The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
March 21, 1997

JOINT STATEMENT

Joint U.S.-Russian Statement on Chemical Weapons

President Clinton and President Yeltsin discussed issues relating to the entry into force of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction. They stressed the commitment of the United States and Russia to full and effective accomplishment of the tasks and objectives of the convention.

The Presidents reaffirmed their intention to take the steps necessary to expedite ratification in each of the two countries. President Clinton expressed his determination that the United States be a party when the Convention enters into force in April of this year, and is strongly urging prompt Senate action. President Yeltsin noted that the Convention had been submitted to the Duma with his strong recommendation for prompt ratification.

Mindful of their special role and responsibility in the matter of chemical disarmament, the United States and Russia understand that their participation in the Convention is important to its effective implementation and universality.

The Presidents noted that cooperation between the two countries in the prohibition of chemical weapons has enabled both countries to enhance openness regarding their military chemical potential and to gain experience with procedures and measures for verifying compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention. The Parties will continue cooperation between them in chemical disarmament.

The United States will seek appropriation of necessary funds to build a facility for the destruction of neuroparalytic toxins in Russia as previously agreed.

FOR THE UNITED STATES
OF AMERICA:

/s/

Helsinki

FOR THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION:


/s/

March 21, 1997