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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 1, 1996


Removal of Nuclear Warheads from Ukraine

The U.S.-Russia-Ukraine Trilateral Statement and Annex were signed on January 14, 1994 in Moscow by Presidents Clinton, Yeltsin and Kravchuk. The Statement and Annex:

        provided for the transfer of all nuclear weapons on the
        territory of Ukraine to Russia for dismantlement;

        specified prompt compensation by Russia to Ukraine for the
        highly-enriched uranium in the transferred weapons;

        provided for security assurances by the U.S., Russia and United
        Kingdom to Ukraine on Ukraine's accession to the
        Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapon state; and

        reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to assist the safe and secure
        dismantlement of nuclear forces through the Cooperative Threat
        Reduction (Nunn-Lugar) program.

The provisions of the Trilateral Statement and Annex are being implemented. When they were signed, there were some 1900 strategic nuclear warheads in Ukraine, most of which were on SS-19 and SS-24 ICBMs targeted at the U.S. As of June 1, there are none. (In addition, in 1991-92, some 2500 tactical nuclear weapons were transferred from Ukraine to Russia.) There were far more nuclear warheads on the territory of Ukraine than in any country other than the United States or Russia.

Russia is dismantling the removed nuclear warheads and has provided Ukraine compensation for the strategic nuclear warheads in the form of fuel rods for civilian nuclear power plants in Ukraine. These fuel rods are being delivered according to a schedule agreed to by Russia and Ukraine.

On December 5, 1994, Ukraine acceded to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapon state. On that same date, the U.S., Russia and United Kingdom provided security assurances to Ukraine, and the START I Treaty also entered into force.

The Trilateral Statement noted the U.S. commitment of a minimum of $175 million in Cooperative Threat Reduction (Nunn-Lugar) aid to Ukraine to assist denuclearization. As of the end of April 1996, the U.S. had notified CTR obligations for Ukraine totaling almost $400 million, primarily for the elimination of strategic nuclear arms and nuclear infrastructure.

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