The United States and Ukraine exchanged diplomatic notes extending the agreement to continue the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program in Ukraine through December 2006. The "Agreement between the United States of America and Ukraine Concerning Assistance to Ukraine in the Elimination of Strategic Nuclear Arms and the Prevention of Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction," also referred to as the CTR Umbrella Agreement for Ukraine, was signed on July 31, 1999. This will extend the legal framework for the CTR program in Ukraine until Dec. 31, 2006.
Through the CTR program, also known as the Nunn-Lugar program after its primary congressional sponsors, Sen. Richard Lugar and former Sen. Sam Nunn, the Department of Defense provides equipment, services and technical advice to assist Ukraine, Russia and other newly independent states in preventing proliferation and in securing and dismantling weapons of mass destruction (WMD), related materials, and production facilities inherited from the former Soviet Union.
Through fiscal 1999, Congress has provided a total of $2.7 billion for CTR programs. Of that amount, $569 million has been dedicated to efforts in Ukraine.
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Ukraine inherited the third largest nuclear stockpile in the world after the United States and Russia. CTR assistance has helped Ukraine to transfer all of the nuclear warheads on its soil safely back to Russia for dismantlement.
Earlier this year, CTR achieved a major milestone: the complete elimination of the SS-19 ICBM system which Ukraine inherited from the Soviet Union, including 111 missiles, 130 missile silos, and 13 launch control centers. By extending the Umbrella Agreement, the U.S. and Ukraine will be able to continue similar efforts to prevent proliferation and reduce WMD arsenals.
The CTR program in Ukraine continues to focus on eliminating SS-24 ICBMs and missile silos, Bear and Blackjack heavy bombers, and air-launched cruise missiles. CTR will also help to dismantle the former Soviet nuclear weapons infrastructure in Ukraine, including weapons storage sites, ICBM production sites, and missile propellant handling facilities. It will also continue to promote improved defense relations between the United States and Ukraine by funding a program of defense and military contracts.