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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 592-97
November 04, 1997

UNITED STATES ACQUIRES AIRCRAFT FROM MOLDOVA

The Department of Defense of the United States of America and the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Moldova recently reached an agreement to implement the Cooperative Threat Reduction accord signed on June 23, 1997, in Moldova. This agreement authorized the United States Government to purchase nuclear-capable MiG-29 fighter planes from the Government of Moldova. This is a joint effort by both Governments to ensure that these dual-use military weapons do not fall into the hands of rogue states.

The June accord is one of several agreements signed by the United States government and governments of the Newly Independent States to establish cooperative measures against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and technology, materials, and expertise related to such weapons, which remained after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact.

This step will contribute to the establishment of an enhanced climate of trust in the relations between the Republic of Moldova and the United States, and will be a positive example in the development of the principles of the Partnership for Peace Program.

The Cooperative Threat Reduction Act of 1993 and subsequent legislation provide broad authority for the Department of Defense to facilitate the elimination of former Soviet weapons. The June accord is one of several agreements signed by the U.S. government and governments of newly independent states to establish cooperative measures against the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and the associated delivery vehicles, technology, materials, and expertise which remained after the breakup of the Soviet Union.