Mr. HAGEL. Mr. President, I am pleased to support this CFE Flank Treaty today. It is good for the security of the United States and the security of our NATO allies.
This treaty modifies the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty. This treaty was reached in 1990 before the breakup of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The modifications in CFE flank restrictions contained in this treaty are reasonable, and we all should support them.
Under Chairman Helms' guidance, the Foreign Relations Committee added a number of important conditions to this treaty. These conditions clarify parts of the treaty that could be construed as granting special rights to Russia to intimidate its neighbors, but most importantly are the clarifications that nothing in the CFE Flank Treaty grants to Russia any right to continue its current violations of the sovereignty of several neighboring states.
I am pleased that these clarifications were fully bipartisan conditions that received the support of our distinguished Foreign Relations ranking member, Senator Biden.
There is, however, one remaining condition that caused some controversy. This is condition 9, which requires the President to submit to the Senate for ratification another treaty modification, the ABM multilateralization treaty. This is not a question of support or opposition to the ABM Treaty. This is purely a matter of the prerogative of the Senate, of whether or not to adhere to the clear intent of the Constitution of this country.
During negotiations over the Chemical Weapons Convention, Senator Helms and Majority Leader Lott succeeded in convincing the President to submit to the Senate two out of three pending treaty modifications that the President had intended to implement as executive agreements. One of those treaty modifications, the CFE Flank Treaty now before us today, and another, the ABM Demarcation Treaty, is before the Foreign Relations Committee where it will receive serious consideration.
Only one treaty modification has yet to be submitted to the
Senate, the ABM multilateralization treaty agreed to in Helsinki by Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin. It is right to require that treaty to be submitted as well.
Again, this issue is merely the constitutional obligation of each of us in this body to give our advice and consent on the ratification of treaties, not whether this treaty modification is good or bad.
I again congratulate Chairman Helms, Senator Biden, and the distinguished majority leader. I am proud of the leadership they have shown on this treaty and on the constitutional prerogatives of the Senate.
Mr. President, I yield my time.