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SUBJECT: JCIC-XXVII: (U) HEADS OF DELEGATION MEETING ON
VANDENBERG, MAY 31, 2005
REF: A. STATE 53670 (JCIC-DIP-05-003)
Â¶B. 04 GENEVA 02958 (JCIC-XXVI-036)
Classified By: Dr. George W. Look, U.S. Representative to
the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission (JCIC).
Reason: 1.4 (b) and (d).
Â¶1. (U) This is JCIC-XXVII-013.
Â¶2. (U) Meeting Date: May 31, 2005
Time: 10:30 A.M. - 12:07 P.M.
Place: U.S. Mission, Geneva
Â¶3. (S) A Heads of Delegation (HOD) meeting was held at the
U.S. Mission on May 31, 2005, at which all Parties were
represented. The Parties discussed the Russian concern with
the reattribution of ICBM silo launchers from the Vandenberg
Test Range to the Vandenberg Space Launch Facility. The
Russian Delegation said that the Treaty definition of "space
launch facility" did not allow the launching of missile
defense interceptors. Such facilities could only be used to
launch ICBMs and SLBMs for space launch. The U.S. Delegation
explained that the Treaty did not prohibit such use and that
Treaty definitions do not create prohibitions. In response
to questions from the Russian Delegation concerning START
silo conversion provisions, the U.S. Delegation explained
that the reattributed silos had been or would be modified,
but they would not be "converted" as defined in the START
REATTRIBUTION OF SILO LAUNCHERS AT VANDENBERG
Â¶4. (S) At a Heads of Delegation Meeting at the U.S. Mission
on May 31, 2005, Look stated that, since the previous JCIC
session, the United States had reattributed five ICBM silo
launchers from the Vandenberg Test Range to the Vandenberg
Space Launch Facility (SLF). The United States had provided
an explanation of this change through diplomataic channels
(REF A); and, subsequently, the Russian Federation had placed
the issue on the JCIC agenda. Boryak stated that the United
States had created a new entity by reattributing the five
launchers to the SLF. Referring to the long-standing Russian
complaint regarding LF-21 and LF-23 at Vandenberg (REF B), he
alleged that the United States was covering this violation of
the Treaty by reattributing these launchers to the SLF.
Russia was interested in learning which Treaty provisions had
been applied, and in understanding the intended silo
conversion process. He asserted that the Treaty anticipated
delivering objects into the upper atmosphere or space from
SLFs and that he was perplexed because the United States
informed Russia that it would use these launchers for
operational interceptor missiles, not for space launch.
Â¶5. (S) Look clarified that the United States had not created
a new entity, but had added launchers to an existing SLF at
Vandenberg. The Parties had discussed the use of these
launchers in detail for several years and the United States
had explained why these activities were compliant with the
Treaty. Addressing the Russian position, he expressed
concern that the United States and Russia have a significant
difference in how we view definitions in the Treaty and
whether basic prohibitions and limitations are imposed by
those definitions. Rights and obligations are contained in
various parts of the Treaty, but not in the definitions.
Look explained that the only Treaty limitation for SLFs is
the prohibition against flight-testing ICBMs or SLBMs
equipped with reentry vehicles from SLFs and that the United
States complies with this prohibition. Article V does not
prohibit other activities at SLFs unless they are
inconsistent with the Treaty or international law. He
concluded that the Treaty does not restrict the launch of
non-START missiles at SLFs.
Â¶6. (S) Shevtsov opined that, when drafting the Treaty, no
one considered this situation, so this action may be in
conflict with the Eighth Agreed Statement (sic) and the
Conversion or Elimination Protocol. Look responded that the
United States has not converted these launchers under the
Treaty, and the launchers are still subject to the Treaty as
ICBM launchers at the Vandenberg SLF. The United States had
been forthcoming in its plans because of other Parties'
concerns with these launchers and not because the Treaty
requires such information to be provided.
Â¶7. (S) Yegerov questioned whether the United States
considered the definitions to be an equally legally-binding
part of the Treaty. Look replied that definitions were an
integral part of the Treaty, but that different parts of the
Treaty serve different purposes.
Â¶8. (S) Yegerov posed several technical questions. He
inquired whether the United States would convert all five
launchers for interceptor use or retain some launchers for
space launch. Look replied again that we were not converting
the launchers under the provisions of the START Treaty, but
that the United States is planning eventually to modify all
five launchers. He added that, although not our immediate
plan, we could not rule out future use of these launchers for
space launch. In response to questions by Yegerov, Look
replied that re-modifying the launchers for use with ICBMs
was possible, but it was not a simple process and would take
several months at least.
Â¶9. (S) Fedorchenko questioned Look on the difference between
modification and conversion. Look responded that conversion
is a technical Treaty term for changing a launcher from
launching one type of ICBM to launch another type of ICBM.
For the Vandenberg launchers, the United States has modified
launchers to launch a missile not subject to the Treaty.
Expressing concern about the Russian use of definitions, Look
provided an example of how this logic could lead to problems
for Russia. He explained that the definition of "production
facility" in the Treaty does not include producing missiles
other than ICBMs or SLBMs; however, the Votkinsk Production
Facility produces SS-26 missiles that are not subject to the
Treaty. He pointed out that this would be a prohibited
activity under Russia's interpretation of how Treaty
definitions are applied.
Â¶10. (S) Boryak replied that the Sixteenth Agreed Statement,
as presented to the U.S. Congress, made it clear that silo
launchers of ICBMs could only launch ICBMs. He noted that
many aspects of this matter were still open for Russia. Look
asked whether any of the Parties were interested in the
United States' offer of a one-time visit to the five
launchers (REF A). Responding to a question from Boryak,
Look explained that the purpose of the visit was to serve as
a transparency measure because of the Parties' existing
concern with these launchers. Although the other Parties
agreed to consider the visit, Boryak stated that any
discussion of the visit remained an open question for later
in the session.
Â¶11. (U) Documents exchanged: None.
Â¶12. (U) Participants:
Mr. French (Int)
Mr. Uspenskiy (Int)
Â¶13. (U) Look sends.