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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 27, 1996


Removal of Nuclear Weapons from Belarus, Kazakstan and Ukraine

Today we have witnessed another historic milestone toward the reduction of the global nuclear threat. All nuclear warheads and SS-25 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) have been removed from the territory of Belarus. Together with the successful de-nuclearization of Kazakstan and Ukraine, today's actions reflect the success of President Clinton's policy to support the removal of all nuclear weapons from those states, other than Russia, which inherited the Soviet nuclear arsenal when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

In 1991, there were more than 500 strategic and tactical nuclear warheads and 81 SS-25 ICBMs in Belarus. Today there are none. In total, over 6,000 strategic and tactical nuclear warheads have been removed from Kazakstan, Ukraine and Belarus over the past five years.

I also note that both the United States and Russia are ahead of the reduction schedule specified in the START I Treaty. To date, the United States has eliminated launchers for 825 strategic nuclear delivery vehicles, and about 875 launchers for strategic nuclear delivery vehicles in the former Soviet Union have been eliminated, including almost 750 in Russia. The Cooperative Threat Reduction (Nunn-Lugar) program is playing a major role in the elimination of these weapons in the former Soviet Union, just as it did in the de-nuclearization of Kazakstan, Ukraine and Belarus.

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