REMARKS BY |
SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT
ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILE TREATY SIGNING
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Distinguished Foreign Ministers and colleagues, heads of delegation and friends,
this ceremony marks a turning point in our approach to nuclear weapons. We have been very successful in
mastering the challenges left in the wake of the Cold War. Now we will turn to arms control for a new century --
beyond eliminating mistrust to eliminating actual nuclear weapons.
These documents are the product of nearly four years of hard work, and the leadership, above all, of President
Clinton and President Yeltsin.
I want to pay particular tribute to Vice President Gore's work through the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission in
reaching these agreements, and in laying the groundwork for major reductions in the years ahead. This past week,
he was the man on the spot in Moscow -- and he succeeded in jump-starting the agreements we are signing
The ABM Treaty was essential to managing our security during the Cold War, and is at the center of our strategic
relationship with Russia today. These documents ensure that its list of participants correspond to the maps of our
times, and that our understanding of it corresponds to the security strategy we are putting in place for times to
Together, the ABM and START II documents we will sign here today should pave the way for the Russian Duma
to ratify START II. And that will trigger deep reductions in our arsenals.
But these agreements also open new possibilities for Americans and Russians to work together toward the goal
Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin adopted in Helsinki -- cutting our arms levels and, consequently, our expenditures
and risks, to levels 80 percent below Cold War peaks.
They open new opportunities to destroy actual warheads and to put in place transparency measures that will
assure us that weapons taken out of service will never be used again. These negotiations can begin once Russia
ratifies START II.
I salute our delegation to the Standing Consultative Commission, led by Commissioner Stan Riveles, for its
unrelenting efforts. And I thank the representatives from Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus who did so
much to make this day possible.