Ukraine has opened a facility for dismantling on Ukrainian territory the 130 ex-Soviet SS-19 intercontinental ballistic missiles which are still based in Ukraine. The SALT-I treaty requires Ukraine to eliminate those missiles. The elimination process includes dismantling the warheads, removing fuel from the missiles, removing the missiles from their silos, and transporting them to a storage area. The project is currently expected to take some three years to complete because the facility’s capacity is limited at this time. The station has reportedly been designed by a U.S. firm commissioned by the U.S. Defense Department, which also funds the dismantling operation. The station is based in Dnipropetrovsk at a division of the Pivdenmash plant, formerly a leading Soviet missile plant headed at the time by the current Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma. U.S. ambassador to Ukraine William Miller took part in the ceremonial opening. (Interfax-Ukraine, July 26 and 27)
Georgian, Russian Defense Ministers Mend Fences.