May 16, 1998


Embargoed Until 10:06am EDT
May 16, 1998

                        REDUCING THE NUCLEAR THREAT

In response to India's nuclear test explosions this past week, President
Clinton imposed a range of economic sanctions, in accordance with Section
102 of the Arms Export Control Act, also known as the Glenn Amendment.
These sanctions include ending assistance to India under the Foreign
Assistance Act of 1991 (except for humanitarian assistance), ending
military sales and financing under the Arms Export Control Act, and denying
any other U.S. financial aid.

India's actions run counter to the efforts the United States and many other
nations are taking to reduce the threat of weapons of mass destruction.
Over the past six years, the Administration has made unprecedented progress
in curbing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and reducing the dangerous
weapons stockpiled during the Cold War.

In December 1997, the U.S. and Russia successfully completed the first
   phase of nuclear arms reductions under the START I Treaty, two years
   ahead of schedule.  As a result, over 4,700 former Soviet and 4,200 U.S.
   nuclear warheads have been removed from operation and 1,000 former
   Soviet and 1,077 U.S. long-range missiles and bombers have been

The U.S. has ratified the START II Treaty.  When ratified by Russia, START
   II will eliminate bombers and missiles that carried over 14,000 Russian
   and American nuclear warheads -- cutting U.S. and Russian arsenals by
   two-thirds from their Cold War heights.  This will pave the way for even
   deeper cuts under START III, the framework for which was agreed upon by
   Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin in Helsinki in March 1997.

Under START, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan have removed all nuclear
   weapons from their soil and have agreed to forswear possession of such
   weapons forever.

In November 1994, the United States airlifted nearly 600 kilograms of
   highly enriched uranium (HEU) -- enough for dozens of bombs -- from
   Kazakhstan for safe disposition in the United States.  And in April
   1998, the U.S., working with the United Kingdom and the Republic of
   Georgia, successfully removed from Georgia some 5 kilograms of HEU and
   transported it to safety.

U.S. diplomacy played a critical role in securing the indefinite and
   unconditional extension of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty -- the
   cornerstone of our efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons.

India's nuclear test explosions clearly demonstrate the need to move
quickly to bring the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) into force.  By
banning all nuclear explosions, the CTBT will constrain the development of
dangerous nuclear weapons; contribute to the prevention of nuclear
proliferation and the process of nuclear disarmament; and enhance the
ability of the U.S. to monitor suspicious nuclear activities in other
countries through a worldwide sensor network and on-site inspections. The
President has submitted the Treaty, which 149 nations have signed, to the
Senate and has urged the Senate to provide its advice and consent this