Trilateral Denuclearization Signing 1994-01-14
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release January 14, 1994
PRESS AVAILABILITY BY PRESIDENT CLINTON,
PRESIDENT YELTSIN AND PRESIDENT KRAVCHUK
IN SIGNING OF
TRILATERAL DENUCLEARIZATION AGREEMENT
St. Catherine Hall, The Kremlin
8:55 A.M. (L)
Q What will be the impact of this agreement on
the national security of Russia?
PRESIDENT YELTSIN: We have never believed and we
have never perceived that there is any kind of danger coming our
way from Ukraine. Nevertheless, in terms of world politics,
today is an historic day where the three Presidents have signed
an agreement that would eliminate nuclear arms from the territory
of Ukraine, and whereby Ukraine will be exceeding the treaty on
the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. This will be another
important step towards getting rid of nuclear weapons throughout
Q There is an opinion that if the Ukraine gets
rid of its nuclear weapons it will lose its authority, so to
speak, among other nations. What is your opinion on this, Mr.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Well, of course, in the end this
is a question that Ukraine has to answer for itself, but I can
only tell you what my opinion is. My opinion is that Ukraine
will increase its authority among nations for doing this. After
all, Ukraine has enhanced the security of the United States today
by agreeing to remove 1,500 nuclear warheads aimed at our nation.
Ukraine has enhanced the security of Ukraine and Russia by
agreeing to dismantle these warheads which means that there is
less chance of nuclear accident, nuclear espionage, nuclear
And more important, Ukraine has shown an
understanding that as we move into the next century, the
greatness of nations will be defined by their ability to work
with each other and to develop the capacities of their people.
And I think you will now see people all over the world more
interested in working with Ukraine in partnership because of this
very brave and visionary act.
So I believe that Ukraine is a stronger nation today
for having done this. And I think almost everyone else in the
world will believe the same thing.
Q President Clinton, we've been told by one of
your aides that the timetable for this agreement is going to
remain secret. Is that, in fact, the case? Are you going to at
least tell us when dismantlement of the first nuclear warhead in
Ukraine will take place?
PRESIDENT CLINTON: We have reached an agreement on
which details will be made public and which will not, and today
all the things that can be made public will be made public. I
want to be -- we've been working so hard on this, I want to be
very careful about it.
Let me tell you that I am completely comfortable
with the agreements that we have made and with the understandings
between both Russia and Ukraine about how it will be handled. I
think it's a very good thing for the world and a very good thing
for the United States.
Q What does Ukraine receive from giving the
warheads and missiles deployed in its territory?
PRESIDENT KRAVCHUK: From the political point of
view, we get a greater security for having signed the documents
with the Presidents. Both Presidents and the countries confirm
this higher change of security.
And the second point, the Ukraine confirms its
policy which was proclaimed earlier, thus indicating the
continual character of its policy. And the third, Ukraine
receives compensation for nuclear weapons. And the fourth,
Ukraine enters into normal relations with other states, and this
is the primary thing for great security.
I say it like that -- if Ukraine is in friendly
relations, further ties with Russia and the United States, it
will be secure.
END9:20 A.M. (L)