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Fact Sheets & Briefs

Nuclear Weapons: Who Has What at a Glance

Press Contacts: Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, (202) 463-8270 x107; Tom Collina, Research Director, (202) 463-8270 x104

Updated: April 2014

At the dawn of the nuclear age, the United States hoped to maintain a monopoly on its new weapon, but the secrets for making nuclear weapons soon spread. Four years after the United States dropped atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945, the Soviet Union detonated its first nuclear device. The United Kingdom (1952), France (1960), and China (1964) followed. Seeking to prevent the nuclear weapon ranks from expanding further, the United States and other like-minded states negotiated the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1968. In the decades since, several states have abandoned nuclear weapons programs, but others have defied the NPT. India, Israel, and Pakistan have never signed the treaty and possess nuclear arsenals. Iraq initiated a secret nuclear program under Saddam Hussein before the 1991 Persian Gulf War. North Korea announced its withdrawal from the NPT in January 2003 and has tested nuclear devices since that time. Iran and Libya have pursued secret nuclear activities in violation of the treaty’s terms, and Syria is suspected of doing the same. Still, nuclear nonproliferation successes outnumber failures and dire forecasts decades ago that the world would be home to dozens of states armed with nuclear weapons have not come to pass.


Nuclear-Weapon States:

The nuclear-weapon states (NWS) are the five states—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States—officially recognized as possessing nuclear weapons by the NPT. Although the treaty legitimizes these states’ nuclear arsenals, it also establishes that they are not supposed to build and maintain such weapons in perpetuity. Article VI of the treaty holds that each state-party is to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament.” In 2000, the five NWS committed themselves to an “unequivocal undertaking…to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals.” But for now, the five continue to retain the bulk of their nuclear forces. Because of the secretive nature with which most governments treat information about their nuclear arsenals, most of the figures below are best estimates of each nuclear-weapon state’s nuclear holdings, including both strategic warheads and lower-yield devices referred to as tactical weapons. Russia and the United States also retain thousands of retired warheads planned for dismantlement, not included here.

China: About 240 total warheads.

France: Fewer than 300 operational warheads.

Russia: Approximately 1,512 strategic warheads deployed on 498 ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers [1]. The Federation of American Scientists estimates Russia has another 1,000 nondeployed strategic warheads and approximately 2,000 tactical nuclear warheads. Additional thousands are awaiting dismantlement.

United Kingdom: Fewer than 160 deployed strategic warheads, total stockpile of up to 225.

United States: Approximately 5,000 nuclear warheads [2], including tactical, strategic, and nondeployed weapons. According to the latest official New START declaration, the United States has1,585 strategic nuclear warheads deployed on 778 ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers [1]. The Federation of American Scientists estimates that the United States' nondeployed strategic arsenal is approximately 2,800 warheads and the U.S. tactical nuclear arsenal numbers 500 warheads. Additional warheads are retired and await dismantlement.


Non-NPT Nuclear Weapons Possessors:

Three states—India, Israel, and Pakistan—never joined the NPT and are known to possess nuclear weapons. Claiming its nuclear program was for peaceful purposes, India first tested a nuclear explosive device in 1974. That test spurred Pakistan to ramp up work on its secret nuclear weapons program. India and Pakistan both publicly demonstrated their nuclear weapon capabilities with a round of tit-for-tat nuclear tests in May 1998. Israel has not publicly conducted a nuclear test, does not admit to or deny having nuclear weapons, and states that it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Nevertheless, Israel is universally believed to possess nuclear arms. The following arsenal estimates are based on the amount of fissile material—highly enriched uranium and plutonium—that each of the states is estimated to have produced. Fissile material is the key element for making nuclear weapons. India and Israel are believed to use plutonium in their weapons, while Pakistan is thought to use highly enriched uranium.

India: Up to 100 nuclear warheads.
Israel: Between 75 to 200 nuclear warheads.
Pakistan: Between 90 to 110 nuclear warheads.


States of Immediate Proliferation Concern:

Iran is pursuing a uranium-enrichment program and other projects that could provide it with the capability to produce bomb-grade fissile material and develop nuclear weapons within the next several years. In contrast, North Korea has the material to produce a small number of nuclear weapons, announced its withdrawal from the NPT, and tested nuclear devices. Uncertainty persists about how many additional nuclear devices North Korea has assembled beyond those it has tested. In September 2005, Pyongyang “committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs.”

Iran: No known weapons or sufficient fissile material stockpiles to build weapons. However, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the institution charged with verifying that states are not illicitly building nuclear weapons, concluded in 2003 that Iran had undertaken covert nuclear activities to establish the capacity to indigenously produce fissile material. The IAEA is continuing its investigation and monitoring of Tehran’s nuclear program.

North Korea: Has separated enough plutonium for roughly 4-8 nuclear warheads. North Korea unveiled a centrifuge facility in 2010, buts ability to produce highly-enriched uranium for weapons remains unclear. In August 2013, North Korea restarted the heavy-water reactor it used to extract plutonium in the past for its nuclear warheads. Experts estimate it will be about 18 months before the first new bomb-ready plutonium will be separated from the spent fuel.

Syria: In September 2007, Israel conducted an airstrike on what U.S. officials have alleged was the construction site of a nuclear research reactor similar to North Korea’s Yongbyon reactor. Intelligence officials briefed members of congress on the airstrike eight months later in April 2008, discussing the evidence leading to their judgment that the site was an undeclared nuclear reactor. While the extent of Syrian-North Korean nuclear cooperation is unclear, it is believed to have begun in 1997. Subsequent IAEA investigations into the U.S. claims uncovered traces of undeclared man-made uranium particles at both the site of the destroyed facility and Syria’s declared research reactor. Syria has failed to provide adequate cooperation to the IAEA in order to clarify the nature of the destroyed facility and procurement efforts that could be related to a nuclear program.

 



States That Had Nuclear Weapons or Nuclear Weapons Programs at One Time:

Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine inherited nuclear weapons following the Soviet Union’s 1991 collapse, but returned them to Russia and joined the NPT as non-nuclear-weapon states. South Africa secretly developed and dismantled a small number of nuclear warheads and also joined the NPT in 1991. Iraq had an active nuclear weapons program prior to the 1991 Persian Gulf War, but was forced to verifiably dismantle it under the supervision of UN inspectors. The U.S.-led March 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent capture of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein definitively ended his regime’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. Libya voluntarily renounced its secret nuclear weapons efforts in December 2003. Argentina, Brazil, South Korea, and Taiwan also shelved nuclear weapons programs.



ENDNOTE

1. In April 2014 the U.S. State Department issued the latest fact sheet on its data exchange with Russia under New START, sharing the numbers of deployed nuclear warheads and New START-accountable delivery systems held by each country.

2. On May 3, 2010, the United States Department of Defense released for the first time the total number of nuclear warheads (5,113) in the U.S. stockpile. The Defense Department includes in this stockpile active warheads which are operational and deployed or ready to be deployed, and inactive warheads which are maintained "in a non-operational status, and have their tritium bottle removed."

Sources: Arms Control Association, Federation of American Scientists, International Panel on Fissile Materials, U.S. Department of Defense, and U.S. Department of State.

Timeline of Syrian Chemical Weapons Activity, 2012-2013

Press Contact: Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, 202-463-8270 ext. 107; Kelsey Davenport, Nonproliferation Analyst, 202-463-8270 ext. 102.

April 2014

In July 2012, Syria publicly acknowledged that it possesses chemical weapons. For a number of years preceding this announcement, the United States intelligence community assessed that Syria has a stockpile of chemical weapons, including mustard gas, blister agents, and nerve agents such as sarin and VX. Syria has the capability to deliver these agents using aerial bombs, ballistic missiles, and artillery rockets.

Below is a timeline of significant events related to Syria’s chemical weapons program from July 2012 to the present.

2012

July 23, 2012: Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi confirmed for the first time that Syria has chemical weapons, stating that these weapons would never be used against the Syrian people, but only against “external aggression.”

August 20, 2012: President Barack Obama articulated his red-line regarding  the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Obama said his calculations on a military response would change significantly if the United States sees “a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.”

August 23, 2012: An official in the State Department confirmed that “Syria has a stockpile composed of nerve agents and mustard gas” and that the U.S. government monitors Syria’s chemical weapons activities “very closely.”

December 23, 2012: The first allegation of  chemical weapons use was reported.  Seven people were allegedly killed in Homs by a “poisonous gas” used by the Assad regime. The coverage included the report of side effects such as nausea, relaxed muscles, blurred vision, and breathing difficulties.

 

2013

January 15, 2013: A secret State Department cable from the U.S. consul general in Istanbul said there was compelling evidence that the Syrian military had used a chemical weapon known as Agent 15 in Homs on December 23, 2012.

January 16, 2013: Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said that the alleged incident of chemical weapons use in December was not consistent with information that the White House has about Syria’s chemical weapons program.

March 19, 2013: Alleged chemical weapons attacks were reported in Syria’s two main cities, the Khan al-Assel neighborhood of Aleppo and the Damascus suburb of al-Atebeh. About 25 people reportedly were killed and dozens more injured. The Assad regime claimed that Syrian opposition forces used chemical weapons in the fighting there.

March 20, 2013: The Syrian government requested the United Nations conduct an investigation of the March 19 attack on Aleppo, claiming that opposition forces used chemical weapons and killed 25 people.

President Obama said in a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that “the use of chemical weapons is a game changer,” in Syria.

March 21, 2013: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the United Nations will conduct an investigation on the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria, in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Prior to the announcement, France and the United Kingdom sent letters to the Secretary-General, calling for investigations into three alleged incidents of the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

March 24, 2013: Syrian opposition activists reported that Syrian forces used chemical weapons from multiple rocket launchers at the town of Adra, northeast of Damascus, alleging two deaths and 23 injuries. Doctors described that the weapons used were phosphorus bombs that harm the nervous system and induce imbalance and loss of consciousness.

April 13, 2013: Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that the Syrian army dropped two gas bombs on rebel-controlled Aleppo, killing two people and wounding 12. Opponents of the Syrian governmen accused the army of using chemical weapons.

April 17, 2013: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that Syria has impeded the UN investigation by failing to agree to the scope of the UN inquiry on chemical weapons use.

April 25, 2013: A letter sent to Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) from the U.S. intelligence community said that the Assad regime may have used the nerve agent sarin “on a small scale” in Syria, but that the United States needs more evidence to provide “some degree of certainty” for any decision-making on further action. The letter also said that the Assad regime maintains custody of the chemical weapons in Syria.

April 26, 2013: President Obama remarked that the United States and the international community will work together to gain “strong evidence” of the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons.

April 29, 2013: A helicopter dropped canisters allegedly containing chemical weapons on the town of Saraqeb. Eight people claimed symptoms such as nausea and breathing problems, and one of them later died.

June 4, 2013: French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius asserted that there was “no doubt” that the Syrian regime used sarin in multiple cases. Fabius said that the French government confirmed the use of sarin by testing specimen taken from Syria. A UN report also said that there are “reasonable grounds” to have confidence in Syria’s use of chemical weapons four times in March and April, although the report cannot specify the chemical agents or verify who used them.

June 13, 2013: The White House said that the U.S. intelligence community has “high confidence” that the Assad regime attacked opposition forces by using chemical weapons multiple times over the past year. In the statement, Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, said that physiological samples from multiple sources show exposure to chemical weapons. The evidence of use is recognized as “credible” in the statement.

August 14, 2013: Assad agreed to allow the UN inspection team into Syria to investigate three possible uses of chemical weapons. The team’s mandate only allows it to establish whether or not chemical weapons were used, not who used them.

August 21, 2013: Syrian opposition activists claimed that a large-scale chemical weapons attack occurred at the suburbs of the Ghouta region, where Syrian forces had been attempting to expel rebel force. Reports said that thousands of victims of the attack have been counted in the Damascus suburbs, whose symptoms were typically body convulsion, forming from mouths, blurry vision and suffocation. Although the number of victims has not been clarified yet, it is estimated to exceed 1,000 people, many of whom were non-combatant.

The United Nations Security Council also held an emergency meeting regarding the attack. The meeting produced a statement demanding further clarity of the incident.

August 23, 2013: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson expressed the intention of the UN to conduct “a thorough, impartial and prompt investigation” on the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria on August 21.

The OPCW Director General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, expressed grave concerns about the latest attack in Syria, and said that the OPCW experts were already in Syria with the UN investigation team.

August 25, 2013: The Syrian regime announced that it will let the UN inspection team investigating past incidents of chemical weapons use visit the Damascus sites in the following days.

August 26, 2013: The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in his press briefing that all information the U.S. has, including reports of the number of victims, their symptoms, and the firsthand accounts from humanitarian organizations, strongly indicate that chemical weapons were used in Syria. He also said that Syria attempted to cover-up the incident in the days following the attack.

Syrian President Bashar Assad announced that his army did not use chemical weapons in the August 21 attack in Damascus. Assad recognized the allegation of his use of chemical weapons as “politically motivated," in his meeting with Russia's Izvestia daily.

A convoy transporting the UN investigation team of chemical weapons was attacked by snipers in Syria. No UN personnel were injured, but they were unable to visit all of the sites affected by the attack.

August 28, 2013: The United States has concluded that the Assad regime conducted chemical weapons attacks against civilians, President Obama said in “PBS NewsHour.” Obama said he had not yet made a decision whether to take a military action in Syria.

A second UN Security Council meeting was held.

August 29, 2013: The British Parliament voted against supporting military action in Syria. Before the vote, a report from the Joint Intelligence Committee released a report which stated that chemical weapons were used in the August 21 attach, and that it was "highly likely" that the Assad regime was responsible.

August 30, 2013: The White House released the U.S. Government Assessment on the use of chemical weapons in Syria on August 21. The report says that the intelligence community has "high confidence" that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against the opposition elements in Damascus. Secretary Kerry, in an address, also said that the regime used chemical weapons "multiple times" over the past year. Kerry said discussions on military action are underway.

August 31, 2013: President Obama made a statement saying that he would seek an authorization for the use of force from Congress for a limited military strike in Syria. Given the evidence of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime in the August 21 attack, Obama said he supported limited action in order to deter further chemical weapons use and uphold international norms.

September 2, 2013: France released its declassified intelligence assessment, which concluded that the Assad regime used Sarin gas in the August 21 attack, and in two earlier attacks in April. The report also said France assessed that the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime violated the 1925 Geneva Protocol.

September 9, 2013: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced a Russian proposition whereby Syria would agree to place its chemical weapons under international control and dismantle them and the United States would agree not to conduct a military strike on the country. Prior to the Russian announcement, Secretary of State Kerry, speaking in the United Kingdom, suggested that if the Assad regime turned over all of its chemical weapons to the international community "without delay", a miltiary strike could be averted. Speaking to media outlets after Secretary Kerry, President Barack Obama said that the United States would consider the plan.

September 10, 2013: Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said that the Assad regime welcomed discussion on Russia's plan to give up Syria's chemical weapons and join the Chemical Weapons Convention. President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande, and British Prime Minister David Cameron discussed how to implement the plan through the UN Security Council, with France beginning to draft a resolution based on the Russian proposal, but with stipulations that force be authorized if Assad fails to implement the provisions of the resolution.

President Obama, in an address to the nation, also requested that Congress postpone a vote on the use of force while the diplomatic path proposed by the Russians is pursued in the UN Security Council. However, he also reiterated his commitment to pursue miltiary action if a deal on securing Syria's chemical weapons is not reached.

September 12, 2013: The Assad regime sent a letter to the United Nations Secretary General which said that Assad signed a legislative decree providing the accession of Syria to the Chemical Weapons Convention. In the letter, Assad said Syria woud observe its CWC obligations immediately, as opposed to 30 days from the date of accession, as stipulated in the treaty.

In Geneva, Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, to begin discussions of the Russian proposal for securing the Assad regime's chemical weapons.

September 14, 2013: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reached an agreement on a detailed plan for the accounting, inspection, control, and elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons. The plan requires Syria to provide a full declaration of its stockpile “within a week” and provide the OPCW and the UN access to all chemical weapons sites in Syria. The plan calls for the OPCW inspectors  to complete their initial inspections by November and calls for the destruction of the stockpile of chemical weapons and chemical agents by the first half of 2014. The United States and Russia will now seek to secure approval of the plan by the OPCW executive council and then a UN Security Council resolution. The agreement outlined states that “in the event of non-compliance, including unauthorized transfer, or any use of chemical weapons by anyone in Syria, the UN Security Council should impose measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

September 16, 2013: UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon delivered a report on the UN investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The report concluded that chemical weapons were used against on August 21 on a "relatively large scale", and that the victims included civilians. The report cited evidence of the nerve agent sarin both in the environment and present in victims of the attack. It was outside of the report's mandate to assign blame for who used the chemical weapons.

September 20, 2013: In accordance with the terms of the agreement negotiated by the United States and Russia, Syria submitted a declaration of its stockpiles of chemical weapons to the OPCW.

September 27, 2013: The Executive Council of the OPCW adopted a timeline for destroying Syria's chemical weapons. Hours later, the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to adopt a resolution that endorses the OPCW timeline for destroying Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal. The Security Council Resolution says that the body will impose measures under Chapter VII of its charter if Syria does not comply with the resolution, or uses or authorizes the transfer of any chemical agents.

October 1, 2013: A joint team of OPCW and UN officials arrived in Syria to begin destruction of the country's chemical weapons stockpiles and facilities.

October 6, 2013: Officials from the OPCW and UN team said that destruction of Syria's stockpiles of chemical weapons began. The officials confirmed that the Syrians will actually complete the destruction work, while the UN and OPCW team will monitor and verify the activities.

October 27, 2013: Syria submitted the details of its plans for "total and verified destruction" of its chemical weapons stockpile and production facilities to the OPCW. This declaration follows an initial declaration submitted on Sept. 20.

October 31, 2013: The OPCW confirmed that Syria destroyed, or rendered inoperable, all of its declared facilities for mixing and producing chemical weapons. The OPCW was able to inspect 21 of the 23 sites where these facilities were housed. The remaining two sites could not be visited due to security concerns, but inspectors said that the equiptment was moved out of these sites and destroyed.

November 15, 2013: The OPCW Executive Council approved a plan for the elimination of Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons. The plan call for transporting the weapons outside of Syria and destruction of the chemical agents in a country that has yet to be identified. The "most critical" chemicals are to be transported out of Syria by December 31, 2013 and the remainder by February 5, 2014. The plan calls for the destruction no later than June 30, 2014, and the destruction of certain priority chemicals by March 15, 2014.

The Executive Council also announced that the OPCW was able to verify that 60 percent of Syrian declared, unfilled, munitions for chemical weapons delivery had been destroyed. Syria committed to destroying all of its unfilled munitions by January 31, 2014.

November 30, 2013: The OPCW announced that Syria's chemical weapons will be destroyed on a U.S. ship using hydrolysis. Hydrolysis is a process that breaks down chemical agents using hot water and other compounds to neutralize the agents.

December 12, 2013: The UN team led by Ake Sellstrom investigating incidents of chemical weapons use in Syria issued its final report to UN Secreatary-General Ban Ki Moon. The report found that chemical weapons were likely used in five of the seven attacks investigated. The nerve agent sarin was likely used in four of the attacks, one of which was the large scale attack on a Damascus suburb in August.

December 31, 2013: Syria missed the deadline for sending all of its chemical weapons out of the country. This deadline was set by a UN Security Council Resolution approved in September.

2014

January 7, 2014: Syria delivered the first load of chemical weapons to its port city Latakia. The chemical weapons were then loaded on a Danish ship that sailed out into international waters. China and Russia are providing protection for the ship, which will eventually transer the cargo to the US ship, the MV Cape Ray, to be neutralized using hydrolysis.

January 9, 2014: The German government announced its willingness to assist in the disposal of the chemical waste byproduct that will be created from the hydrolysis process.

January 16, 2014: Italian Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi said that Gioa Tauro, a port in southern Italy, will be used to transfer Syrian chemical weapons to the US ship, the Cape Ray, that will neutralize the chemicals using hydrolysis.

January 27, 2014: A second shipment of Syrian chemical weapons was loaded onto Dannish and Norwegian ships at the Syrian port of Lattakia. The U.S. ship that will receive the chemical weapons and then neutralize them using hydrolysis, the Cape Ray, left port. The chemicals will be transfered to the Cape Ray at the Italian port Gioa Tauro.

February 6, 2014: Sigrid Kaag, head of the UN/OPCW mission for destruction of Syria's chemical weapons, addressed the UN Security Council a day after Syria missed a second deadline for handing over its critical chemicals and said that she did not believe that the Assad regime was deliberately stalling the removal process. However, she urged Syria to speed up the shipments in order to meet the destruction deadline of June 30.

February 10, 2014: A third shipment of Syrian chemical weapons was loaded on a Norwegian cargo ship. In totaly, the Assad regime 11 percent of Syrian's chemical weapons have been shipped out of Syria.

February 14, 2014: The OPCW announced that two companies, one in Finland (Ekokem OY AB) and one in Texas (Veolia), were awarded contracts to dispose of the effluent created during the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.

February 21, 2014: The OPCW executive committeed met to consider the Assad regime's new proposal for shipping out its chemical weapons. After failing to meet a Feb. 5 deadline to remove all of its chemical weapons and precursor chemicals out of the country, the regime proposed a 100 day extension. The OPCW executive committee, however, said that it an be accomplished more quickly. The 100 day extension also will not allow the the Cape Ray enough time to destroy the chemical weapons by the June 30 UN Security Council deadline.

February 25, 2014: The Assad regime delivered a shipment of mustard gas to the Syrian port of Latakia to be loaded onto ships.

March 4, 2014: The Assad regime submitted a revised proposal to remove its chemical weapons from Syria by the end of April 2014. Two additional shipments of chemical weapons also reached the port of Latakia and were loaded onto ships. In total, more than 35% of the country's chemical weapons have been removed.

March 7, 2014: The Executive Council concluded its 75th Session and noted in its report the “increasing pace” of removal of Syria’s chemical stockpile and requested the Syria continue “systematic, predictable and substantial movements” to complete the shipments.

Another shipment of priority 1 chemicals was reached the port of Latakia, bringing the total amount of chemical agents removed from Syria to 29 percent of the total stockpile.

March 19, 2014: The OPCW said that two additional shipments of Priority 1 and Priority 2 chemicals were delivered to the port of Latakia and loaded onto cargo vessels during the past week. Syria has now shipped out more than 45 percent of its stockpile.

April 4, 2014: The 12th shipment of Syrian chemical weapons reached the port of Latakia, according to the OPCW.

April 14, 2014: The Syrian government delivered its 13th consignment of chemicals to Latakia, which was removed today from the port on cargo ships. As of this delivery, the OPCW said that the Assad regime has shipped out 65 percent of its total stockpile of chemical weapons, including 57 percent of the Priority 1 chemicals.

April 18, 2014: Additional shipments of chemical weapons reached the port of Latakia between April 14-18. The OPWC said in an April 18 statement that in total, the 16 shipments constitute about 80 percent of Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons.

 

The U.S. Government Assessment, released on August 30, included this map of Damascus and the areas impacted by the August 21 chemical weapons attack.

alternate text
Click image to enlarge.

 

-Researched by Yuta Kawashima

Implementation of the Joint Plan of Action At A Glance

Press Contact: Kelsey Davenport, Nonproliferation Analyst, (202) 463-8270 x102

Updated: April 2014

On November 24, 2013, Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) reached a deal on Iran’s nuclear program. The agreement, or Joint Plan of Action, requires Iran and the P5+1 countries to take specific steps as part of a six-month, first-phase deal, and it outlines the broad parameters for negotiating a comprehensive solution.

After three rounds of technical talks to discuss the details of implementing the first-phase of the deal, the sides agreed to begin implementation on January 20, 2014. The first-phase will last until July 20, 2014, unless the parties agree to an extension.

The following factsheet tracks the progress made by each side on the specific tasks spelled out in the Joint Plan of Action. The factsheets on implementation of the deal released by the White House and the European Union provide further detail and clarity on these steps. The first-phase deal also requires that both parties refrain from certain actions. These are assessed separately.

The full text of the Joint Plan of Action is available here. The White House factsheet on implementation is available here and the European Union factsheet is available here.

 

Iranian Actions                                 
Status                                          
By January 20, halt production of near-20% enriched uranium hexaflouride gas (UF6) and commit to only enrich up to 5%.

Completed

According to the January 20 IAEA report, Iran had halted enrichment to 20% UF6.

By January 20, disable the configuration of the centrifuge cascades Iran has been using to produce 20% enriched UF6.

Completed

According to the January 20 IAEA report, Iran had ceased operating its interconnected centrifuges enriching to 20% UF6. The February 20 IAEA report said that Iran is now using the four cascades at Fordow to enrich uranium to 5%.

On January 20, continue conversion of half of its stockpile of near-20% uranium hexafluoride gas (UF6) into uranium oxide powder as working stock for fabricating fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor.

 

In Progress

According to the April 17 IAEA report, Iran is in the process of converting half of its stockpile of 20% enriched UF6 gas to uranium oxide powder. Approximately 50 kg still need to be converted.

On January 20, begin dilution of half of its stockpile of 20% UF6 to no more than 5% enriched UF6 and complete dilution by April 20.

Completed

According to the April IAEA report, Iran completed the dilution of half of its stockpile of 20 percent-enriched uranium.

Continue only its safeguarded research and development practices, including its current enrichment reserach practices, which were not designated for accumulation of the enriched uranium.

Completed

In the February 20 IAEA report, the agency verified that Iran was continuing its safeguarded research and development practices at Natanz and was not using the research to accumulate uranium as it tested advanced models.

By April 20, provide the IAEA with:
  • plans for nuclear facilities

In Progress

Iran submited details on site selection for 16 nuclear power plants to the IAEA, its initial plans for 10 future enrichment sites, and a light water reactor.

  • descriptions of buildings located on nuclear sites
Not Yet Completed
  • the scale of operations for each location
Not Yet Completed
  • information on uranium mines and mills

In Progress

According to the February 20 IAEA report, the agency has received some infomation about Iran's mining and milling activities, and more will be forthcoming.

  • information on source material
Not Yet Completed
Submit an updated Design Information Questionaire (DIQ) for the reactor at Arak (IR-40).

Completed

Iran submitted at updated DIQ on the reactor to the IAEA on February 12, according to the agency's Feb. 20 report.

Take steps to conclude a safeguards approach with the IAEA for the Arak reactor.

In Progress

The IAEA's April 17 report says that Iran and the IAEA will hold a meeting on May 5 with the aim of concluding talks on the safeguards approach.

Allow daily IAEA inspector access at Fordow and Nantanz, including scheduled and unannounced inspections and access to surveillance information on a daily basis.

Completed

As of the February 20 IAEA report, the IAEA was able to install surveillance measures at Natanz and Fordow to facilitate daily monitoring and came to an agreement regarding the facilitation of daily access.

(Prior to the Joint Plan of Action, the IAEA had acessed Fordow on a weekly basis, and Natanz on a biweekly basis.)

Allow the IAEA to conduct monthly inspections of the heavy water reactor at Arak and associated facilities.

In Progress

The IAEA was able to make its first monthly visit and access the heavy water reactor on Feb. 12, according to the agency's Feb. 20 IAEA report.

(Prior inspections were conducted at the reactor once every three months, and other facilities at the site were not included.)

Provide information to allow the IAEA inspectors managed access to:
  • centrifuge assembly workshops

Completed

The IAEA was able to visit the facility between February 3-7.

  • centrifuge rotor production

Completed

The IAEA was able to visit the facility between February 3-7.
  • workshops and storage facilities

Completed

The IAEA was able to visit the facility between February 3-7.
  • uranium mines and mills

In Progress

In a January 20 letter to the IAEA, Iran provided information about its uranium mines and mills, and the IAEA was able to access the Gchine mine on January 29.
Provide figures that will allow the IAEA to verify that centrifuge production will be dedicated to the replacement of damaged machines. Not Yet Completed
Cap the size of the 5% enriched UF6 stockpile.

In Progress

Iran is constructing a plant to convert 5% enriched UF6 to uranium dioxide, a powder suitable for power plant fuel, which will enable it to maintain a cap on its stockpile of UF6, which is not to exceed the amount Iran had an the beginning of implementation of the deal. As of the Feb. 20 IAEA report, Iran had not yet completed the plant, nor provided a timeframe for its operaitons.

Iran Will Refrain From the Following Actions Status
Refrain from installing a reconversion line to reconvert uranium oxide powder to 20% UF6.

Complying

The January 20 IAEA report said that Iran does not have a reconversion line in place.
Refrain from reproccessing or constructing a facility capable of reprocessing materials.

Complying

In a January 18 letter to the IAEA, Iran said it will not engage in reprocessing or construct a reprocessing facility over the six months of the deal. The January 20 IAEA report confirmed that no reprocessing is taking place at the Tehran Reserach Reactor or MIX facility.

Refrain from making any further advances of its activities at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant.

(This includes not installing new centrifuges and not feeding UF6 into the roughly half the centrifuges at Natanz that are installed but not yet enriching uranium.)

Complying

The IAEA verified in the February 20 report that Iran has not made any further advances and no new centrifuges are enriching uranium.

Refrain from making any further advances of its activities at Fordow.

(This includes not installing new centrifuges, not feeding UF6 into the three quarters at Fordow that  are installed but not yet enriching uranium, and not interconnecting the cascades.)

Complying

The IAEA verified that Iran has not made any further advances and no new centrifuges are enriching uranium.
Replacing existing centrifuges only with centrifuges of the same type.

Complying

As of the February 20 IAEA report, the agency did not report any violation of this restriction, and survelliance has been set up to monitor any changes.

Refrain from commissioning the heavy water reactor at Arak.

Complying

The February 20 IAEA report said that Iran had not conducted any activities to further the Arak reactor.

Refrain from transfering fuel or heavy water to the Arak reactor.

Complying

The February 20 IAEA report said that Iran had not conducted any activities to further the Arak reactor.

Refrain from testing additional fuel or producing more fuel.

Complying

The February 20 IAEA report said that Iran had not manufactured or tested any reactor fuel, and the number of fuel rods produced remains at 11.

Refrain from installing any additional reactor components at the Arak site.

Complying

The February 20 IAEA report said that Iran had not conducted any activities to further advance the Arak reactor.
Limit centrifuge production to those needed to replace damaged machines. Not Yet Verified
Refrain from constructing any new locations for enrichment.

Complying

In a January 18 letter to the IAEA Iran said it would not pursue any new uranium enrichment sites during the six months of the agreement.

 

P5+1 Actions   
Status                       
Pause efforts to reduce Iran’s crude oil sales, allowing Iran’s current customers to purchase their current average amounts of crude oil, including the EU prohibition on providing insurance for vessels carrying Iranian oil.                         

In Progress

In a January 20 press release, the EU Council of Foreign Ministers announced the suspension of sanctions preventing the insurance of vessels. However, not enough time has pased to determine if Iran's current oil customers are importing at their current average amounts.
Enable the repatriation of $4.2 billion of Iranian revenue held abroad on the following schedule:
  • Feb. 1:        $550 million

Completed**

Iran received its first installment as scheduled on February 1. These funds were released from Japan.

  • March 1:     $450 million (half of the dilution of the 20% stockpile of UF6 complete)

Completed**

IAEA Director General Amano confirmed that half of the dilution was completed on time in his remarks to the IAEA Board of Governors on March 3.

  • March 7:    $550 million
Completed**
  • April 10:    $550 million
Completed**
  • April 15:    $450 million (dilution of the entire stockpile of 20% UF6 complete)
Completed**
  • May 14:     $550 million
Not Yet Completed
  • June 17:     $550 million
Not Yet Completed
  • July 20:       $550 million.
Not Yet Completed
Suspend US sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical exports and associated services.*

Completed

In a January 20 statement, the White House announced that the United States would begin suspending sanctions.

Suspend US sanctions on Iran's import and export of gold and precious metals as well as sanctions on associated services.*

Completed

In a January 20 statement, White House announced that the United States would begin suspending sanctions.

Suspend U.S. sanctions on Iran imports of goods and services for its automotive manufacturing sector.

Completed

In a January 20 statement, White House announced that the United States would begin suspending sanctions.
Suspend EU sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical exports and associated services.*

Completed

In a January 20 press release, the EU Council of Foreign Ministers announced the suspension of sanctions.

Suspend EU sanctions on Iran's import and export of gold and precious metals as well as associated services.*

Completed

In a January 20 press release, the EU Council of Foreign Ministers announced the suspension of sanctions.
License the supply of spare parts and services for safety of flight for Iranian civil aviation and associated services.*

Completed

In a January 20 statement, White House Press announced that the United States would begin suspending sanctions. On April 4, Boeing confirmed that it received a license from the Treasury Department for exporting spare aircraft parts.
License safety related inspections and repairs in Iran for Iranian civila aviation sector as well as associated services.*

Completed

In a January 20 statement, White House Press secretary said that the United States would begin suspending sanctions.

Establish a financial channel to facilitate humanitarian trade for Iran’s domestic needs using Iranian oil revenue held abroad:

  • food and agricultural products
  • medicine, medical devices, and medical expenses incurred abroad
  • Iran's UN dues
  • tution payments to universities and colleges for iranian students studying abroad.
Not Yet Completed
Increase the EU authorization thresholds for transactions for non-sanctioned trade to an agreed amount.

Completed

In a January 20 press release, the EU Council of Foreign Ministers increased by tenfold the thresholds for authorizing finanical transfers.

P5+1 Will Refrain From the Following Actions Status
Not pass new nuclear-related UN Security Council sanctions.

Complying

There have been no new UN Security Council resolutions sanctioning Iran.

Not pass new EU nuclear-related sanctions.

Complying

On December 16, the EU Council of Foreign Ministers committed not to impose any further sanctions on Iran during the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action.

Not impose new U.S. nuclear-related sanctions.

Complying

A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate (S1881) would impose further sanctions on Iran, but it has not yet been voted on.

*“Sanctions on Associated Services” means any service, such as insurance, transportation, or financial, subject to the underlying U.S. or EU sanctions applicable, insofar as each service is related to the underlying sanction and required to facilitate the desired transactions. These services could involve any non-designated Iranian entities.

**While the funds have been released, there are reported difficulties in transfering portions of the funds to Iranian banks. It is unclear what portion of the funds remain to be transfered.

-Research assistance provided by Ashley Luer

Nuclear Security Summit at a Glance

Press Contact: Kelsey Davenport, Nonproliferation Analyst, (202) 463-8270 x102

Updated: April 2014

The Nuclear Security Summit

The goal of the summit process is to address the threat of nuclear terrorism by enhancing international cooperation to prevent the illicit acquisition of nuclear material by non-state actors such as terrorist groups and smugglers. The initiative began with an April 2009 call by U.S. President Barack Obama to hold a global summit on nuclear security in 2010 as part of an effort to "secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world within four years.”

The global stockpile of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and separated plutonium is estimated at approximately 2,000 tons. While the vast majority of that material is located in a handful of countries, namely the United States and Russia, the summit process recognizes the threat of nuclear terrorism as a serious global issue, requiring transnational cooperation. There have been 16 confirmed cases of unauthorized possession of HEU or plutonium documented by the IAEA’s Illicit Trafficking Database since 1993, primarily in the former Soviet Union.

The summit process has featured two summits in Washington in 2010 and in Seoul in 2012, as well as several preparatory meetings between high-level national summit coordinators or sherpas.  A third summit is scheduled for 2014 hosted by the Netherlands and fourth summit will be held in the United States in 2016.

Washington 2010

The first Nuclear Security Summit was held in Washington, D.C., April 12-13, 2010. Forty-seven national delegations as well as the heads of the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Union attended. With 38 nations represented at the head of state or head of government level, the gathering was the largest of its kind hosted by a U.S. President since 1945.

In order to build upon these efforts, the summit concluded with a communiqué embracing the goal of securing the world’s vulnerable weapons-useable nuclear material within four years, and a work plan, which identified existing international agreements and resources that are available to countries as they work to secure or eliminate their civilian stockpiles of this material.

 

The Washington Communiqué

  • reaffirms the fundamental responsibility of states to maintain effective security of all nuclear materials and recognizes the need for cooperation in this area;
  • recognizes that highly enriched uranium (HEU) and separated plutonium require special precautions and encourages the conversion of reactors from HEU to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel and minimization of use of HEU, where feasible;
  • supports the objectives of international nuclear security instruments, including the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, as amended, and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, as essential elements of the global nuclear security architecture;
  • reaffirms the essential role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in the international nuclear security framework and will work to ensure that it continues to have the appropriate structure, resources and expertise to carry out its activities;
  • notes the positive contributions of mechanisms like the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, to build capacity among law enforcement, industry, and technical personnel;
  • recognizes the continuing role of nuclear industry in nuclear security; and
  • supports the implementation of strong nuclear security practices that will not infringe upon the rights of States to develop and utilize nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and technology and will facilitate international cooperation in the field of nuclear security.

The Washington Work Plan

The Work Plan lays out the specific steps for realizing the goals of the Communiqué, including ratification and implementation of international treaties; support for Security Council Resolution 1540; conversion of civilian facilities from HEU to non-weapons-useable materials; research on new nuclear fuels; detection methods and forensic technologies; development of corporate and institutional cultures that prioritize nuclear security; education and training; and joint exercises among law enforcement and customs officials to enhance nuclear detection opportunities.

 

Washington Summit Country Commitments

In addition to signing the Communiqué and Work Plan, thirty countries announced 67 specific measures they planned to implement to support the goals of the summit. Prior to the Seoul summit, approximately 80 percent of these commitments were completed. Some of the key national commitments include:

Canada: Returning a large amount of spent highly enriched uranium fuel from their medical isotope production reactor to the United States; championing the extension of the G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction; funding highly enriched uranium removals from Mexico and Vietnam; hosting and funding a World Institute of Nuclear Security best practices workshop in Ottawa; unveiling $100 million in new bilateral security cooperation with Russia

Chile: Removed all highly enriched uranium (18kgs) in March 2010

Kazakhstan: Converting a highly enriched uranium research reactor and eliminating remaining highly enriched uranium; cooperative work on BN-350 rector shutdown and fuel security; hosting a Global Initiative Activity in June; considering a International Nuclear Security Training Center.

Mexico: Converting a highly enriched uranium research reactor and eliminating remaining highly enriched uranium working through IAEA

Republic of Korea: Hosting 2012 Nuclear Security Summit; hosting a Global Initiative activity

Russia: Signing Plutonium Disposition protocol; ending plutonium production; contributing to International Atomic Energy Agency’s Nuclear Security Fund

Ukraine: Removing all highly enriched uranium by next Summit—half of it by year’s end

Vietnam: Converting a highly enriched uranium research reactor; joining the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom: Converting a highly enriched uranium research reactor; joining the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

See a full list of national commitments

For a full accounting of the implementation of the 2010 national commitments, click here

 

Seoul 2012

In 2012, 53 heads of state and government along with representatives from the United Nations (UN), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), European Union (EU) and INTERPOL gathered for the second nuclear security summit in Seoul, South Korea. Participating countries included the 47 countries that attended the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit plus Azerbaijan, Denmark, Gabon, Hungary, Lithuania, and Romania. The meeting, held on March 26-27, sought to reaffirm commitments made during the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit as well as outline future goals with respect to international agreements on nuclear security, radiological material security, and nuclear safety.

One of the primary objectives of the Seoul summit was to assess the progress that countries made toward the goal of securing all nuclear material world-wide since 2010. A report released in March 2012 by the Arms Control Association and the Partnership for Global Security found that approximately 80 percent of the national commitments pledged at the 2010 summit were completed in the run up to Seoul.

While the 2012 summit remained focused on nuclear security, the scope of the agenda was expanded to include discussions on the security of radiological sources and sensitive information and the interface between nuclear security and safety. The nuclear security-safety nexus was raised in particular following the March 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan. The summit produced a consensus communiqué that largely reiterated the goals and commitments from 2010.

 

Seoul Summit Outcomes

Seoul Communiqué

  • Reaffirms the fundamental responsibility of States to maintain effective security of all nuclear materials, including through the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) as amended, and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT); reiterates broader participation in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) and the G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction; continued support of UN Security Council Resolutions 1540 and 1977.
  • Reaffirms the essential role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the international nuclear security framework including efforts to encourage States to consider establishing appropriate plans for the management of nuclear and radioactive materials; reaffirms increasing international cooperation to enhance States’ physical protection and accounting system for nuclear materials.
  • Encourages States to minimize the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU), where feasible, and to convert reactors from HEU to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel; urges states to secure nuclear materials and radioactive materials through proper transportation, accounting, consolidation and storage practices; emphasizes the need to develop national capabilities to combat illicit nuclear trafficking through utilizing nuclear forensics, investing in the promotion of a strong nuclear security culture, and preventing non-state actors from obtaining sensitive information.
  • Encourages efforts to control radioactive material, including through IAEA measures such as the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and the Guidance on the Import and Expert of Radioactive Sources.

 

Key National Commitments and Accomplishments

Argentina, Mexico, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam: joined the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.

Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and the United States: announced a joint project to convert the production of medical isotope molybdenum-99 from the use of HEU targets to LEU targets.

Czech Republic, Mexico, Viet Nam: converted their research reactors using HEU fuel to LEU fuel.

Israel: ratified the ICSANT; completed the repatriation of US-origin HEU spent fuel from its Soreq research reactor.

Ukraine: completed the removal of all HEU stockpiles.

Kazakhstan: secured spent nuclear fuel which contained enough HEU and plutonium to make several hundred nuclear weapons by moving them to a new long-term storage facility.

The Netherlands: will host the next nuclear security summit in 2014.

Pakistan: opening Nuclear Security Training Centers to act as a regional and international hub; deploying Special Nuclear Material Portals on key exit and entry points to counter the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials.

Russia and the United States: HEU equivalent to around 3,000 nuclear weapons has been down- blended to LEU.

 

The Hague 2014

On March 24-25, 53 countries and representatives from four international organizations met for the third nuclear security summit in The Hague, Netherlands.The same 53 countries comprised the list of participants for the Seoul summit in 2012. The Netherlands laid out several goals for the summit, including; reducing stockpiles of nuclear materials, improving the security of nuclear and radioactive sources, increasing coordination with the nuclear industry, and improving international cooperation.

Similar to the past two summits, The Hague summit produced a consensus communique, new national commitments, and new multilateral commitments, known as "gift baskets" or joint statements.

Leaders also participated in a scenario-based policy exercise, during which they had the opportunity to think through responses to a radioactive device, and held a discussion on the future of the summit process. A fourth summit will be held in the United States in 2016, but it is unclear if that will be the final summit.

Ahead of the summit, nongovernmental organizations held an experts meeting in Amsterdam, as did the nuclear industry.

U.S.-Russian Nuclear Arms Control Agreements at a Glance

Press Contact: Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, (202) 463-8270 x107; Tom Z. Collina, Research Director; (202) 463-8270 x104

April 2014

Over the past four decades, American and Soviet/Russian leaders have used a progression of bilateral agreements and other measures to limit and reduce their substantial nuclear warhead and strategic missile and bomber arsenals. The following is a brief summary.

Strategic Nuclear Arms Control Agreements

SALT I
Begun in November 1969, the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) produced by May 1972 both the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, which limited strategic missile defenses to 200 (later 100) interceptors each, and the Interim Agreement, an executive agreement that capped U.S. and Soviet ICBM and SLBM forces. Under the Interim Agreement, both sides pledged not to construct new ICBM silos, not to increase the size of existing ICBM silos “significantly,” and capped the number of SLBM launch tubes and SLBM-carrying submarines. The agreement ignored strategic bombers and did not address warhead numbers, leaving both sides free to enlarge their forces by deploying multiple warheads (MIRVs) onto their ICBMs and SLBMs and increasing their bomber-based forces. The agreement limited the United States to 1,054 ICBM silos and 656 SLBM launch tubes. The Soviet Union was limited to 1,607 ICBM silos and 740 SLBM launch tubes. In June 2002, the United States unilaterally withdrew from the ABM treaty.

SALT II

In November 1972, Washington and Moscow agreed to pursue a follow-on treaty to SALT I. SALT II, signed in June 1979, limited U.S. and Soviet ICBM, SLBM, and strategic bomber-based nuclear forces to 2,250 delivery vehicles (defined as an ICBM silo, a SLBM launch tube, or a heavy bomber) and placed a variety of other restrictions on deployed strategic nuclear forces. The agreement would have required the Soviets to reduce their forces by roughly 270 delivery vehicles, but U.S. forces were below the limits and could actually have been increased. However, President Jimmy Carter asked the Senate not to consider SALT II for its advice and consent after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in December 1979, and the treaty was not taken up again. Both Washington and Moscow subsequently pledged to adhere to the agreement’s terms despite its failure to enter into force. However, on May 26, 1986, President Ronald Reagan said that future decisions on strategic nuclear forces would be based on the threat posed by Soviet forces and not on "a flawed SALT II Treaty.”

START I
The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), first proposed in the early 1980s by President Ronald Reagan and finally signed in July 1991, required the United States and the Soviet Union to reduce their deployed strategic arsenals to 1,600 delivery vehicles, carrying no more than 6,000 warheads as counted using the agreement’s rules. The agreement required the destruction of excess delivery vehicles which was verified using an intrusive verification regime that involved on-site inspections, the regular exchange of information, including telemetry, and the use of national technical means (i.e., satellites). The agreement’s entry into force was delayed for several years because of the collapse of the Soviet Union and ensuing efforts to denuclearize Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus by returning their nuclear weapons to Russia and making them parties to the NPT and START agreements.  START I reductions were completed in December 2001 and the treaty expired on Dec. 5, 2009.

START II
In June 1992, Presidents George H. W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin agreed to pursue a follow-on accord to START I. START II, signed in January 1993, called for reducing deployed strategic arsenals to 3,000-3,500 warheads and banned the deployment of destabilizing multiple-warhead land-based missiles. START II would have counted warheads in roughly the same fashion as START I and, also like its predecessor, would have required the destruction of delivery vehicles but not warheads. The agreement's original implementation deadline was January 2003, ten years after signature, but a 1997 protocol moved this deadline to December 2007 because of the extended delay in ratification. Both the Senate and the Duma approved START II, but the treaty did not take effect because the Senate did not ratify the 1997 protocol and several ABM Treaty amendments, whose passage the Duma established as a condition for START II’s entry into force. START II was effectively shelved as a result of the 2002 U.S. withdrawal from the ABM treaty.

START III Framework
In March 1997, Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin agreed to a framework for START III negotiations that included a reduction in deployed strategic warheads to 2,000-2,500. Significantly, in addition to requiring the destruction of delivery vehicles, START III negotiations were to address “the destruction of strategic nuclear warheads…to promote the irreversibility of deep reductions including prevention of a rapid increase in the number of warheads.” Negotiations were supposed to begin after START II entered into force, which never happened.

SORT
On May 24, 2002, Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin signed the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT or Moscow Treaty) under which the United States and Russia reduced their strategic arsenals to 1,700-2,200 warheads each. The warhead limit took effect and expired on the same day, December 31, 2012. Although the two sides did not agree on specific counting rules, the Bush administration asserted that the United States would reduce only warheads deployed on strategic delivery vehicles in active service, i.e., “operationally deployed” warheads, and would not count warheads removed from service and placed in storage or warheads on delivery vehicles undergoing overhaul or repair. The agreement’s limits are similar to those envisioned for START III, but the treaty did not require the destruction of delivery vehicles, as START I and II did, or the destruction of warheads, as had been envisioned for START III. The treaty was approved by the Senate and Duma and entered into force on June 1, 2003.  SORT was replaced by New START on February 5, 2011.

New START
On April 8, 2010, the United States and Russia signed New START, a legally binding, verifiable agreement that limits each side to 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads deployed on 700 strategic delivery systems (ICBMs, SLBMs and heavy bombers), and limits deployed and nondeployed launchers to 800. The treaty-accountable warhead limit is 30 percent lower than the 2,200 upper limit of SORT, and the delivery vehicle limit is 50 percent lower than the 1,600 allowed in START I. The treaty has a verification regime that combines elements of START I with new elements tailored to New START. Measures under the treaty include on-site inspections and exhibitions, data exchanges and notifications related to strategic offensive arms and facilities covered by the treaty, and provisions to facilitate the use of national technical means for treaty monitoring. The treaty also provides for the continued exchange of telemetry (missile flight-test data on up to five tests per year) and does not meaningfully limit missile defenses or long-range conventional strike capabilities. The treaty limits take effect seven years after entry into force, and the treaty will be in effect for 10 years, or longer if agreed by both parties. The U.S. Senate approved New START on Dec. 22, 2010. The approval process of the Russian parliament (passage by both the State Duma and Federation Council) was completed January 26, 2011. The treaty entered into force on February 5, 2011.

Strategic Nuclear Arms Control Agreements

Strategic Nuclear Arms Control Agreements

SALT  I
SALT II START I START II START III SORT

New START

Status Expired Never Entered Into Force Expired Never Entered Into Force Never Negotiated Replaced by New START In Force
Deployed Warhead Limit NA NA 6,000 3,000-3,500 2,000-2,500 1,700-2,200 1,550
Deployed Delivery Vehicle Limit US: 1,710 ICBMs & SLBMs
USSR: 2,347
2,250 1,600 NA NA NA 700
Date Signed May 26, 1972 June 18, 1979 July 31, 1991 Jan. 3, 1993 NA May 24, 2002

April 8, 2010

Date Ratifed, U.S. Aug. 3, 1972 NA Oct. 1, 1992 Jan. 26, 1996 NA March 6, 2003 Dec. 22, 2010
Ratification Vote, U.S. 88-2 NA 93-6 87-4 NA 95-0 71-26
Date Entered Into Force Oct. 3, 1972 NA Dec. 5, 1994 NA NA June 1, 2003 Feb. 5, 2011
Implementation Deadline NA NA Dec. 5, 2001 NA NA NA Feb. 5, 2018
Expiration Date Oct. 3, 1977 NA Dec. 5, 2009 NA NA Feb. 5, 2011 Feb. 5, 2021

 

Nonstrategic Nuclear Arms Control Measures

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty
Signed December 8, 1987, the INF Treaty required the United States and the Soviet Union to verifiably eliminate all ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. Distinguished by its unprecedented, intrusive inspection regime, including on-site inspections, the INF Treaty laid the groundwork for verification of the subsequent START I. The INF Treaty entered into force June 1, 1988, and the two sides completed their reductions by June 1, 1991, destroying a total of 2,692 missiles. The agreement was multilateralized after the breakup of the Soviet Union, and current active participants in the agreement include the United States, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are also parties to the agreement but do not participate in treaty meetings or on-site inspections. The ban on intermediate-range missiles is of unlimited duration.

Presidential Nuclear Initiatives
On September 27, 1991, President George H. W. Bush announced that the United States would remove almost all U.S. tactical nuclear forces from deployment so that Russia could undertake similar actions, reducing the risk of nuclear proliferation as the Soviet Union dissolved. Specifically, Bush said the United States would eliminate all its nuclear artillery shells and short-range nuclear ballistic missile warheads and remove all nonstrategic nuclear warheads from surface ships, attack submarines, and land-based naval aircraft. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev reciprocated on October 5, pledging to eliminate all nuclear artillery munitions, nuclear warheads for tactical missiles, and nuclear landmines. He also pledged to withdraw all Soviet tactical naval nuclear weapons from deployment. However, significant questions remain about Russian implementation of its pledges, and there is considerable uncertainty about the current state of Russia’s tactical nuclear forces.

Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: The United States

Updated: April 2014

This profile summarizes the major arms control agreements, regimes, initiatives, and practices that the United States subscribes to and those that it does not. It also describes the major weapons programs, policies, and holdings of the United States, as well as its proliferation record. This profile is one of a series focused on the arms control record and status of key states, all of which are available on the Arms Control Association’s website at http://www.armscontrol.org.

Major Multilateral Arms Control Agreements and Treaties

 

Signed

Ratified

Biological Weapons Convention

1972

1975

Chemical Weapons Convention

1993

1997

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

-The Senate rejected the accord Oct. 13, 1999. [1]

1996

- - -

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)

-Recognized as one of five nuclear-weapon states.

1968

1970

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons

-Party to two of the five protocols.[2]

1982

1995

Outer Space Treaty

1967

1967

Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty

1990

1992

Ottawa Mine Ban Convention

-Stockpiles some 10.4 million antipersonnel landmines. [3]

- - -

- - -

Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)

1980

1982

CPPNM 2005 Amendment [4]

- - -

- - -

International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

2005

- - -

 


 

Export Control Regimes, Nonproliferation Initiatives, and Safeguards

Australia Group: Member.

Missile Technology Control Regime: Member.

Nuclear Suppliers Group: Member.

Wassenaar Arrangement: Member.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol: Signed in 1998, entered into force in January 2009.

Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: Co-founder with Russia.

Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation: Participant.

Proliferation Security Initiative: Founder.

UN Security Council Resolutions 1540 and 1673: The United States has filed reports on its activities to fulfill the resolutions and volunteered to provide assistance to other states.

Major Weapons Programs, Policies, and Practices

Biological Weapons:

In the early 1970s, the United States destroyed its entire stockpile of biological weapons, which had been developed between 1943 and 1969. In recent years, the United States has steeply increased funding for biodefense programs, which some independent analysts argue could also lend themselves to offensive weapons research and development. [5]

In 2001, the Bush administration opposed and killed an effort dating back to 1995 to augment the Biological Weapons Convention with a legally binding verification protocol. U.S. officials said the protocol would be too burdensome on legitimate governments and private biodefense programs, while at the same time failing to deter cheaters. The Obama administration has not changed this basic position.

Chemical Weapons:

Behind Russia, the United States declared the second-largest stockpile of chemical agents. In October 2010, the United States announced that it had destroyed 24,488 tons of chemical materials, representing 80% of its original stockpile. On January 21, 2011 the United States completed the destruction of the Deseret Chemical Depot’s chemical weapons stockpile, hitting the milestone of destroying 90% of its stockpile. [6] However, due to environmental concerns requiring that materials at certain facilities be neutralized rather than incinerated, the United States does not expect to complete destruction until 2021, nine years after the Chemical Weapons Convention deadline. The December 1, 2011 meeting of the states party to this treaty reaffirmed the April 2012 deadline, but did not specify that countries that failed to meet it would be in violation of the pact. [7]

Conventional Weapons Trade:

Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been the world’s preeminent conventional arms seller. A 2009 Congressional Research Service study reported that, over the previous eight years, the United States agreed to $166.3 billion in global arms sales. This is more than double that of the second-largest exporter, Russia, which agreed to arms sales worth $74 billion over the same time period. [8] In 2010, the United States again ranked first, and made $21.3 billion in worldwide transfer agreements. [9]

The Nuclear Arsenal, an Overview:

In May 2010, for the first time, the U.S. government revealed the size of its active nuclear stockpile. It announced that as of September 2009, it possessed 5,113 nuclear warheads, including tactical, strategic, and non-deployed weapons. According to the latest official New START declaration, the United States deploys 1,585 strategic nuclear warheads on 778 intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine launched ballistic missiles, and strategic bombers. The Federation of American Scientists estimates that the United States arsenal of tactical nuclear warheads is approximately 500. Additional numbers of warheads are held in reserve. Thousands more are retired and await dismantlement. Under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), the US will reduce its deployed warheads to 1550 by 2018.

Delivery Systems

Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles

The United States Air Force fields 450 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). The Minuteman III has a range of over 6,000 miles. Each missile is equipped with either a 300 kt W87 warhead, or a 335 kt W78 warhead. In the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, the Obama administration announced its plans to “de-MIRV” the existing missiles, removing the second and third warhead deployed on some of the Minuteman IIIs. Under New START, the United States will reduced to 400 deployed ICBMs.

Submarines

The U.S. Navy currently has 14 Ohio-class submarines, two of which are undergoing overhaul of their nuclear reactors at any given time. The remaining 12 are available for deployment, with seven submarines based out of Bangor, Washington and five in Kings Bay, Georgia. The submarines have 24 missile tubes for the Trident II SLBMs, but under New START, only 20 will be operational. The Ohio-class submarines have a life-span of 42 years. The Department of Defense is currently developing a new ballistic missile submarine to enter into service as the Ohio-class submarines retire.

All Ohio-class subs carry the Trident II D5 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). The Trident II was first deployed in 1990.  The Trident II missile holds up to eight warheads, and carries the W88, a 475 kt warhead, and the 100 kt W76 warhead. The U.S. fields a total of 288 Trident II missiles with about 1,152 warheads, which will drop to 240 missiles and about 1,100 warheads under New START. A life extension program is expected to continue the Trident II’s deployment into 2042.[10] The Trident II will soon be the only MIRV’d strategic missile remaining in the nuclear arsenal.[11]

Strategic Bombers

The United States Air Force currently operates 76 B-52H Stratofortress bombers, and 18 B-2A Spirit bombers that can be armed with either nuclear or conventional weapons, making them dual-capable. The Air Force will deploy 60 nuclear-capable bombers under New START.

The B-2 is capable of carrying sixteen gravity bombs. The B-52H is capable of carrying eight gravity bombs, or twenty cruise missiles. Unlike ICBM’s or SLBM’s, strategic bombers can be visibly forward deployed as an extended deterrent.[12] In addition to strategic bombers, the U.S. also employs several fighter-bombers that serve in a dual-capable role. Historically the F-16 Fighting Falcon was the cornerstone of this aspect of nuclear deterrence, carrying the B-61 gravity bomb. However, the new stealth F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, will replace the F-16 as the U.S. Air Force’s primary nuclear capable fighter-bomber.[13] The Air Force is seeking 80 to 100 new bombers for the mid-2020’s. [14]

Nuclear Doctrine
In the 2010 NPR, the United States announced that it “will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states that are party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations.” It reserved the right to make any adjustments to this assurance “that may be warranted by the evolution and proliferation of the biological weapons threat.” It was not prepared to make a declaration that the “sole purpose” of its nuclear weapons was to deter a nuclear attack, but added that it would “work to establish conditions under which such a policy could be safely adopted.”

The United States has conducted 1,030 total nuclear tests, which is more than any other state—indeed, it’s more than all other states combined. The first test occurred July 16, 1945, and the most recent test took place Sept. 23, 1992.

The United States is the only nation to have used nuclear weapons against another country, dropping two bombs (one apiece) on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

In President Barack Obama’s April 2009 speech in Prague, he declared that it was the policy of the United States “to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

Fissile Material

The United States has publicly declared that it no longer produces fissile material for weapons purposes. The United States halted the production of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) for weapons in 1964 and ceased plutonium separation for weapons in 1992. As of 2011, U.S. fissile stockpiles for weapons total about 38 declared metric tons of plutonium and 260 declared metric tons of HEU. [15] Under an agreement finalized in 2000 with Russia, the United States is committed to disposing of 34 metric tons of excess weapons-grade plutonium. The project was delayed for several years, but in April 2010 the United States and Russia signed a protocol that amended and updated the 2000 agreement. Both countries now aim to begin actual disposition in 2018.

In April 2010, the United States hosted the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC. Participants included 47 countries, 38 of which were represented at the head of state or head of government level, and the heads of the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the European Union. At the summit, the participants unanimously adopted the goal of securing all vulnerable nuclear material in the next four years. The United States also attended the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea, on March 26-27, 2012. Washington will host a fourth summit in 2016.


Proliferation Record

A close relationship exists between the U.S. and British nuclear weapons programs, including U.S. supply of the Trident SLBM to the United Kingdom.

The United States is also the only nation known to station its nuclear weapons in other countries. Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey all host U.S. tactical nuclear gravity bombs as part of NATO nuclear sharing agreements. These estimated 200 weapons remain under U.S. custody during peacetime, but some could be released to U.S. allies for delivery in times of war.


Other Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities

In 2002, the United States and Russia concluded the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT). Under SORT, the two countries agreed to reduce their operationally deployed strategic nuclear forces to between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads by Dec. 31, 2012. However, the treaty expires that same day, freeing up both countries to expand their arsenals afterwards if they so choose. In February 2009, the U.S. government completed its reductions to 2,200 strategic deployed weapons, meeting the upper limit under SORT over three years early.

In addition, SORT did not include verification measures. Instead, it relied on the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty’s (START) verification regime, which provided for the United States and Russia to exchange information, visit, and monitor each other’s nuclear weapons complexes. START expired in December 2009.

In April 2010, the United States and Russia signed a successor to the original START accord. The new treaty, known as New START, requires that both sides reduce their arsenals to 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear weapons on no more than 700 ICMBs, SLMBs, and bombers within seven years of the treaty’s entry into force. In addition, it restores many of the verification measures from the original START accord. The treaty went into force on February 5, 2011. As of September 2012, the U.S. had 1,722 deployed strategic nuclear warheads. [16]

The United States is party to the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, but not to the 1999 Adapted CFE Treaty. The United States has led NATO in demanding that Russia withdraw its remaining military forces from Georgia and Moldova as a condition for ratification of the Adapted Treaty, which would replace the original treaty’s bloc and regional arms limits with national weapon ceilings.

The United States is also party to another European security instrument, the Open Skies Treaty, which facilitates unarmed reconnaissance flights over the territories of all states-parties.

The United States has signed and ratified protocols stating its intent to respect and not threaten the use of nuclear weapons against states-parties to the Latin American nuclear-weapon free zone treaty. It has signed but not ratified similar protocols to the African and South Pacific zones. It has not signed the protocols for the Central Asian or Southeast Asian zones.

The United States has been a leading proponent of negotiating a fissile material cutoff treaty at the 65-member Conference on Disarmament (CD). During the Bush administration, however, the United States dropped its support for seeking an “effectively verifiable” cutoff, claiming that a verification regime would be time-consuming to negotiate, costly to implement, and ultimately imperfect, potentially impinging on the national security interests of law-abiding states while not deterring determined cheaters. This contributed to the deadlock at the CD, which was unable to agree on an agenda throughout the entirety of the Bush administration’s tenure. In 2009, the Obama administration affirmed its support for a verifiable fissile material cutoff treaty. This was reiterated in a joint statement with the President of the Russian Federation Vladamir Putin on June 18, 2012. However, countries such as Pakistan have prevented negotiations on such a treaty from making progress, and as of this writing the stalemate at the CD continues.

Within the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), the United States has joined with many other countries to promote new restrictions on the use of anti-vehicle mines, but that effort has been blocked by China, Pakistan, and Russia. The United States announced in June 2007 that it was dropping its opposition to negotiations by CCW states on restricting cluster munitions. But the United States said it has no position on the potential outcome of the negotiations except that an agreement should “protect civilians while taking into account security requirements.” The United States declined to join a Norwegian-led effort outside the CCW to negotiate a treaty to ban cluster munitions that “cause unacceptable harm to civilians.”

In 2009, the United States declared its support for an arms trade treaty “that contains the highest possible, legally binding standards for the international transfer of conventional weapons.” [17] Thomas Countryman, the assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation reaffirmed the Obama administration’s support for an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on April 16, 2012 when he said that “this agreement would be an important addition to global security and stability.” [18] Talks at the United Nations to create an ATT are being held in July 2012.

Although the United States has elected not to join the Ottawa Mine Ban Convention, the United States is not known to have used antipersonnel landmines since the 1991 Persian Gulf War. In 2004, the United States announced that it would phase out the use of any type of mine lacking self-destruct or self-deactivation features. Washington has also led the world in financial contributions to global demining efforts.

In July 2005, the United States launched an initiative with India to repeal most U.S. and multilateral civilian nuclear trade restrictions on India. In 2006, the U.S. Congress amended its own domestic legislation to allow nuclear trade with India to proceed. The two governments later concluded a “123 Agreement,” which was approved by Congress and signed into law in October 2008. The previous month, India received a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group. In 2011 the United States introduced a “Food for Thought” paper on the possibility of allowing India to join the NSG. However, the United States and India are still overcoming roadblocks to implement the 2008 agreement. The United States led a 2003 invasion of Iraq citing its alleged pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. No evidence has been discovered to support these allegations.


ENDNOTES

1. The Senate could vote on the treaty again. The George W. Bush administration did not support the treaty. Since taking office, President Obama has repeatedly pledged to secure the Senate’s advice and consent on the treaty, but no action has been taken thus far.

2. The United States has not ratified Protocol III on Incendiary Weapons, Protocol IV on Blinding Lasers, and Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War. It also has not approved an amendment that extends the convention’s application beyond just interstate conflicts to intrastate conflicts.

3. International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Landmine Monitor Report 2006, July 2006, 1,236 pp.

4. This legislation is currently waiting for Senate approval

5. Roffey, Roger, Hart, John, and Kuhlau, Frida, “Crucial Guidance: A Code of Conduct for Biodefense Scientists,” Arms Control Today, September 2006, p. 17.

6. U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency, Army Agency Completes Mission to Destroy Chemical Weapons, January 23, 2012.

7. Horner, Daniel. “Accord Reached on CWC’s 2012 Deadline.” Arms Control Today, January/February 2012, p. 38.

8. Grimmett, Richard F., Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2002-2009, Congressional Research Service, September 10, 2010, 84 pp.

9. Grimmett, Richard F., Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2003-2010, Congressional Research Service, September 22, 2011, 89 pp.

10. Missile Threat, "UGM-133 Trident D-5." Last modified 10 20, 2012. Accessed June 3, 2013. http://missilethreat.com/missiles/ugm-133-trident-d-5/.

11. Designation-Systems.net, "Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles: UGM-133." Last modified January 18, 2008. Accessed June 3, 2013. http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-133.html.

12. Department of Defense, Nuclear Posture Review Report, April 2010.  June 2013, 72pp.

13. Kristense, Hans. "Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons."Federation of American Scientists. Special Report No 3, May 2012, 86pp. http://www.fas.org/_docs/Non_Strategic_Nuclear_Weapons.pdf (accessed June 3, 2013).

14. Reed, John. DoDBuzz, "AFA: New bomber program 'underwa'y." Last modified February 24, 2012. Accessed June 3, 2013. http://www.dodbuzz.com/2012/02/24/afa-new-bomber-program-underway/.

15. International Panel on Fissile Materials, Global Fissile Material Report, 2011, January 2011, 49pp.

16. "U.S. Lowers Nuclear Deployments Under Treaty," Global Security Newswire, June 4, 2012,http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/us-slashes-nuclear-deployments-under-new-start/

17. Clinton, Hillary Rodham, “U.S. Support for an Arms Trade Treaty,” U.S. Department of State, October 14, 2009, http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2009a/10/130573.htm.

18. Countryman, Thomas, “Positions for the United States in the Upcoming Arms Trade Treaty Conference,” U.S. Department of State, April 16, 2012,  http://www.state.gov/t/isn/rls/rm/188002.htm

Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: Russia

Updated: April 2014

This profile summarizes the major arms control agreements, regimes, initiatives, and practices that Russia subscribes to and those that it does not. It also describes the major weapons programs, policies, and holdings of Russia, as well as its proliferation record. This profile is one of a series focused on the arms control record and status of key states, all of which are available on the Arms Control Association’s website at http://www.armscontrol.org.

Major Multilateral Arms Control Agreements and Treaties

 

Signed

Ratified

Biological Weapons Convention

1972

1975

Chemical Weapons Convention

1993

1997

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

1996

2000

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)

-Recognized as one of five nuclear-weapon states.

1968

1970

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons

-Party to four of the five protocols. [1]

1981

1984

Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty

1990

1992

Outer Space Treaty

1967

1967

Ottawa Mine Ban Convention

-Stockpiles some 26.5 million antipersonnel landmines. [2]

- - -

- - -

Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)

1980

1983

CPPNM 2005 Amendment

- - -

2008

International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

2005

2007


Export Control Regimes, Nonproliferation Initiatives, and Safeguards

Australia Group: Not a member, but Russia claims to adhere to the group’s rules and control list.

Missile Technology Control Regime: Member.

Nuclear Suppliers Group: Member.

Wassenaar Arrangement: Member.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol: Signed in 2000, entered into force in 2007.

Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: Co-founder with the United States.

Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation: Participant.

Proliferation Security Initiative: Participant.

UN Security Council Resolutions 1540 and 1673: Russia has filed reports on its activities to fulfill the resolutions and volunteered to provide assistance to other states.

Major Weapons Programs, Policies, and Practices

Biological Weapons:

Despite ratifying the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), the Soviet Union apparently maintained an extensive offensive germ weapons program, including research into plague, anthrax, smallpox, tularemia, glanders, and hemorrhagic fever. In an August 2005 report, the U.S. Department of State asserted that “the United States is concerned that Russia maintains a mature offensive [biological weapons] program.” [3] The report noted that “a substantial amount of dual-use research conducted in recent years has legitimate biodefense applicability, but also could be used to further an offensive program.” Russia has disputed the allegations.

In its 2011 compliance report, the State Department said that it had no indications that Russian activities “were conducted for purposes inconsistent with the BWC.” However, it also stated that it could not confirm that Russia had fulfilled its obligations under the BWC. The lack of transparency surrounding this program prevents the U.S. from reaching more concrete conclusions. Russia claims that it is in compliance with the BWC, and the reports notes that the two countries were involved in discussions over this topic. [4]

Chemical Weapons:

Upon entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), Russia declared that it possessed approximately 40,000 metric tons of chemical agents, the largest amount in the world. As of July 2010, Russia had destroyed roughly 48 percent of this stockpile, and is required under the CWC to eliminate the rest by 2012. However, Russia has stated that it will miss this deadline and is currently aiming to complete elimination by 2015. At the December 1, 2011 meeting of the states party to the CWC reaffirmed the April 2012 deadline, but did not specify that countries that failed to meet it would be found in violation of the pact. [5]

A dispute lingers over whether Russia has fully declared all of its chemical weapons-related facilities and past production. The State Department’s 2011 Condition Report on the Compliance With the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling, and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction stated that it was “unable to ascertain whether Russia has met its obligations for declaration of its CWPFs, CW development facilities, and CW stockpiles, and whether Russia is complying with the CWC-established criteria for destruction and verification of its CW,” although the report also noted that the US has “ascertained that Russia is now destroying CW agenty hydrolysis reaction masses at its operating CWDFs.” [6]

Conventional Weapons Trade:

Russia trails only the United States in supplying conventional arms abroad. Between 2002 and 2009, Russia committed to selling approximately $74 billion in weapons to other states. [7] In 2010, Russia made $7.8 billion in global arms transfer agreements, which was a decline from 2009 when they made $12.8 billion in such agreements. [8] The leading long-term purchasers of Russian arms are India and China. In addition, in 2006 Algeria and Venezuela sealed multi-billion dollar weapons deals with Russia. Russian arms sales to Venezuela increased further in 2009, after Russia agreed to loan $2.2 billion to Venezuela for the purchase of tanks and advanced anti-aircraft missiles. Western governments have often criticized Russia for not being discriminating enough in its arms transactions, citing the dramatic increase in sales to Venezuela, in addition to transfers to Iran and Sudan. In 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called on Russia to stop selling arms to the Assad regime in Syria, which the international community has condemned for its brutal crackdown on protests calling for reform. [9]

Russia is participating at the negotiations at the UN in July 2012 to draft an Arms Trade Treaty, which aims to regulate arms sales.

The Nuclear Arsenal, an Overview:

According to the latest official New START declaration, Russia deploys 1,512 strategic nuclear warheads on 498 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBM), and strategic bombers. In 2013 the Federation of American Scientists estimated that Russia also possesses 1,800 tactical nuclear bombs, with another 2,700 strategic warheads in reserve, and additional numbers of warheads awaiting dismantlement [10].

Delivery Systems

Missiles

  • Ballistic Missiles: Russia has an extensive, albeit aging, force of silo- and mobile-land based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). As of 2012, Russia’s ICBMs include three variants of the RS-12M, carrying a single 800 kt warhead; the RS-18 carrying six 400 kt multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV); the RS-20 carrying ten 500-800 kt MIRV warheads; and the RS-24 carrying six 100kt MIRV warheads. All of Russia’s ICBMs were developed and entered service from the 1980’s to the 1990’s with the exception of the RS-24 which entered service in 2010. Russia’s land-based strategic missile force consists of 322 missiles capable of delivering up to 1,087 warheads. In 2011, Russia planned to buy 36 strategic ballistic missiles. [11] Russia also possesses mobile, tactical surface-to-surface ballistic missiles that have a range of up to 200 miles. This includes Scud-B/SS-1c Mod 1, Scud-B/SS-1c Mod 2, SS-21, SS-21 Mod 2, and SS-21 Mod 3, SS-26/Iskander, and SS-26 Stone/Iskader-E. In 2012 Moscow announced the successful test of an ICBM capable of penetrating the U.S.’ missile defense programs. This response came after news of NATO’s planned missile shield in Europe. [12]

  • Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles: Russia’s other long range missile systems are the RSM-50, RSM-54, and RSM-56 submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBM). The RSM-50 was deployed in 1978, and the RSM-54 was deployed in 2007. The next-generation RSM-56, also known as the Bulava missile, completed a successful flight test in December 2011. This was the 18th test of the Bulava missile, and former Russian President Dimitry Medvedev said the Bulava’s cycle of flight testing was complete and the missile was ready to be put into service.[13] The RSM-50 missile is equipped with three 50 kt MIRVs. The RSM-54 missile is equipped with four 100 kt MIRVs. The RSM-56 missile is equipped with six 100 kt MIRVs. As of 2012, Russia possessed 48 RSM-50 missiles with 144 warheads, and 96 RSM-54 missiles with 384 warheads. Russia plans to produce 32 RSM-56 missiles with 192 warheads for a total of 144 SLBMs capable of delivering 528 warheads.[14]

  • Cruise Missiles: The Russian military possesses three types of air-launched cruise missiles and two submarine-launched cruise missile systems. In 2011, Russia planned to purchase 20 strategic cruise missiles. [15] In 2012, Russia and India announced plans to work together to build a hypersonic cruise missile. [16]

Under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Moscow is barred from possessing ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. Russia has abided by this prohibition, but the Kremlin also has suggested it might withdraw from the accord because its neighbors are acquiring types of missiles that are forbidden to Russia. In October 2007, the United States and Russia called upon other countries to forswear missiles banned by the INF Treaty. Russia has not withdrawn from the INF Treaty.

Submarines

  • Russia’s strategic submarine force has is now undergoing significant upgrades. The core of the force is comprised of seven Delta IV submarines armed with 16 RSM-54 missiles each. They are part of Russia’s Northern Fleet based at Yagelnaya Bay on the Kola Peninsula.[17] Russia also has three Delta III submarines as part of the Pacific Fleet based on the Kamchatka Peninsula.[18] Each vessel is armed with 16 RSM-50 missiles. As part of Russia’s military rearmament program, the Russian Navy will take delivery of three Borey class, and five upgraded Borey-A class submarines by 2020. These eight vessels will serve as the backbone of Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrent, eventually allowing the Delta III’s to be retired. The first Borey class submarine, the Yury Dolgoruky, entered service on January 10, 2013 as part of the Northern Fleet. The third and last Borey vessel will start sea-trials during the summer of 2013; while the first of the improved Borey-A class, the Knyaz Vladimir, was laid down in July 2012 and is still under construction.[19] Once completed, the eight Borey vessels will each carry 16 RSM-56 Bulava missiles capable of delivering up to 768 warheads.

Strategic Bombers

  • The Russian Air Force currently operates 28 Tu-95 MS6 long-range bombers, 31 Tu-95 MS16 long-range bombers, and 13 Tu-160 supersonic long-range bombers. All three aircraft are categorized as strategic heavy bombers and are limited by the New START treaty. The Tu-95 MS6 is capable of carrying 6 nuclear Kh-55 strategic cruise missiles, while the Tu-95 MS16 is capable of carrying up to 16 nuclear Kh-55 strategic cruise missiles. Alternatively, either version of the Tu-95 can be armed with over 25,000 pounds of bombs. The Tu-160 can carry up to 12 Kh-55 cruise missiles, which are configured slightly differently than the Tu-95’s cruise missiles.[20] The 72 strategic bombers do not regularly carry nuclear payloads. Combined, the bombers can deliver up to 820 nuclear weapons. The Russian Air Force also operates a multipurpose medium-range supersonic bomber, the Tu-22M, which is considered a tactical nuclear delivery platform of various types of cruise missiles. The Tu-22M is not limited by the New START treaty. Russia has begun studying designs for a next-generation strategic bomber meant to replace the entire fleet of Tu-95’s, Tu-160’s, and Tu-22M’s. The new bomber program is expected to develop a prototype by the early 2020’s.[21]

Nuclear Doctrine

Under Russia’s standing Military Doctrine, published in February 2010, “The Russian Federation reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction against it and (or) its allies, as well as in response to aggression against the Russian Federation that utilizes conventional weapons that threatens the very existence of the state.”

All told, the Soviet Union conducted 715 nuclear tests. The first test occurred Aug. 29, 1949, and the last test took place Oct. 24, 1990. Russia has not conducted any tests since it inherited the Soviet Union’s nuclear stockpile following the Soviet breakup.

Fissile Material

Russia has publicly declared that it no longer produces fissile material (highly enriched uranium [HEU] and plutonium) for weapons purposes. The Kremlin announced a halt to HEU production for weapons in 1989 and the cessation of plutonium production for weapons in 1994. In April 2010 Russia closed its last plutonium production facility, although it has not discounted a return to producing separated plutonium for fast-breeder reactors in the future. As with Russia’s warhead stockpile, there is a great deal of uncertainty about its holdings of fissile material. According to an independent report released in early 2012, Russia’s HEU stockpile is estimated at 737 tons, with a margin of error of 120 tons. Approximately 20 tons are designated for civilian use. The plutonium stockpile is estimated at 176 tons, with an 8 ton margin of error. The weapons stockpile is estimated at 128 tons and 48 tons are declared for civilian use. [22]

Russia is implementing a program to downblend 500 metric tons of Russian excess weapons grade HEU into a reactor fuel unsuitable for bombs that it will then sell to the United States for light water reactor fuel. That project is scheduled to be completed in 2013. As of September 2011, 433 of the 500 tons have been blended down. A second program that the United States funds will cover the downblending of 17 tons of non-weapons HEU by 2015. As of early 2011, Russia completed the blending down of 13 tons.

In addition, under a separate agreement with the United States, Russia is committed to disposing of 34 metric tons of excess plutonium. The project was delayed for several years, but in April 2010 the two nations signed a protocol that amended and updated the 2000 agreement. Both countries now aim to begin disposition in 2018.


Proliferation Record

The United States and independent analyses have long cited Russia as a key supplier of nuclear- and missile-related goods and technology to a variety of countries, including states of proliferation concern such as Iran and Syria. In response, the United States often levied sanctions on Russian entities believed to be involved in such proliferation activities. [23] Beginning in the mid-2000s, however, the number and frequency of Russian entities placed under U.S. proliferation sanctions declined, possibly as a result of increasing Russian commitment to controlling sensitive exports. Moreover, in recent years, U.S. officials have also cited Russian cooperation addressing proliferation concerns, in particular Iran. [24] In spite of this cooperation, Russia still remains a source of illicit sensitive technology, particularly in regard to missile proliferation. According to a 2010 State Department Report, Russian entities “continued to supply sensitive missile-related items, technology, and expertise to several programs of concern” from 2004-2008. [25] The report added, however, that “available information” did not indicate that Russia “acted inconsistently with the MTCR.”

The vast former Soviet biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons complexes, including their former scientists, are also seen as a potential source of arms, materials, and know-how for other regimes or non-state actors. Consequently, the United States and other countries have many programs dedicated to mitigating this potential threat by helping Russia, as well as other former Soviet states, secure or destroy facilities, materials, and weapon systems, as well as gainfully employ former scientists in non-arms related work.


Other Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities

In 2002, the United States and Russia concluded the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT). Under SORT, the two countries are supposed to reduce their operationally deployed strategic nuclear forces to between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads by Dec. 31, 2012. However, the treaty expires that same day, freeing up both countries to expand their arsenals afterwards if they so choose. In February 2009, the U.S. government completed its reductions to 2,200 strategic deployed weapons, meeting the upper limit under SORT over three years early.

In addition, SORT did not include verification measures. Instead, it relied on the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty’s (START) verification regime, which provided for the United States and Russia to exchange information, visit, and monitor each other’s nuclear weapons complexes. START expired in December 2009.

In April 2010, the United States and Russia signed a successor to the original START accord. The new treaty, known as New START, entered into force on February 5, 2011 and requires that both sides reduce their arsenals to 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear weapons on no more than 700 ICMBs, SLMBs, and bombers, within seven years. In addition, it would restore many of the verification measures from the original START accord. [26]

The Russian government officially suspended its implementation of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty on December 12, 2008. Moscow contends that NATO countries, led by the United States, are unjustifiably delaying ratification of the 1999 Adapted CFE Treaty and thereby endangering Russian security. NATO members have stated that they will not ratify the Adapted CFE Treaty until Russia withdraws its military forces from Georgia and Moldova; the Kremlin contends that these issues should not be linked. Meanwhile, Russia continues to implement another European security instrument, the Open Skies Treaty, which facilitates unarmed reconnaissance flights over the territories of all states-parties.

The Russian government has signed and ratified protocols stating its intent to respect and not threaten the use of nuclear weapons against states-parties to the Latin America and South Pacific nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties. Russia has signed and ratified in 2011 Protocol I and II for the African zone. It has neither signed nor ratified the protocols for the Central Asian and Southeast Asian zones.

At the 65-member Conference on Disarmament (CD), Russia has supported negotiation of a fissile material cutoff treaty (FMCT) and a treaty on the prevention of an arms race in outer space. Russia and China jointly submitted the Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space (PPWT) to the CD on February 12, 2008. Under the Bush administration, the United States opposed any negotiation on an outer space treaty and dropped its support for an “effectively verifiable” FMCT, which prevented the CD from forming a work plan. The Obama administration changed this policy, and has actively pursued the negotiation of a verifiable FMCT. These efforts resulted in the adoption of a work plan at the CD on May 28, 2009 which included discussions of both an FMCT and a PPWT. Despite some initial progress, negotiations on these issues broke down – principally due to Pakistan – and show no immediate prospect for improvement. In August 2011, the P5 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) met in Geneva to discuss how to break the stalemate at the CD over a FMCT, however no agreement was reached on to pursue negotiations outside the CD. [27]

Within the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), Russia has resisted a U.S.-sponsored initiative to negotiate restrictions on the use of anti-vehicle landmines, but reluctantly consented to CCW negotiations on cluster munitions. Russia has neither signed nor ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM).

Russia participated in both the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington, DC and the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit held in Seoul, South Korea.

Russia supported six UN Security Council Resolutions as part of international efforts to encourage Iran to address concerns about its nuclear program. In 2011,however, Russia blocked further UN sanctions against Iran in the Security Council. Russia also participates in the ongoing P5+1 talks with Iran, which hope to resolve international concerns over its nuclear program. These negotiations are ongoing and have not yet produced an agreement. Russia has stated its support for Iran’s peaceful use of nuclear energy.

In 2010, the first international nuclear fuel bank opened. It is located at a uranium enrichment facility in Angarsk, Siberia. [28] Russia supported the creation of a fuel bank and offered to host it to help persuade countries to forgo development of their own national nuclear fuel production capabilities, which also could be used to produce nuclear-bomb material.


ENDNOTES

1. Russia has not ratified Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War. It also has not approved an amendment that extends the convention’s application beyond just interstate conflicts to intrastate conflicts.

2. International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Landmine Monitor Report 2009, October 2009, 1,253 pp. According to this report, Russia was one of only two states to use antipersonnel land mines in 2008-2009, the other being Myanmar.

3. U.S. Department of State, Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments,” August 2005, 108 pp.

4. U.S. Department of State, 2011 Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, August 2011, 35 pp.

5. Horner, Daniel. “Accord Reached on CWC’s 2012 Deadline.” Arms Control Today, January/February 2012, p. 38.

6. U.S. Department of State, Condition (10) (C) Report: Compliance With The Convention On The Prohibition Of The Development, Production, Stockpiling And Use of Chemical Weapons And On Their Destruction, August 2011, 16 pp.

7. Grimmett, Richard F., Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2002-2009, Congressional Research Service, September 10, 2010, 84 pp.

8. Grimmett, Richard F., Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2003-2010, Congressional Research Service, September 22, 2011, 89 pp.

9. Lakshmanan, Indira A.R. and Nasseri, Ladane. “Clinton Calls On Russia To End Arms Sales To Syria.”Bloomberg News, June 13, 2012. http://origin-www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-13/russia-rejects-clinton-accusation-of-arms-for-syria-repression.html

10. Kristensen, Hans M. “Status of World Nuclear Forces.” Federation of American Scientists, 2011. http://www.fas.org/programs/ssp/nukes/nuclearweapons/nukestatus.html

11. “Russian military to buy 36 ICBMs, 2 missile subs in 2011.” RIA Novosti, March 3, 2011.http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110318/163075432.html

12. Kramer, Andrew E. “Russia Tests New Missile to Counter U.S. Shield.” The New York Times, May 24, 2012, p. A10.

13. Robert Norris, and Hans Kristensen, "Russian nuclear forces, 2012," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 68, no. 87 (2012): 92, 10.1177/0096340212438665 (accessed June 3, 2013).

14. Robert Norris, and Hans Kristensen, "Russian nuclear forces, 2012," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 68, no. 87 (2012): 89, 10.1177/0096340212438665 (accessed June 3, 2013).

15. “Russian military to buy 36 ICBMs, 2 missile subs in 2011.” RIA Novosti, March 3, 2011.http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110318/163075432.html

16. “India and Russia to Develop Hypersonic Cruise Missile.” RIA Novosti, March 30, 2012.http://en.rian.ru/world/20120330/172478672.html

17. Kristense, Hans, and Robert Norris. "Russian nuclear forces, 2012." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. no. 87 (2012): 91. 10.1177/0096340212438665 (accessed June 3, 2013).

18. Ibid

19. “Later Borey Class Subs to Carry Only 16 Missiles” RIA Novosti, February 20, 2013.http://en.rian.ru/military_news/20130220/179588098.html

20. Podvig, Pavel “Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces,” 2001

21. Robert Norris, and Hans Kristensen, "Russian nuclear forces, 2012," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 68, no. 93 (2012): 92, 10.1177/0096340212438665 (accessed June 3, 2013).

22. International Panel on Fissile Materials, Global Fissile Material Report 2011, January 2012, 49 pp.

23. “Nonproliferation Sanctions,” U.S. Department of State, page visited July 2012.http://www.state.gov/t/isn/c15231.htm

24. Nikitin, Mary Beth, U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service, July 9, 2010.

25. U.S. Department of State, Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, July 2010, 95 pp.

26. “U.S. Lowers Nuclear Deployments Under Treaty,” Global Security Newswire, June 4, 2012,http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/us-slashes-nuclear-deployments-under-new-start/

27. Collina, Tom Z. “P5 Struggles to Unblock FMCT Talks.” Arms Control Today, October 2011, p. 33

28. “First International Atomic Fuel Bank Opens in Russia,” Global Security Newswire, December 2, 2010, http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/first-international-atomic-fuel-bank-opens-in-russia/

Ukraine, Nuclear Weapons, and Security Assurances At a Glance

Press Contact: Tom Collina, Research Director, (202) 463-8270 x104

(Research by Ashley Luer)

March 2014

At the time of Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine held the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world, including an estimated 1,800 strategic warheads, 176 long-range ballistic missiles, and 42 strategic bombers. By 1996, Ukraine had returned all of its nuclear warheads to Russia in exchange for economic aid and security assurances, and Ukraine became a non-nuclear weapon state party to the 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).[1] The last strategic nuclear delivery vehicle in Ukraine was eliminated in 2001 under the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).[2] It took years of political maneuvering and diplomatic work, starting with the Lisbon Protocol in 1992, to remove the weapons and nuclear infrastructure from Ukraine.

1990 Declaration of Sovereignty

Partly in an effort to gain international recognition, Ukraine’s pre-independence movement supported efforts to join the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state. With Ukraine’s July 16, 1990 Declaration of Sovereignty, Ukraine pledged “not to accept, produce, or acquire nuclear weapons.”[3] However, despite this public commitment, Ukrainian politicians were not entirely united by the idea.[4] Some felt that Russia was a still a threat and that they should keep the weapons as a deterrent.

1991 Minsk Agreement on Strategic Forces

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States signed the Minsk Agreement on December 30, 1991, agreeing that the Russian government would be given charge of all nuclear armaments. However, as long as the weapons remained in Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, the governments of those countries would have the right to veto their use. The target date for dismantling the weapons was set for the end of 1994.[3]

1992 Lisbon Protocol

Ukraine signed the Lisbon Protocol on May 23, 1992. The protocol sought to return the nuclear weapons in Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine to Russia. All states were to join START and the NPT. However, within Ukraine, there was little motion towards the ratification of START, joining the NPT, or overall denuclearization. The protocol required that Ukraine adhere to the NPT as quickly as possible, but it gave the country up to seven years to follow through.

By late 1992, the Ukrainian parliament was vocalizing more pro-nuclear views. Some believed that Ukraine was entitled to at least temporary nuclear weapon status. Perhaps optimistically, the U.S. government promised Ukraine $175 million in dismantlement assistance.[3] Instead, the Ukrainian government began implementing administrative management of the nuclear forces and claimed ownership of the warheads.

In late April 1993, 162 Ukrainian politicians signed a statement to add 13 preconditions for ratification START, frustrating the ratification process. The preconditions required security assurances from Russia and the U.S., foreign aid for dismantlement, and compensation for the nuclear material. Additionally, they stated that Ukraine would dismantle only 36% of its delivery vehicles and 42% of warheads, leaving the rest under Ukrainian control. Russia and the U.S. criticized these demands, but Ukraine did not budge. In May 1993, the U.S. said that if Ukraine were to ratify START, the U.S. would provide more financial assistance. This began subsequent discussions between Ukraine, Russia, and the U.S. over the future of Ukrainian denuclearization.

1993 Massandra Accords

Ukrainian and Russian officials reached a set of agreements, including protocols on nuclear weapons dismantlement, procedure, and terms of compensation. However, the two sides could not agree on the final document, and the summit ultimately failed. [4]

1994 Trilateral Statement

The Massandra Accords set the stage for the ultimately successful trilateral talks. As the U.S. mediated between Russia and Ukraine, the three countries signed the January 14, 1994 Trilateral Statement. Ukraine committed to full disarmament, including strategic weapons, in exchange for economic support and security assurances from the United States and Russia. Ukraine agreed to transfer its nuclear warheads to Russia and accepted U.S. assistance in dismantling missiles, bombers, and nuclear infrastructure.[2] Ukraine’s warheads would be dismantled in Russia, and Ukraine would receive compensation for the commercial value of the highly enriched uranium.[4] Ukraine ratified the START treaty in February 1994, repealing its earlier preconditions, but it would not accede to the NPT without further security assurances.

1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances

To solidify security commitments to Ukraine, the United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom signed the December 5, 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances. A political agreement in accordance with the principles of the Helsinki Accords, the memorandum included security assurances against the threat or use of force against Ukraine’s territory or political independence. The countries promised to respect the sovereignty and existing borders of Ukraine. Parallel memorandums were signed for Belarus and Kazakhstan as well. In response, Ukraine officially acceded to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state on December 5, 1994. That move met the final condition for ratification of the START treaty, bringing the treaty into force for Ukraine

2009 Joint Declaration by Russia and the United States

Russia and the United States released a joint statement in 2009 confirming that the security assurances made in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum would still be valid after the START Treaty expired in 2009.[5]

2014 Russian Annexation of Crimea

Following months of political unrest and the abrupt departure of President Yanukovych of Ukraine, Russian troops entered the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine in March 2014. On March 18, over the protests of the acting government in Kiev, the UN Security Council, and Western governments, Russia declared the annexation of Crimea. The United States, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine called the action a blatant violation of the security assurances in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum. However, according to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “the security assurances were given to the legitimate government of Ukraine but not to the forces that came to power following the coup d'etat.”[6]

Timeline

  • July 16, 1990: Ukraine’s Declaration of Sovereignty
  • July 31, 1991: The United States and the Soviet Union signed START.
  • Dec. 26, 1991: The Soviet Union officially dissolved, delaying entry into force of START.
  • Dec. 30, 1991: Minsk Agreement on Strategic Forces
    • The Commonwealth of Independent States agreed that strategic forces would be under the joint command of the former Soviet Union states.
  • May 23, 1992:  Lisbon Protocol
    • Signed by Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and the United States
    • The protocol sought to return nuclear weapons in three formerly Soviet states to Russia.
    • All states were to be added to the START treaty and to join the NPT.
  • Jan. 14, 1994: The Trilateral Statement
    • Signed by Ukraine, Russia, and the United States
    • Ukraine committed to full disarmament, including strategic offensive weapons, in exchange for economic support and security assurances from US and Russia.
  • Sept. 4, 1993 Massandra Accords
    • Failed summit between Russian and Ukrainian governments
  • Dec. 5, 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances
    • Signed by Russia, Ukraine, United States, and the United Kingdom
    • Included security assurances against the threat or use of force against Ukraine’s territory or political independence.
  • Dec. 5, 1994: Ukraine submitted its instrument of accession to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state.
    • The five START parties exchanged instruments of ratification for START, which entered into force.
  • June 1, 1996: Ukraine transferred its last nuclear warhead to Russia
  • October 30, 2001: Ukraine eliminated its last strategic nuclear weapon delivery vehicle.
  • Dec. 4, 2009: Joint Statement by Russia and the United States
    • The two countries confirmed that the security guarantees made in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.
  • March 18, 2014: Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula

Notes:

[1] “The Lisbon Protocol at a Glance,” Arms Control Association, March 2014, http://www.armscontrol.org/node/3289

[2] Pifer, Steven “The Trilateral Process: The United States, Ukraine, Russia, and Nuclear Weapons,” Brookings Institution, 2011.

[3] Potter, William C. “The Politics of Nuclear Renunciation: The Cases of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine” The Henry L. Stimson Center, 1995.

[4] Garnett, Sherman W. “Ukraine’s Decision to Join the NPT,” Arms Control Today, Jan/Feb 1995.

[5] “Western Information Agency:  USA, Russia Confirm Guarantees of Security to Ukraine,” Kyiv Post, Dec. 14, 2009.

[6] Quote from Senior Russian official to ACA, March 14, 2014.

 

The Lisbon Protocol At a Glance

Press Contact: Tom Collina, Research Director; (202) 463-8270 x104

Updated: March 2014

A pervasive fear surrounding the collapse of the Soviet Union was the uncertain fate of its nuclear arsenal. In addition to Russia, the emerging states of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine inherited a significant number of nuclear weapons, raising concerns that the Soviet Union would leave four nuclear weapon successor states instead of just one. Aside from increasing the number of governments with their finger on the proverbial nuclear button, the circumstances simultaneously raised concerns that those weapons might be more vulnerable to possible sale or theft. The Lisbon Protocol, concluded on May 23, 1992, sought to alleviate those fears by committing the three non-Russian former Soviet states to return their nuclear weapons to Russia. In spite of a series of political disputes that raised some concerns about implementation of the protocol, all Soviet nuclear weapons were eventually transferred to Russia by the end of 1996.

When the Soviet Union officially dissolved in December 1991, the newly-independent states of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine inherited more than 3,000 strategic nuclear weapons (those capable of striking the continental United States), as well as at least 3,000 tactical or battlefield nuclear weapons. All dispersed Soviet tactical weapons were reportedly back on Russian soil by the end of 1992, but the strategic weapons posed a larger problem.

The United States and Russia reached a solution to this complex problem by engaging Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine in a series of talks that led to the Lisbon Protocol. That agreement made all five states party to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which required Washington and Moscow to each cut their deployed strategic nuclear forces from approximately 10,000 warheads apiece to down below 6,000 warheads on no more than 1,600 ICBMs, submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM), and long-range bombers. The protocol signaled the intentions of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine to forswear nuclear arms and accede to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) as non-nuclear-weapon states, a commitment that all three fulfilled and continue to abide by today.

 

Estimated Warheads in Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine in 1991

 

 

Strategic Warheads

Tactical Warheads

Belarus

100

725

Kazakhstan

1,410

Uncertain

Ukraine

1,900

2,275

Sources: Robert S. Norris, “The Soviet Nuclear Archipelago,” Arms Control Today, January/February 1992, p. 24 and Joseph Cirincione, et al., Deadly Arsenals, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2005, p. 366.

 

Basic Timeline and Provisions:

  • July 31, 1991: The United States and the Soviet Union sign START.
  • Dec. 31, 1991: The Soviet Union officially dissolves, delaying entry into force of START.
  • May 23, 1992: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and the United States sign the Lisbon Protocol.
    • Under the protocol, all five states become parties to START.
    • Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine promise to accede to the NPT as non-nuclear-weapon states “in the shortest time possible.”
  • July 2, 1992: Kazakhstan ratifies START.
  • Oct. 1, 1992: The U.S. Senate ratifies START.
  • Nov. 4, 1992: The Russian State Duma refuses to exchange START instruments of ratification until Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan accede to the NPT.
  • Feb. 4, 1993: Belarus ratifies START.
  • July 22, 1993: Belarus submits its instrument of accession to the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon state.
  • January 14, 1994: The Trilateral Statement is signed by Presidents Clinton, Yeltsin, and Leonid Kravchuk of Ukraine, allowing Ukraine to observe the transfer of weapons from its territory to Russia and the dismantlement of certain systems. It also commits Russia to send some of the uranium extracted from the returned warheads back to Ukraine for fuel.
  • Feb. 14, 1994: Kazakhstan submits its instrument of accession to the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon state.
  • Dec. 5, 1994: Ukraine submits its instrument of accession to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state.
    • The five START parties exchange instruments of ratification for START, which enters into force.
  • April 24, 1995: Kazakhstan transfers its last strategic weapon to Russia.
  • June 1996: Ukraine transfers its last strategic weapon to Russia.
  • November 1996: Belarus transfers its last strategic weapon to Russia, marking completion of Lisbon Protocol obligations.

Ratification and Implementation:

Belarus:

When the Soviet Union dissolved, the newly-established Republic of Belarus found itself in possession of roughly 800 total nuclear weapons deployed within its borders. Although Russia retained the warhead arming and launch codes, many worried that Belarus might attempt to take control of the weapons. Moreover, President Alexander Lukashenko twice threatened to retain some weapons if NATO deployed nuclear weapons of its own in Poland. However, when a constitutional crisis erupted in November 1996, Lukashenko was finally compelled to finalize the transfers.

Minsk signed the Lisbon Protocol on May 23, 1992, ratified it on Feb. 4, 1993, and deposited its instrument of accession to the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon state on July 22, 1993. By November 1996 all nuclear warheads in Belarus had been transferred to Russia.

Kazakhstan:

After gaining independence, Kazakhstan with extensive U.S. technical and financial assistance disposed of the strategic nuclear weapons that it inherited from the Soviet Union. Kazakhstan’s 1,410 strategic warheads were deployed on several different systems, including SS-18 ICBMs and cruise missiles carried by Bear-H bombers.

Kazakhstan’s parliament ratified START on July 2, 1992. All tactical nuclear weapons had been withdrawn to Russia by January 1992. The parliament approved accession to the NPT on Dec. 13, 1993, and deposited the state’s NPT instrument of ratification on Feb. 14, 1994. The last of the Kazakh-based strategic nuclear weapons were transferred to Russia by April 24, 1995.

Ukraine:

When the Soviet Union dissolved, Ukraine became the third-largest nuclear weapons power in the world behind the United States and Russia. Ukraine’s 1,900 strategic warheads were distributed among ICBMs, strategic bombers, and air-launched cruise and air-to-surface missiles. Although President Leonid Kravchuk signed the Lisbon Protocol on May 23, 1992, Ukraine’s process of disarmament was filled with political obstacles. Many Ukrainian officials viewed Russia as a threat and argued that they should keep nuclear weapons in order to deter any possible encroachment from their eastern neighbor. Although the government never gained operational control over the weapons, it declared “administrative control” in June 1992, and, in 1993, claimed ownership of the warheads, citing the potential of the plutonium and highly enriched uranium they contained for creating peaceful energy.

A resolution passed by the Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, on Nov. 18, 1993, attached conditions to its ratification of START that Russia and the United States deemed unacceptable. Those stated that Ukraine would only dismantle 36% of its delivery vehicles and 42% of its warheads; all others would remain under Ukrainian custody. Moreover, the resolution made those reductions contingent upon assurances from Russia and the United States to never use nuclear weapons against Ukraine (referred to as “security assurances”), along with foreign aid to pay for dismantlement.

In response, the Clinton and Yeltsin administrations intensified negotiations with Kyiv, eventually producing the Trilateral Statement, which was signed on Jan. 14, 1994. This agreement placated Ukrainian concerns by allowing Ukraine to cooperate in the transfer of the weapons to Russia, which would take place over a maximum period of seven years. The agreement further called for the transferred warheads to be dismantled and the highly enriched uranium they contained to be downblended into low-enriched uranium. Some of that material would then be transferred back to Ukraine for use as nuclear reactor fuel. Meanwhile, the United States would give Ukraine economic and technical aid to cover its dismantlement costs. Finally, the United States and Russia responded to Ukraine’s security concerns by agreeing to provide security assurances upon its NPT accession.

In turn, the Rada ratified START, implicitly endorsing the Trilateral Statement. However, it did not submit its instrument of accession to the NPT until Dec. 5, 1994, when Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States provided security assurances to Ukraine. That decision by the Rada met the final condition for Russia’s ratification of START, and subsequently brought that treaty into force.


Note: In 1991, the United States and the Soviet Union announced through the Presidential Nuclear Initiatives to substantially reduce their respective tactical nuclear weapons arsenals. For more, see “The Presidential Nuclear Initiatives (PNIs) on Tactical Nuclear Weapons At a Glance” at http://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/pniglance.asp.

The Status of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty: Signatories and Ratifiers

Press Contact: Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, (202) 463-8270 x107

March 2014

Despite over 10 years of global efforts to promote the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the treaty’s enactment appears a long way off.

President George H. W. Bush signed into law the unilateral declaration to forego full-scale nuclear weapons testing October 2, 1992. The United States signed the CTBT on September 24, 1996, the day it opened for signature, but the Senate dealt a severe blow to the near-term prospects for U.S. participation when it refused to provide its advice and consent October 13, 1999. President Obama, however, stated in February 2009 that he intends to pursue Senate ratification of the treaty "immediately and aggressively."

The CTBT will formally enter into force after 44 designated “nuclear-capable states” (as listed in Annex 2 of the treaty) have deposited their instruments of ratification with the UN secretary-general. To date, 183 states have signed and 162 have ratified the treaty. Yet of the 44 specified countries, India, Pakistan, and North Korea still have not signed, and only 36 have ratified the treaty.

The following chart identifies the treaty’s signatories and ratifiers. States whose ratification is required for the treaty to take effect are shaded and marked with an asterisk (*).


Total Signatories: 183
Total Ratifiers: 162

Annex 2 Ratifications (out of 44): 36

Country
Signature
Ratification
Afghanistan 9/24/03 9/24/03
Albania 9/27/96 4/23/03
Algeria* 10/15/96 7/11/03
Andorra 9/24/96 7/12/06
Angola 9/27/96
Antigua and Barbuda 4/16/97 1/11/06
Argentina* 9/24/96 12/4/98
Armenia 10/1/96 7/12/06
Australia* 9/24/96 7/9/98
Austria* 9/24/96 3/13/98
Azerbaijan 7/28/97 2/2/99
Bahamas 2/4/05 11/30/07
Bahrain 9/24/96 4/12/04
Bangladesh* 10/24/96 3/8/00
Barbados
1/14/08 1/14/08
Belarus 9/24/96 9/13/00
Belgium* 9/24/96 6/29/99
Belize 11/14/01 3/26/04
Benin 9/27/96 3/6/01
Bolivia 9/24/96 10/4/99
Bosnia and Herzegovina 9/24/96 10/26/06
Botswana 9/16/02 10/28/02
Brazil* 9/24/96 7/24/98
Brunei Darussalem 1/22/97 1/10/13
Bulgaria* 9/24/96 9/29/99
Burkina Faso 9/27/96 4/17/02
Burundi 9/24/96 9/24/08
Cambodia 9/26/96 11/10/00
Cameroon 11/16/01 2/6/06
Canada* 9/24/96 12/18/98
Cape Verde 10/1/96 3/1/06
Central African Republic 12/19/01 5/26/10
Chad 10/8/96 2/8/13
Chile* 9/24/96 7/12/00
China* 9/24/96
Colombia* 9/24/96 1/29/08
Comoros 12/12/96
Congo 2/11/97
Cook Islands 12/5/97 9/6/05
Costa Rica 9/24/96 9/25/01
Côte d'Ivoire 9/25/96 3/11/03
Croatia 9/24/96 3/2/01
Cyprus 9/24/96 7/18/03
Czech Republic 11/12/96 9/11/97
Dem. Republic of Congo* 10/4/96 9/28/04
Denmark 9/24/96 12/21/98
Djibouti 10/21/96 7/15/05
Dominican Republic 10/3/96 9/4/07
Ecuador 9/24/96 11/12/01
Egypt* 10/14/96
El Salvador 9/24/96 9/11/98
Equatorial Guinea 10/9/96
Eritrea 11/11/03 11/11/03
Estonia 11/20/96 8/13/99
Ethiopia 9/25/96 8/8/06
Fiji 9/24/96 10/10/96
Finland* 9/24/96 1/15/99
France* 9/24/96 4/6/98
Gabon 10/7/96 9/20/00
Gambia 4/9/03
Georgia 9/24/96 9/27/02
Germany* 9/24/96 8/20/98
Ghana 10/3/96 06/14/11
Greece 9/24/96 4/21/99
Grenada 10/10/96 8/19/98
Guatemala 9/20/99 1/12/12
Guinea 10/3/96 09/20/11
Guinea-Bissau 4/11/97 09/30/13
Guyana 9/7/00 3/7/01
Haiti 9/24/96 12/1/05
Holy See 9/24/96 7/18/01
Honduras 9/25/96 10/30/03
Hungary* 9/25/96 7/13/99
Iceland 9/24/96

6/26/00

India*

Indonesia*

9/24/96 2/6/12
Iran* 9/24/96
Iraq 8/19/08 09/26/13
Ireland 9/24/96 7/15/99
Israel* 9/25/96
Italy* 9/24/96 2/1/99
Jamaica 11/11/96 11/13/01
Japan* 9/24/96 7/8/97
Jordan 9/26/96 8/25/98
Kazakhstan 9/30/96 5/14/02
Kenya 11/14/96 11/30/00
Kiribati 9/7/00 9/7/00
Kuwait 9/24/96 5/6/03
Kyrgyzstan 10/8/96 10/02/03
Laos 7/30/97 10/5/00
Latvia 9/24/96 11/20/01
Lebanon 9/16/05 11/21/08
Lesotho 9/30/96 9/14/99
Liberia 10/1/96 8/17/09
Libya 11/13/01 1/6/04
Liechtenstein 9/27/96 9/21/04
Lithuania 10/7/96 2/7/00
Luxembourg 9/24/96 5/26/99
Macedonia 10/29/98 3/14/00
Madagascar 10/9/96 9/15/05
Malawi 10/9/96 11/21/08
Malaysia 7/23/98 1/17/08
Maldives 10/1/97 9/7/00
Mali 2/18/97 8/4/99
Malta 9/24/96 7/23/01
Marshall Islands 9/24/96 10/28/09
Mauritania 9/24/96 4/30/03
Mexico* 9/24/96 10/5/99
Micronesia 9/24/96 7/25/97
Moldova 9/24/97 1/16/07
Monaco 10/1/96 12/18/98
Mongolia 10/1/96 8/8/97
Montenegro 10/23/06 10/23/06
Morocco 9/24/96 4/17/00
Mozambique 9/26/96 11/4/08
Myanmar 11/25/96
Namibia 9/24/96 6/29/01
Nauru 9/8/00 11/12/01
Nepal 10/8/96
Netherlands* 9/24/96 3/23/99
New Zealand 9/27/96 3/19/99
Nicaragua 9/24/96 12/5/00
Niger 10/3/96 9/9/02
Nigeria 9/8/00

9/27/01

Niue 4/9/12 3/5/14
North Korea*
Norway* 9/24/96 7/15/99
Oman 9/23/99 6/13/03
Pakistan*
Palau 8/12/03 8/1/07
Panama 9/24/96 3/23/99
Papua New Guinea 9/25/96
Paraguay 9/25/96 10/4/01
Peru* 9/25/96 11/12/97
Philippines 9/24/96 2/23/01
Poland* 9/24/96 5/25/99
Portugal 9/24/96 6/26/00
Qatar 9/24/96 3/3/97
Romania* 9/24/96 10/5/99
Russia* 9/24/96 6/30/00
Rwanda 11/30/'2004 11/30/04
St. Kitts and Nevis 3/33/04 4/27/05
St. Lucia 10/4/96 4/5/01
St. Vincent and the Grenadines 7/2/09 9/23/09
Samoa 10/9/96 9/27/02
San Marino 10/7/96 3/12/02
Sao Tome and Principe 9/26/96
Senegal 9/26/96 6/9/99
Serbia and Montenegro 6/8/01 5/19/04
Seychelles 9/24/96 4/13/04
Sierra Leone 9/8/00 9/17/01
Singapore 1/14/99 11/10/01
Slovakia* 9/30/96 3/3/98
Slovenia 9/24/96 8/31/99
Solomon Islands 10/3/96
South Africa* 9/24/96 3/30/99
South Korea* 9/24/96 9/24/99
Spain* 9/24/96 7/31/98
Sri Lanka 10/24/96
Sudan 6/10/04 6/10/04
Suriname 1/14/97 2/7/06
Swaziland 9/24/96
Sweden* 9/24/96 12/2/98
Switzerland* 9/24/96 10/1/99
Tajikistan 10/7/96 6/10/98
Tarzania 9/30/04 9/30/04
Thailand 11/12/96
Timor-Leste 9/26/08

Togo

10/2/96 7/2/04
Trinidad and Tobago 10/8/09 5/26/10
Tunisia 10/16/96 9/23/04
Turkey* 9/24/96 2/16/00
Turkmenistan 9/24/96 2/20/98
Uganda 11/7/96 3/14/01
Ukraine* 9/27/96 2/23/01
United Arab Emirates 9/25/96 9/18/00
United Kingdom* 9/24/96 4/6/98
United States* 9/24/96
Uruguay 9/24/96 9/21/01
Uzbekistan 10/3/96 5/29/97
Vanuatu 9/24/96 9/16/05
Venezuela 10/3/96 5/13/02
Viet Nam* 9/24/96 3/10/06
Yemen 9/30/96
Zambia 12/3/96 2/23/06
Zimbabwe 10/13/99