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88. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission in Geneva1

205530. Subject: USUSSR Chemical Weapons Negotiations, Round Eight: Guidance. Refs: (A) Geneva 6497;2 (B) Geneva 6492;3 (C) State 197704.4 State CW Message No. 3

1. This message provides general guidance for round eight. Detailed responses to the questions posed Ref A are being provided separately in the guidance package.5 Highlights are outlined in paras 5–7 below.

2. During round eight the Delegation should: a) Actively seek Soviet views in areas where the Soviets have not yet responded to US questions and proposals, particularly Ref C, b) Seek to clarify and resolve as many of the remaining issues as possible and c) Seek to clarify and consolidate areas of agreement through drafting agreed language for a joint initiative.

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3. In addressing remaining issues the Delegation should devote particular attention to trying to resolve the issues cited Ref B, which are listed below:

(A) Required international on-site inspection of destruction of stocks and disposition of facilities.

(B) Declaration of stocks and facilities.

—General declaration of stocks prior to entry into force of the convention

—Declaration of facilities

(C) Destruction of facilities.

(D) Rights and functions of inspection personnel and host state personnel during challenge on-site inspection.

4. We believe it is important to resume drafting of agreed language in order to nail down general points on which the two sides appear to agree and to specify the more detailed points which are essential to make agreement on the general points meaningful and effective. For these purposes we believe that language which is more detailed than that discussed in round six is necessary. In drafting, the Delegation should be guided by the format and formulations contained in the set of “expanded key elements”, which is being provided separately.

5. Key points in the guidance package:

(A) Detailed guidance has been provided for the first time concerning the exchange, for confidence-building purposes, of information on activities related to protection against Chemical Weapons.

(B) A background paper is provided on the methods the US would employ for destruction of agent and weapon stocks. (This is for use by the Delegation in trying to elicit analogous information from the Soviets.)

(C) The US considers it important for the US and USSR to work in close cooperation on a bilateral basis both before and after the convention comes into force. It would be best to continue to use the existing bilateral Chemical Weapons working group as the forum for bilateral consultations unless it becomes clear that other arrangements are needed.

(D) An alternative approach is outlined for prohibition of super-toxic chemicals for military purposes not related to chemical warfare.

6. The US position on the deadline for destruction of stocks has been further elaborated. Previously the US proposed that at least eight years be allowed. We now believe it desirable to be more specific and are prepared to accept ten years as the deadline. The deadlines for beginning and completing the destruction of facilities would continue to be eight years and ten years after entry into force, respectively.

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7. The following points are still under review:

(A) Conditions under which the US may be prepared to permit conversion of facilities (rather than requiring their complete destruction).

(B) Whether to adopt a bilateral approach to mandatory on-site inspection of facilities.

(C) Whether to change proposed cut-off date for declaration of facilities from January 1, 1940 to January 1, 1947.

8. The Delegation should continue to brief allied representatives in Geneva during the course of the negotiations. In addition, an offer should be made to hold consultations with the UK, FRG and France at the end of the round in London, Bonn and/or Paris as appropriate.

9. We currently expect round eight to end in late September or early October and believe that it would be desirable to hold another round before the end of the year if possible. Most feasible period would be from late November to late December.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780332–0685. Confidential; Priority. Sent for information to Moscow, London, Bonn, Paris, and USNATO. Drafted by Robert Mikulak (ACDA/MA/AT); cleared by Les Denend (NSC), Gelb (PM), Sheila Buckley (DOD), Flowerree (ACDA/MA/IR), Roger Booth (ACDA/MA/AT), Margot Mazeau (ACDA/GC), and [name not declassified]; and approved by Thomas Davies (ACDA/MA).
  2. In telegram 6497 from the Mission in Geneva, April 28, the Mission recommended that the Department of State consider a number of questions for discussion during future chemical weapons negotiations, including how the United States would verify Soviet compliance with a treaty and how international would inspectors be chosen. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780182–0762)
  3. Telegram 6492 from the Mission in Geneva, April 28, summarized the unresolved issues between the U.S. and the Soviet Union at the end of round seven of chemical weapons negotiations. These included: the rights and functions of inspection personnel and host state during challenge on-site inspection, a declaration of existing stocks and facilities, the destruction of facilities, and international on-site inspection of destruction of stocks and facilities. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780182–0779)
  4. Telegram 197704 to Moscow, August 4, included the text of a Non-Paper that ACDA Assistant Director Thomas Davies had given to Soviet Embassy Minister-Counselor Bessmertnykh earlier that day in Washington. The Non-Paper explained that the U.S. considered the “group of issues related to chemical weapons production and filling facilities poses one of the most important obstacles to a joint initiative. Unfortunately the two Delegations have made little progress on these issues.” The U.S. suggested that both nations declare all facilities for the production of chemicals “that are primarily useful for chemical weapons purposes” and “the filling of chemical weapons” and as soon as a state became party to a chemical weapons convention, “such facilities should be place in an inactive (‘mothballed’) status.” These facilities would then be destroyed “by an agreed deadline” and the “mothballing and destruction” of these facilities “would be verified by international on-site inspection.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780320–0046)
  5. Not found.