U.S. imposes sanctions on India
Clinton and Kohl
Clinton urges Pakistan: Show nuclear restraint
May 13, 1998
Web posted at: 5:30 p.m. EDT (2130 GMT)
In this story:
POTSDAM, Germany (CNN) -- The United States on Wednesday imposed economic sanctions on India for its series of
underground nuclear tests. The formal announcement from a
"deeply disappointed" President Clinton came hours after
India conducted two more nuclear tests, just days after
setting off three blasts that outraged much of the world.
"I believe they (the nuclear tests) were unjustified," the
president said outside the Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam,
Germany, after meeting with Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
"They clearly create a dangerous new instability in their
region and, as a result, in accordance with U.S. law, I have
decided to impose economic sanctions against India," Clinton
said. Sanctions are mandatory under U.S. law when an
undeclared nuclear state explodes a nuclear device.
Arms race fear
In hopes of averting an arms race in southern Asia,
specifically in next-door Pakistan, Clinton urged India's
neighbors "not to follow the dangerous path India has taken."
State Department spokesman James Rubin said the president is
sending Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbot to Pakistan
to ask that nation to show restraint.
The decision to send Talbot came after Clinton telephoned
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif early Wednesday and
asked him "not to respond to an irresponsible act in kind."
Pakistan has promised to match any nuclear advances by India.
The two nations have fought three wars since 1947.
What sanctions will mean
Clinton did not elaborate on what specific actions would be
taken against India, but the sanctions, which are mandatory
under U.S. law:
- End all U.S. assistance to India except humanitarian aid.
U.S. economic and humanitarian aid amounts to about $142
million a year.
- Bar the export of certain defense and technology material.
- End U.S. credit and credit guarantees to India.
- Require the United States to oppose lending by
international financial institutions to India, which borrowed
about $1.5 billion from the World Bank last year.
"It is imperative that we make clear our categorical
opposition. We will ask other countries to do the same,"
Clinton said after meetings with Kohl.
The German leader said his nation would take a "fresh look"
at sanctions against India. Referring to the tests, he said,
"This was the wrong decision for them to take. We do not
accept that decision."
India has refused to sign the global test ban treaty approved
by the United Nations in 1996, arguing that the treaty
benefits nations, including the United States, that already
had tested and refined sophisticated nuclear weapons.
India, along with Pakistan and Israel, was already one of the
three nations widely suspected of nuclear capability that
have not joined the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
On Wednesday, India announced two additional successful
underground nuclear tests, bringing it closer to being able
to develop a nuclear weapons defense system. The action
brought international condemnation but has been popular in