Statement by Assistant
to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater on the Establishment of the United States Nuclear RiskReductionCenter
March 22, 1988
President has directed the establishment of the United StatesNuclearRiskReductionCenter in the Department of
State and has approved the designation of Assistant Secretary of State for
Politico-Military Affairs H. Allen Holmes as the first Director, United StatesNuclearRiskReductionCenter. These steps provide
for the implementation of the agreement between the United States of
America and the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics on the establishment of
Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers, which was signed at the White House on September
this agreement, which is of unlimited duration, each party is committed to
establish a NuclearRiskReductionCenter in its capital,
staffing its center as it deems appropriate. The U.S. and Soviet centers will
communicate by direct satellite communication links, which are capable of
rapidly transmitting full texts and graphics. To help ensure the smooth
operation of the centers, the U.S. and Soviet
representatives will hold regular meetings at least once each year. The Nuclear
Risk Reduction Centers will pass notifications required under a number of
existing and, possibly, future arms control agreements, as well as ``good
will'' notifications, which may be provided at the discretion of either party.
In particular, the centers will be used to transmit the notifications required
under the INF treaty once that treaty enters into force. The centers are
expected to begin operation in April.
Holmes will retain his responsibilities as Assistant Secretary of State for
Politico-Military Affairs. He will be assisted in the day-to-day management of
the center by a staff director appointed by the Department of State and a
deputy staff director appointed by the Department of Defense. The centers will
operate 24 hours a day.
President is pleased to announce this step, which advances his efforts to
increase strategic stability and to reduce the risk of war through accident or
miscalculation. The ribbon cutting ceremony for the U.S. center will take place
at the Department of State at this morning. Secretary
Shultz and Foreign Minister Shevardnadze will participate.