Statement by Assistant to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater on the Annual Report on Soviet Noncompliance With Arms Control Agreements


December 2, 1988


The President today sent to the Congress the classified and unclassified versions of the annual report on Soviet noncompliance with arms control agreements mandated by Public Law 99 - 145. The findings and analysis contained in this report are an integral part of our approach to arms control and national security policy. We seek sound agreements that are equitable, effectively verifiable, and can strengthen U.S. and allied security. But such agreements must be faithfully carried out if they are to fulfill those objectives and contribute to a more secure international environment. Ensuring that a country lives up to the commitments it has freely undertaken is essential to the confidence necessary to the whole arms control process.


This year's report reaffirms our 1987 findings of Soviet violations or probable violation of the ABM treaty, the biological and toxin weapons convention, the Geneva protocol on chemical weapons, the limited test ban treaty, the threshold test ban treaty, and provisions of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe Final Act that relate to military security and confidence-building. In addition, it reviews Soviet implementation of the INF treaty and documents Soviet violations of provisions of that treaty. Unlike other instances of Soviet noncompliance, Soviet violations of the INF treaty provisions which we have raised with the Soviet Union have been resolved to our satisfaction or are in the process of resolution.


We are particularly concerned about the Krasnoyarsk radar, which is a significant violation of a central element of the ABM treaty. We have made clear to the Soviets that their failure to correct this violation by dismantling the radar in a verifiable manner that meets our criteria casts a shadow over the arms control process. We cannot conclude new strategic arms control agreements while this violation remains uncorrected. We also reserve all our rights under international law to take appropriate and proportionate responses, including the possibility of declaring a material breach.


We have discussed these violations repeatedly with the Soviet Union and have given them every opportunity to meet our concerns. If the Soviet Union is genuinely interested in a more constructive and stable long-term relationship, it will take the necessary steps to correct its violations.