24 September 1996

New York -- With one agreement already reached regarding the demarcation of lower-velocity strategic and theater missile defense (TMD) systems, the outlook for a second agreement on higher-velocity strategic and TMD systems looks good, according to a joint statement issued September 23 by the United States and the Russian Federation.

The statement, released during the 51st session of the United Nations General Assembly, noted that the political will is there on all sides to "fully resolve the demarcation issue."

Following is the text from the State Department:

(begin text)

In accordance with the understanding recorded in the Joint Statement of the President of the United States of America and the President of the Russian Federation of May 10, 1995, which was further elaborated during the US-Russia Summit in April, 1996 in Moscow, the US and Russia, together with Belarus, Kazakstan and Ukraine, are conducting negotiations to work out agreements on demarcation of strategic and theater missile defenses.

Part one of these negotiations, relating to lower-velocity TMD systems, was successfully completed during the session of the standing Consultative Commission (SCC) which was concluded in June, 1996. The sides prepared a basic document on demarcation of these systems -- an Agreed Statement -- and in the near future, an Agreement on Confidence Building Measures applicable to these systems will be completed which will expand on the basic document. Thus it can be noted that agreement has been reached on lower-velocity TMD systems.

At present preparations are being made for part two of the demarcation negotiations, regarding higher-velocity TMD systems. There is a good basis for a constructive outcome -- the instructions of the Presidents of the US and Russia regarding the working out of an agreement on part two, the experience gained in working on part one, the list of questions prepared by the sides to be examined, and the political will to fully resolve the demarcation issue. The resolution of this issue will be an important contribution to the development of cooperation between the sides in the military area, to the creation of conditions for further reducing strategic offensive weapons, and to strengthening strategic stability and international security.

The US and Russia propose that the SCC reconvene on October 1. At this SCC session, the components will conform and prepare for signature the part one documents and begin discussions of part two. By the end of October, our deputies will sign the part one documents and our SCC Commissioners will report to us on progress on part two.