Future Priorities

In spite of the progress made by the CTR program in all areas of threat reduction, a great deal of additional work still needs to be done. The major priorities for the current fiscal year and for the years covered by the multiyear Program Plan fall into two main categories: Destruction/Dismantlement and Chain of Custody.

The CTR program will continue to provide Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine with destruction and dismantlement assistance directed toward accelerating strategic offensive arms elimination. CTR assistance will be used to support ongoing deactivation and dismantlement of strategic nuclear systems -- missiles, launchers such as silos, heavy bombers, and missile-carrying submarines -- according to START I and the January 1994 U.S.-Russian-Ukrainian Trilateral Accord, and will support and accelerate elimination of strategic delivery systems provided for under START II.

The CTR program will also continue to provide assistance to enhance the safety and security of nuclear materials with emphasis on strengthening the entire chain of custody -- from eliminating and dismantling the weapons, to assisting in the design and construction of a fissile material storage facility in Russia, and monitoring the storage of the plutonium resulting from dismantlement. Plans call for CTR to provide assistance to the Russian Ministry of Defense to strengthen the regime of weapons security and control.

Another key CTR project involves our assisting Russia to destroy the 40,000 metric tons of declared chemical weapons agent inherited from the Soviet Union. Without substantial technical and monetary assistance from the United States and other countries, Russia will have difficulty complying with the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) destruction schedules.

Through the CTR program, the United States is considering substantial assistance in the design and construction of a prototype chemical munition destruction facility, capable of destroying 500 metric tons of nerve-agent-filled artillery munitions per year.

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