THE WHITE HOUSE

                     Office of the Press Secretary
                            (Okinawa, Japan)
For Immediate Release                                      July 21, 2000


The G-8 today took an important step toward disposition of weapon-grade
fissile material designated by the United States and Russia as excess to
defense needs so that it will never again be used for weapons.  The G-8
called for the development, by the 2001 Genoa Summit, of an
international financing plan and multilateral cooperation arrangements
for Russia's disposition program.  This announcement builds on the June
5 announcement in Moscow by President Clinton and President Putin
regarding completion of a bilateral Agreement for the management and
disposition of weapon-grade plutonium withdrawn from their respective
nuclear weapon programs.

Today's announcement carries forward the sustained G-8 efforts launched
at the 1996 Moscow Nuclear Safety and Security Summit and continued at
the Cologne Summit last year.  The new U.S.-Russia agreement charts the
course for the safe and transparent disposition of a total of 68 metric
tons of weapon-grade plutonium declared excess to U.S. and Russian
defense needs -- an amount that represents thousands of nuclear weapons.
It advances key arms control and non-proliferation interests.

The Agreement requires each Party to dispose of no less than 34 metric
tons of weapon-grade plutonium from its nuclear weapon program by
irradiating it as fuel in reactors, or by immobilizing it with
high-level radioactive waste, rendering it safe for geologic disposal.
The goal is to begin operation of industrial-scale facilities by 2007 to
achieve a disposition rate of at least 2 metric tons of plutonium per
year in rough parallel and, working with other countries, to identify
additional capacities at least to double that disposition rate.  The
Agreement also provides for monitoring and inspection throughout the
disposition process, and allows for equivalent International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) verification measures in lieu of bilateral
monitoring activities, as may be agreed by the Parties.

Preliminary estimates for the Russian Federation's disposition program
are $1.7-1.9 billion over twenty or more years.  The U.S. Congress has
appropriated more than $200 million for cooperation with Russia's
plutonium disposition program.  The Clinton Administration is requesting
another $200 million in funding for 2001.