The Jan. 24 news story "Powell 'Confident' of Allies' Support for War" referred to a White House document titled "What Does Disarmament Look Like?" This document lists states that "have chosen to give up mass destruction weapons and willingly cooperated with the international community to verify their disarmament." Belarus is not on this list, but it should be, because:

* It was the first state to voluntarily reject an opportunity to continue to possess nuclear weapons inherited from the Soviet Union. On Nov. 27, 1996, Belarus completed the transfer of all nuclear weapons from its territory to the Russian Federation.

* It is a party to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. It has destroyed 584 tactical nuclear missiles, as well as launchers and auxiliary equipment.

* It is a party to the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, under which it has destroyed 1,773 tanks, 1,341 combat armored vehicles and 130 combat aircraft, almost three times as many armaments as the United States, Britain and France have jointly destroyed under the same treaty.

Belarus's disarmament efforts and its important contribution to strengthening international security should be recognized.


Interim Charge d'Affaires

Embassy of the Republic of Belarus