§ The Earl of Northesk
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether there are dangers attached to the United States Administration's plans to deploy a national missile defence system, particularly in terms of Russian ratification of START II and future negotiation of START III. [HL237]
§ Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean
The US Administration have not yet decided to deploy a national missile defence system. They have said that when they take a decision this will take account of wider arms control considerations. We welcome US recognition that, if national missile defence is pursued, it will be important to preserve strategic stability. We therefore welcomed President Clinton's and President Yeltsin's agreement at Cologne in June to begin discussions on the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and on further reductions in their nuclear arsenals. We look forward to their outcome. We have consistently called on the Russian Duma to ratify START II.