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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

RUSSIA SUMMIT (Senate - May 11, 1995)

[Page: S6505]

Mr. DOLE. Mr. President, President Clinton is now in Ukraine. I support his decision to visit Kiev. Economic and political reform in Ukraine are proceeding very well. There is strong bipartisan support for United States assistance to Ukraine. It is in the American national interest to strengthen our relations with Ukraine. I hope the President has a successful and productive summit with President Kuchman.

The report cards are now being filed on the Moscow Summit. As I said yesterday, I was disappointed at the lack of progress on the two key summit issues: Nuclear sales to Iran and the conflict in Chechnya. It seems pretty clear the American agenda at this summit did not fare well. My staff spoke to State Department and National Security Council officials yesterday afternoon. The White House provided my office with copies of all the joint statements from the Moscow Summit. To conclude that the summit made l ittle progress in advancing American interests is not politics, and it is not partisan. It is simply a review of the facts.

On Iran, Russia did not agree to cancel its sale of nuclear reactors to Iran. If President Yeltsin cannot make the decision to stop the sale, I do not have great confidence that it will be made later at a lower level. With respect to the much-publicized c oncession on not selling advanced gas centrifuge technology, it seems clear this was floated as a bargaining chip. As recently as last Friday, I note the Washington Post headline: `Russia denies plan to sell gas centrifuge to Iran.' It seems this was a pl an designed to be a concession from the start.

Just last week, when asked if a halt in the gas centrifuge sale would be enough, Secretary of State Christopher said, `not at all. We would not be satisfied with that'. I agree with the Secretary's assessment. We should not be satisfied. The bottom line i s Russia still intends to proceed with a sale of nuclear technology to the outlaw regime in Tehran. This flies in the face of the summit's joint statement on proliferation which pledges `To work together closely to promote broad non-proliferation goals.'< p> On Chechnya, President Yeltsin rejected any effort to address the legitimate concerns of the international community over human rights violations. In President Yeltsin's statement about Chechnya, there is an unfortunate ring of former soviet leaders rejec ting western concerns over human rights as meddling. And whatever the political leaders were saying in Moscow, the Russian army kept attacking. Literally within minutes of yesterday's press conference, Russian helicopters attacked Chechen civilian targets .

The situation in Chechnya also raises the issue of the flank limits in the Conventional Forces in Europe

[CFE] Treaty. In the fall, if Russian forces are still in Chechnya, the Russian Government will be in violation of these flank limits. The Moscow summit did not result in any assurances of Russian compliance with the CFE limits.

On missile defenses, the administration continued down the same path of seeking Russian permission on the deployment of theater missile defenses--despite the fact that Russian insistence on providing nuclear technology to Iran increases the proliferation threat. The fact is that theater missile defenses are not prohibited by the cold-war era ABM Treaty. Moreover, the United States must not allow Russia to have a veto over matters of national security.

The summit also failed in what was not on the agenda--namely, Bosnia. As the two Presidents were meeting, Sarajevo was being heavily shelled. There was no U.N. response, no NATO response, and no summit response.

It is true that Russia agreed to join the partnership for peace at this summit--as they previously agreed to do last year, before abruptly changing their minds at the OSCE summit in Budapest. At this summit, Russia continued to express strong opposition t o the expansion of NATO.

Mr. President, summit diplomacy has a long and distinguished history. Historically, summits have succeeded when the parties had clear agendas, pursued their interests consistently, and were ready, willing, and able to meet each others' concerns. And if ag reement is not reached, history shows it is better to state the disagreements clearly rather than paper them over. In the case of the Moscow summit, it is clear that President Yeltsin was not in a position to address our concerns. We should admit that for thrightly and respond appropriately. Congress will respond by looking closely at all forms of aid to Russia--especially aid to the government. Certain types of aid such as democracy support, or Nunn-Lugar funding for nuclear clean up still promote importa nt American interests. Other aid programs may not, and may be halted.

The United States must remain engaged with Russia. It was and is our hope that democracy and free market reforms will prosper. We hope that the Russian elections planned for this year and next year proceed on time--and that they are free and fair. But Rus sia is not our only strategic relationship--we have other interests in other areas. That is why I support the President's decision to visit Ukraine. That is why NATO expansion should not be subject to a Russian veto. And that is why we cannot allow Iran t o become a nuclear weapons state.

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