US-Russia Nuclear Arms Treaty

May 25, 2002

US-Russia Nuclear Arms Treaty
'The Arms Reduction Treaty You Have When You're Not Having An Arms Reduction Treaty'

Australian Peace Committee
Campaign For International Cooperation And Disarmament(Cicd)
Australian Anti-Bases Campaign
Friends Of The Earth Australia

Antinuclear groups Friends of the Earth, CICD, Australian Anti-Bases Campaign and the Australian Peace Committee today characterized the nuclear arms reduction treaty signed in Moscow yesterday as 'The arms reduction treaty you have when you're not having an arms reduction treaty'. The Bush/Putin agreement signed yesterday is far inferior to the START-II and III arms reduction agreements, which it effectively replaces, and thus a step backwards.

According to spokespeople for the groups;

"Even the rhetoric surrounding the recent agreement has made it quite clear that the Bush administration in particular is not really interested in the elimination of nuclear weapons as per the US's treaty requirements under the NPT, and that it is not at all interested in treaties that are in any way binding or that limit what the US (or Russia) can do. The Russians, who wanted a proper successor to the START-I and II treaties, have simply made the best of a bad job by saying that at least the current agreement gives them also the freedom to adopt whatever nuclear posture they like as long as by 2012, they have just 1700-2200 operational warheads."

"The Moscow agreement does little to foster real progress toward the total and unequivocal elimination of nuclear arsenals as required by Article VI of the NPT. It also does nothing to remove the single greatest threat to life, namely the maintenance of large numbers of ICBMs on 'Launch-on-Warning' status." "Unlike the START agreements, up till 2012, there are no limits at all placed on warhead numbers. All the treaty says is that by 2012, each side must have 1700-2200 operational warheads. There are no limits on what may be kept in reserve. The treaty itself actually expires in 2012 unless it is extended."

"Statements that no further arms reduction treaties are contemplated between the US and Russia surely contradict the clear obligation of the two countries under the NPT to go all the way to zero."

"In short, the Moscow Agreement does not represent real arms control - Its the arms reduction treaty you have when you're not having an arms reduction treaty, and a step backwards."

For more information contact:

John Hallam
Ph: (02) 9567 7533

Irene Gale
Ph: (08) 8364 2291

Pauline Mitchell
Ph: (03) 9555 3076

Jacob Grech
Anti-Bases Campaign
Ph: 0402 246 491