Excerpts from Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov's 25 June 1996 letter to Secretary of State Warren Christopher on missile defense talks:

Dear Chris,

... We share the opinion that it would be important for the delegations in Geneva to execute the guidance given them on-schedule and that now is the time to concentrate attention, needless to say, on agreement on the wording relating to low-velocity systems....

The list of guidelines for the second phase would thus consist the following elements:

We make note of the assurances by the American side that the United States does not plan to conduct flight tests of high- velocity systems against any kind of targets for the next three years.

Along with this, we understand that the obligation on that account must be of an all- encompassing nature and cover all types of tests of high-velocity systems....

During such tests, as you know, the capabilities of an anti-strategic ballistic missile system could be developed. Such an approach, you will agree, would be fraught with the danger of circumvention of the ABM treaty.


[signed] Ye. Primakov