Good morning. Thank you very much for inviting me to join you today.
On February 5th, I took part in the ceremony in Munich where Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov exchanged the instruments of ratification, which brought the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty – New START – into force. From Germany, I then traveled to Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland, talking to government officials and experts, briefing them on implementation of the Treaty and next steps on the arms control agenda.
The entry into force of the Treaty and its ensuing implementation made it a particularly opportune time to discuss next steps in arms control with our NATO allies and in the case of Ukraine, a NATO partner. I will have more to say about that in a moment, but first let me speak about implementation of the New START Treaty.
With entry into force of the New START Treaty, we have begun implementing an extensive regime of mutual monitoring and information exchange. There was over a year-long hiatus, with the original START Treaty having expired in early December 2009.
The initial exchange of the complete set of data according to the categories of data contained in the Protocol to the Treaty is required 45 days after entry into force, which will be March 22nd. Such information will include data, accurate as of entry into force of the Treaty, on the Parties’ missiles, launchers, heavy bombers, and warheads subject to the Treaty.
We have already begun exchanging notifications regarding changes in data, which will keep the database current. Every six months we will receive declarations from Russia containing a complete update of the information on the numbers, types, and deployment locations of all the strategic offensive forces covered by the Treaty.
A unique identifying number will be assigned to each missile and bomber that will allow the U.S. to follow that item through its lifecycle. As was the case in START, Russia will provide prompt updates to that data so the U.S. can understand activities in Russia’s forces and keep track of Russia’s compliance with the Treaty’s central limits. Russia will receive similar information from us.
On-site inspections are a vital complement to the data the U.S. will receive under New START. They provide the “boots on the ground” presence to confirm the validity of Russian data declarations, thus helping to verify compliance with Treaty obligations, as well as adding to our confidence and knowledge regarding Russian strategic forces located at those facilities.
The right to begin conducting on-site inspections begins 60 days after the Treaty’s entry into force. During the 60-day period between the exchange of the Instruments of Ratification and the first on-site inspections, the lists of inspectors’ names must be exchanged and visas provided for them.
It is the combination of data exchanges, extensive notifications, and on-site inspections, when combined with National Technical Means, that provides for effective verification of the New START Treaty.
The New START Treaty data exchanges will provide us a detailed picture of Russian strategic forces and the inspections will give us crucial opportunities to confirm the validity of that data. In part, this is thanks to the expertise of our weapons inspectors, who gained a strong body of knowledge and experience about conducting on-site inspections efficiently and effectively under START and the INF Treaty; they also learned how to improve them. They brought that experience to the negotiating table in Geneva.
For the first time, we will receive data about actual reentry vehicle (warhead) loadings on Russia’s missiles and bombers and on-site inspection procedures under New START will allow the United States to confirm the actual number of warheads on randomly selected Russian ICBMs and SLBMs. This unprecedented verification task and inspection right did not exist under START.
The Treaty establishes the Bilateral Consultative Commission (BCC) as its compliance and implementation body. It provides that the BCC should be convened at least twice a year unless the Parties agree otherwise. The BCC has the authority to resolve questions relating to compliance with the obligations assumed by the Parties, to agree upon additional measures to improve the viability and effectiveness of the Treaty, and to discuss other issues related to implementation of the Treaty raised by either Party.
The New START Treaty sets the stage for further limits on and reductions in nuclear arms. As President Obama stated when he signed the New START Treaty, once the Treaty enters into force, the United States intends to pursue with Russia further reductions in strategic and non-strategic nuclear weapons, including non-deployed nuclear weapons.
Addressing non-strategic nuclear weapons will require close coordination with our NATO allies as the alliance reviews its overall deterrence and defense posture, including NATO’s nuclear posture. That’s why following the ceremony in Munich for the exchange of Instruments of Ratification of the New START Treaty, I traveled to Central and Eastern Europe, to visit Ukraine, all three Baltic States, and Poland.
I wanted to brief our allies and partners on implementation of New START and begin a discussion of next steps particularly in regards to further reductions in strategic weapons and prospects for reductions in non-strategic or tactical weapons. What I heard from our allies was the high priority they place on NATO’s security guarantees, and their support for the negotiation of further mutual reductions. This is reflected in NATO's new Strategic Concept, which commits Allies to seeking to create the conditions for future negotiated reductions, while stressing that NATO will remain a nuclear alliance as long as nuclear weapons exist.
While negotiated nuclear reductions have to date been dominated by U.S. and Russian negotiations, advancing toward the vision of a safe, secure world without nuclear weapons will increasingly require cooperation not only with Russia, but also with others.
For example, the P-5 are currently engaged in a dialogue on issues relating to transparency and verification and France will host a related conference later this year.
Each of these steps will move us closer to creating the security conditions necessary to achieve President Obama’s vision of reducing – and ultimately eliminating – nuclear weapons.
The agenda is ambitious and will require enormous efforts from governments, NGOs, think tanks, academics, scientists, advocates and the global community; many of you who are in this room today.
In April 2010, when he signed the New START Treaty, President Obama said, referring to the goal he had outlined the previous year in Prague of a world without nuclear weapons: “this is a long-term goal, one that may not even be achieved in my lifetime. But I believed then, as I do now, that the pursuit of that goal will move us further beyond the Cold War, strengthen the global nonproliferation regime and make the United States and the world safer and more secure.”