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Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces [INF] Chronology

1977 -- Early Months SOVIET SS-20 DEPLOYMENT The Soviet Union begins deployment in the European U.S.S.R. of the SS-20, a modern, mobile, nuclear-armed intermediate-range ballistic missile with three independently targetable warheads and the range to target all of Western Europe.

1979 -- December 12 NATO DUAL-TRACK STRATEGY The North Atlantic Treaty Organization unanimously adopts a "dual-track" strategy to respond to Soviet deployments of SS-20 missiles. One track calls for arms control negotiations with the Soviet Union to restore the balance in intermediate- range nuclear forces at the lowest possible level.

In the absence of an arms control agreement, NATO's second track is to modernize its INF with 464 single-warhead U.S. ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs) and 108 single-warhead U.S. Pershing II ballistic missiles. Deployment of these systems in Western Europe is to begin in December 1983.

NATO also decides to withdraw 1,000 of the approximately 7,400 tactical nuclear warheads deployed in Europe and to retire an existing nuclear weapon for every new weapon deployed.

1980 -- October PRELIMINARY INF TALKS Preliminary Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Talks between the United States and the Soviet Union begin in Geneva. The United States' opening position calls for an equal ceiling on land-based theater nuclear missile systems. These talks recess at the end of U.S. President Jimmy Carter's administration in early 1981.

1981 -- November 18 U.S. ZERO-OPTION PROPOSAL In a major policy address calling for a framework of negotiations on reductions in all types of arms, U.S. President Ronald Reagan proposes the "zero option" -- cancellation of planned INF missile deployments by the United States if the Soviet Union agrees to eliminate its SS-4, SS-5, and SS-20 missiles. The Soviet Union rejects the zero option as inequitable and proposes a freeze onany new deployments and subsequent cuts in existing forces.

1981 -- November 30 OPENING OF INF NEGOTIATIONS Formal negotiations on INF begin in Geneva. The United States seeks elimination ("global zero") of U.S. and Soviet longer-range intermediate nuclear force (LRINF) missiles and collateral constraints on shorter-range intermediate nuclear force (SRINF) missiles.

1982 -- February SOVIET INF PROPOSAL The Soviet Union proposes an agreement to establish an eventual ceiling of 300 medium-range missiles and nuclear-capable aircraftin Europe for each side. British and French nuclear forces would be included in the U.S. count.

1982 -- June/July "WALK IN THE WOODS" PROPOSAL During an outing in the countryside near Geneva, U.S. and Soviet negotiators develop an informal package of elements to beincluded in a possible INF agreement. This so-called "Walk in theWoods" proposal calls for:

Moscow rejects the "Walk in the Woods" package in September.

1983 -- February U.S. CRITERIA FOR INF AGREEMENT The United States reiterates its criteria, set forth in November 1981 after consultation with and approval by its allies, for reaching agreement with the Soviets in INF negotiations. These are:

1983 -- March 30 U.S. INTERIM AGREEMENT PROPOSAL U.S. President Ronald Reagan announces that the United States and its allies are prepared to accept an interim agreement on INF missiles to establish equal global levels of U.S. and Soviet warheads on INF missile launchers at the lowest possible number-- between 50 and 450 warheads, with zero still the ultimate goal. The Soviet Union rejects the proposal on April 2.

1983 -- October 27 NATO NUCLEAR CAPABILITY At a NATO meeting in Montebello, Canada, the United States and its allies agree to maintain NATO's nuclear capability at the lowest level consistent with security and deterrence, and to withdraw 1,400 U.S. nuclear warheads from Europe.

1983 -- November 22-23 U.S. INF DEPLOYMENT The West German Parliament approves Pershing II deployments on November 22. The first U.S. INF missiles arrive in Europe the next day, and the Soviet delegation walks out of the INF negotiations in Geneva. The United States offers to resume thetalks whenever the Soviets are willing to return, but the talks remain suspended until March 12, 1985.

1984 -- November 24 AGREEMENT ON NST TALKS President Reagan announces that the United States and the Soviet Union have agreed to enter into new negotiations, the Nuclear and Space Talks (NST), concerning nuclear offensive arms and defense and space issues.

1985 -- January 7-8 MINISTERIAL MEETING U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko agree to renew talks on INF as one of three items on the NST negotiations agenda (the other two are strategic offensive arms and defense and space weapons).

1985 -- March 12 OPENING OF NST TALKS At the NST talks, the United States reaffirms its draft treaties of 1983 on the global elimination of INF missiles and an interim agreement on equal INF limits at the lowest possible number.

The Soviet Union maintains its 1983 position, opposing INF deployment by the United States. The Soviet delegation tables aproposal for a bilateral moratorium on INF deployments and a proposal for subsequent reductions that will permit Soviet INF missiles at levels equivalent to British and French strategic forces but no U.S. INF missiles.

General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev also announces a unilateral Soviet moratorium on INF missile deployments in the Soviet Union.

1985 -- October 3 SOVIET COUNTERPROPOSAL During a visit to Paris, General Secretary Gorbachev announces a counter proposal to the United States' March 12 proposals at the NST. The counterproposal involves a freeze on U.S. and Soviet INF missile deployments at current levels of 243 SS- 20s and 120 GLCMs, followed by the "deepest possible" reductions. Gorbachev also announces that Soviet SS-4s are to be phased out and some SS-20s removed from combat status.

1985 -- November 1 U.S. RESPONSE The United States responds to the Soviet counterproposal with the following proposal:

1986 -- January 15 SOVIET NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT INITIATIVE General Secretary Gorbachev announces a plan for complete nuclear disarmament by the year 2000 that includes a proposal to eliminate all U.S. and Soviet INF missiles "in the Europeanzones."

1986 -- February 23 U.S. RESPONSE In a written response to General Secretary Gorbachev's January 15 disarmament proposal, President Reagan presents a revised version of his 1981 zero option. This plan calls for the "elimination [by 1990] of U.S. Pershing II, GLCMs, and Soviet SS- 20 missiles not only in Europe, but in Asia as well."

1986 -- March 4U.S. VERIFICATION PROPOSALS At the INF negotiations, the United States proposes "a comprehensive verification regime that includes the use of national technical means of verification and cooperative measures between the two governments, such as on-site inspection and data exchanges."

1986 -- October 11-12 REYKJAVIK SUMMIT: LONG-RANGE INF AGREEMENT At a summit meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, the United States and the Soviet Union agree to equal global ceilings of 100 longer-range intermediate nuclear force missile warheads for each side, with none in Europe.

The Soviet Union also offers to freeze its shorter-range intermediate nuclear force missile systems, pending negotiation of reductions, if U.S. SRINF missile systems are "frozen" at the current level of zero. The Soviet Union also agrees in principle to some key verification elements. However, it links an INFagreement to U.S. acceptance of constraints on the Strategic Defense Initiative.

1987 -- February 28 SOVIET UNION DE-LINKS INF General Secretary Gorbachev de-links INF negotiations from resolution of SDI and ABM issues, thereby clearing the way for the conclusion of a separate treaty on INF systems.

1987 -- March 4 U.S. DRAFT INF TREATYThe United States presents a draft INF treaty that provides for the reduction of LRINF missile warheads to 100 globally on eachside, with zero in Europe, as agreed to by U.S. and Soviet leaders at Reykjavik. The global elimination of U.S. and Soviet INF missiles, however, remains the preferred U.S. outcome.

1987 -- March 12 U.S. APPROACH TO INF VERIFICATION At the INF negotiations in Geneva, the United States presents acomprehensive approach to verification of an INF agreement. The basic elements of the U.S. approach are:

1987 -- April 27 SOVIET DRAFT INF TREATY The Soviet Union presents a draft INF treaty that reflects the basic agreements on land-based LRINF missiles reached at Reykjavik. The Soviet draft would reduce each side's LRINF in Europe to zero at the end of five years and would limit Soviet LRINF missile warheads in Soviet Asia and U.S. LRINF missile warheads deployed on U.S. territory to 100 warheads for each side.

1987 -- June 16 U.S. CALL FOR SRINF ELIMINATION The United States formally presents its "global double zero" position, calling for the total elimination of all U.S. and Soviet SRINF -- as well as LRINF -- missile systems.

1987 -- July 22-23 SOVIET ACCEPTANCE OF DOUBLE GLOBAL ZERO General Secretary Gorbachev indicates that the Soviet Union is prepared to agree to the elimination of all INFs in Europe and Asia and all short-range missiles worldwide.

1987 -- August 26 GERMAN AGREEMENT TO ELIMINATE PERSHING IA MISSILES Chancellor Helmut Kohl announces that the Federal Republic of Germany will dismantle its 72 shorter-range INF Pershing IA missiles and will not replace them with more modern weapons if the United States and the Soviet Union eliminate all of their LRINF and SRINF missiles, as foreseen under the proposed INF treaty.

1987 -- September 14 U.S. INSPECTION PROTOCOL At the INF negotiations in Geneva, the United States presents an Inspection Protocol detailing procedures it considers necessary to effectively verify compliance with an INF treaty. Key elements of the verification regime are:

1987 -- September 15-17 NUCLEAR RISK REDUCTION CENTERS U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze announce in a joint statement that the United States and the Soviet Union have agreed "in principle" to conclude the INF Treaty and announce a summit meeting between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in the fall "to sign a treaty on intermediate-range andshorter-range missiles and to cover the full range of issues in the relationship between the two countries."

Shultz and Shevardnadze also sign an agreement to establish Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers (NRRCs) in Washington and Moscow to reduce the risk of conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union that might result from accidents, miscalculations, or misinterpretations. The centers will be connected by a new, dedicated communications link and will play a role in exchanging information and notifications required under existing and futurearms control and confidence-building measures agreements. The U.S. and USSR centers open April 1, 1988.

1987 -- November 22-24 MINISTERIAL MEETING Secretary Shultz and Foreign Minister Shevardnadze eliminate the final obstacles to an INF treaty. Secretary Shultz announces that the United States and its allies have agreed to stop the deployment of U.S. GLCMs in Europe as soon as the INF treaty is signed.

1987 -- December 8 INF TREATY President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev sign the "Treatyon the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles."

The INF Treaty requires elimination of all LRINF missiles (rangesbetween 1,000 and 5,500 kilometers) by June 1, 1991, and all SRINF (ranges between 500 and 1,000 kilometers) missiles within18 months. In all, 2,692 missiles are to be eliminated. In addition, all associated launchers, equipment, support facilities, and operating bases worldwide are to be eliminated or closed out from any further INF missile system activity.

1988 -- January 26 OSIA ESTABLISHED The U.S. On-Site Inspection Agency (OSIA) is established to carryout the on-site inspection, escort, and monitoring provisions of the INF Treaty. It later becomes responsible for U.S. inspection activities under other arms control agreements.

1988 -- May 27 RATIFICATION OF INF TREATY The U.S. Senate gives its advice and consent to the ratification of the INF Treaty by a vote of 93 to 5, and the Soviet Union ratifies the treaty the following day. The treaty enters into force on June 1, 1988.

1988 -- June 6-July 15 SPECIAL VERIFICATION COMMISSION The United States and the Soviet Union hold the first session of the Special Verification Commission (SVC) for the INF Treaty in Geneva. The SVC resolves INF treaty compliance questions andagrees upon measures necessary to improve the viability and effectiveness of the treaty.

1988 -- July 2CONTINUOUS MONITORING The United States begins continuous portal monitoring at the Soviet Votkinsk Machine Building Plant, where SS-20s were assembled, and the Soviet Union begins continuous monitoring atHercules Plant Number 1 at Magna, Utah, where the Pershing II had been produced.

1988 -- July 22 / September 8 INF ELIMINATIONS The Soviet Union begins eliminations under the INF Treaty on July 22; the United States on September 8.

1989 -- April 12 SHORT-RANGE NUCLEAR FORCE NEGOTIATIONS The Soviet Union proposes short-range (less than 500 kilometers) nuclear forces (SNF) negotiations between that country and the United States.

1989 -- May 11 SOVIET UNILATERAL SNF REDUCTIONS General Secretary Gorbachev informs U.S. Secretary of State James Baker that the Soviet Union intends to announce a unilateral cutof 500 short-range nuclear weapons.

1989 -- May 29 SNF NEGOTIATIONS U.S. President George Bush proposes that an agreement on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) be concluded within six months to a year. Negotiations on short-range nuclear forces would begin once CFE implementation is completed.

1990 -- March 7 SRINF MISSILES IN EAST GERMANY East Germany admits that its forces possess 24 conventionally armed Soviet-origin SS-23 SRINF missiles and that it has begun dismantling them. The Soviet Union claims that it had transferred the conventionally armed missiles to Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia,and East Germany in 1985, before entry into force of the INF Treaty.

1990 -- May 3 U.S. ANNOUNCEMENT ON SNF MODERNIZATION President Bush announces the cancellation of the U.S Follow-on-to-Lance, ground-based, short-range missile program in Europe and any further modernization of U.S. nuclear artillery shells deployed in Europe. The president says there is "less need for nuclear systems of the shortest range" in Europe "as democracy comes to Eastern Europe and Soviet troops return home."

1990 -- Late September REMOVAL OF LAST U.S. INF MISSILES FROM EUROPE The United States removes its last INF missile from Europe.

1990 -- October 4 DECOMMISSIONING OF GERMAN PERSHING IAs Germany decommissions its 72 Pershing IA missiles and associated launchers.

1991 -- May 24U.S. COMPLETION OF INF ELIMINATIONSAs of the end of May 1991, the United States has eliminated 234Pershing II and 443 BGM-109 INF missiles, as well as 169 PershingIA SRINF missiles.

1991 -- May 28SOVIET COMPLETION OF INF ELIMINATIONSAs of the end of May 1991, the Soviet Union has eliminated 654 SS-20, 149 SS-4, 6 SS-5, and 80 SSC-X-4 INF missiles, as well as 239 SS-23 and 718 SS-12 SRINF missiles.

1991 -- September 27 U.S. UNILATERAL WITHDRAWAL OF TACTICAL NUCLEAR WEAPONS President Bush announces a major unilateral withdrawal of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons: "I am...directing that the UnitedStates eliminate its entire worldwide inventory of ground-launched short-range, that is, theater, nuclear weapons. We will bring home and destroy all of our nuclear artillery shells and short-range ballistic missile warheads. We will, of course, insure that we preserve an effective air-delivered nuclear capability in Europe.

"In turn, I have asked the Soviets...to destroy their entire inventory of ground-launched theater nuclear weapons....

"Recognizing further the major changes in the international military landscape, the United States will withdraw all tactical nuclear weapons from its surface ships, attack submarines, as well as those nuclear weapons associated with our land-based naval aircraft. This means removing all nuclear Tomahawk cruise missiles from U.S. ships and submarines, as well as nuclear bombs aboard aircraft carriers."

1991 -- October 5 SOVIET RESPONSE President Gorbachev responds to President Bush's unilateral withdrawal of tactical nuclear weapons by calling for the elimination of air-based weapons and announcing that:

1991 -- October 17 NATO REDUCTION OF TACTICAL NUCLEAR WEAPONSNATO agrees to remove all but 400 to 600 nuclear bombs from Europe.

1991 -- November 14 GERMAN DESTRUCTION OF SS-23s Germany announces that all SS-23 "components crucial for deployment" have been destroyed.

1991 -- November 27 NUNN-LUGAR LEGISLATION The U.S. Congress passes the Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act(the Nunn- Lugar legislation), which provides up to $400 million to assist with the destruction of Soviet nuclear and chemical warheads.

1991 -- December 21 TACTICAL NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN NON-SOVIET REPUBLICS Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine agree to transfer all tactical nuclear weapons on their territories to Russia by July 1, 1992.

1992 -- February-May TRANSFER OF TACTICAL NUCLEAR WEAPONS TO RUSSIA On February 1, Russian President Boris Yeltsin announces that the transfer of tactical nuclear weapons from Kazakhstan was completed in January. On April 28, Belarusan Defense Minister Pavel Koszlevsky announces that all tactical nuclear warheads in Belarus have been transferred to Russia. On May 6, Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk confirms that all tactical nuclear weapons have been transferred to Russia except for those on the ships and submarines of the Black Sea Fleet.

1992 -- July 2 U.S. COMPLETION OF TACTICAL NUCLEAR WITHDRAWALS President Bush announces that the United States has completed the worldwide withdrawals of its ground- and sea-launched tacticalnuclear weapons (see September 27, 1991).

1992 -- October 9 INF MULTILATERALIZATION During a meeting in Minsk, the Commonwealth of Independent States agrees to adhere to the INF Treaty (see November 3, 1994).

1993 -- January 19 SS-23s IN GERMANY, BULGARIA, AND CZECHOSLOVAKIA The annual U.S. report on arms control treaty compliance notesthat some SS-23 missiles still remain in Germany, Bulgaria, and the former Czechoslovakia.

1994 -- January 10 CZECH REPUBLIC SS-23s The Czech Republic announces that it will destroy its SS-23intermediate-range ballistic missiles by 1996. The Bulgarian and Slovak governments do not take a decision on SS-23 elimination.

1994 -- November 3I - NF MULTILATERALIZATION The United States and representatives from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine sign a document ensuring the continued implementation of the INF Treaty.

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