Kazakhstan marked a nuclear weapons free decade in April 2005. U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a Senate resolution to commemorate the milestone.
In a statement marking the occasion, Sen. Lugar said “we should remember Kazakhstan. Instead of violating international norms and retaining nuclear weapons, Kazakh leaders made the right choice. When searching for success stories, the international community can turn to Kazakhstan.”
He stressed: “The United States, Kazakhstan, and the international community still have much work to do and these efforts will require compromise and sacrifice. The last ten years have shown that nothing is impossible.”
The full text of S. Res. 122 and Sen. Lugar’s statement follow.
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SENATE RESOLUTION 122--RECOGNIZING THE HISTORIC EFFORTS OF THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN TO REDUCE THE THREAT OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION THROUGH COOPERATION IN THE NUNN-LUGAR/COOPERATIVE THREAT REDUCTION PROGRAM, AND CELEBRATING THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE REMOVAL OF ALL NUCLEAR WEAPONS FROM THE TERRITORY OF KAZAKHSTAN -- (Senate - April 25, 2005)
Mr. LUGAR submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations:
S. Res. 122
Whereas at the time of the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in December 1991, 1,410 nuclear warheads on heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles, air-launched cruise missiles, and heavy bombers were located within the Republic of Kazakhstan;
Whereas, on July 2, 1992, the parliament of Kazakhstan approved and made Kazakhstan a party to the Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, with annexes, protocols and memorandum of understanding, signed at Moscow July 31, 1991, and entered into force December 5, 1994 (commonly known as the “START Treaty”);
Whereas, on February 14, 1995, Kazakhstan formally acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, done at Washington, London, and Moscow July 1, 1968, and entered into force March 5, 1970 (commonly known as the “Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty”);
Whereas, on December 13, 1993, the Government of Kazakhstan signed the Safe and Secure Dismantlement Act (SSD) and its 5 implementing agreements with the United States, and became eligible to receive $85,000,000 in assistance under the Nunn-Lugar/Cooperative Threat Reduction Program;
Whereas the decision of the people and the Government of Kazakhstan to transfer all nuclear weapons from the territory of Kazakhstan to the control of the Russian Federation allowed Kazakhstan to become a non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty;
Whereas the continuing efforts of the Government of Kazakhstan to pursue cooperative efforts with the United States and other countries to secure, eliminate, destroy, or interdict weapons and materials of mass destruction and their means of delivery provides a model for such efforts; and
Whereas, in April 1995, the Government of Kazakhstan formally transferred the last nuclear warhead from the territory of Kazakhstan to the territory of the Russian Federation: Now, therefore be it
Resolved, That the Senate commends, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the removal of the last nuclear warhead from the territory of Kazakhstan , the people and the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan for their historic decision to rid Kazakhstan of nuclear weapons.
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Mr. LUGAR. Mr. President, today I submit a Senate resolution to celebrate the decision made by Kazakhstan to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapon state. Ten years ago this month Kazakhstan sent the last Soviet nuclear warhead on its territory to Russia.
With the Review Conference on the NPT in New York starting next week, it is an especially important time to note the progress made toward the NPT’s goals, with U.S. assistance, in Kazakhstan.
More than a decade ago, when the Soviet Union collapsed, Kazakhstan became the fourth largest nuclear power in the world. But instead of enlarging the nuclear club, Kazakhstan joined Ukraine and Belarus in turning away from weapons of mass destruction. Courageous leaders chose instead to embrace the NPT in removing all nuclear arms from Kazakhstan.
The world cheered when Kazakhstan formally acceded to the NPT. I am proud of the role the United States played in Kazakhstan’s decision and of our role in facilitating the removal of thousands of nuclear warheads and the elimination of hundreds of SS-18 intercontinental ballistic missiles, silos, and command centers. The addition of three more nuclear-armed states would have been a devastating setback for the NPT.
It is particularly important that the Senate draw attention to Kazakhstan’s wise and brave choice, as it stands in stark contrast to events in India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Iran. In 1998, the world was shocked by the testing of nuclear weapons in India and Pakistan. In January 2003, the durability of the NPT was shaken by North Korea’s purported withdrawal. We have watched for the past two years as the IAEA deliberated over Iran's numerous safeguards violations amid Tehran’s threats of withdrawal from the NPT should the body seek to enforce the treaty’s provisions.
With these events in mind, we should remember Kazakhstan. Instead of violating international norms and retaining nuclear weapons, Kazakh leaders made the right choice. When searching for success stories, the international community can turn to Kazakhstan.
The Nunn-Lugar Program also assisted Kazakhstan in eliminating the former Soviet nuclear weapons testing complex at the Degelen Mountain Test Tunnel Complex and at Balapan. In close cooperation with Kazakh partners, the Nunn-Lugar program systematically dismantled the complex and sealed nearly 200 nuclear test tunnels and shafts. These facilities will never again contribute to the weapons systems that threatened the world during the Cold War.
The United States, Kazakhstan, and the international community still have much work to do and these efforts will require compromise and sacrifice. The last ten years have shown that nothing is impossible. Both sides have set aside past differences to accomplish this cooperation. Let us continue to approach these challenges with creativity, a willingness to cooperate, and a commitment to the NPT.