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Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) Chronology

5 December 2001START I DeadlineUnited States and Russia announce they have met final START I requirements, completing the largest arms control reductions in history.

28 November 2001Mobile launcher
Russia began destroying the mobile launchers for the SS-24 Scalpel.

13 November 2001Ukraine President Putin announced that the last nuclear warhead from the Ukraine was destroyed in Russia late in October

24 August 2001START ImplementationThe last Minuteman III silo destroyed at the Grand Forks, N.D. missile complex. The treaty-mandated destruction of all 450 silos began in October of 1999

11 December 2000Geneva AgreementsArms control negotiators from the US, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed a set of documents that provide for the two phased elimination of the last SS-24 ICBMs in Ukraine through dismantling the essential components of the missile so it is no longer useable.

13 November 1998Ukrainian ComplianceUkraine begins destruction of its 19 Tu-160, 25 Tu-96 heavy strategic bombers and 1,068 missiles for the bombers. Ukraine expects this to be completed by July 31, 2001.

22 December 1997START ImplementationThe last Minuteman II silo was destroyed outside of Whiteman AFB. The treaty-mandated destruction of the 150 silos and 15 launch control facilities begain on 8 December 1993. The removal of Minuteman II missiles began in July of 1992 and was completed in May of 1995.

23 November 1996Non-Nuclear BelarusBelarus fulfills its START I and NPT obligations when it transfers its last 16 former Soviet SS-25 ICBMs and associated nuclear warheads to Russia and becomes a non-nuclear state.

1 March 1995START I Baseline InspectionsSTART I baseline inspections begin and last 120 days.

5 December 1994START I Treaty In ForceThe five parties to the START I Treaty -- the United States, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine -- exchange instruments of ratification for START I at the Budapest Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe summit.

3 February 1994Ukrainian Acceptance Of Trilateral StatementThe Ukrainian Parliament accepts the Trilateral Statement clearing the way for START I ratification. The parliament acknowledges that Article V of the Lisbon Protocol applies to Ukraine, but continues to refuse to accede to the NPT.

18 November 1993Ukraine RatificationsThe Ukrainian Parliament ratifies START I and the Lisbon Protocol but with such serious reservations as to place Ukraine's commitment to join the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon state in doubt.

2 July 1993Kazakhstan RatificationsKazakhstan ratifies START I; it accedes to the NPT on February 14, 1994.

23 April 1993Speeding Up Elimination Under START IIn an effort to "help build a new security partnership with Russia and the other Commonwealth states," U.S. President Bill Clinton announces an accelerated timetable for U.S. strategic forces reductions under START I.

4 February 1993Belarus RatificationsOn February 4, Belarus ratifies START I, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the Lisbon Accord.

July-November 1992START I ActivitiesOn July 2, the Kazakhstan Parliament ratifies START I; the U.S. Senate ratifies it on October 1, and Russia ratifies it on November 4. Russia decides not to exchange the instruments of ratification, however, until Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine reach agreement on the dismantlement of their nuclear forces and join the NPT.

23 May 1992Lisbon ProtocolThe United States, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine sign the START Protocol at a ceremony in Portugal. Under the protocol, all five countries become parties to START, and the three non-Russian former Soviet republics agree to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as non-nuclear-weapon states "in the shortest possible time." In addition to the protocol, in letters to President Bush, the heads of the three republics pledge to eliminate all the strategic weapons on their territories within the seven-year START reduction period.

31 July 1991Signing Of START I Treaty

Presidents Bush and Gorbachev sign the "Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms" (START I), which calls for the United States and the Soviet Union to reduce their strategic nuclear forces over seven years to 1,600 SNDVs and 6,000 "accountable" warheads, of which no more than 4,900 may be on ballistic missiles. This will result in a cut in strategic warheads of 25 to 35 percent.

In addition, the Soviet Union will reduce its heavy SS-18 ballistic missiles by 50 percent (to 1,540 RVs) and its aggregate ballistic missile throw-weight by 46 percent (to 3,600 metric tons).

31 May - 3 June 1990Washington SummitAt a summit in Washington, Presidents Bush and Gorbachev sign the "Joint Statement on the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms." The statement recapitulates already-agreed START provisions and adds two new provisions agreed during the summit:
  • A sublimit of 1,100 on mobile ICBM warheads.
  • A schedule for implementing the reductions in three phases over seven years.
The presidents also agree that follow-on START negotiations will begin "at the earliest practical date."

16 - 19 May 1990Moscow MinisterialAt a ministerial meeting in Moscow, Secretary Baker and Foreign Minister Shevardnadze agree:
  • To a 600-kilometer range threshold for ALCMs.
  • That the first 150 U.S. heavy bombers can carry up to 20 ALCMs but will be counted as carrying 10, and the first 210 Soviet heavy bombers can carry up to 12 ALCMs but will be counted as carrying 8. After the first 150 U.S. or 210 Soviet heavy bombers, the discount will disappear.
  • To limit nuclear SLCMs to 880 in number in a separate, politically binding agreement.

22 - 23 September 1989Wyoming MinisterialDuring two days of meetings between U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze, progress is made in the following areas:
  • The Soviet Union drops its linkage between an agreement on missile defense and an agreement on START, but indicates that it might withdraw from a START treaty if the United States does not abide by the ABM Treaty.
  • The Soviet Union agrees to eliminate its illegal early-warning radar at Krasnoyarsk without preconditions.
  • Secretary Baker announces that "the United States is withdrawing its proposal to ban mobile ICBMs in START, contingent on funding by the U.S. Congress of U.S. mobile ICBMs."
  • The Soviet Union agrees to U.S. proposals on the elements of verification for mobile ICBMs.
  • Following President Bush's June 19 initiative on verification and stability measures, Secretary Baker and Foreign Minister Shevardnadze sign the "Agreement on Principles of Implementing Trial Verification and Stability Measures."
  • Secretary Baker and Foreign Minister Shevardnadze sign an "Agreement on Reciprocal Advance Notice of Major Strategic Exercises," which requires each side to notify the other no less than 14 days in advance of one of its major strategic exercises involving heavy bombers to be held during that calendar year.

19 June 1989U.S. Verification And Stability InitiativeU.S. President George Bush announces a Verification and Stability Initiative designed to build confidence, enhance stability, accelerate resolution of outstanding verification issues, and provide both sides practical verification experience, thereby facilitating efforts to conclude a START treaty. The U.S. initiative proposes:
  • Immediate establishment of on-site perimeter/portal monitoring of certain missile production facilities.
  • Exchange of data on each side's strategic nuclear forces.
  • Prohibition of encryption of telemetry on ICBMs and SLBMs.
  • Familiarization with procedures for inspections to monitor the number of warheads on ballistic missiles.
  • Notification of strategic exercises.
  • Demonstration of tagging techniques for identifying missiles.

29 May - 2 June 1988Moscow Summit

At a summit meeting in Moscow, the United States and the Soviet Union agree to confine road-mobile and rail-mobile ICBMs to restricted areas, with right of dispersal for occasional operations and exercises, and accept the requirement to notify once dispersal begins.

On May 31, the sides sign the Ballistic Missile Launch Notification Agreement. Designed to reduce the risk of nuclear war, the agreement requires each side to notify the other at least 24 hours in advance of all ICBM and SLBM launches.

7 - 10 December 1987Washington SummitMeeting in Washington, President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev agree that their START negotiators should build upon the areas of agreement in the joint draft START treaty text being developed in Geneva. These include:
  • A ceiling of 1,600 SNDVs with 6,000 warheads.
  • A ceiling of 1,540 warheads on 154 heavy missiles.
  • A 50 percent reduction in ballistic missile throw-weight.
During the summit the two leaders make further progress on START, agreeing on a sublimit of 4,900 for the total number of ballistic missile warheads and guidelines for effective verification of a START treaty, building on the verification provisions of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. With regard to the debate over the "broad" versus the "narrow" interpretation of the ABM Treaty, both sides essentially "agree to disagree."

31 July 1987Soviet Draft START TreatyThe Soviet Union presents a draft START treaty that includes:
  • A 50 percent reduction in each side's strategic offensive arms.
  • A ceiling of 1,600 SNDVs.
  • A 50 percent reduction in heavy ICBMs.
  • A ceiling of 6,000 nuclear warheads.
  • A limit of 400 nuclear SLCMs on submarines.
The 50 percent reduction in strategic offensive arms is contingent upon achievement of a U.S.-Soviet accord to limit the testing and deployment of space- based missile defense systems.

8 May 1987U.S. Draft START TreatyThe United States presents a draft START treaty in Geneva reflecting the basic areas of agreement reached by President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev at the Reykjavik summit:
  • A ceiling of 1,600 SNDVs.
  • A ceiling of 6,000 warheads on these delivery vehicles.
  • A sublimit of 4,800 ballistic missile warheads, with no more than 3,300 ICBM warheads and no more than 1,650 warheads on heavy ICBMs or ICBMs that carry more than six warheads.
  • A 50 percent reduction in Soviet throw-weight.
  • A ban on mobile missiles.
  • Reductions to be phased in over a seven-year period.

11 - 12 October 1986Reykjavik SummitPresident Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev agree to limits of 1,600 on SNDVs and 6,000 on ICBM, SLBM, and ALCM warheads. The sides also agree that each heavy bomber not equipped with ALCMs will count as one warhead regardless of its weapons loading and that nuclear sea-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs) will be limited in a separate agreement. The Soviet Union, however, demands that the United States accept measures that would cripple SDI, a condition that President Reagan refuses.

Fall 1986Revised U.S. START ProposalsThe United States presents substantial revisions of its proposals to accommodate the Soviet idea of taking interim steps to 50 percent reductions, making it clear, however, that its 50 percent reduction proposal remains on the table and is preferred. The new position would limit each side to:
  • 1,600 SNDVs.
  • 7,500 ballistic missile warheads and ALCMs.
  • 5,500 ICBM and SLBM warheads.
  • 3,300 ICBM warheads.
  • 1,650 warheads on heavy ICBMs, on ICBMs with more than six warheads, and on mobile missiles (if deployment of the latter can be verified).
Soviet ballistic missile throw-weight would be cut by 50 percent.

29 May 1986Soviet START And SDI Proposal

Abandoning its previous refusal to negotiate reductions in offensive strategic weapons until the United States agrees to renounce SDI, the Soviet Union introduces a new, two-part proposal in Geneva. It offers "interim" reductions in strategic offensive forces if both sides agree not to withdraw from the 1972 ABM Treaty for 15 to 20 years.

The Soviet START proposal specifically calls for:

  • A limit of 8,000 strategic nuclear offensive "charges" with no more than 60 percent in any one basing mode.
  • An equal limit of 1,600 on SNDVs.
  • Exclusion of U.S. forward-based systems (intermediate-range missiles, medium- range bombers, and carrier-based aircraft) if their numbers are not increased and if they are not redeployed.

21 November 1985Geneva SummitPresident Reagan and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev issue a joint statement in Geneva following two days of intensive negotiations. They agree to commit their two countries to early progress at the Nuclear and Space Talks and to focus on areas where there is common ground -- the "principle of 50 percent reductions in the nuclear arms of the United States and the Soviet Union appropriately applied."

1 November 1985U.S. START ProposalThe United States presents a new START proposal at the NST negotiations; the proposal includes:
  • A limit of 4,500 reentry vehicles (RVs) on ICBMs and SLBMs.
  • A sublimit of 3,000 RVs on ICBMs.
  • A sublimit of 1,500 RVs on heavy ICBMs.
  • A 50 percent reduction in the highest overall strategic ballistic missile throw- weight of either side (for the Soviet Union, over 5.4 million kilos; for the United States, less than 1.9 million kilos).
  • A limit of 1,500 on the number of long-range air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs) on heavy bombers.
  • A limit of 1,250 to 1,450 on the number of ICBMs and SLBMs.
  • A limit of 350 on heavy bombers.
  • A ban on new or modernized heavy ballistic missiles.
  • A ban on mobile ICBMs because of difficulties in verification.

27 September 1985Soviet Strategic Reductions ProposalDuring a meeting with President Reagan and Secretary Shultz in New York, Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Schevardnadze proposes a 50 percent reduction in strategic missiles and an equal ceiling of 6,000 on "nuclear charges" (i.e., warheads), with no more than 60 percent of these "charges" in any one basing mode.

12 March 1985NST NegotiationsThe United States and the Soviet Union begin NST negotiations. The initial (1983) U.S. START proposal remains on the table. The Soviet Union insists on placing limits on the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) as a precondition for progress in the strategic arms area.

7 - 8 January 1985Agenda For NSTU.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko meet in Geneva to set an agenda for new Nuclear and Space Talks (NST) to cover strategic nuclear arms, intermediate-range nuclear forces, and defense and space.

24 September 1984U.S. Proposal For "Umbrella" Arms Talks"In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, U.S. President Ronald Reagan proposes a broad "umbrella" framework for arms control talks between the United States and the Soviet Union. The president affirms the U.S. commitment to achieving, among other objectives, a substantial reduction in U.S. and Soviet strategic nuclear arsenals.

8 December 1983Soviet Suspension Of START TalksAlleging a "change in the strategic situation" following NATO deployment of intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Western Europe, the Soviet Union refuses to set a date for the resumption of the START talks. The United States offers to return to the talks whenever the Soviets are ready .

23 March 1983Strategic Defense Initiative Announced

29 June 1982START I TalksAt the first session of the Strategic Arms Reductions Talks (START) between the United States and the Soviet Union in Geneva, the United States presents a proposal for strategic reductions to be implemented in two phases. The first phase would include:
  • Reductions in strategic ballistic missile warheads to 5,000 for each side, with a sublimit of 2,500 warheads on ICBMs.
  • A limit of 850 deployed strategic ballistic missiles, with a sublimit of no more than 110 "heavy" (large throw-weight) ICBMs, such as the SS-18.
  • Substantial reductions in ballistic missile throw-weight.
The second phase would place an equal ceiling on heavy bombers and limits and constraints on other strategic systems.

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