FLANK DOCUMENT AGREEMENT TO THE CFE TREATY (Senate - May 14, 1997)

Mr. DODD. Mr. President, today I rise to recognize the past success of the CFE Treaty and to stress that, in order to continue that success, this body must now offer its advice and consent for the CFE Treaty's Flank Document.

Since the CFE Treaty entered into force in 1992 it has made Europe a safer place; not just because it has resulted in the removal or destruction of over 53,000 items of major military equipment; not just because it has enabled international inspectors to undertake nearly 3,000 on-site international inspections; but, above all, because it has fostered a sense of trust between NATO and Russia.

Now, as we move to build on that sense of trust and deal with Russia as a new democratic state rather than an old arch-enemy, it is only fair and proper that we address Russia's concerns with respect to some of the arcane provisions of this treaty. The CFE Treaty, as written, establishes zones on an old cold war map, a map drawn before the breakup of the former Soviet Union. The pending revised Flank Document updates alters some of the provisions of this treaty to reflect the fact that we're now dealing with a new map.

Clearly the Flank Document does not address all the issues that we must face in adapting the CFE Treaty to the new situation in Europe, but it is a fine first step.

The conditions in the resolution of ratification are, for the most part, thoughtful and necessary. I also support the amendment, offered by Senators Kerry and Sarbanes, clarifying condition 5 as it relates to Armenia.

Without this amendment, section F of condition No. 5 would have required the President to submit a special report to Congress regarding whether or not Armenia has been in compliance with the CFE Treaty, and, if not, what actions the President has taken to implement sanctions.

Why should we single out Armenia? Without the amendment, the language assumed that Armenia and only Armenia violated the CFE Treaty and should suffer sanctions.

This amendment was added in the interest of fairness and simply asks the President to examine compliance of all States Parties located in the Caucasus region rather than singling out Armenia for special treatment.

While the amendment ameliorates one problem with the resolution of ratification, I have another misgiving about another condition that was adopted by the Committee on Foreign Relations during consideration of the treaty last week. Condition No. 9 would require the President to certify that he will submit to the Senate, for its advice and consent, the agreement to multilateralize the 1971 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

I am of the same mind as my distinguished colleague, Senator Biden, on this issue. While the Senate does not prohibit itself from attaching unrelated conditions to resolutions of ratification, the Senate should exercise some self-restraint in such important matters. The Founding Fathers clearly distinguished the question of treaty ratification by requiring a supermajority in such cases. This is not every day legislation we're dealing with here. We're debating whether or not to ratify a treaty, and this attached, unrelated condition really has no place in today's debate.

In short, condition No. 9 links ratification of the Flank Document with the unrelated, but controversial 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty debate. There are merits to both sides of that issue and that debate will surely have its time. This is the wrong way to move that debate forward.

Let us be certain of one thing: The Senate, with condition 9, interferes with what has long been a function of the executive branch. In the breakups of the U.S.S.R., Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and Ethiopia, when the new States took on the treaty rights and obligations of their predecessors, no request for Senate advice and consent was sought. I ask my colleagues: Why are we treating the ABM Treaty differently?

In spite of my objection to condition 9, this treaty and its resolution of ratification are too important to be bogged down today over a debate on the ABM Treaty. I believe that the appropriate course of action is to ratify the pending Flank Document this is a reasonable initial adjustment to the CFE Treaty. In doing so, we will also show Russia that we are willing to work with Russian officials in facing legitimate concerns, and, most importantly, we will maintain the viability of this valuable 30-nation agreement.

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