26 September 1997


Dear Madame Secretary:

On behalf of the Government of the Russian Federation, in connection with the Treaty Between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms of January 3, 1993, hereinafter referred to as the Treaty, I have the honor to propose that agreement be concluded between our Governments on deactivation of certain strategic nuclear delivery vehicles.

Under this agreement our Governments would agree that upon entry into force of the Treaty, the Russian Federation and the United States of America shall deactivate, by December 31, 2003, all strategic nuclear delivery vehicles which will be eliminated under the Treaty, by removing their nuclear reentry vehicles or taking other jointly agreed steps.

Immediately upon entry into force of the Treaty, experts of the Parties will begin work simultaneously both on the understandings concerning methods of deactivation as well as parameters of an appropriate program of assistance of the United States of America in the implementation of the deactivation mentioned above. Practical steps to implement deactivation will be undertaken on the basis of these understandings.

Taking into account the supreme national interests of the country, the Russian Federation proceeds from the understanding that well in advance of the above deactivation deadline the START III Treaty will be achieved and enter into force.

This letter together with your response shall constitute agreement between the Governments of the Russian Federation and the United States of America, which shall enter into force on the date of entry into force of the Treaty and shall remain in force as long as the Treaty remains in force.

Please accept, Madame Secretary, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Y. Primakov

    Her Excellency Madeline K. Albright,
      Secretary of State of
        The United States of America, Washington.