THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
UKRAINE'S VOTE TO ACCEDE TO THE NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY
The United States warmly welcomes the vote by the Supreme Rada of Ukraine on November 16 to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The Rada's action clears the way for Ukraine's formal accession to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapons state. At the CSCE Summit in Budapest, we expect that the United States, Great Britain, the Russian Federation and Ukraine will sign a memorandum on security assurances for Ukraine and Ukraine will deposit its instrument of accession to the Non- Proliferation Treaty. We also expect that the five parties to the Lisbon Protocol--Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine and the United States--will bring START I into force at that time.
This achievement will cap U.S. efforts, in cooperation with the other Lisbon parties, to prevent new nuclear weapon states from emerging following the breakup of the Soviet Union. A major step in this process was the Trilateral Statement, signed with Russia and Ukraine in January 1994, which ensured fair compensation to Ukraine in return for the elimination of nuclear warheads from its territory.
With Ukraine's accession to the NPT, the United States and Ukraine are entering a new era of expanded cooperation. The United States is firmly committed to the development of an independent, democratic and prosperous Ukraine secure within its current borders. The future of a vital partnership between our two countries will be the focus of President Leonid Kuchma's State Visit to Washington on November 21-23. We commend President Kuchma for his leadership in bringing NPT to a successful vote in the Rada.
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