This is an unofficial translation of Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev's remarks upon signing the SALT II accord :
Just now President Carter and I have affixed our signatures to the treaty on the limitation of strategic-offensive arms and the documents related to it.
This has been an event long awaited by the Soviet and American peoples of other countries, by all those who desire a durable peace and realize the danger of a further buildup of nuclear arsenals. In signing this treaty we are helping to defend the most sacred right of every man - the right to live.
Many representatives of our two countries have worked long and hard to draft the treaty. I think it will be fair to mention specially the contributions made by Secretary C. Vance and Minister A. A. Gromyko, Secretary H. Brown and Minister D. F. Ustinov. President Carter and I have also had to do a good deal of work.
To act in such a way as to prevent an outbreak of nuclear war is an obligation that the Soviet Union and the United States have jointly assumed. The teaty that has been signed today reaffirms our desire to fulfill that obligation.
In terms of both quantitative and qualitative limitations of strategic arms it goes far beyond the SALT I agreement. The entry into force of this treaty opens up the possibility to begin elaborating subsequent measures not only to limit but also reduce strategic arms.
By concluding the SALT II treaty we are making a major step forward along the road of an overall improvement of Soviet-American relations and, consequently, of the entire international climate.
For the Soviet Union this is a logical continuation of the peaceful foreign policy line defined by our party congresses, a line that we intend to go on following.
The signing of the treaty has appropriately crowned the Soviet-American summit meeting here in Vienna. On this auspicious occasion we express our sincere gratitude to the president, the chancellor and the government of the Austrian republic and to the people of Austria for the warm hospitality and cordiatlity extended to us.
This is the text of President Carter's remarks :
The most powerful currents of history have often been the ones that swept nations to war.
Yet as we look back on the causes of so may wars, we can see times when a more watchful course, even a small careful shift, might have guided nations that much better, that much further in the ways of peace.
That is the purpose of what we have done here in Vienna.
Today, the threat of nuclear holocaust still hangs over us as it has for more than 30 years. Our two nations are now aremed with thousands of nuclear weapons, each capable of causing devastation beyond measure and beyond imagination. Several other nations now have nuclear arms, and even more have the ability to develop the same destructive power. Weapons technology has continued to advance, and so have the dangers and the obvious need to control and to regulate this arms competition.
The strategic arms limitation talks, which have gone on for nearly 10 years without interruption, represent the realization that a nuclear arms competition without shared rules, without verifiable limits and without continuing dialogue is an invitation to disaster. Such an unrestrained competition would tempt the fate and the future and would insult our intelligence and threaten the existence of humanity.
This prospect is a challenge to our courage and our creativity. If we cannot control our power to destroy, we can neither guide our fate nor preserve our future.
Like SALT I, the antiballistic missile treaty, and the limited test ban treaty before it, this SALT II treaty is based on the real security needs of our two nations. It will not end the continuing need for military strength and readiness on both sides. But SALT II does place important new limits on both the number and quality of nuclear arms. And it allows us to continue on course towards a safer world with even more substantial limitations and reductions in SALT III. We cannot interrupt or endanger this process.
I am entrusted with the security of the United States of America. I would never take any action that would jeopardize that sacred trust, Mr. President, we both have children and we want them to live, and to live in peace. We both have worked hard to give our own and our nations' children that security.
We realize that no one treaty, no one meeting can guarantee the safe future of our nations. In the end, peace can be won only if we have pursued it and struggled tenaciosly to keep the peace all along. Yet this fight for peace has fight for peace has often seemed the most difficult victory to win.
Here today, as we set careful limits on our power we draw boundaries around our fears of one another. As we begin to control our fears, we can better insure our future.
We can now continue to explore the planets. We can discover the essence of matter. We can find the power to preserve ourselves and our earth.
Each of us has only one nation. We both share the same world. Not one nation on this earth, not one people, not one human being is harmed, threatened or deprived by this victory in the battle for peace. A victory is here for all.
In our lifetime we have learned to make war by unlocking the atom - the power of creation itself. To make peace we must limit our use of that power by sharing our courage, wisdom and faith.
These fundamental strengths of humankind have brought us to this table today.
In setting our hands to this treaty, we set our nations on a safer course.
We have labored long to make SALT II a safe and useful chart toward the future.
Let us pledge to see this treaty as we continue our passage to peace.