President Nazarbayev said. He didn't make any comments along those lines. The discussion was more an exchange of views on what is happening -- they didn't get into a lot of predictions about the future.
Q Why are you giving so much more economic aid to Kazakhstan when you talk in such glowing terms of their economic success? If there's so much foreign investment there and they're doing so well, why do they need more economic aid? Shouldn't it be going down, instead?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Since the first day of this administration, the policy -- our policy towards the former Soviet Union has been grounded in one basic principle. And that is that those countries that reform will receive the greatest amount of U.S. assistance. We want to reward and help assist the process of reform in countries. Because things are going well in Kazakhstan, because they have an IMF program, because they have significant foreign investment, does not mean that they're out of the woods. They still have significant economic problems, and President Nazarbayev talked about it. And they still are going to need, over the long term, significant public funds from the IMF, World Bank and from bilateral -- from governments, as well as private funds to reform.
Q Why are they doing so much better than other Soviet --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I think President Clinton said it best at the press conference -- because of their leadership. They have -- because of their policies. Because they have been open to foreign investment, they have proceeded more briskly along the path of economic reform than most of the other countries; and they simply have -- they have put economic stabilization -- macroeconomic stabilization as one of their first priorities. Their inflation rate, while not low, is somewhat under control. They've simply followed policies that in our opinion are the correct policies, and have succeeded.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: All right, the Nonproliferation Treaty. As the President said in his remarks, one of his first priorities since the outset of the administration has been to prevent the breakup of the Soviet Union from creating new nuclear weapon states. And, instead, we have been focused on ensuring that Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus fulfill their Lisbon Protocol commitments to accede to the NPT as nonnuclear weapon states at the earliest possible time; and also as signatories to the START treaty, then, to also implement that treaty. We've had a very strong emphasis over the past year in working closely with each of those three states and it has paid off considerably, as you know, in Ukraine and Kazakhstan as well as in Belarus.
Where Kazakhstan is concerned, the accession to the NPT, I think, is particularly important because it affects 104 SS-18 missiles. These are the silo-busters -- what we used to call the silo-busters in the 1980s -- the hard target killing missiles. Each
of them has ten warheads on it, so that's a total of 1,040 warheads on those 104 SS-18 missiles. So to my mind, it's a very important step forward in the global nonproliferation regime overall, and it's very important in terms of what we're trying to achieve in the postSoviet era, the post-Cold War era, in terms of where we're going with cutting back in radical ways on the worldwide nuclear arsenals.
I want to say a lot of this, as in the economic area, is really due to Nazarbayev's important leadership. He has really taken this one in hand. Kazakhstan, interestingly enough, was the first of the Lisbon Protocol states -- including the United States -- to ratify the Nonproliferation Treaty. They did that in July of 1992. So they have really moved forward rapidly in some areas. We worked closely with them throughout 1993 to get them to step up to the NPT. Secretary Christopher, when he was there in October, worked very closely with President Nazarbayev; and of course the Vice President, when he was there in December, was there when the parliament of Kazakhstan actually voted on the NPT.
One important aspect -- and I referred earlier to what we're doing on Nunn-Lugar. Nunn-Lugar is a very important tool in all this work that we do with these capitals on moving forward to a nonnuclear status. And so, going hand in glove with working with them on the NPT was negotiating the various agreements that would help with the safe and secure dismantlement of the nuclear systems on their territory, and overall help them to deal with the nuclear legacy on their territory. So, we are looking at in the case of these two tranches of funding -- we've got a tranche of FY '93 money that we're now all set to spend, essentially. We have negotiated a couple of agreements, he bulk of which will help to actually destroy SS-18 silos. We'll put $70 million of the first $85 million into destroying SS-18 silos. So that will be an important aspect of what we do with them.
The additional funds that we are looking now were set to go on a new trajectory really in our overall security relationship and so if I could talk about that for a minute. We'll be working with them on some new projects that are of particular interest to Kazakhstan, for example, defense conversion. That's an area where we'll be putting some of those new funds into. And that will be something that we will be discussing with them over the next couple of months as we have a chance to negotiate with them on how they want to spend those new monies.
But, in addition to the kind of assistance that focuses on the nuclear weapons, focuses on the nuclear legacy, one of the important documents that is being signed today is an agreement on defense cooperation that is being signed over with Secretary Perry at DOD, probably just right as I am speaking now. But that will lay the basis for some intensive military-to-military contacts and defense cooperation in the areas of joint training. We can even look at some joint exercises possibly, but moving forward with some very intense cooperation that will help to lay the basis for Partnership for Peace, for their participation in the Partnership for Peace.
So on a bilateral basis, as we develop a relationship that is focused on more on conventional cooperation than on the nuclear side of the question, we will have a good foundation in place to move forward in these other important areas such as Partnership for Peace.
Let me just close, in talking about the NPT thing, I think it's important to think about how this feeds into the nonproliferation regime overall. We've got the extension conference coming up in 1995; and we will hope to work very closely with President Nazarbayev, because he has shown himself to be a world class leader in this area of nonproliferation policy, to work on extending indefinitely the Nonproliferation Treaty out into the future. And we're very pleased that with this accession to the NPT and some of the other activities that have been going on in the past
year -- we've seen Belarus exceed as well. Once again, we're really laying a good groundwork for a successful NPT extension conference in 1995.
Q Are all the 1,000 warheads still mounted on the SS- 18s?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No, they're beginning to come off now.
Q Do you have any idea how many are off?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes, they are beginning to get the numbers down into -- the missiles that have been deactivated are actually down in the 90s at the present time. It's an active process, it's very much in train. So they are already beginning the process of deactivating those missiles by getting the warheads off of them.
Q Why did Nazarbayev bring the NPT accession documents here to Washington? I mean, we don't run this treaty, do we? Why did he bring them --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, there are three depository states for the NPT -- Russia, the U.K. and the United States. So it was his choice as to where he wished to deposit the instruments of accession to the NPT. We're pleased and honored that he chose the United States. He had a choice, however.
Q Bosnia question. What's your understanding -- (Laughter.)
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Can I just add one thing to what my colleague just said? I think that it was the fact that we had done so much to work with him through these nuclear issues -- Secretary Christopher in his visit and the Vice President having travelled there. The President's personal attention to this probably accounts, in part, for the reason why he acceded to the NPT here. But you had a question, I'm sorry.
Q Events may have passed me by on this, but what's your understanding of the U.N. meeting today and Russia's --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, my understanding is that they picked up from where they were on Friday, and they did not have a meeting on Friday because of the weather.
Our understanding at the moment is that the Russians are interested in having consultations in New York. It is not yet clear to us exactly what they are going to do in terms of either asking for a formal resolution, or using some other means to gain an expression of the Council's, if you will, answer to their question. And their question has been whether the actions that NATO has taken over the last couple of days in response to the Secretary General's letter were consistent with the resolutions that underlie what the Secretary General did. We have taken the view that we do not need a resolution, as I think all of you know. At the same time, we have understood that the Russians have a question, and so there's basically discussion going on today in New York about how we'll answer that question.
But I think I can underscore for you, because I just got back on Saturday night from being there in Moscow, that the Russians are very much in concert with us on the basic objectives of what is at work in this initiative on Bosnia. They want to see the Sarajevo killing stopped, and they want to see an agreement.
Q Are they in concert on punitive air strikes?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: They have talked with us about this and that's what the consultations are about. But I think if you look at Mr. Kozyrev's statement -- I think it was, what, yesterday, or Saturday -- he left the door open on that question as to whether such would be acceptable or not. He did not rule it out.
Q And it's our position that he couldn't rule it out anyway, because it's legal under the --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes, but to be quite honest and open, I mean, it is important for us in the long run, it seems to me, to have the Russians in as part of the solution. It's not that we may not be able to do things without Russian consent and particular case, but it's, I think, obvious to all that having Russia -- Russian cooperation in reaching an agreement in Bosnia is going to be a positive development.
Q What were you doing there? Blocking a phone call? (Laughter.)
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I can tell you, there was nobody more frustrated than me about phones.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END3:48 P.M. EST