Office of the Press Secretary
(Moscow, Russia)

For Immediate Release September 2, 1998


U.S.-Russian Export Control Cooperation

At their meeting today, President Clinton and President Yeltsin agreed to expand cooperation on export controls to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. The two presidents agreed to regularize and develop a series of interagency subgroups to enhance export control cooperation in seven principal areas: missile technology, nuclear weapons and material, implementation of so-called "catch-all" legislation, conventional arms transfers, law enforcement, customs and licensing.

The subgroups will begin meeting this month to share information, experience and expertise on export control issues and practices. Expanded working-level cooperation will enhance the effectiveness of Russia's export control system. To facilitate rapid and reliable means of communication when faced with fast-breaking cases of export control concern, the United States and Russia have agreed to establish a protected communications capability channel between senior officials of both countries. This communications capability channel ensures the immediate and confidential exchange of information on a broad range of nonproliferation matters.

This expanded cooperation on nonproliferation will strengthen Russia's capacity to sustain recent progress on clamping down on export control violations.

After extensive bilateral consultations, in July, Russia initiated investigations of nine Russian entities that may have violated Russian export controls by assisting Iran's ballistic missile program. In response to this Russian action, the Administration applied tough economic penalties on seven of those entities. On Monday, Russia announced the preliminary results of its investigations, ordering several entities to halt exports to Iran's missile program. We encourage the Russian government to take additional steps to investigate suspect entities and strengthen export control laws and regulations.

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