May 23, 1992: President George H.W. Bush agreed to the Lisbon Protocol. Four former Soviet republics — Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan — pledged to abide by nuclear reduction treaties signed by the U.S.S.R. before its 1991 collapse. The Soviet Union originally signed the START I nuclear disarmament with the United States in July 1991, but the U.S.S.R.'s collapse later that year left those arms reductions in doubt. Russia, as the successor state, would not be able to fulfill the treaty's terms until the other former Soviet republics had either destroyed those weapons or transferred them to Russian control. The United States and Russia applied diplomatic pressure to those new countries until they did so.

Quote of the day

"I'm conservative, but I'm not a nut about it." — George H.W. Bush

More from West Wing Reports...