Suomen ulkopolitiikan asiakirja-arkisto ja kronologia
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The Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Paavo Väyrynen

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Paavo Väyrynen gave the following assessment on 6 October 1991 on the recent disarmament initiative of President Mikhail Gorbachev:

The President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev has responded in kind to the epoch-making initiative to reduce nuclear weapons made a week ago by President George Bush. Finland considers rapid progress in nuclear weapons reductions by the Soviet Union and the United States to be of utmost importance.

President Gorbachev announced that the USSR will reciprocate the cuts in tactical nuclear weapons of the United States by destroying all nuclear warheads for its tactical missiles, its nuclear artillery ammunition and all of its nuclear mines. In addition the Soviet Union will remove and store nuclear warheads of its anti-aircraft missiles.

Rapidly, and based on reciprocity, the Soviet Union and the United States are completely removing a weapons system which has been of particular concern for European security. In Finland's opinion the removal of the land-based short-range nuclear force from Europe corresponds to the demands of a new co-operative security structure in our continent.

The announcement of significant cuts in the Soviet SNF will also strengthen international confidence in nuclear weapons remaining in proper hands amid the great changes in that country.

President Gorbachev's announcement that the Soviet Union will remove and store all tactical nuclear weapons from surface ships and multipurpose submarines lessens in a significant way military confrontation in the Northern sea areas that are important for Finland.

The decisions to destroy and remove tactical nuclear weapons from Europe will also contribute to creating conditions for new initiatives which aim at strengthening confidence and security in Northern Europe, for example in the negotiations on European military security between the CSCE countries after the Helsinki CSCE Summit.

For Finland, President Gorbachev's declaration of an immediate one-year unilateral Soviet moratorium on nuclear weapons testing is of particular importance. Finland hopes that during this time negotiations on a global test ban will advance.

President Gorbachev also announced several measures to strategic nuclear stability and to aim at reductions beyond the START Treaty signed last July.

In Finland's view, the proposal by President Gorbatshov for negotiations on a further reduction of strategic nuclear systems by approximately 50 percent from the levels agreed to in START is of central importance for international security.

President Gorbachev's announcement that the Soviet Union will remove from alert all of its strategic bombers and a significant part of its strategic nuclear missiles enhances strategic stability. The Soviet Union will also give up several programmes to modernize its strategic arsenal and will return all of its rail-mobile strategic missiles to their storage areas.

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