U.S. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry and Ukraine's Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister of Defense Valeriy Shmarov today amended an agreement to
provide up to an additional $20 million in US assistance for the destruction
and dismantlement of Strategic Nuclear Arms (SNA) in Ukraine under the terms of
the START Treaty. This assistance increases to $205 million the total U.S.
assistance under the "Agreement Between the U.S. Department of Defense and the
Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Concerning the Provision of Material, Services
and Related Training to Ukraine in Connection with the Elimination of Strategic
Nuclear Arms" originally signed December 5, 1993. This agreement was
previously amended December 18, 1993 and on March 21, 1994. Funds are provided
under the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR)
or "Nunn-Lugar" program.
Under the agreement, DoD is providing assistance to help Ukraine deactivate
and eliminate SS-19 and SS-24 missiles and eliminate missile silos located on
its territory. The Department has procured a wide variety of heavy industrial
equipment for Ukraine's use in the dismantlement process. These include
cranes, excavators, and graders, emergency support equipment, intermodal
containers to transport oxidizers; and design, equipment and support for an
Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Neutralization Facility with the
services of an integrating contractor to bring the facility on-line. The
additional $20 million specified in the amendment will be used to continue
providing such equipment, services, and training.
Secretary Perry and Minister Shmarov signed the SNA amendment during a visit
to the Pervomaysk ICBM base where they witnessed the removal of an SS-19
missile from its silo. Equipment provided under the U.S. CTR program will now
be used to dismantle the silo. Secretary Perry remarked on the significance of
this cooperation in helping to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons world-wide
and noted that the CTR program is working to benefit not just the U.S. and
Ukraine, but the security of all nations.
Secretary Perry and Minister Shmarov also visited a housing construction site
near Pervomaysk where CTR assistance is providing support for a joint project
between U.S.-based Bill Harbert International housing company and the Ukrainian
military enterprise Fregat. This joint venture represents an important
cooperative project between two private companies and emphasizes that
successful defense conversion in Ukraine, as in the United States, depends upon
the involvement of private enterprises from both nations. While converting the
Fregat plant to civilian production, this project is also producing critically
needed housing for the retiring Ukrainian Strategic Rocket Forces (SRF)
officers from the Pervomaysk ICBM base. Ukrainian law requires housing be
provided before the SRF officers can be retired and their regiments
decommissioned. Without this U.S. assistance, Ukraine has indicated that the
SS-19 and SS-24 missile dismantlement process could be seriously delayed.
The amendment signed raises the total U.S. commitment under Nunn-Lugar
agreements with Ukraine to $297 million. This assistance is fulfilling the
pledge President Clinton made last year to provide Ukraine with up to a total
of $350 million in Nunn-Lugar assistance.