26 September 1997


(Issued after the signing ceremony in New York 9/26) (420)

(The following fact sheet on the Memorandum of Understanding on
Succession was released by the State Department at the conclusion of
the signing ceremony in New York September 26, 1997.)

September 26, 1997


Memorandum of Understanding on Succession

The Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile
Systems of May 26, 1972, commonly known as the ABM Treaty, was a
bilateral agreement between the two states. When the USSR dissolved at
the end of 1991, and its constituent republics became independent
States, the only operationally-deployed ABM system was at Moscow,
while a number of its early warning radars and an ABM test range were
located outside of the Russian Federation. Although the ABM Treaty
continues in force, it nevertheless has become necessary to reach
agreement as to which New Independent States (NIS) would collectively
assume the rights and obligations of the USSR under the Treaty.

The Memorandum of Understanding on Succession (MOUS) establishes that
the Parties to the ABM Treaty shall be the United States, Belarus,
Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine. For the purposes of
the MOUS and the ABM Treaty, the latter four states are considered to
be the USSR Successor States. Pursuant to the MOUS provisions, the
USSR Successor States collectively assume the rights and obligations
of the USSR. This means that only a single ABM deployment area is
permitted among the four Successor States; in addition, only 15 ABM
launchers at ABM test ranges are collectively permitted. Russia will
be able to continue to operate any existing early warning radars, as
well as the ABM test range, located within other states with the
permission of those governments.

States that become bound by the MOUS also are bound to observe the
provisions of both the First and Second Agreed Statements, which deal
with lower-velocity and higher-velocity theater ballistic missile
defense systems, respectively. These agreements will now be subject to
ratification or approval by the signatory states in accordance with
the appropriate constitutional procedures of each state, and will
enter into force on the date when the governments of all five
signatory states have deposited instruments of ratification or
approval of the Memorandum of Understanding on Succession. The MOUS
will remain in force as long as the ABM Treaty remains in force. The
ABM Treaty is of unlimited duration.