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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


08 May 1997

Nunn-Lugar Spurs Destruction of Weapons Delivery Systems after
Facilitating Warhead Removal
WASHINGTON -- During a meeting last night with Ukraine's military
chief, U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) praised the former Soviet
republic for reducing its Cold War nuclear arsenal.
Last week, Ukraine agreed to destroy its SS-24 missiles, in addition
to SS-19 missiles, silos and launch sites, utilizing $47 million
provided through the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program.
At a dinner last night, Lugar joined Gen. John Shalikashvili, Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in welcoming Ukraine's Chief of the
Armed Forces, Lieutenant Oleksander Zatynaiko.
"The removal of all nuclear warheads from Ukraine last year was a
milestone in the reduction of the former Soviet arsenal that had
targeted the United States for many years. Last week's announcement
that Ukraine has agreed to destroy a major component of its missile
program takes the process of peaceful disarmament an important step
further," said Lugar, who with former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-GA) wrote the
legislation that helped make weapons destruction possible. "The recent
developments in Ukraine mark a signal success for the Nunn-Lugar
Cooperative Threat Reduction program, substantially strengthening the
security of each American."
Ukraine announced last June that all warheads bad been removed from
the country. This involved the deactivation of more than 4,000
strategic and tactical warheads that existed in Ukraine in 1991. The
announcement last week indicates that Ukraine will continue
dismantling delivery vehicles. Since 1991, Ukraine has received $450
million for nuclear disarmament. The Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat
Reduction program was passed by Congress in 1991 as the former Soviet
Union dissolved. Under the program, money obligated to Ukraine has
been used primarily for strategic arms elimination, including
intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) silo destruction
construction of neutralization facilities to dispose of SS-19 rocket
fuel, and related projects. Overall, the Nunn-Lugar program has
accelerated the dismantlement of thousands of former Soviet nuclear
President Clinton enthusiastically supports the Nunn-Lugar. "The
Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (Nunn-Lugar) has played a major
role in the elimination of weapons in the former Soviet Union and in
the denuclearization of Ukraine," Clinton said.
Last year, Sens. Nunn and Lugar were joined by Sen. Pete Domenici
(R-NM) in creating a program that builds on the original Nunn-Lugar
effort. The Nunn Lugar-Domenici law accelerates accounting and
destruction of chemical, biological and nuclear material in the former
Soviet Union; strengthens international border controls to interdict
weapons and materials smuggling; and enables the Department of Defense
to train civilian medical law enforcement personnel to identify react
to terrorist attacks involving chemical, biological or nuclear
weapons. "Terrorists using weapons of mass destruction on American
soil is a real threat," said Lugar. "We must acknowledge this reality
and work to control materials at their source while increasing civil
defense at home."

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